Arizona Matsuri Festival Saturday, February 22
The annual Arizona Matsuri Festival will take over Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. The event includes three stages with live entertainment, arts and crafts, bonsai displays, and Japanese food. Be sure to catch Shan Ichiyanagai, "The Candyman," perform amezaiku (or Japanese candy sculpting), and adults can hit the Asahi Beer Garden, where they'll be serving Asahi beer and three types of premium Japanese sake. For a complete list of entertainment and food vendors, visit the Arizona Matsuri website.
Four Peaks' Rhythm & Brews Saturday, February 22
Four Peaks Brewery will host its annual Rhythm & Blues event at the Taproom on Wilson. The free event, in celebration of Arizona Beer Week, will include live music from Big Nick and the Gila Monsters, the Jim Glass Band, and Terraplane. The event also will include the brewery's first annual Four Peaks Beer Can Challenge, where guests will be challenged to see if they can taste the different between Four Peaks canned, bottled, and tapped beer. The dog-friendly party will be held from noon to 6 p.m.
The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo Saturday, February 22
Gluten-free diners will gather this weekend at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa to check out more than 100 vendors selling gluten-free products. The expo also will feature classes related to the gluten- and allergen-free lifestyle, samples, and discounted products. General admission costs $15 in advance (available online) or $20 at the door. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.
Flavors of the West Sunday, February 23
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In its second year, the Flavors of the West Festival will bring more than two dozen West Valley chefs and restaurants for a day of eating, drinking, and mingling in downtown Litchfield Park. The event includes such restaurants as Amuse Bouche in Surprise, Cucina Tagliani in Glendale, Flavors of Louisiana in Avondale, and Tempo Urban Bistro in Buckeye. There also will be live music, cooking demonstrations, a silent auction, and games. Tickets to the festival cost $45 and include unlimited food samples from more than 30 vendors and ten drink tickets. Kids 12 and under cost $20. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit the Flavors of the West website.
Locally Yours Pop-Up Market Sunday, February 23
Some of our favorite local business will bring their products to Anthropologie at Scottsdale Fashion Square for a pop-up event. In the lineup: The Simple Farm and its salted goat milk caramels, B Naked Chocolates, and Awesome Cookie Company with its Best of Phoenix-winning Cranberry Oatmeal cookies. The pop-up shop will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.