North Central News

Outdoor festivals, events in Phoenix

One of the more popular shows at the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival is the juggling, acrobatic and comedy troupe, London Broil, whose jokes make you groan even as their impressive juggling and acrobatic work make you gasp (photo courtesy of Arizona Renaissance Festival).

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

Motoring Thru Time & Heritage Festival
The free event, which takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3 at Heritage & Science Park, 6th St. & Monroe, will feature more than 100 classic and antique cars, trucks, travel trailers, motorcycles and more. There also will be cultural crafts and demonstrations, live music from Territorial Brass, food trucks, and lawn games for adults and children. The park is within walking distance of light rail stations. For more information, call 602-262-5070 or visit www.heritagesquarePHX.org.

Arizona Strong Beer Festival
The festival takes place 1-5 p.m. Feb. 10 at Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road. Festival-goers will receive a commemorative 4-ounce tasting glass and 40 tasting tickets for the price of admission (starting at $60). There also will be food trucks on hand and live music. Designated drivers pay only $10. For more information, visit http://arizonabeerweek.com.

Arizona Renaissance Festival
The annual faire runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, from Feb. 10-April 1. Enjoy 13 stages of live entertainment, food and drink, and more than 200 artisan shops. Mingle with over 2,000 costumed characters, eat a giant roasted turkey leg; take part in games of chance and skill; cheer on your favorite knight during the daily jousting tournament. The festival takes place at 12601 E. US Highway 60 in Gold Canyon. Advanced discount tickets available online $25/adults and $15/kids ages 5-12. Adult tickets purchased at the Festival Box Office are $1 more. Discounts coupons for opening weekend (BOGO), and free child’s admission with adult ticket (beginning Feb. 24), can be found at Wendy’s, Hall of Frames, and CobbleStone Auto Spa. No pets; free parking. Visit http://arizona.renfestinfo.com.

Chinese Week Culture & Cuisine Festival
This year’s celebration honoring the Year of the Dog takes place Feb. 16-18 in the east end of Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd St. Admission is free. The 28th-annual festival features live entertainment including the dragon and lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, folk and traditional dances, musical performances, mahjong booth, children’s pavilion, Chinese culture and history booth, photo exhibit and art gallery, delicious Chinese food and a beer garden. Admission is free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For a full schedule of events and activities, visit http://phoenixchineseweek.org or call 480-650-2610.

Chinese New Year of the Dog Festival
Enjoy a day of community, culture and entertainment with Lion Dancers, music, Asian cuisine food trucks, and more, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 at the North Mountain Visitor Center, 12950 N. 7th St. There will be more than 50 vendor booths, martial arts demonstrations, a Shaman healer, raffle prizes, and more. There also will be a Kids Zone. General admission is $10 or $68 for VIP, which includes guaranteed seating at the indoor speaker presentations, a goody bag and more. Children ages 12 and younger admitted for free, general admission only.

Matsuri: A Festival of Japan
This event highlights Japanese culture with entertainment, authentic crafts, food and fine arts. It takes place Feb. 24-25 at Heritage & Science Park, 115 N. 6th St. Visitors will enjoy martial arts demos, Taiko drums, Bonsai displays, entertainment on four stages, and audience participation in traditional Japanese folk dances. There also will be arts and crafts, games, and children’s activities. The Asahi Beer Garden will serve Asahi beer and Hiro sakes, including the popular fruit-infused sake. Admission to the festival 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 www.azmatsuri.org for additional details.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival
This 15th-annual eclectic music festival, set for 3-11 p.m. March 2-4 on the east side of Margaret T. Hance Park, 1200 N. 1st St., features a unique mixture of musical acts including bluegrass, reggae, jazz and rock, as well as local band representation. There also will be food trucks, a Kid’s Zone, vendor marketplace and beer garden, as well as live art demonstration. Tickets range from $62 for a single day (fees included) and $107 for a three-day pass, to $567 for a three-day, VIP pass. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits. For more information, call 602-343-0453 or visit www.mmmf.net.

Melrose Street Fair
The 2018 Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair is a one-day event set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 3, that spans over a half-mile in the heart of Phoenix’s Melrose District, from Indian School Road north to approximately Campbell Avenue. It is a unique, local-focused, free event to the public, featuring over 200 local and independent artisans, food from local food vendors, live music, a craft beer/margarita garden, and the ever-popular Chester’s Classic Car Show. Hosted by the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association. For more information, visit www.m7streetfair.com.

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