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.
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.
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.
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.