The event season starts off hot this weekend with Roosevelt Row's second annual Chile Pepper Festival, and if that doesn't strike your fancy, know that Oktoberfest celebrations are in full swing. There's still enough time for one last summer road trip though, and we've got a few good reasons to get out of town this weekend.
Chile Pepper Festival Saturday, September 28
The chile pepper is a great agricultural ambassador for our region, with its wide variety of flavors and potential uses. This weekend, Roosevelt Row will celebrate the pepper by hosting its second annual Chile Pepper Festival, offering local restaurants and chefs chance to achieve fiery hot glory in a Salsa Showdown. Attendees will be able to sample dozens of types of salsas and help crown a 2013 Salsa Challenge Title Holder. And when you're looking for something to offset all that heat, grab a brew or two from the Deschutes Beer Garden. Join the fest from 5 to 11 p.m. at the A.R.T.S. Market in downtown Phoenix. Tickets cost $15 a person. For more information the Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival website.
7th Annual Great Tucson Beer Fest Saturday, September 28
Dozens of breweries from Arizona and all over the country are gathering in Tucson this weekend for the 27th Annual Great Tucson Beer Fest. The event, which will be held at the Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, includes snacks and food samples from local eateries, as well as games and live music from 80's and Gentlemen. Participating breweries include Tucson's Barrio Brewery, southern California's Coronado Brewing Company, Phoenix's Old World Brewery, and Tempe's Sleepy Dog Brewing. General admission tickets cost $45 and can be purchased online. Tickets will cost $50 at the door. For more information, visit the Sun Sounds Great Tucson Beer Festival website.
Fountain Hills Oktoberfest Saturday, September 28
If you still haven't started your Oktoberfest celebrations, there will be footlong brats, smoked turkey legs, sauerkraut, potato salad, and more this weekend at Fountain Hills Oktoberfest. Hosted by the town of Fountain Hills, the Southwest German Society, Fountain Hills Elks and Fountain Hills AMVETS, the event will include live music from the German trio Die echten Waldbuam, as well as contests and a designated children's area. Raise a stein at Fountain Park from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit the town website or the Facebook event page.
JBF Taste America Tour in Las Vegas Saturday, September 28
If you're planning or have already planned a weekend getaway to Sin City, you're in luck because your trip coincides with a weekend chock-full of James Beard Award Foundation events. This Saturday, from 8 p.m. to midnight James Beard Taste American All-Star Masaharu Morimoto and Host Chef Christian Schmidt will host a poolside tasting reception at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Other events include a book signing with François Payard, author of Chocolate Epiphany, and a cooking demonstration at the Fashion Show Mall. For more information, tickets or to see the full Taste American schedule visit the James Beard Foundation Taste America website. The national tour will be hitting Phoenix next month.
Taste At Tempe Marketplace Sunday, September 29
This will be the first Taste at Tempe Marketplace event, an entertainment, beer, wine and food fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley North Tempe and Tempe-Ladmo branches. Tickets cost $70 a couple or $40 a person and include food from Thirsty Lion, San Felipe's, RA, Handlebar, Portillo's, Rosita's Fine Mexican Food, Mark's Café, Slices and Jimmy John's, among others. A variety of beer samples will be provided by Crescent Crown, with wine courtesy of BevMo! The event is 21 and over only, and will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information or to purchase a ticket visit the Taste at Tempe Marketplace website.