Signature Events

Throughout the year, Arizonans and visitors gather to celebrate Arizona's traditions and cultures. They meet to observe and participate, gather and collect, clap and cheer, ooh and ahh, run or ride, eat and drink and shop til they drop. The following "signature" events represent only a portion of Arizona's celebrations. For a more complete list, see visitarizona.com/events.

Winslow

January

9-12 LAKE HAVASU CITY: Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair
The sky fills with beautiful balloons during this "party in the sky!" Other activities include a pilot meet and greet, skydivers, dog shows, and live music, a vintage/classic car show, carnival rides, kite displays, air shows, arts and crafts, an emergency vehicle display, and—of course—balloon rides (tethered and un-tethered) and balloon night glows.Info: (928) 505-2440, havasuballoonfest.com, hbffhelp@gmail.com

11-19 SCOTTSDALE: Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction

Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. hosts this annual international car auction—the largest, most prestigious antique/classic car auction in the world—with an exciting and diverse selection of classic and collectible automobiles. Buyers from across the globe gather to bid on the more than one thousand cars, including American and European classic, sports, and racing cars. The auction also features more than 350 vendors including one-of-a-kind collectibles and rare "automobilia."
Info: (480) 421-6694, www.barrett-jackson.com, information@barrett-jackson.com

15-19 SCOTTSDALE: Russo & Steele Collector Automobile Auction

The event kicks off with the Russo and Steele's Charity Gala with live entertainment, a hosted bar and food—all benefiting a local charity. Attendees can watch more than 800 vehicles roll across the auction block and join in on the excitement of bidding and buying. Russo and Steele Collector Automobiles offers the finest in European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods and customs, and the event is recognized as "one of the major players" of Scottsdale car auctions by collectors and journalists worldwide.
Info: (602) 252-2697, russoandsteele.com/scottsdale, info@RussoandSteele.com

17-19 WILLCOX: Wings Over Willcox - Sandhill Crane Celebration

A celebration of birds, nature and culture, including guided tours and field trips for bird watching, photography, geology, ranching, agriculture, history and more. See Sandhill cranes at Willcox Playa and waders at Cochise Lake. You can also partake in free seminars, a crafts and trade show, live animal educational booths, workshops, a banquet and silent auction.
Info: (800) 200-2272, www.wingsoverwillcox.com

18-19 PHOENIX: Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

stations, and music at every mile. Additional events include the Rock ‘n’ Roll ArtWalk on Thursday prior to the run and a Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday.
Info: (800) 311-1255, www.runrocknroll.com, rnraz@competitorgroup.com

27-2/2 SCOTTSDALE: Waste Management Phoenix Open

With more than 700,000 people in attendance, the FBR Open is one of Arizona's largest spectator events and one of the PGA Tour's top events. Sponsored by the Thunderbirds, the Special Events Committee of the Phoenix Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and played on one of the country's most picturesque golf courses.
Info: (602) 870-0163, wmphoenixopen.com, info@wmphoenixopen.com

February

5-9 TUBAC: Tubac Festival of the Arts
The longest-running annual art gathering in the United States, this juried show features the work of approximately 200 visiting artists, craft persons and musicians from across the country. Festival booths line the village streets, mixed among the 100 year-round shops, fine art galleries and working artists' studios. Horse-drawn trolleys shuttle visitors around the historic village, the site of the first European settlement in Arizona. The entertainment lineup includes Azteca folk dancers, Mariachi music, Jazz music, art demonstrations and more. Located south of Tucson at Exit 34 on I-19, Tubac is a haven for art, history and nature lovers.
Info:
(520) 398-2704, tubacaz.com, info@tubacaz.com

14-16 WICKENBURG: Gold Rush Days

This celebration of Wickenburg's rich heritage has been running for 70-plus years and even received recognition as a Local Legacy from the Library of Congress. Festivities begin with a shoot-out on Frontier Street that kicks off a rootin'-tootin' Western weekend of cowboys and garter girls. On Saturday morning, watch one of the largest parades in Arizona followed by the National Senior Pro Rodeo with cowboy competitors from across the country. Families can enjoy a carnival, food booths, barbecue, a classic car show, and artisan fair as well as unique mining contests, gold panning and other activities relating to the gold fever that once gripped the town.
Info:
(928) 684-5479, outwickenburgway.com

7-8 SIERRA VISTA: Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering

This annual gathering continues the tradition of bringing a true Western expression of the "Cowboy Way" to today's audiences. Free Saturday programs include musicians, storytellers and musical groups who represent the best of the best from the Western states, many with national recognition. Don't miss the Saturday night barn dance.
Info:
(520) 508-9359, www.cowboypoets.com

7-9 PHOENIX: World Championship Hoop Dance Contest at Heard Museum

Top Native American dancers from the U.S. and Canada vie for the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. There is no better place to see the fast-paced precision and grace of hoop dancing.
Info:
(602) 252-8848, heard.org/event/hoop

8-3/29 GOLD CANYON: Arizona's Annual Renaissance Festival

For more than three decades, the Arizona Renaissance Festival—one of the largest in the nation—has delighted attendees as a medieval amusement park. Experience the middle ages in a giant, costumed fantasy village with thirteen stages of continuous live entertainment, a 30-acre outdoor circus, medieval arts and crafts fair with more than 200 artisans, a jousting tournament and a feast.
Info: (520) 463-2700, arizona.renfestinfo.com

13 LAKE HAVASU CITY: Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show

For thirty years, the Western Pyrotechnic Association has held its annual convention in Lake Havasu City. Though the convention is primarily for members, the show opens to the public on Saturday. Guests can gather at Sara Park to view a spectacular display of fireworks over the Colorado River that rivals the Fourth of July shows in major cities around the U.S. as the clear desert sky morphs into a spectacular kaleidoscope of colors.
Info:
(800) 242-8278, www.golakehavasu.com/western-winter-blast-pyrotechnics-show

13-16 TUCSON: Tucson Gem & Mineral Show

This is the world's largest, oldest and most prestigious gem and mineral show, and is open to amateur and professional collectors, artisans and the public. In addition to the thousands of vendors selling a variety of minerals, gems, jewelry, lapidary, accessories and other goods, some shows will host special exhibits by museums and individual collectors, lectures, seminars and children's programs open to all. Despite its name, the "Show" is comprised of more than 20 different shows and events held just prior to or simultaneously in the Tucson area. For more details, see www.interweave.com/tucson-show-guide.
Info:
(520) 322-5773 or 800-638-8350, www.tgms.org

13-16 FLAGSTAFF: Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival

An international film festival with an emphasis on thought-provoking social, environmental and adventure-related outdoor films. In addition to the films, there are panel discussions, speakers, an extreme late-night program featuring high-energy sports films, an environmental program on opening night, student films, and an expanded adventure photography exhibit. Situated just one hour south of the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff's high altitude desert setting makes a great base for outdoor and film enthusiasts to connect and enjoy our environment along with high-quality film entertainment.Info: www.flagstaffmountainfilms.org, info@flagstaffmountainfilms.org

13-23 SCOTTSDALE: Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Since 1955 this annual show has set the pace in the Arabian horse world, growing to nearly 2,400 of the world's most beautiful Arabians and Half-Arabians. The show brings top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world to compete for a chance at winning more than $570,000 in prize money. The show also features about 300 vendors and trade booths, tempting international cuisine, exciting demonstrations and unique educational seminars.
Info:
(480) 515-1500, www.scottsdaleshow.com/shows-events/scottsdale-arabian-horse-show

15-23 TUCSON: La Fiesta de los Vaqueros

This PRCA rodeo is America's largest, outdoor, midwinter rodeo and attracts top contestants. In addition to standard events, watch performances by special acts, clowns and barn dances. The annual parade is the world's longest non-motorized parade, with 300 entries.
Info:
(520) 741-2233 or (800) 964-5662, tucsonrodeo.com

22-3/1 SEDONA: International Film Festival

Lovers of independent films will celebrate the best in cinematic art amid unparalleled scenic beauty. For 25 years, the festival has honored filmmakers motivated by a passion for their art, not box office revenues. There are world premieres, gala parties, and stimulating conversation. Activities include more than 160 of the best films, a "Cast Party," awards lunch and small gatherings that give film lovers a chance to talk with others who share their passion.
Info:
(928) 282-1177, sedonafilmfestival.com

March

7-8 PHOENIX: Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market
More than 10,000 guests will make their way to browse the work of 600 American Indian artists and purchase handmade, authentic work by the best sculptors, painters, jewelers, potters, bead workers, weavers, katsina doll carvers and basket artists. The fair weekend also includes music by recording artists, cultural dance performances, art demonstrations and chefs demonstrating culinary uses of native ingredients. Adult general admission includes the festival and museum admission.
Info:
(602) 252-8840, heard.org/fair

13-15 CHANDLER: Ostrich Festival
With a nod to Chandler's history, this festival includes ostrich races, carnival, arts and crafts, a marketplace, international food, national and regional entertainment, an interactive kid's area, and a parade.
Info:
(480) 588-8497, ostrichfestival.com, info@ostrichfestival.com

14-15 TUCSON: Tucson Festival of Books
In less than a decade, this free annual festival dedicated to books and reading has become one of the largest in the country featuring authors from across the globe. Attendees can browse hundreds of vendors and partake in panels by best-selling and emerging authors, special programming for children and teens, a literary circus, culturally diverse programs with an emphasis on the Southwest, a poetry venue, food and live entertainment.
Info:
tucsonfestivalofbooks.org

20-22 TUCSON: Fourth Avenue Street Fair – Spring
Join in the fun at this 50-year-old tradition, which attracts more than 600,000 guests each year to Tucson's eclectic downtown and historic 4th Avenue. In addition to 300-plus international artisans, enjoy live entertainment, children's activities, and treats from more than 40 food concessionaires.
Info:
fourthavenue.org/street-fair

27-29 TEMPE: Annual Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts
The Tempe Festival of the Arts consistently ranks among the top 20 art festivals in the nation. More than 350 artist booths fill the Mill Avenue District, presenting unique hand-made artwork for sale to attendees while enjoying continuous entertainment on five stages, an Arizona Wine Festival and a special children's area.
Info:
(480) 921-2300, www.tempefestivalofthearts.com

28-4/1 TEMPE: Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000
More than 80 of the finest vintage motor cars drive 1000 miles of popular Arizona terrain over four days. The event celebrates the automotive cultural legacy by featuring some of the finest working examples of vintage, sports, racing, classic and grand touring automobiles manufactured before the 1974 model year.
Info:
(602) 307-2060, www.mensartscouncil.com/cs

ON TWO-YEAR HIATUS MESA: Jesus the Christ Easter Pageant
The world's largest Easter pageant presents a drama, dance and musical story about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. English and Spanish performances are given.
Info: (480) 964-7164 **Returns 2021

April

TBA SCOTTSDALE: Culinary Festival
A celebration of the senses with the tastes, sights and sounds of Scottsdale. The festival features multiple districts for food exploration, such as BBQ Country, European Plaza, Sweet Street, American Square, Latin Hill, Asian Village, and the Grub Lot from the Phoenix Metropolitan Area's most notable restaurants and chef personalities. For the 21+ crowd, there is a beer garden featuring 200 specialty beers, a wine garden and the new Liquid Arizona lounge with local wineries, spirits and craft beer. Notable events include the Best of the Fest, Chef Demos, a family zone, and Teen Cook-Off.
Info:
(480) 945-7193, scottsdalefest.org

22-27 LAKE HAVASU CITY: Desert Storm Poker Run

A world-class collection of the most prestigious performance boats from across the nation will hit speeds of more than 160 MPH in this display of some of the fastest, most impressive boats to grace the waves. The Desert Storm Shootout features racers running a two-mile course competing in 30 different classes, with more than 67 runs! The weekend kicks off with the Desert Storm Street Party on Thursday that attracts more than 10,000 people and a boat parade through the Bridgewater Channel on Friday.
Info:
(602) 739-4739, www.stormpokerruns.com/desert-storm.html, James@StormPokerRuns.com

22-25 TUCSON: La Frontera's Tucson International Mariachi Conference

Celebrating 25-plus years of success as one of the most influential mariachi and baile folklórico events in the world, this conference is a permanent fixture on the Tucson cultural calendar and beckons mariachi and Baile Folklorico aficionados from across the country and Mexico. It is a celebration of Folklorico and mariachi music starting with student workshops and competition and culminating in the Fiesta de Garibaldi, an all-day party in the park.
Info:
(520) 838-3908, www.tucsonmariachi.org, timc@lafrontera.org

23-26 COTTONWOOD: Verde Valley Nature & Birding Festival

Birding enthusiasts will enjoy this event, which features field trips, guided tours, workshops and seminars, exhibits, vendors and entertainment. Families can bring the little ones to the Family Nature Fair with special activities for the children.
Info:
(928) 282-2202, verderiver.org/birding-festival

23-5/5 TUCSON: Agave Heritage Festival

Tucson is the premier destination for all things agave and this festival explores and celebrates the cultural, commercial, environmental and culinary significance of this heritage plant over 10 days with more than twenty-five events throughout Tucson. Join the festival and take part in agave spirit tastings, seminars, art exhibits, concerts, garden tours and world-class culinary experiences.
Info: (520) 622-8848, www.agaveheritagefestival.com

May

1-3 SELIGMAN/TOPOCK: Route 66 Fun Run
Despite its name, the Fun Run is not a timed race, but a 140-mile pleasure cruise of classic and custom vehicles that traverse the Mother Road from Seligman to Topock/Golden Shores, in Arizona. Roughly 800 vehicles of all descriptions and ages take part, and there are events and celebrations in almost every community along the way.
Info: (928) 753-5001, www.historic66az.com/faqs.html, info@historic66az.com

2 PRESCOTT: Whiskey Row Marathon

One of the toughest marathons in the U.S., runners traverse terrain that is rugged at an altitude that exceeds a mile above sea level in possibly severe weather. In addition to the marathon, there is also a 1/2 marathon, 10K, 10K race walk, and 2-mile fun run.
Info: www.whiskeyrowmarathon.com

23-24 FLAGSTAFF: Zuni Festival of Arts & Culture – Exploring Zuni Ways of Knowing

The event explores A:shiwi philosophy, emergence and migration beliefs, worldviews, values and current-day issues on the Zuni Reservation. Fine arts, music, dances and food serve as windows into the ancient and vibrant Zuni culture. More than 50 award-winning and emerging artists will present their work and talk with visitors about materials and designs they use.
Info: musnaz.org/heritage

June

15-20 TSAILE: Sheep is Life Festival
Navajo sheepherders and weavers host this annual celebration to honor the central role of sheep and fiber arts in the spirituality, philosophy and daily life of both their and other cultures worldwide. All are invited to participate—bring tools, spindles, fibers and creativity to share. Other activities include hands-on workshops, presentations, sheep and wool shows, sales of sheep, wool, fiber, weaving materials and arts, shepherd training workshops, a Navajo-Churro sheep exchange, contemporary fiber arts sale, and a juried Navajo Rug show and sale.
Info: (505) 406-7428, navajolifeway.org, info@navajolifeway.org

20-21 PRESCOTT: Prescott Indian Art Market

For more than two decades, the Prescott Indian Art Market has presented some of the finest Native American art in the Southwest. With only 100 booths available on the four-acre campus, attendees know they'll be seeing the best-of-the-best at the juried show. Comfortably warm temperatures and a steady stream of art enthusiasts enjoy viewing (and buying) exquisite wood and stone carvings, distinctive ceramics, paintings, hand-woven baskets, blankets and clothing, distinctive jewelry and much more.
Info: (928) 445-3122, www.sharlothallmuseum.org, email: PIAM@sharlot.org

29-7/5 PRESCOTT: Prescott Frontier Days® & World's Oldest Rodeo

Enjoy "Everybody's Hometown" with a rich history and cowboy culture many have come to love. Rodeo festivities include eight thrilling rodeo performances, Arizona's largest rodeo parade, kiddie parade, arts and crafts, rodeo and street dances, and a Fourth of July celebration.
Info: (928) 445-3103 or (866) 407-6336, www.worldsoldestrodeo.com, email: info@WorldsOldestRodeo.com

July

4 PHOENIX: Fabulous Phoenix Fourth
This patriotic festival features the largest aerial fireworks display in the Southwest with two stages of entertainment by international recording artists, festival-style food, hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, a classic car display, and a Kid's World with activities, carnival rides, and inflatables. The free and non-alcoholic family event annually attracts more than 100,000 participants.
Info: (602) 534-3378 (FEST), www.phoenix.gov/parks/special-events/fabphx4

4-5 FLAGSTAFF: Hopi Festival of Arts and Cultural

The oldest Hopi show in the world and a tradition since the 1930s, this festival celebrates the rich artistic culture and traditions from the Hopi mesas of northeastern Arizona. Meet Native artists, performers, ethnobotanists and cultural interpreters and enjoy the renowned Hopi handmade arts of katsina doll carving, pottery, painting and silver overlay jewelry against a backdrop of storytelling, music, dancing, and steaming piki.
Info: (928) 774-5213, musnaz.org/heritage

25 ELGIN: HarvestFest at Sonoita Vineyards

HarvestFest commemorates the vineyard's bountiful harvest, and one of the biggest attractions of the day is the grape stomping. Festival guests are invited to jump into a barrel of grapes for creative crushing with bare feet, while a rousing round of applause from the crowd chooses the grape-stomping champion. Other events include wine tastings, pairings and a horse-drawn vineyard tour.
Info: (520) 455-5893, www.sonoitavineyards.com/festivals

29-8/1 SIERRA VISTA: Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival

Arizona's longest-running nature festival, Southwest Wings is an educational celebration of the diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects in their unique environment—the sky islands in southern Arizona. Serious birders and casual observers come together for field trips, displays, lectures, bat stalks, owl prowls, displays and arts and crafts.
Info: (520) 678-8237, www.swwings.org

August

8-9 FLAGSTAFF: Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture
An authentic presentation of the Navajo "Beauty Way" philosophy of living in harmony is offered by more than 80 Navajo artists, storytellers and cultural interpreters from many clans. Witness multiple generations of rug weavers working on traditional upright looms throughout the Museum. Enjoy hoop and traditional dancing, a retrospective fashion show, and ancient and modern Native music by multiple artists. Artists demonstrate jewelry, painting, beading and pottery techniques.
Info: 928-774-5213, musnaz.org/heritage

6-8 PRESCOTT: Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering

From across the West, the best in authentic cowboy poetry and music is presented with the finest group of reciters and singers in both traditional and contemporary cowboy poetry. If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a cowboy, then come hear the stories about the colorful culture and strong heritage that celebrate the American Cowboy. The daytime sessions are free; evening shows collect an admission.
Info: (928) 713-6323, azcowboypoets.org

18-22 PAYSON: World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo

For more than 135 years, Payson has celebrated the history and tradition of pro-rodeo. Held annually during the third weekend in August, it is considered the country's Best Small Rodeo by PRCA, which sanctions the event. Some of the world's greatest professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash and prizes. Fearless bull riders, burly steer wrestlers, gorgeous barrel racers, soaring bronc riders, specialty acts, and colorful clowns keep you entertained and shouting for more. There are four performances over the long weekend, including an old-fashioned parade.
Info: (928) 978-0694, www.paysonprorodeo.com

September

TBA WINDOW ROCK: Navajo Nation Fair
This is a county fair, Indian style! As the largest Native America Fair and Rodeo in the country, 70-plus years running, the Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock is the fair of choice for visitors. Enjoy cultural experiences such as a Pow-Wow, fry bread contest, traditional songs and dances, Navajo arts and crafts, and a special Miss Navajo pageant competition. On Saturday evening, see dances performed in the arena by various Indian tribes.
Info: (928) 871-6478, ;www.facebook.com/NavajoNationFair

TBA WILLCOX: Rex Allen Days

The annual celebration honors the late Rex Allen, Willcox's own silver screen cowboy. Activities include a parade, a professional rodeo, cowboy dances and a county music concert. There will also be wild horse races, shooting demonstrations, bull riding event, a gun show, Cowboy Music and Poetry Festival, comedy shows, tractor pulls, gunfights and showings of Rex Allen movies as well as a car show, turtle races, carnival and softball tournaments.
Info: (520) 384-2272 or (520) 384-4583, www.rexallendays.org

TBA SAFFORD: Salsa

FestArizona's Salsa Trail encompasses terrific food in the towns and communities within a 40-mile radius of Safford. The members of the Salsa Trail, which include a dozen Mexican restaurants, celebrate each September with salsa-making competitions for both professional and amateur chefs, a marketplace, salsa music, dance performances, food demonstrations, chili roasting, a kids' corner with piñatas and Chihuahua dog races, dog costume contest, beer garden and car show. There is also a Hot Air Balloon Glow on Friday evening, and they fly overhead on Saturday morning.
Info: info@graham-chamber.com

TBA WINSLOW: Standin' on the Corner of Winslow, Arizona

Each year, the annual Standin' On the Corner Park festival draws thousands of visitors to Winslow. The celebration includes live bands, dancing, arts and crafts, food vendors, a live auction, a beer garden, a children's play area and a fire truck tug.
Info: www.visitwinslow.com

October

TBA LAKE HAVASU CITY: IJSBA World Finals
Global competitors churn the waters to win a share of more than $25,000 in prizes at the world's largest and most prestigious personal watercraft event. The week-long World Finals event features closed-course racing, slalom racing and freestyle competition. During the Pro Freestyle Expo, individual athletes compete with their most dynamic and creative stunts and tricks. The World Finals also features the world's only tradeshow for personal watercraft, accessories and lifestyle products and is where the latest models are unveiled. All are welcome to watch from either side of the Bridgewater Channel.
Info: (928) 453-3444, www.golakehavasu.com/ijsba-international-jet-ski-world-finals

TBA PHOENIX: Arizona State Fair

Celebrating 130-plus years, the Arizona State Fair is one of the top 10 state fairs in the country. Each year, more than a million guests come to experience a great combination of the traditional and the extraordinary with family entertainment, animals, food, rides, top-notch concerts, exhibits, motorized events, a rodeo and more. Open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Info: (602) 252-6771, azstatefair.com

3-4 PRESCOTT: Folk Music Festival

As Arizona's longest-running folk music festival, this event showcases the best of Arizona acoustic music with more than 150 performers, including fiddlers, banjo players, guitarists, singers and songwriters. Hear dulcimers and harmonicas and listen to storytellers. Celebrate Arizona's musical heritage with songs of the miners, railroad men, cowboys, vaqueros, pioneers and Native people, whose cultures and traditions influenced territorial life.
Info:
(928) 445-3122, www.sharlothallmuseum.org

TBA SCOTTSDALE: Arizona Taco Festival

50-plus professional and amateur taco teams compete in chicken, beef, pork and fish, a side-cart throwdown in salsa, guacamole, anything goes taco and best booth design. The day also includes a hot chili pepper eating contest, a kid's zone, cooking demos, live music, Boutique Tequila Expo and a Margarita Challenge.
Info:
aztacofestival.com

16-18 TOMBSTONE: Helldorado Days

What started out as the town's 50th-anniversary celebration in l929, has turned into its oldest tradition. Activities include reenactments, a parade on Sunday, fashion shows, a carnival, live music, beard contest and street entertainment.
Info:
(520) 457-3291, tombstonehelldoradodays.com

17 BISBEE: Bisbee 1000 - The Great Stair Climb

This annual event can be a challenging competitive run or a leisurely explorative walk of Bisbee's more than 1000 steps. Win prizes and help restore the historic steps while improving your own health. Annual Bisbee 1000 Ironman Ice Competition, "the event within the event", involves carrying blocks of ice with a pair of antique tongs up 155 stairs, across a trail and down a winding road to an exhilarating finish—fun to participate in or just to watch!
Info:
(520) 432-1585, www.bisbee1000.org

18 TEMPE: Ironman 70.3 Arizona

A 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a complete marathon 26.2 miles in succession.
Info: www.ironman.com

TBA FLAGSTAFF: Celebraciónes de la Gente

The Museum of Northern Arizona comes to life for Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Transforming grief into a celebration, this ritual pays homage to the lives of lost loved ones by inviting them back to enjoy their favorite music and foods and to honor their contributions in life. Flagstaff families bring ofrendas (altars) from their homes to share in a courtyard exhibit. The festival includes performances such as Aztec fire dancing, storytelling, mariachis, Ballet Folklorico, and modern Latin music. Artists display exhibits of tinwork, straw mosaics, papél picado (paper art), and filigree jewelry.
Info: musnaz.org/heritage

November

6-8 TUCSON: All Soul's Procession
A two-mile, human-powered procession that ends in the finalizing action of burning a large urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes for those who have passed. The event also includes installation art, altars, performers and creative artists. The All Souls Procession, and now the entire All Souls Weekend, is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones who have passed.
Info: (520) 770-1553 or (520) 634-5004, allsoulsprocession.org

TBA WICKENBURG: Bluegrass Festival & Fiddle Championship

Held the second full weekend in November for more than 25 years, this three-day event features the Four Corners championship contests for fiddle, flat-pick guitar, banjo and mandolin, drawing thousands of spectators from throughout the southwest.
Info: (928) 684-5479, outwickenburgway.com

6-1/3 WILLIAMS: Polar Express

The classic children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express, comes to life when the Grand Canyon Railway train departs the Williams Depot for a journey through the dark and quiet wilderness for a special visit to the "North Pole." Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to the magical story. Watch the joy on the children's faces when the train arrives at the North Pole, where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting! Santa will board The Polar Express and hand each child their own special gift.
Info: (800) 843-8724, www.thetrain.com

TBA FLORENCE: Florence Junior Parada

The oldest sanctioned youth rodeo in the United States pits the youngest of riders against the oldest of venues to showcase their youthful cowboy skills. The Saturday morning parade evokes times past with stagecoaches, mounted posses and young and old on horseback, along with vintage vehicles, clowns, dancers and others. While in town, visit the historic district, museums, and many historic adobes of the 19th Century.
Info: www.florencejrparadarodeo.com, ​florencejrparadarodeo@gmail.com

On hold MESA: Mesa Arizona Temple Holiday Light Display

Get into the Christmas spirit by gazing at 750,000 twinkling lights set in the picturesque desert landscape of citrus trees, cacti and palm trees. The lights display 50 life-size figures, including a Nativity scene, the Three Wise Men and their camels, and others. Free special musical performances are offered each evening.
Info: (480) 833-1211, www.mesachristmaslights.com (on hold until construction is finished)

December

6-8 TEMPE: Fall Festival of the Arts
One of Arizona's largest and oldest arts and fine crafts festivals. More than 350 national artists and craftspeople come from across the country to sell their artwork. Food vendors, musical entertainers and people watching fill the streets.
Info: (480) 967-4877, www.tempefestivalofthearts.com

13-15 TUCSON: Fourth Avenue Street Fair – Winter

Join in the fun at this 50-year-old tradition, which attracts more than 600,000 guests each year to Tucson's eclectic downtown and historic 4th Avenue. In addition to 300-plus international artisans, enjoy live entertainment, children's activities, and treats from more than 40 food concessionaires.
Info: fourthavenue.org/street-fair

14-15 PHOENIX: Pueblo Grande Indian Market

Two hundred Native American artisans with handmade art ranging from jewelry, baskets, pottery, paintings, Kachina dolls, fetish carvings, weavings and sculptures show their wares. Tour the centuries-old platform mound, ballcourt and replica homes of the ancient Hohokam culture and taste some traditional Native American foods.
Info:
(602) 495-0901, www.pueblogrande.org

27 TEMPE: Cheez-It Bowl

NCAA Football Subdivision (FBS) college football bowl game between teams from the Pac-12 and Big 10.
Info: (480) 350-0911, www.fiestabowl.org/sports/cheezit

28 GLENDALE: Fiesta Bowl

Part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and a member of the College Football Playoffs.
Info: www.fiestabowl.org

NEW YEAR'S EVE COUNTDOWNS

FLAGSTAFF: New Year's Eve Pinecone Drop
A Flagstaff tradition, watch as an LED-Lighted Pine Cone is lowered from the top of the Historic Weatherford Hotel.
Info:
www.flagstaffarizona.org

PRESCOTT: Boot Drop

A 6-foot illuminated cowboy boot is lowered down a 40-foot flagpole to ring in the New Year.
Info:
(928) 776-0234, www.bootdrop.com

SHOW LOW: Deuce of Clubs Drop

Entertainment, music, food and a countdown to midnight with a drop of a giant electrified Deuce of Clubs followed by fireworks
Info:
(928) 532-4140

YUMA: Iceberg Lettuce Drop

In honor of the city's agricultural heritage, a giant iceberg drops in Yuma's Historic Downtown as part of the annual New Year's Eve celebration. Fun fact: The Yuma area produces about 90% of the nation's winter leafy vegetables.

This calendar has been produced to assist you in making travel arrangements. It is for information only and does not constitute a recommendation. Dates for events were correct at the time of publication. Since dates are occasionally changed, please confirm them in advance.