Fall festivals are back in the Valley, from the Arizona Jazz Festival on High Street to the Tempe Festival of the Arts. After a few years of canceled and postponed events, Metro Phoenix is once again hosting countless festivals that celebrate Arizona’s many cultures. The best part? Most of them are free.
This is your guide to the best of the bunch. Here are the cultural festivals in Arizona not to be missed this fall.
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Indigenous Peoples Day Festival
This festival will celebrate the Indigenous community with live music, art exhibits, dancing and screenings of Indigenous films. Desert Bloom Tattoo and Salon – Arizona’s first Native-owned tattoo shop – will be tattooing on-site. And the Cahokia Gallery will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. and will present its new exhibition, “Restoring the Balance: Rematriation of Indigenous Lands.” A pop-up Indigenous market will feature Indigenous foods, artwork and products for purchase.
Details: Monday October 10. 3-10 p.m. Indigenous Peoples Day, First and Garfield Streets, Phoenix. ipdphx.com.
Four Peaks OktoberFest
Highlights of this German festival include live music, all your favorite German dishes, a dachshund race and draft beer happy hours. Come dressed in your best OktoberFest outfit.
Cost: $20 per person on Friday and Saturday (guests must be 21 and over). Free admission on Sundays (all ages welcome).
Details: October 7-9. Friday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe. fourpeaksoktoberfest.com.
Arizona Jazz Festival on the High Street
This three-day festival will feature jazz music paired with great food, drink and activities. More than 20 artists are expected to perform at the event, including Raheem DeVaughn, Boney James and Eric Benet, who is headlining the event.
Cost: Tickets start at $95 for a day pass.
Details: October 21-23. Arizona Jazz Festival on High Street, 5415 E. High St., Phoenix. azjazzfest.com.
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Phoenix Greek Festival
Event activities include Greek dance performances, an hour of open dancing, and tours of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, one of the oldest Greek churches in Phoenix. On the menu? Loukaniko, which is grilled pork sausage with orange zest and red wine, spanakopita and loads of Greek street food like gyros, Greek fries and baklava sundaes.
Cost: $5 for entry. Children are free.
Details: October 7-9. Friday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1973 E. Maryland Ave., Phoenix. phoenixgreekfestival.org.
Phoenix Arts Festival
Hosted by the Phoenix Center for the Arts, this event features more than 150 Phoenix-area artists showcasing pottery, paintings, clothing, jewelry and more. There will be food and drink trucks at the event, as well as live performances.
Cost: Free entry.
Details: December 10-11. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix. phoenixfestivalofthearts.org/
Tempe Arts Festival
More than 350 juror artists will display their works for sale during the three-day festival, making it the perfect market for Christmas shopping. The event will feature live music and entertainment on multiple stages with food and drink available for purchase. Live chalk art and an exhibition of young artists will be available for younger guests who come to the festival.
Cost: FREE ENTRANCE.
Details: December 2-4, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Located in downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue between Third Street and University Parkway and on Fifth Street between Myrtle and Ash Avenue. templefestivalofthearts.com.
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A Taste of Italy and the Scottsdale Music Festival
Hosted by the Italian Association of Arizona, Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy and Music Festival will feature artisan Italian wares, wine and cuisine. There will also be live music, including Italian singer Michael Castaldo and accordionist Cory Pesaturo, as well as traditional dancing, opera singers and a spaghetti contest for children.
A sweet bonus? All your favorite Italian desserts will be available for purchase, including cannolis, biscotti and fresh ice cream.
Cost: $10 per person online. $20 the day of the event. Children 12 and under are free.
Details: October 15-16. Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scottsdale Canal, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. italianassociation.org/events.
Dia De Los Muertos Phoenix
Phoenix’s Dia de los Muertos festival will include mask-making, a community altar, decorating sugar skulls, face painting, yucca weaving and a mercado where artists will sell their works.
Details: October 30. The festival starts at 2 p.m. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. diadelosmuertosphx.com/#top.
Dia De Los Muertos in Mesa
Mesa Arts Center will present its annual Dia de los Muertos festival with performances, artwork and food vendors. Several altars made by families, artists and community organizations will be displayed during the event’s annual altar competition.
Food vendors will include Arizona Roasted Corn, Paletas Betty, Taqueria Las Palmas, Sonora Sam Hot Dogs, Don Fito’s Taqueria, Olanie’s Caribbean Food, Poky’s Cocina, and Amigos AZ Aguas Frescas.
Details: Oct. 22-23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. mesaartscenter.com/diadelosmuertos.
Phoenix Pride Festival
The Phoenix Pride Festival is back with two days of events, including the famous parade on Sunday, October 16 at 10 a.m. Over 2,000 people will march downtown to celebrate and advocate for Phoenix’s LGBTQ+ community.
Other festival events include over 300 local vendors, performances on the Main Stage and Latin Stage, a dance pavilion, food vendors and an arts exhibition.
VIP ticket holders will have access to Kimora Blac’s entertainment from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9, Sherry Vine and Sir Elton, who will pay tribute to Elton John.
Cost: Tickets start at $30.
Details: Oct. 15 and 16. Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday noon to 9 p.m. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. phoenixpride.org.
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