What’s New in Greater Phoenix

February, March, and April 2019

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Libations Forward

 

Dial up your favorite ride-share app and get out there! Phoenix celebrates the new year well into the spring with beer, wine, and cocktail events in some of the Valley’s most beautiful settings.

The Arizona wine scene is expanding, and even though it’s not technically in February, the Arizona Wine Growers Association Grand Festival is close enough that we wanted to include it in this What’s New. Stop by on Saturday, January 26 or Sunday, January 27 to experience music, food trucks, and more than 30 Arizona wineries pouring over 200 wines.

Vinophiles can also enjoy their beverage of choice at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Corks & Cactus event on February 9-10, where boutique wines blend perfectly with desert beauty.  Visit with representatives from a variety of wineries and sample from 40 different wines each day.

For beer lovers, Arizona Beer Week might just be the best week of the year. The 10-day celebration runs from February 7 to February 16 and includes over 200 events across Arizona. Check out the Arizona Strong Beer Festival on February 9 to enjoy craft beer with 130 breweries and over 500 top craft beers on tap. And don’t miss Huss Brewing Uptown Taproom’s Citrus Fest on February 16, the official launch party of a unique brew made with citrus from our own backyards in Central Phoenix.

Those with an eye for trendy drinks can’t miss Arizona Cocktail Weekend, Feb. 16-18, the premier cocktail event in the Southwest. It is a weekend filled with brand-driven happy hours and parties, educational seminars, and three signature evening events. The cocktail weekend will be taking place in Downtown Phoenix with partnered hotels.

At the Devour Bartending Competition on Feb 17, you can root for your favorite bartenders from the Devour Phoenix Coalition of restaurants as you sip on their competitive creations. Facing a celebrity lineup of judges and armed with a selection of Arizona’s best locally distilled spirits, your favorite bartenders will be up on stage shaking it up.

Tequila Fest Phoenix on February 23 is a new event to Phoenix in 2019. It is the biggest tequila event in Phoenix and will showcase over 50 different tequilas, a 50/50 raffle, beer specials, taco specials, a margarita bar, and live entertainment.

 

Visual and Performing Arts

 

Spring in Phoenix is not just about baseball — it is also the season to indulge in all of the performing arts Phoenix has to offer. New and world-premiere performances can be seen by the Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Theater Company as well as some more hands-on art options including art you can take home.

First Fridays Art Walk in Downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row is a monthly self-guided art walk, one of the largest in the nation! Tour more than 70 galleries, venues and art-related spaces to see a variety of artwork and enjoy the spirit and culture of the city. Visitors are invited to hop-on/hop-off free shuttles that circulate on three routes through downtown Phoenix's arts districts. The shuttles meet at a connector hub at Arizona Center, and you can also catch the shuttles at any of the stops along the routes, including Phoenix Art Museum, CityScape, Oasis on Grand and Unexpected Gallery.

The Hermosa Inn’s Palette to Palate is a 3-day art retreat at the property in Paradise Valley. The retreat will be held from February 15-17. Palette to Palate is designed to awaken the senses, soothe the spirit and create picture perfect memories to last a lifetime. Events include workshops led by nationally acclaimed artists and a culinary celebration highlighting a collaboration of Arizona’s premier culinary talent, produce and wine.

The Greater Phoenix area is excited to host the 24th Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival, March 1-3, a signature event for the town of Carefree. the festival will feature 150 world-class artists displaying over 5,000 original pieces of artwork in a variety of mediums.

 

Metro-Wide Celebrations

 

Phoenix is known for its diversity, and its event offerings are no exception. Check out this mix of festivals, shows and parades that offer unique experiences you won’t want to miss.

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is back in Gold Canyon from February 9 – March 31. It is a medieval amusement park, 14-stage theater, 30-acre circus, arts and crafts fair, jousting tournament and feast -- all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure. Find yourself transported back to the era of Kings, Queens, and Knights as you mingle with over 2,000 costumed characters.

The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is back at West World for its 64th year. It will run from February 14-24. The show consists of nearly 2,400 horses bringing top owners, trainers, and breeders from around the world to compete.

This year is the 31st Annual Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival. It will be returning to Tumbleweed Park on March 8-10. This year’s festival is set to the be the biggest and best yet. The Ostrich Festival is one of the state’s most beloved events. Get the whole family together to go experience a great time with some of our feathery friends.

Phoenix Pride Parade and Festival is a 40-year-old celebration of the LGBT+ community and its allies. The Phoenix Pride Festival will take place on April 6-7 at Steele Indian School Park. The Phoenix Pride festival features over 150 entertainment performances on 6 stages and over 300 Exhibitors showcasing a huge variety of food options, shopping opportunities, and community resources. The Phoenix Pride Parade will take place on April 7. It will begin at 3rd St & Thomas and end at 3rd St and Indian School.

 

 

World Culture Events

 

From Europe to Asia, many vibrant cultures call Phoenix home. These spring cultural festivals give you a chance to learn about a few of them.

The Phoenix Chinese Week Culture & Cuisine Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park East on February 16-18 will be filled with activities, vendors, and shows celebrating the Year of the Dog.

Celebrating its 35th year in 2019 is the Arizona Matsuri Festival of Japan. The festival takes place on February 23-24 at Heritage Square Park in Downtown Phoenix.

On March 2-3, enjoy the 55th Annual Phoenix Scottish Games. Held at the Steele Indian School Park in Downtown Phoenix, the festival includes the Highland Dance championship, the Desert Southwest Pipe Band Championship, and athletic events including a caber toss, sheaf toss, hammer throw, and “putting the stone.”

Enjoy delicious Polish cuisine,  refreshing imported Polish beer, traditional folk dances, and music, at the Polish Festival on March 2-3

Join the Arizona Aloha Festival on March 9-10 to celebrate the cultures of the South Pacific islands. Check out live entertainment on several stages includes music, dance, and lectures about Hawaii and Polynesia.

Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Faire on March 16 kicks off the day with a parade, which  features a variety of performers, entertainers and floats including marching bands, Irish dancers and bag pipers. Following the parade, the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Faire begins at the Irish Cultural Center at Hance Park.

 

Street Food Abounds

 

The food-truck craze has taken over America, and Phoenix is no exception! Find your favorite street fares as well as food you wouldn’t normally eat on the street being brought to you in festival format.

On February 16-17 you can eat your heart out at the Street Eats Food Truck Festival at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Over 55 food trucks will sell all types of food, with every menu including a $2 sample.

Celebrate Arizona’s thriving culinary scene at Devour Week from February 17-24. Events include the Devour Bartending Competition on February 17, followed by the Seven Chefs Dinner that same night. On February 21, experience a multicultural feast at Devour the World. The week ends with the most anticipated culinary event in the region: the Devour Culinary Classic at the Desert Botanical Garden on February 23-24.

Arizona’s second annual Rockin’ Taco Rumble will bring the heat, the meat and all the cheesy puns on Friday, March 1 to Heritage Square in Downtown Phoenix. Come and sample tacos from local taco teams/restaurants and be sure to vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice competition.

Arizona Bao Fest will be the place to be to satisfy your bao cravings on March 24 at Unexpected Art Gallery in downtown Phoenix! Enjoy steamed buns, gua bao, BBQ pork buns, sweet buns from bakeries, and inspired dumpling creations from over 10 local businesses.

Scottsdale is in full-on festival mode in April with the VegOut! Scottsdale Vegan Beer and Food Festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront on April 13-14 and the Scottsdale Culinary Festival April 13 and 14 at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. Highlights of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival include 40 local restaurants, 30 craft breweries, 20 bands, a teen cooking challenge, chef demos, family zone, wine garden and much more.

 

Sports Gear Up

 

It’s that time of year again, when the golf courses are at their prettiest and the baseball world turns its eyes toward the new talent, and those aren’t the only sports in town this spring!

The Waste Management Phoenix Open comes back to The Valley from January 28 – February 3 at the Scottsdale Tournament Players Club. The tournament annually sports the largest crowds on the PGA Tour. If you are visiting for the first time, hole 16 is a must-see. With stadium seating and crowds exceeding 16,000, it makes the fan experience at this hole more comparable to a Phoenix Suns game than a traditional PGA Tournament.

Cactus League Spring Training comes back to the Phoenix Area from February 21 – March 26.  With 10 facilities hosting 15 teams, the Phoenix metropolitan area holds claim to the greatest concentration of professional baseball facilities found anywhere in the United States. Some facilities offer volunteer opportunities and nonprofit partnerships that generate meaningful contributions to various programs, charities and scholarships throughout the state.

The NASCAR TicketGuardian 500 Weekend will run on March 8-10 at the ISM Raceway in Avondale.

The LPGA Tour’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa will begin on March 18 and run until March 24.  The top women golfers in the world will tee it up to pay tribute to the people who had a major role in creating the LPGA.