North Central News

Outdoor festivals, events in Phoenix

The 17th-annual Melrose Street Fair, set for March 2, has plenty of attractions and activities for the whole family, including friendly dogs (must be leashed). Enjoy food vendors, live music, and over 200 of local businesses and agencies “boothing” along the stretch of 7th Avenue south of Camelback Road to Indian School Road (photo by Gregg Edelman).

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
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Heritage & Science Park
113 N. 6th St.
This free 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. Visit

Chinese Week Culture & Cuisine Festival
Feb. 8-10
Margaret T. Hance Park
1202 N. 3rd St.
Presented by the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, this year’s celebration honors the Year of the Boar. Admission is free. Enjoy live entertainment including the dragon and lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, folk and traditional dances, musical performances, children’s pavilion, Chinese culture and history booth, delicious Chinese food and a beer garden. Admission is free. Visit

Arizona Strong Beer Festival
1-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9
Steele Indian School Park
300 E. Indian School Road
Designed for the true craft beer lover who enjoys a strong beer and discovering new boutique breweries. 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 $20. For more information, visit

Arizona Renaissance Festival
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Feb. 9-March 31
12601 E. US Highway 60
Gold Canyon, Ariz.
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. Advanced discount tickets available online $27/adults and $17/kids ages 5-12. Adult tickets purchased at the Festival Box Office are $1 more. Discounts tickets can be found at Fry’s Food Stores, while supplies last. No pets; free parking. Visit

PHX Vegan Food Festival
Feb. 23-24
Margaret T. Hance Park
1202 N. 3rd St.
Sample and browse vegan and vegan-friendly vendors, including food trucks, restaurants and packaged food and non-food products, and check out cooking demos and presentations. Sunday features brunch-appropriate dishes. Several no-host bars will be located throughout the site. Advanced admission is $25 for one day or $40 for both days. General admission ticket prices will increase by $5 at the door. Admission for kids 12 and under is free. Visit

Matsuri Festival of Japan
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 23-24
Heritage Square
115 N. 6th St.
Featuring Japanese exhibits, demonstrations, arts and crafts, children’s activities, bonsai displays, Japanese food, Japanese beer and sake garden, games and contests, and live entertainment on four stages. Admission is free. Visit

Melrose Street Fair
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 2
7th Ave., from Campbell Ave.
to Indian School Road
A free event to the public, featuring more than 200 local and independent artisans, food trucks, live music, a craft beer/margarita garden, and the ever-popular Chester’s Classic Car Show. Children will enjoy a Kids Zone with face painting, bounce houses and a video game truck. The road will be closed to pedestrian traffic only; parking available in adjacent neighborhoods, and pedicabs will be available (for a fee). Leashed, friendly pets welcome. Visit

McDowell Mountain Music Festival
3-11 p.m. March 1-3
Margaret T. Hance Park
1202 N. 3rd St.
Featuring 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 $79 for a single day (fees included) to $144 for a three-day pass. A portion of the proceeds benefits Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Music Therapy Program. Visit

Phoenix Scottish Games
March 2-3
Steele Indian School Park
300 E. Indian School Road
Enjoy food, fun, and entertainment while exploring the history and culture of Scotland. Advanced tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors/military, $4 children ages 6-12, and $36 for a family four pack (2 adults, 2 children). Visit

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