Arizona — Festivals and Events
Arizona welcomes tourists all year round with its superb climate, stunning landscape, and fascinating culture. Another draw though is the plethora of interesting festivals and events on the calendar. Visitors can experience the splendor of Arizona through one of many Fourth of July celebrations like Flagstaff’s Downtown Parade or embrace the state’s rich international flavor during the Matsuri Festival in Phoenix.
First Fridays Artwalk
First Fridays Art Walk is a public art project that occurs on the first Friday of each month of the year beginning in January. Open to anyone and everyone, this Phoenix event began in 1994 and has developed into the United States’ largest art walk. Shops, galleries, and a variety of other establishments open their doors to create a welcoming, social atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.
Gem Show Tucson
In Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson, a gem and mineral show dominates the headlines during the second week of February. Spread across more than 50 venues, the Gem Show sees thousands of visitors and gem specialists annually. View the stunning dinosaur fossils on display or witness the beauty of opals dug directly from the Australian Outback. Hotels host a variety of gem and mineral shows around town too.
Arizona has a strong Japanese culture which can be witnessed during February’s Matsuri Festival, held in Phoenix. Plenty of fascinating activities and exhibitions highlighting Japanese culture are on display and some of the more popular activities include taiko drumming and martial arts performances.
Phoenix Film Festival
Held in Scottsdale, the Phoenix Film Festival occurs every April and has become one of the most recognized movie celebrations in the United States. Originally designed to accommodate films with budgets less than $1 million, the event now attracts flicks with a much heftier price tag.
Prescott Rodeo Festival
Arizona has a proud rodeo tradition. Between June 28 and July 4, Prescott is home to the Annual Frontier Days and Oldest Rodeo Festival. The event lures thousands of visitors annually with its parades, activities, food, dances, and music.
Flagstaff Fourth of July Parade
If you’re looking for a great place to celebrate the Fourth of July, head to Flagstaff. The historic downtown hosts a spectacular parade boasting food, dances, music, floats, and vintage vehicles. Festivities begin at 9:00 a.m., and run well into the night.
Winterhaven Festival of Lights
Christmas in Arizona is always a special time. However, the most illustrious festival during the holiday season is held on Tucson’s Fort Lowell Road. The Winterhaven Festival of Lights is a brilliant lights show put on by 40 or so houses on this iconic Americana boulevard. The event begins in the middle of December and ends before the New Year’s celebrations.