North Central News

Outdoor festivals abound in February

The Valley of the Sun’s beautiful winter weather brings a bevy of outdoor events, highlighting different cultures from around the globe and tempting the taste buds of local foodies and beer aficionados. Check out what’s coming up in the next two months:

Chinese Week Culture & Cuisine Festival

Phoenix teens learn more about calligraphy, a type of visual art related to writing and popular in ancient Chinese cultures, during the annual Chinese Week Culture & Cuisine Festival, which takes place Feb. 7-9 at a new location, Margaret T. Hance Park (submitted photo).

Phoenix teens learn more about calligraphy, a type of visual art related to writing and popular in ancient Chinese cultures, during the annual Chinese Week Culture & Cuisine Festival, which takes place Feb. 7-9 at a new location, Margaret T. Hance Park (submitted photo).

Presented by the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, this celebration honoring the Year of the Horse is a series of cultural, social and educational events highlighting China’s diverse culture. It takes place Feb. 7-9 in the east end of Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd St.

Enjoy entertainment including the famous dragon and lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, folk and traditional dances, musical performances, Children’s Pavilion activities, Chinese Culture and History Booth and more. Shop at souvenir and arts and crafts booths, experience cultural performances, and taste authentic Chinese cuisines.

Admission is free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For a full schedule of events and activities, visit http://phoenixchineseweek.org.

Arizona Strong Beer Festival
Designed for the true craft beer lover who enjoys a strong beer and discovering new boutique breweries, the festival takes place 1-5 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Steele Indian School Park Memorial Hall, 300 E. Indian School Road.

Although strong beers (those with high alcohol content) are the focus, a variety of craft beers—as well as specialty styles and unique, just-for-this-event brews—are made available to festival-goers, who will receive a commemorative 4-ounce tasting glass and 15 tasting tickets for the price of admission.

And because food and beer naturally go together, there will be plenty of top-notch food vendors on hand, serving up tasty eats . Live music will keep the atmosphere rockin’.

Tickets are $40 presale and $50 at the door. Designated drivers pay only $10. For more information, visit http://arizonabeerweek.com.

Matsuri: A Festival of Japan
This 30th-annual event highlights Japanese culture with entertainment, authentic crafts, food and fine arts. It takes place Feb. 22-23 at Heritage & Science Park, 115 N. 5th St.

Visitors will enjoy martial arts demos, Taiko drums, Bonsai displays, entertainment on three stages, and audience participation in traditional Japanese folk dances. The Asahi Beer Garden will serve Asahi beer and three different premium sakes.

In addition, there will be an Odori & Mikoshi Parade beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Anyone in Japanese attire is invited to participate. Begin gathering next to the Plaza Stage at 9:30 a.m.

Admission is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The beer garden opens at 11 a.m. Call 602-262-5029 or http://www.azmatsuri.org for additional details.

M7 Street Fair – CANCELLED
Due to many resources being diverted to accomplish the development and installation of the Melrose Arch in late 2013, the annual Melrose on 7th Street Fair is being postponed for 2014 and will resume on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The website, www.M7streetfair.com, has not yet been updated to reflect this change. However, the Facebook page (search M7 street fair) does have information about this year’s postponement, including a request for volunteer coordinators to help with the 2015 event.

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