It's the 29th time around for the Valley's own football classic, the Fiesta Bowl, and as usual it's the pretext for a slate of fun stuff around the Valley, including the East Valley's major New Year's celebration. Here are a few of the weekend's other diversions:
Downtown Scottsdale's Fiesta Bowl Art Walk is a free cultural alternative to non-pigskin-heads. The downtown streets will be closed to motor traffic but open for pedestrians to enjoy artist receptions, exhibits, craft demonstrations, music, food and drinks and kids' art activities from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, December 30.
The MicroAge Fiesta Bowl Parade gets on the hoof down Central Avenue at 11 a.m. Friday, December 31. Tickets for chair seating are $10; riser seats are $15 and $22. They're available from the Fiesta Bowl ticket office (1-800-635-5748) or from Dillard's (480-503-5555). KTVK-TV Channel 3 and Fox Family Channel will both cover the event live.
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Also on Friday, Old Town Tempe will host the Tempe Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party, featuring six stages full of national acts. Festivities kick off at 4 p.m. Friday, December 31, and continue until 12:15 a.m. Saturday, January 1, 2000. Advance tickets are $20, available at Fry's Food and Drug Stores Valleywide with a Fry's VIP card, the Fiesta Bowl ticket office or Dillard's (call 480-350-0911 or 480-503-5555). At the gate, they cost $25.
Prior to the game, from noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, January 2, "Football's Biggest Party," with all the requisite food and drink, pep rallies and the like, will be held once again at Tempe's Rio Salado Park. Tickets, available from the ticket office or Dillard's, are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the event.
Oh, yeah, then there's the game itself: Nebraska and Tennessee will face off at 6 p.m. Sunday, January 2, at Sun Devil Stadium. It will be covered on radio by both KMVP-AM 860 and KTAR-AM 620. The latter station will present the ESPN Radio Network's national broadcast of the game; the former will be airing its own, locally produced broadcast, so that Valley fans can choose between a local or national perspective on the action.