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| Events |

6 Best Things to Eat and Drink This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

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City of Maricopa's 12th Annual Salsa Festival 
Saturday, March 19

The weather is warming up, and it's back to chips and salsa season. If you're a big fan of everyone's favorite chip accompaniment, you can join one of the more than 15,000 people expected to attend the City of Maricopa's 12th annual Salsa Festival on Saturday, March 19 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park in Maricopa. More than 13 salsa makers will compete to earn the crown of "ultimate" salsa master. Prizes will be awarded to best hot, mild, and most unusual salsa offerings. Guests also can enjoy an on-site beer garden and live music. You'll want to arrive fairly early if you want to sample the goods, though. The salsa tasting ends at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the Salsa Festival, visit the festival's website
Great American BBQ & Beer Festival
Saturday, March 19

We don't know about you, but beer and BBQ are two of our favorite warm-weather eats. And from noon to 10 p.m., more than 60 pit masters from across the Valley will serve up more than 20,000 pounds of pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, all paired with the Arizona craft beer in downtown Chandler. Local restaurants and breweries at the festival include San Tan Brewery, Little Miss BBQ, Smokehaus, and Bourbon Jacks Bar & Grill. Ticket prices start at $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the Great American BBQ and Beer Festival website

Monthly Mashups at Talavera at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Troon North
Sunday, March 20

Starting this month, one of the Valley's prominent chefs will team up with Executive Chef Mel Mecinas at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Troon North for a four-course tasting menu featuring the guest chef's culinary concept. This month's featured chef is Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse's Fidencio Alatriste. The event costs $95 per person, not including tax and tip. For information or to make reservations for a Monthly Mashup dinner or the series, call restaurant reservations at 480-513-5085. 

Free Italian Ice at Rita's 
Sunday, March 20

Rita's Italian Ice is celebrating the first day of spring with free Italian ice. All guests who order Italian ice from any of the national chain's Arizona locations will receive a limited-edition First Day of Spring cup. Customers are encouraged to snap a photo of their treat and share it on Instagram and Twitter using #RitasFirstDayOfSpring to enter into the Rita’s First Day of Spring Photo Contest. All guests who use the hashtag from March 20 to March 25 will be entered to win free Rita’s Italian Ice for a year. For more information, visit the Rita's website

Italian Festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront
Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20

The Scottsdale Waterfront is transforming into an Italian “piazza” on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20. Well, almost. The 3rd Annual Italian Festival will feature Italian music, wine tastings and delicious bites from over 10 local Italian bistros. Food vendors include Virtu, Nico, Tutti Santi Ristorante, and Espresso Italia. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Italian Festival's official website

Phoenix Festival de España
Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20

If you're searching for some Spanish food, you may want to head over to Phoenix Festival de Espana. This two-day event will feature live flamenco performances, Spanish food, culinary demonstrations, and presentations on Spanish culture. One food highlight includes the "Paella Espectacular!" During this event, Doug Robson of Otro Café and Aaron Chamberlin of Phoenix Public Market will prepare and serve, what is, allegedly, the largest paella in Phoenix. On Saturday, the festival is from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, it's from noon to 6 p.m. The festival will be held at the Phoenix Center for the Arts located at 1202 North Third Street in the Central Arts District. For more information about the festival, visit the Phoenix Center for the Arts website

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