Food festivals love to get you through the gate only to charge you more to sample the food. This is not the case at the Rockin’ Taco Rumble. Your ticket gets you six adult beverages and all the tacos you want from vendors like Willie’s Taco Joint and Modern Tortilla, to name a few. But this is a competition, after all. Once you’ve consumed every taco in sight, you can vote for your favorite. The winner of the People’s Choice competition gets a trophy, a cash prize of $500, and a ticket to the World Food Championships.
The doors open for this tortilla throwdown at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 1, at Unexpected Art Gallery, 734 West Polk Street. Tickets for the 21-and-over event are $45 online and $55 the day of the event. For more information, visit rockintacorumble.com. Jason Keil
Most days, Rick Naimark is lucky to find time to tickle the ivories on his home piano. He’s a key ASU player on the downtown Phoenix development scene, which means he spends more time on meetings than music. But come First Friday, March 1, he’ll be in full musician mode inside the lounge at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. All ages are welcome for his free piano and vocal performance inside the lounge from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. He’ll be playing popular tunes from the 1950s to today, by artists such as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Billy Joel, and Coldplay. And he’s totally game for taking requests. Visit crescentphx.com. Lynn Trimble
Have you ever wanted to take the baseball field? Get your chance at the second annual Surprise Spring Training 5K. The race starts and finishes inside Surprise Stadium with a course that takes you through the beautiful suburb of Surprise. All participants get a free T-shirt, snacks before and after the race, and a buy one get one free lawn ticket to the Kansas City Royals versus Seattle Mariners the next day.
The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 1, at 15850 North Bullard Avenue in Surprise. Early registration for the race is $30 and $40 the day of the event. For more information, visit surprisestadium.com/events. Jason Keil
The 55th annual Phoenix Scottish Games proves that Highlanders do not mess around when it comes to sports. Competitors will throw around everything from hammers to large logs at Steele Indian School Park. This family-friendly event will have vendors on hand selling authentic jewelry and food, and will feature musical performances throughout the day.
The bagpipes play from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at 300 East Indian School Road. Tickets are $20 for single-day tickets and $30 for both days. For more information, visit arizonascots.com. Jason Keil
Hundreds of emerging and established Native artists will be showing and selling their works during the Indian Fair and Market at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue. The two-day event opens on Saturday, March 2, when hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The artists represent more than 100 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native tribes, and Canadian First Nations. They’ll be showing artwork in more than a dozen media, including quillwork, paintings, sculpture, and textiles. Artists receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their works. The event also includes live performance and children’s activities. Admission is $20 (ages 16 and under get in free). Visit heard.org. Lynn Trimble
Forget the road less traveled. At Off-Road Expo, you don’t take the streets at all. Watch eye-popping demonstrations by the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series and meet the drivers. There will also be prizes, giveaways, autograph sessions, and vendors selling the best parts and equipment to upgrade your vehicle.
Rev your engines from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 West Pima Road in Scottsdale. Single-day tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children between 6 and 12 years old. For more information, visit offroadexpo.com. Jason Keil
The Melrose District came back from the brink of extinction over 20 years ago, largely due to the efforts of the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association. The organization helps the neighborhood maintain its vintage aesthetic. They are celebrating the eclectic segment of Seventh Avenue with the 17th annual Melrose Street Fair. It will feature live music from Haymarket Squares and The Senators, food trucks, a car show, and booths by local vendors and independent local businesses along the strip.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, on Seventh Avenue between Indian School Road and Camelback Road. This is a free, family-friendly event. For more information, visit m7streetfair.com. Jason Keil
Phoenix SkaterCon 4
The culture around skateboarding and music in the Valley runs deep. Phoenix SkaterCon 4 is a celebration of that community put together by local skaters. The main event is a performance from renowned punk band Agression. Legendary figures in skateboarding will be in attendance, and there will also be a skating clinic for kids, vintage boards on display, food trucks, and a bowl contest.
The party rolls from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, at Paradise Valley Pool, 17648 North 40th Street. Tickets are $18, and children 10 years old and under are free with a paid adult. For more information, visit phxskatercon.com. Jason Keil
Great Inflatable Race
Look, we totally understand. You’d like to get more exercise, but finding the motivation to tear yourself away from binge-watching Netflix is something of a tall order. One way to get yourself off the couch and into the action is if the particular activity is major fun and maybe even a little crazy — and the Great Inflatable Race this weekend certainly qualifies as both.
The over-the-top event, which takes place on Saturday, March 2, at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler, is a fun run featuring eight to 10 enormous inflatable obstacles that participants can climb, bounce upon, and slide down. It’s sort of like an episode of Wipeout! was being done bouncy castles.
The family-friendly race, which runs from 9 to 11 a.m., is open to all ages. It’s $29.95 per person to participate, which includes a t-shirt, wristband, temporary tattoo, and race medal. Visit thegreat-?inflatablerace.com/phoenix for more info. Benjamin Leatherman
2019 Russian Festival
Maybe all you know of Russia is nesting dolls and vodka (and collusion). If so, there’s a fun way to take a deeper dive into Russian culture. The 2019 Russian Festival is happening from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at Enchanted Island Amusement Park, 1202 West Encanto Boulevard. Expect a fun mix of live music, visual art, dance, fashion, games, cultural exhibits, and Russian culinary fare. Highlights will include Russian sidecar motorcycles and an ethnic costume competition. You’ll leave knowing a bit more about Russian history and traditions, shared by locals who take pride in their Russian roots. Tickets are $15 (ages 12 and under get in free). Visit arizonarussianfestival.wordpress.com. Lynn Trimble
Ever wished you could become one with nature? Give it a try during the Tres Rios Nature Festival, which takes its name from the number three in Spanish, because it celebrates the confluence of the Gila, Salt, and Agua Fria rivers. The two-day event concludes on Sunday, March 3, when festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s happening at the Base & Meridian Wildlife Recreation Area, 7602 South Avondale Boulevard, in Avondale, where you can try birdwatching, fishing, canoeing, archery, hiking, mountain-biking, and more. The festival is free, but there’s a charge for some activities, such as ziplining. Visit tresriosnaturefestival.com. Lynn Trimble