Top 20 Arizona USA Events and Festivals
Explore this selection of the Top 20 events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) celebrated in the state of Arizona.Favorites of the main Arizona US events include the Arizona State Fair held in Phoenix in October and also in Phoenix is Arizona’s largest cat show - the CFA Cat Show
See below for more about the Top 20 Arizona events and festivals.
Gathering of the Gunfighters
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Yuma, Arizona
Old West re-enactment groups from around the Southwest ride into town for this annual showdown. But instead of hot lead, what's flying is fightin' words – and acting! Groups are judged on skits and whether their get-ups, gear and firearms are authentic to the 1876-1909 era. And though they didn't have shootouts in the prison, the historic setting adds flavor.
For more information on the Gathering of the Gunfighters in Yuma visit: www.historicyumaprison.com
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
Heard Museum – Phoenix, Arizona
There is no better place to see the fast-paced precision and grace of hoop dancing than at the Heard Museum's World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. In just one of the top 20 Arizona USA Events and Festivals, Top Native American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers vie for the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. Amazing performances of the intertribal hoop dance, where each dancer weaves-in aspects of his or her distinct tradition and culture. More than $30,000 is awarded in prize money.
For more information about the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest see:
or visit: http://www.heard.org/hoop/
Parada del Sol
A popular event for no less than 60 years, and one of the main Arizona US events, the annual Parada del Sol Parade, known as the world’s largest horse drawn parade features more than 150 entries on an exciting march up Scottsdale Road. The parade is followed by the popular Trail's End party in Old Town Scottsdale with food stalls and games, pony rides, Old West-style gunfights, trick roping and trickery, and more for the children.
In reference to Parada del Sol catch:
Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
Since 1955 this annual show has set the pace in the Arabian horse world and has grown from 50 horses to nearly 2,000 of the world's most beautiful Arabians and Half-Arabians bringing top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world to compete for a chance at winning more than $500,000 in prize money. The show is also a shopper’s paradise with an assortment of 300 vendors and trade booths, tempting international cuisine courts, exciting demonstrations and unique educational seminars.
Handy link for more about the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show:
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™
2nd weekend in February
Entering its 60th year, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™ is the largest, oldest and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world. Open to the public and featuring only retail dealers, this popular event also showcases private and museum collections from around the world as well as feature exhibits of minerals, gems, fossils, lapidary and jewelry. Apart from also presenting free lectures and seminars, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™ includes the increasingly popular Saturday Night Dinner program complete with a silent auction, buffet, awards ceremony, slide competition awards and a live auction.
For more information about the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™ visit:
Arizona Renaissance Festival
weekends - early February to late March
Gold Canyon, Arizona
One of the main Arizona US events featuring more than 2,000 brightly costumed actors, dancers, and musicians, the Arizona Renaissance Festival has been a popular event for 25 years and is today one of the largest Renaissance themed events in the USA attracting more than 250,000 each year. Set in a especially created, authentic, 30-acre village, this Renaissance Festival features over 200 craft shops, 13 stages of non-stop entertainment, and an arena for full armored jousting.
Everything on the Arizona Renaissance Festival shows up on:
La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo
Featuring everything from top-notch bull riding, barrel racing, team roping and steer wrestling showcasing the talents of close to 700 cowboys and cowgirls, La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (meaning “Party of the Cowboys”) is now recognized as one of the top 25 professional rodeos in the USA. One of the highlights of the event is the Tucson Rodeo Parade lauded as the world’s longest non-motorized parade featuring western-themed floats and buggies, historic horse-drawn coaches, festive Mexican folk dancers, marching bands and outfitted riders – a popular spectacle that attracts over 200,000 fans every year.
For more on the La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo see:
Tucson Festival of Books
One of the largest book festivals in the USA, the Tucson Festival of Books featuring literally hundreds of authors and exhibitors presents a wide selection of best-selling authors and an extensive selection of fiction, non-fiction, children's fiction, cooking, and poetry. Attracting more than 100,00 people every year, the current 5-year old event continues to grow and now includes several competitions including the the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards writing competition and Masters Workshop.
Drop by the home page of the Tucson Festival of Books:
Scottsdale Culinary Festival
The longest running such festival in the United States, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival attracts nearly 50,000 visitors each year with a wide selection of gourmet food, fine wines and boutique brews, celebrity chefs, and plenty of fun and unusual activities and festivities to suite all tastes, even those looking for delicious and unusual wine-and-chocolate pairings.
Details concerning the Scottsdale Culinary Festival can be found here:
Tucson International Mariachi Conference
Celebrating more than 30 years of Mariachi Music, the Tucson International Mariachi Conference is held every April and brings the best mariachis and baile folklorico dancers to the Southwest. A main part of the event are the workshops in which hundreds of students from all over the world learn music and dance from experienced mariachi masters. The Tucson International Mariachi Conference also presents several public concerts showcasing some of the world’s best mariachi musicians.
Learn more about the Tucson International Mariachi Conference at their website:
Tucson Folk Festival
A popular event for almost three decades, the Tucson Folk Festival, one of the largest free festivals in the USA, attracts more than 10,000 folk music lovers and showcases more than 20 hours of free, live music on five stages, as well as dance and other entertainment in downtown Tucson. Music highlights include bluegrass, Irish, old country and western music.
For news regarding the Tucson Folk Festival go to:
Lake Havasu City Striper Derby
Lake Havasu, Arizona
This Western Outdoor News team fishing tournament targets striped bass or “stripers” on Lake Havasu. The premier striper tournament in the west, it attracts anglers from around the country as they compete for over $100,000 in cash and prizes. Varying classes of competition make it a great event for anglers of any experience level, as well as for family teams. Entry includes event shirt, hat and goodie bag. Saturday’s beach BBQ and party adds to the fun, along with Sunday’s awards ceremony.
Regarding the Lake Havasu City Striper Derby study:
World's Oldest Rodeo
late June - early July
Also referred to as Prescott Frontier Days, the World’s Oldest Rodeo has been a popular attraction since 1888 when the first cowboy tournament was held. Since then this rodeo has grown into eight days of first class rodeo competition as well as featuring a host of special events like the ever popular Rodeo Dance and the Prescott Frontier Days Parade.
Learn more about the World's Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Arizona at:
Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake
Offering an unusual blend of Bavarian and Southwest USA cultures, the much loved event for the whole family, Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake, offers an unusual blend of polka, German bratwurst, strudel and beer with salsa and Southwest foods, along with 4 stages of live music, 6 beer gardens offering also wines and spirits, a college garage band competition, John Madden football tournament, lots of video games and arts & crafts for the kids.
Find out about Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake - study:
Arizona State Fair
A popular family event, the Arizona State Fair is one of the Top 20 Arizona USA Events and Festivals. It attracts over 1 million residents from all over the “Grand Canyon State” and beyond who come to enjoy the traditional and new entertainment including national concerts, as well as rodeos, racing, livestock, homemaking arts, rides, and tasty treats at numerous food booths. Popular regular and new events are the Arizona State Fair 5k Fun Run/Walk, United States Armwrestling Championships, and more.
Enlightenment in reference tot the Arizona State Fair:
Bisbee 1000 The Great Stair Climb
always the third weekend in October
Discover and Recover ... Unique to Bisbee is a system of WPA-era stairways that course through its picturesque hills, affording views of the town's quaint historic houses and colorful gardens. The stairways replaced steep mule paths worn into the terrain during Bisbee's copper mining heyday. The 4.5-mile Stair Climb allows participants to run or walk, climbing nine long sets of steps and descending intriguing back-roads, all at a mile-high altitude. While conquering more than 1,000 steps, participants are serenaded by musicians at each stairway along the route. Participants may compete seriously (the event is chip-timed); enjoy a challenging fitness walk; or take in a scenic stroll. Spirited costumes are encouraged! The event also includes the extreme stair-sprinting Bisbee 1000 Ironman Ice Competition. Then, participants and public can recover with the Bisbee 1000 Invitational Craft Beer Festival.
For more information about Bisbee 1000's events check out:
or take a look at: http://www.bisbee1000.org
All Souls Procession
November (First Sunday after Halloween)
Inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, the All Souls Procession began in 1990 when local artist Susan Johnson decided to honor her father in celebration. Today, 10,000 participants create a two-mile long procession complete with floats, altars, costumes and tributes to loved ones who have passed on in this community celebration of Day of the Dead and All Souls Day. In a grand finale, a large urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes for those who have passed is burned. This event is growing each year and now draws and estimated crowd of almost 30,000.
For more information about the All Souls Procession visit :
El Tour de Tucson
Attracting more than 9,000 cyclists of all ages, El Tour de Tucson is the largest perimeter cycling event in Southern Arizona, appealing to all riders – from professional to novice bike riding enthusiasts – with a variety of routes from fun-rides of just a quarter of a mile to the main events of of 111, 85, 60 or 42 miles. Routes also vary from strenuous and hilly terrains to flat routes a little easier for beginners. El Tour de Tucson has been ranked by Bicycling Magazine as “one of the top three fundraising rides” in the USA.
More on the subject of El Tour de Tucson is located at:
Florence Junior Parada Rodeo
late November - early December
The Florence Junior Parada is the oldest sanctioned youth rodeo in the United States. It pits the youngest of riders against the oldest of venues to showcase their youthful cowboy skills. The rodeo attracts youngsters ages five to 18 from across the Southwest. Over the years, some of these youngsters have gone on to compete nationally. There is a Saturday morning parade which evokes times past with stagecoaches, mounted posses and young and old on horseback, also vintage vehicles, clowns, dancers and more. Catch the “cowboy spirit” and enjoy Florence.
Information relating to the Florence Junior Parada can be seen at:
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
late November to early January
Phoenix Zoo – Phoenix, Arizona
An absorbing event for more than 20 years, and one of the southwest’s largest holiday light displays, ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo displays almost 4-million magical lights in more than 600 glimmering light displays with original features such as the new, gigantic 3D praying mantis, a 24-foot diameter lighted sphere floating on the lake, a life size 3D lion, an exciting new Music in Motion dancing tree show, carouse, camel rides, 160-foot long Polar Slides, the first simulated snow tubing in the Southwest and many unique animal viewing opportunities.
Touching ZooLights observe:
CFA Cat Show
One of the Top 20 Arizona USA Events and Festivals, Arizona’s largest cat show features dozens of breeds along with winners of numerous household pet competitions, of both pedigreed cats and household pets, from Best Kitten to Best Household Pet and everything in between. This fun event in the “Grand Canyon State” is popular with families as well as with professional exhibitors, vendors and cat-loving spectators too.
For facts regarding the CFA Cat Show drop in at:
Arizona National Livestock Show
The 67th Annual Arizona National Livestock Show opens December 27, 2014 – January 1, 2015 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19thAvenue & McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ. Watch participants from over 19 states compete! Enjoy Livestock Shows, Farm Experience an interactive area for children to learn about agriculture, Working Ranch Horse Competition, Ranch Rodeo, Chuck Wagon Cook Off, Dutch Oven Cook Off, Livestock Shows and sales, Poultry Show, Li’l Buckaroo Rodeo, and much more.
Referring to the Arizona National Livestock Show check out:
updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.