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Fall is literally around the corner, and with it comes beautiful days, cool nights and an abundance of fun things to do. So mark your calendars for these 10 upcoming festivals, listed in order of appearance.
For a complete list of things do this season — including outdoor movies, theater openings and must-see concerts — check out our extensive fall event lineup: Live It Up DTPHX.
It’s kind of like a beer festival – if the entirety of downtown was the festival grounds. This is how it works: More than 25 of the city’s best bars and restaurants offer up samples of specialty brews for just $1 or $2, and a complimentary snack to nosh on. The event is completely self-guided, so you can start, stop and take a rest when you want – just hit the “trail” anytime between 1 and 6 p.m. Bonus: The first 300 people to reach District American Kitchen and Wine Bar (starting at 1 p.m.) will get a free Urban Ale Trail commemorative growler. Check out the lineup here.
If you live in Arizona, you probably add chile to just about everything. Understanding the subtle and nuanced flavors is an art form that takes a lifetime — and many taste tests. The annual Chile Pepper Festival, located in the Roosevelt Row Arts District, features a variety of chile-inspired dishes, craft beer, gourmet margaritas and entertainment for the whole family. Admission is just $5, tasting tickets are $3 and beer tickets are $6. Spice up your life from 5-10 p.m.
A downtown institution since 2009, the annual Zombie Walk is the largest of its kind in Arizona. This year, KUPD radio personality John Holmberg returns as Grand Marshall, leading the parade of undead through the historic Warehouse District. Located inside the festival zone prior to the walk, make sure to check out the live music, an amazing costume contest, food trucks, kid’s zone and “zombification” station. There’s a $10 entry fee, but lil’ zombies 12 and under are free. All proceeds benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association.
Twinkling lights, long rows of candle-lit tables and the soft glow of white everywhere makes Noche En Blanco a magical evening to remember. It’s a great way for friends, family and neighbors to come together for a picnic under the stars. Bring your own dinner or make arrangements with the preferred caterer — all tickets, food and beverage sales help raise funds for the new Hance Park Master Plan. More details and pricing information coming soon.
Everything at this festival is “certified local.” That means the food is from yummy Arizona restaurants, the beer and wine comes from local purveyors and the booths are filled with merchants you’d find in your own neighborhood. It’s meant to showcase all the great things Arizona has to offer – from cuisine and crafts to live music and entertainment. Arizona Fall Festival is super family-oriented with lots of things for kids to do from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Whether you’re looking to dance, groove, lean back or shuffle – the Arizona Hip-Hop Festival produces enough bass and beats to vibrate all of downtown. More than 200 DJs, rappers and artists will take over multiple stages at Comerica Theatre for the largest celebration of local hip hop in the state. The festival runs all day with lots of vendors, food trucks, live painters and more. Artist lineup coming soon.
By far the funkiest, most fabulous art festival in town, Grand Avenue residents and business owners pull out all the stops for this eclectic gathering. Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts (PAPA) will once again host a community art parade, but you can also expect to see amazing live music, outdoor art installations, historic buildings, pop-up galleries, food trucks and more. The festival is free to the public and located along the stretch of Grand Avenue between Van Buren and Roosevelt streets. More details coming soon.
Taste beers from dozens of local and national breweries while enjoying live entertainment and Phoenix’s best weather of the year. General admission ticket prices start at $25, which allows entry into the festival starting at 1 p.m. and includes up to 30 samples (yes, that’s three zero), along with a commemorative tasting mug. Food and other goodies are sold inside, but you’ll want to leave the kiddos at home for this one (because they’re literally not allowed – sorry!). Novembeer is 21 and older.
Carbs plus cheese equals happiness. These are just the facts. So it’s no wonder the Phoenix Pizza Festival spreads lots of joy. For the third year in a row, more than 15 local pizza makers will come together for a day of cheesy celebration – serving up slices for just $2-$4. General admission tickets are $10 (babies and toddlers are free), which gives you access to live local bands, lawn games, local craft beer, wine, vendors and a kid’s craft zone. All food and drink items cost extra once inside. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nothing brings people together like the ooey-gooey deliciousness of homemade pie. That’s the idea behind Pie Social, where you can sample a smorgasbord of pies from community members and local pastry chefs alike. Either bring two pies or $10 in exchange for five pie tasting tickets (that’s five slices, folks). This is a family-friendly affair with pie-related vendors, kid-friendly activities and live music. More details coming soon.