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Make Time For Annual Events & Festivals In Arizona
No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll find exciting events and festivals in Arizona. Attend county fairs, professional rodeos, wine festivals, fall harvest events and art shows. Mingle with locals, learn about regional history and enjoy fun activities for the whole family.
The World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo takes place in Payson, Arizona in August. The PRCA-sanctioned event was dubbed the “Best Small Rodeo” in the country. See professional cowboys and cowgirls competing in barrel racing, bronc riding, steer wrestling and bull riding.
The Arizona State Fair is an annual 18-day event in October at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. Celebrate Arizona’s history, see livestock and agricultural exhibits, and enjoy concerts, carnival rides and games. Flagstaff’s Oktoberfest in Wheeler Park features a beer garden, live entertainment, food vendors and competitions including yodeling and brat eating contests.
The Sedona Arts Festival has attracted art lovers for 30 years. Held in early October against the backdrop of Sedona’s spectacular scenery, the festival draws artists from all over the country. The Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts is held on the first and third Saturday of the month from October through April. The free event features a variety of artists selling paintings, photography, jewelry, handmade soaps, pottery, and metal crafts.
Helldorado Days in Tombstone spans three days in October. The event includes Old West re-enactments, cowboy shootouts, an 1880 women’s fashion show, Native American dancers, a carnival and live music.
The Willcox Wine Country Festival is held every spring at Historic Railroad Park. Enjoy sampling wines from eight local wineries, taste food from regional farms and enjoy live entertainment.
- Many communities celebrate autumn and Halloween with fall harvest festivals, corn mazes and haunted attractions. Vertuccio Farms in Mesa presents a corn maze and fall festival from early October through November. Test your navigation skills in the seven-acre corn maze, visit the pumpkin patch, and enjoy barrel train rides, farm animals and fun activities for all ages. Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale offers three different corn mazes including a haunted maze, Field of Screams. Other activities include a petting zoo and train rides from October through November. The Pumpkin Walk & Fall Fest at the Arboretum in Flagstaff features a costume contest, hayrides, a petting zoo, pony rides, haunted attractions and hot food and cider.
- Celebrate all things Arizona at the Annual Arizona Fall Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Browse merchandise from over 100 vendors, sample food and beverages from local restaurants, and enjoy games, a raffle and more at the November event. Arizona Harvest Fest is an open-air market in downtown Chandler. Held in November, the event features over 100 vendors including a farmers market, artisan crafts, gourmet foods, holiday décor, apparel, art and more. Festivalgoers enjoy live entertainment, games and a variety of fun contests.
- Tucson’s Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games is held at Rillito Raceway Park in November. See bagpipe bands dressed in kilts, enjoy Scottish, Irish, Cornish and Welsh foods, and view athletic competitions, clan tents and dancing demonstrations.
- Wickenburg hosts the annual Bluegrass Festival and Fiddle Championship in November. Notable as one of the oldest bluegrass festivals in the Southwest, the event takes place over three days with bands competing for prizes and cash awards. The event is held at Everett Bowman Rodeo Grounds and includes food and beverage concessions.
- The Page-Lake Powell Hot Air Balloon Regatta is quite a spectacle as hundreds of hot air balloons lift off and float over the Lake Powell area in early November. The event includes a street fair and a balloon glow that draws spectators from all over the region. Yuma’s Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival takes place over two days in early November. See more than 50 balloons lift off at sunrise and stay for the sunset balloon glow and fireworks. The Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair is held at Nautical Beachfront Resort in mid-January. In addition to balloon viewing, the event includes an antique and classic car show, a dog show, kite displays, children’s activities, live music and a beer garden.
- Taco lovers won’t want to miss the Arizona Taco Festival in Scottsdale. Held in mid-October, the event features 50 teams in a taco competition. Sample tasty tacos and enjoy taco eating contests, live music, tequila samples and more.
- Fort McDowell Victory Days is held in mid-November at the FMIC Fairgrounds in Fort McDowell. See a parade, watch a Native American rodeo and enjoy cultural demonstrations, concerts, traditional foods and games.
- The Festival of Lights in Sedona takes place in early December at Tlaquepaque Village. See the lighting of 6,000 candles, visit Santa and enjoy performances by a choir.
- Gold Rush Days in Wickenburg celebrates the region’s ranching and mining heritage. Attend the parade and rodeo in early February at the Everett Bowman Rodeo Grounds.
- La Fiesta de Tumacacori is a two-day celebration in early December. The event in Tumacacori features Native American, Mexican and Southwestern foods. Enjoy demonstrations on flower making, rawhide braiding and basket weaving, sample delicious foods and enjoy family activities like piñata breaking and orchard tours.
- The Annual Indian Market at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix is held in early December over two days. View American Indian art and enjoy a variety of hands-on activities including beading, corn grinding, gourd painting and petroglyph making. Browse wares from over 100 vendors selling fine art and collectibles.
- Scottsdale’s Arts Festival in early March is held at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Civic Center Park over three days. See works from 200 jury-selected artists from the U.S. and Canada. The event features music and entertainment on two stages, gourmet food trucks and family activities.
- Fabulous Phoenix Fourth features one of the largest fireworks displays in the Southwest. The Independence Day celebration takes place at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix. In addition to fireworks, the alcohol-free event offers a festival atmosphere with food vendors, live entertainment and a variety of exhibits and activities for all ages.
Enjoy more popular events in Arizona
Tucson Festival of Books
Drawing over 100,000 readers, the annual Tucson Festival of Books is located at the University of Arizona in Tucson. A major event in southern Arizona, this free festival is a weekend-long gathering of authors, book vendors, publications, parks, and environmentalists in mid-March. Established in 2009, the Tucson Festival of Books features exhibitors like True West Magazine, the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Western Writers of America, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, and much more.
Recent and reoccurring authors like R.L. Stine, Lois Lowry, and Larry McMurtry attend for lectures, book signings, and panels. The festival also feature Science City activities, plus food, shopping, interactive exhibits, and more.
World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo
The history and culture of the Old West is alive and well in Arizona. The World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo began in 1884 in Payson. Sometimes referred to as the August Doins, the rodeo is a sanctioned PRCA rodeo event and considered to be the "Best Small Rodeo" in America. Little kids love competing in the Mutton Bustin and adults love watching them. It's one of the most entertaining events at the Doins.
Some of the world's best cowboys and cowgirls will be competing for more than $50,000 in Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Bull Riding, Tie-Down Roping and Team Roping. While visiting Payson, grab your hat and boots and have fun in northern Arizona at the rodeo.