Tempe Festivals: Springtime Fun in the Phoenix Area

Richard Cox  •  Fun All Year in Phoenix  •  

RAV Spring Festivals

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, the stunning beauty of the Tempe Phoenix area is enough to draw crowds of people for Spring Break, Spring Training, and yes, for the spring weather. A constant mild 85 degrees Fahrenheit makes this area the “hot” spot for those from colder climbs.

You can count on its famous sunny skies, so be sure to pack light clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen, and don’t forget to hydrate often in this dry desert air.

Since rain is practically nonexistent, the climate is perfect for outdoor festivals, which are quite plentiful here in Arizona. Nationally recognized as a bike-friendly city, you can navigate these festivals and our many parks and trails easily by bicycle. Bike rentals in Tempe, AZ include the top-rated: Soul Beach Cruisers, The Bicycle Cellar, Wheel Fun Rentals, The Pedal Bike Shop & Spinners On the Green.

Cultural Festivals

Head for a 2-day Polynesian ‘vacation’ without even leaving Tempe at the Arizona Aloha Festival. Enjoy this free family event with exciting stages filled with performing groups from Arizona, and as far away as Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. Location: Tempe Beach Park.

The Arizona Dragon Boat Festival features competitive and recreational dragon boat races, vendors, food booths, and Asian and Pacific inspired entertainment. Location: the Tempe Town Lake Marina (North Side)

Festivals featuring The Arts

Visit over 400 artists selling their original works at the Tempe Festival of the Arts. Live entertainment to suit everyone’s tastes, wine and beer gardens, food, and activities for kids. Location: Downtown Tempe

The Phoenix Film Festival annually screens over 150 films and has been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine. Founded in 2000 by independent filmmakers as an opportunity to showcase independent film-making and has quickly become Arizona’s largest film festival. Location: Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre

The unique El Puente Theatre Festival and Mask Procession is a free celebration for families featuring an afternoon of food, music and art. Festival events include mask-making, fun drama activities for kids and dynamic performances by local artists. The festival concludes with a masked procession of kids, families and performers on the beautiful bridge crossing Tempe Town Lake! Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Music Festivals

What could be better than relaxing music in a desert oasis at the Music in the Garden series at the Desert Botanical Garden? Every Friday evening through June, enjoy an outdoor concert at the garden’s Ullman Terrace.

But then again, maybe your tastes run to a louder venue like The Pot of Gold Music Festival, a four-day music festival at Tempe Beach Park. This outdoor concert has featured some of the biggest names in music, including Bastille, Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Chromeo and Korn.

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival is the only 100% non-profit music festival in Arizona. Designed to promote three elements – community involvement, corporate participation and charity.
The festival offers a marketplace for shopping, a Kid’s Zone, a silent auction/raffle and all proceeds go to support local causes. Location: Margaret T. Hance Park

Lucky Man Concerts has two stages with live music, food, drinks and fun. Past events included Nine Inch Nails, Muse, Kings Of Leon, The Black Keys, A Perfect Circle, Godsmack, Sigur Ros, Flogging Molly, Fallout Boy, Modest Mouse, Odd Future, Social Distortion, Phoenix, Eric Church, Paul Oakenfold, Deftones, Megadeth, Benny Bennassi to name a few. Location: Marquee Theater

Sports & Outdoors Festivals

If you are not already consumed by Cactus League Spring Training, try a few of these favorites:

Cirque de Cycle: Enjoy the evening celebrating the bicycle on The Green, in the shadow of
the iconic Hayden Flour Mill. The night will be filled with music, dancing, raffle prizes, a silent auction, food and entertainment. Silent auction items include vacations, bicycles, and much more.

The world-famous Spring Butterfly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden allows guests to enter this spectacular habitat and observe different butterflies live.

For traditional (and exciting) family fun, and an exceptional Foodie experience, take the family to the Maricopa County Fair. Featuring the largest county fair carnival in Phoenix with over 38 rides, plus concerts & games. Just when you thought they couldn’t deep-fry one more type of food, this fair introduced its most famous drink: Deep Fried Coffee. So superb you need a spoon to plow through it! And don’t forget the livestock and agricultural shows. Location: Arizona State Fairgrounds

Food and Drink Festivals

Enjoy beer, food and Rock-n-Roll at The Great Arizona Beer Festival. There is ample free parking at Sloan Park, with shuttles from the light rail to the park. Location: Sloan Park, Mesa AZ

Head to nearby Queen Creek, Arizona for Schnepf Farms’ annual Peach Festival. Enjoy hay rides to the orchards, live 2013-Jaguar-F-Type-1-1024x681music, train & carousel rides, water activities, arts and crafts. The smell of delicious foods infused with peaches waft through the air. Don’t miss the Peachy Pancake breakfast and the Peachy Sampling Pavilion with food ranging from sweets to salsa’s, peach pies, peach cinnamon rolls, peach cookies, peach cobbler and more.

Trade in 2 Wheels for 4!

Ready to upgrade from a bike? Rent A Vette has the perfect festival vehicle for you! You will draw your own large crowd when you pull up in a brand new Jaguar “F” Convertible! Be the first to drive this luxury sports car!

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