It's nearing the end of Phoenix's six-month summer season, and the beginning of fall brings with it the first round of food festivals. Whether you're longing for a little more summer or welcoming the (relatively) cool autumn temperatures, we've got something for you to consume this weekend.
The very first Arizona Honey Festival will take place on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by El Pedregal, the festival includes wine tastings, live bluegrass music, local honey tastings, honey-themed classes and cooking demonstrations, and children's activities like cookie decorating ($10/person) and Beekeeper Dress Up. Can't get enough honey? Saturday evening's Arizona Honey Festival prix fixe dinner menu will include honey-smoked bacon oyster brochette, hazelnut roasted diver scallops with honey corn pudding, gingered honey crisp apple salad with duck breast, and orange blossom honey torte with honey frangipane mousse. The festival is free to attend; the five-course dinner with wine pairings is $125.
October doesn't start until after the weekend, but that doesn't mean you can't dive keg-first into Oktoberfest. Celebrate all things German -- including beer, of course -- in downtown Chandler with SanTan Brewing's very own Oktoberfest this Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. There will be a beer pong tournament, stein races, keg rolling, keg stacking, (drunken) tricycle races, a brat eating contest, a beer maid contest, and some stuff to keep kids entertained while their parents have fun. Visit the Bavarian-style beer garden to get a taste of SanTan's seasonal Oktoberfest lager, and don't leave without a taste of Von Hanson's Meats & Spirits' limited-edition Oktoberfest bratwurst made with SanTan's Epicenter beer. Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
To cap off the 2012 baseball season, Coach & Willie's is having a Fan Celebration Weekend that starts today and ends on Sunday. There will be food and drink specials, giveaways and sports memorabilia raffles, live entertainment, and guest appearances by Arizona Diamondbacks players, including pitcher J. J. Putz. To top it all off, courageous hot dog eaters can win cash money in an eating competition. The first round will be held Friday at 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m. The top seven from both nights will compete Sunday at 5 p.m. for the grand prize. Entry is $10.
One thing we always miss once summer's finally gone is cooling off with a refreshing mojito. Stop by from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday at Fuego Bistro (and its three sister restaurants Fuego Tacos, Fuego Cityscape, and Fuego Cantina) in order to grab one for the happy hour price of $5 to $7. There are numerous flavors to choose from, including local favorites like prickly pear and exotic fruit like guava and blood orange. While you're there, try the mouthwatering BBQ pernil sliders.
Snag a taste of Greece this weekend at the Greek Festival of Chandler held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church. There will be music and dancing (including dance lessons at 8:30 on Friday and Saturday night), games and activities, and other live entertainment. Stop by today from 5 to 10 p.m., tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for authentic, homemade Greek dishes and pastries including spanakopita, saganaki, dolmadaki, loukaniko, and baklava. There will also be plenty of opportunities to cry out "Opa!" before consuming beer, wine, ouzo, metaxa, and more.