Spring is right around the corner. To help you plan out your days accordingly, we've compiled a list of spring festivals everyone can enjoy. If you're looking to indulge in art, culture, film, or just looking for a good time, we've got you covered.
The Lantern Fest
Get ready to watch thousands of lanterns light up the night sky. Besides the spectacular view, you can enjoy live music, food, stage performances, face painting, and s'mores. Even though the lanterns won't be released until sundown, the festival is an all-day affair, with gates opening at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 to $60 for adults, and free for children 3 and younger. See details on the Eventbrite website.
February 24 to 25
Heritage and Science Park
Celebrate Japanese culture at the 34th annual Arizona Matsuri Festival. The free, two-day event will begin with an opening ceremony and parade, and will feature art, food, live dance, music, and a shaded beer garden. Visit the Arizona Matsuri website for more details.
Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair
Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Campbell roads
Want a full day to appreciate art, music, and cars? The 16th annual Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair featuring Chester's Classic Car Show can help. The event will feature live music performances, 200 classic, antique, and vintage cars and trucks, and local art and indie crafts vendors. With multiple food trucks and a beer garden, you can indulge in a wide range of food and booze — an event the whole family can enjoy. For more details about the free event, visit the Melrose Street Fair website.
Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market
March 3 to 4
The Heard Museum
The Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market invites attendees to take a deep dive into indigenous art and culture. From sculptures to jewelry and paintings to pottery, the art of more than 600 American Indian artists will be showcased. And attendees will have the chance to meet with the creatives and talk with them about their work. Admission is $20 for a single-day ticket. See more details at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market website.
Arizona Aloha Festival
March 10 to 11
Tempe Beach Park
If hula skirts, coconut bras, and leis sound like your idea of fun, the Arizona Aloha Festival is for you. This cultural festival will feature more than 100 vendors, Hawaiian-inspired food, and live performances representing the dance and music of the state. Kids can learn how to play the ukulele, dance hula, and make their own lei. For more details on the free event, visit the Arizona Aloha Festival website.
March 15 to 20
Art Detour is now in its 30th year of highlighting local artists and their work through open studios, pop-up galleries, and exhibitions. This year's event will feature self-guided trolley tours, hands-on activities, and live performances. To learn more about the free event, visit Art Detour's website.
St. Patrick's Day Parade & Faire
Irish Cultural Center at Margaret T. Hance Park
Feel the luck of the Irish during the annual St. Partrick's Day Parade & Faire. The parade features float performances, marching bands, traditional music, step dancing, and crafts, as well as a craft beer competition. Tickets are $10 to $12, and children 12 and younger get in for free. For more information, you can visit the St. Patrick's Day Parade & Faire website.
spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity
March 17 to 18
Mesa Arts Center
This annual Mesa festival aims to bring out and showcase the artist in everyone. You can make your own art, and see live music and exhibitions during this free event. For details, visit the Mesa Arts Center website.
Bird City Comedy Festival
March 29 to 31
Are you ready to laugh until you cry? No, seriously. For its third consecutive year, Bird City Comedy is bringing together a talented group of stand-ups, storytellers, improv, and sketch comedians to Phoenix. (Headliner Maggie Maye once was told by a 6-year-old that she was the funniest person ever. And kids rarely lie.) Visit the Bird City Comedy Festival website for details.
Phoenix Film Festival
April 5 to 15
Harkins Scottsdale 101
With more than 250 screenings and over 25,000 attendees, this is Arizona's largest film festival. This year's films and schedule haven't been posted, but the fest is set to include filmmaking seminars, parties, and events. Tickets range from $13 to $300. See details on the Phoenix Film Festival website.
Phoenix Pride Festival
April 7 to 8
Steele Indian School Park
With over 150 live performances, five different stages, and 300 exhibitors and food vendors, the Pride Festival will return to Phoenix. An art expo, erotic world, and kid-friendly activities will also be in the mix. You can enjoy the two-day celebration and help raise funds for programs that educate the public about LGBTQ civil rights. Tickets are $15 to $30 for general admission, and VIP tickets are also available. For more details, visit the Phoenix Pride Festival website.
April 12 to 15
Peoria Sports Complex
Put on your leather jacket and welcome some the biggest bike manufacturers to town during Phoenix Bikefest. The free event features on-site bike demonstrations, as well as clothing shops and gear. Want to explore the world of motorcycles? Both bike enthusiasts and spectators are welcome. More details at the Phoenix Bikefest website.
Phoenix Improv Festival
April 19 to 21
Herberger Theater Center
Because who doesn't love a group of people that can whip a performance up out of thin air? The Phoenix Improv Festival could make you laugh, cry, or something in between. It's hard to say when the performances are whipped up out of thin air. But you can expect musical performances, comedy sketches, and dramatic pieces, too. Visit the Phoenix Improv Festival website for more details.
Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival
Celebrated for the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla, the Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival is back for its 25th year. Concerts, cuisine, and giveaways are some of the highlights of this multi-cultural event. Expect food trucks, vendors, games, and activities along Washington Street. Tickets are $5 to $40. See details at the Cinco de Mayo Festival website.
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Phoenix Comic Fest
May 24 to 27
Phoenix Convention Center
If you love cosplay, sci-fi, and most importantly, comics, Phoenix Comic Fest is calling your name. Time to show off that costume and totally geek out. Check out vintage comic books, film memorabilia, and celebrity guest speakers including Tim Curry from It and Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation, just to name a couple. Passes will range from $10 to $350. For more information, visit the Phoenix Comic Fest website.