As the temperatures cool off it’s almost time for local businesses, churches and schools to roll out their fall and Halloween-themed festivals and feasts inspired to draw chills, thrills and old-fashioned fun with neighbors. Here is a look at some of the many events happening in the area this month and next to celebrate the season.
59th Annual Phoenix Greek Festival – “The Original!”
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community Center
1973 E. Maryland Ave.
In this longest-running ethnic festival in the Valley, people will celebrate Greek food, music, dance, jewelry, art, grocery items and children’s activities. Expect authentic Greek food including gyros, kalamari, pastitsio (Greek “lasagna”), spanakopita (spinach pie) and lamb roasted on a spit. National-award winning Greek folk dancers will perform almost every hour and dance lessons will be offered. The Hellenic Museum of Phoenix will be open so people can check out vintage photographs of pioneer Greek families as featured in the book, “Greeks in Phoenix.” Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral tours will also be given throughout each day. A kid zone will offer carnival-type activities. Tickets cost $5 for adults and children under 12 years old are free. The festival is free for senior citizens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday only. Tickets are available at the gate.
Fall is in the Air at Uptown Plaza
2-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
Northeast corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road
This family-friendly plaza will feature pumpkin decorating, Halloween crafts, giant yard games, live music, face painting and other activities. Live music will be performed from 4 to 6 p.m. in the courtyard. Uptown Plaza tenants will also provide free samples to people during the festival.
Madison Simis Fall Fair
1-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
Madison Simis Elementary School
7302 N. 10th St.
This huge community event will feature “Trick or Treat” from 2 to 4 p.m., as well as a fun house, carnival swing ride, petting zoo, giant slide, a street hockey rink, two PS4 gaming stations, a dunk tank, game booths, a cupcake walk and many other activities. Admission is free but some booths are fee-based. Raffle items will be given away including sports gear, gift certificates, children’s birthday party gift cards, a Tuft & Needle mattress, spa cards and more. The fair typically draws more than 1,000 people to the campus. Parking is available in the Simis preschool lot, Orangewood Church and along streets that do not require permits south of campus.
Madison Education Foundation Halloween Fundraiser
7 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Oct. 26
Madison Center for the Arts
5601 N. 16th St.
The Madison Education Foundation kicks off a new fundraiser and community gathering called “Spooktacular Soiree.” Guests can sip on cocktails and play casino games and are encouraged to wear costumes. Some tricks and treats are planned and prizes will be awarded for costumes. Proceeds from the event will benefit arts education in the Madison School District. Tickets are $65 starting Oct. 1 and to buy them visit www.madisoneducationfoundation.org.
‘Monsters Ball, a Politico Zombie Apocalypse’
7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
1204 E. Roosevelt St.
This event is a high-energy party with live music and a spirited costume contest. Guests can check out blow-out art, a noir cabaret stage show, cash bars and darkly bizarre performances. This hair-raising party is for those 21 years old and older. Tickets are $15 ahead of time and $20 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit alwunhouse.org.
After School Halloween Kids Tea Party at The Teapot
4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31
818 N. 5th Ave.
Guests can enjoy ghoulish treats, petite sandwiches and “spooky tea,” as well as play games and participate in other activities. This event is best for those ages 1 to 8 years old. People are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and there will be a prize for the best-dressed. Tickets need to be purchased on The Teapot’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theteapot.us.
Local First Arizona’s 15th Annual Arizona Fall Fest
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2
Margaret T. Hance Park
67 W. Culver St.
Started 15 years ago, this festival will bring together local businesses, live music and residents. More than 40 food trucks are expected, as well as more than 200 vendors. The Kid Zone will offer family-friendly games, crafts and other activities and Sports Zone will highlight professional sports teams. Three stages will host live local entertainment and cultural performances and a free swag bag filled with local gifts will be given to the first 500 families to show up. An all-Arizona Hensley Beverage Craft Beer and Wine Garden will offer adult beverages. It is free to attend but tickets will be sold for food and other items. To learn more, visit www.localfirstaz.com.