Fall is here. Arizonans have survived yet another long, hot summer. Now? It’s time to enjoy the cool weather. There’s no better way to welcome fall than by attending one of these local festivals. The following festivals are a great place to enjoy some sunshine, culture, and most of all, sub-100 degree temperatures. Get ready for some fun at one of these local fall festivals.
No place in Arizona celebrates fall like Mortimer Farms. This small northern Arizona farm plays host to an annual fall festival that’s fun for the whole family. At the center of the farm is a large 15-acre pumpkin patch and giant 25-acre corn maze. Though they are the main attraction, they’re only half the fun. The Pumpkin Fest also includes food vendors, live music, hayrides, dog and pig races, and a family petting zoo. This author’s highlight, however, is the legendary “Punkin Chunkin.” It’s a sacred ritual where locals launch pumpkins from a homemade catapult.
You’re not a true Arizonan until you’ve made a trip to the Arizona State Fair. This annual festival has been held every year since its inception in 1905. The ever-growing event attracts thousands with its mix of fun games, rides, and events. You can take a ride on thrilling carnival rides, enjoy local food vendor’s cuisine, and even attend a live concert during your trip. There’s a reason this popular festival has withstood the test of time. Go see for yourself what the hype is all about.
You can expect plenty of beer at any event named Oktoberfest. But you might not expect a wide selection of delicious craft beer. That’s what you’ll find at Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake, hosted by local brewery Four Peaks. The multi-day festival includes a beer garden with 15 German beers, live music, and plenty of fun-filled events. You can expect dachshund races, carnival rides, and plenty of tasty food at this lakeside festival.
Forget about Halloween. Fall’s best holiday is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. It’s a Mexican holiday celebrating the spirits of the dead. Arizonans can get in on the fun by attending the Dia de los Muertos Festival at Steele Indian School Park. The festival features hundreds of entertainers in traditional day of the dead masks. It also promises multicultural dances, foods, and theater performances.
Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Festival is one of Arizona’s most popular fall festivals. Just make sure you save your appetite before going. Schnepf Farms sells their farm fresh food and has a variety of vendors’ onsite dishing up delicious festival fare. They even have a chili dinner featuring a spicy bowl of chili, grilled corn, and homemade corn bread. The event also features fall favorites like a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and petting zoo.
Spooktacular regularly plays host to some of Arizona’s biggest events. During the fall, the fields come alive with the annual Balloon Festival. The festival occurs in the lead up to Halloween, meaning there will be plenty of candy to go around for the kids. There’s also a pumpkin patch, live music, firework displays, and a haunted trail. The real highlight, however, are the 20-plus hot air balloons in attendance. Guests can hop on a tethered balloon ride to get a bird’s eye view of Scottsdale.
Looking to eat and drink local? Look no further than Arizona Fall Fest hosted by Local First Arizona. The annual event, located at Hance Park, features a who’s-who of local Arizona vendors. You can enjoy food samples, drinks, and entrees from over 200 vendors. In addition to tasty local delicacies, visitors can unwind at the beer and wine garden. The festival also promises a range of entertainment options, from live music to the crafts and game filled kid zone.
Arizonans know a thing or two about great Mexican food. So, it comes as no surprise that they honor their love of all things taco at an annual festival. The Arizona Taco Festival, also located at Salt River Fields, serves up over 100 varieties of tacos for $3 each. Visitors can enjoy a selection of tacos from some of Arizona’s best Mexican restaurants. The taco festival also has the world famous lucha libre wrestling, a taco eating contest and a selection of over 100 types of tequila.