Four major art festivals in Scottsdale and Cave Creek will warm visitors’ hearts — and possibly the pocketbooks of vendors, artists and merchants — this Valentine’s Day weekend.
The festivals, each beginning at 10 a.m., are expected to attract thousands in both communities Friday, Saturday (Valentine’s Day) and Sunday.
"They’re all different, and they’ll attract different people," said Frank Jacobson, president of the Scottsdale Cultural Council. "It shows the diversity in Scottsdale and what we have to offer visitors, tourists and members of the community."
Jacobson, whose agency directs public arts in Scottsdale, including the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, said the festivals underscore other attractions of the East Valley, primarily the warm winter weather and the variety of shopping districts for potential shoppers and art buyers.
Rachel Sacco, president of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that ideally the arts festivals would be better for tourism if they were spread out over time, rather than clustered in a single weekend.
"In a perfect world, they each would be held during separate weekends," said Sacco. "It’s impossible for a person to attend them all on a single weekend. But, it’s not a perfect world. Nevertheless, they give our visitors a lot to do and a lot to enjoy."
The festivals are:
• ArtFest of Fifth Avenue: Held between Goldwater Boulevard and Scottsdale Road on Gallery Row, the ArtFest showcases artists from across the country and their works in outdoor booths. Visitors can stroll Fifth Avenue until 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and until 5 p.m. Sunday. No admission charge. The festival is sponsored by the Fifth Avenue Area Merchants Association. For more information, call (888) 278-3378 or visit www.888ArtFest.com.
• Eighth annual Scottsdale Indian Artists of America Show:
Art by more than 100 popular American Indian artists from across the nation will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 E. Second St. The show, sponsored by the Arizona Indian Arts Alliance, includes food, music and other attractions. Cost is $8. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, call (480) 994-2778 or (866) 398-2226 or visit www.indianartistsofamerica.com.
• Thirteenth annual Scottsdale Fine Art & Chocolate Festival: Sweets for the sweet will be showcased at Scottsdale Pavilions, Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More than 6,000 pieces of original creations by more than 180 artists will be displayed. Chocolate will be offered as samples or purchase by more than 20 companies scattered throughout the festival. Admission is $2 for adults. Children 17 and under are free. Parking is free. The festival is sponsored by Thunderbird Artists. For more information, call (480) 837-5637 or visit www.thunderbirdartists.com.
• Fifth annual Scottsdale Tribune Cave Creek Spring Arts and Crafts Festival: More than 150 artists and crafters from all over the United States will exhibit their works in an outdoor area between two historic saloons, the Buffalo Chip and Harold’s at 6811 E. Cave Creek Road, one mile west of Tom Darlington Road (Scottsdale Road). The festival includes artists’ demonstrations, music and a cowboy wagon camp area. No charge for admission or parking. The festival is sponsored by the Tribune. For more information, call (623) 842-8434.