Whether you want to explore a classy art festival or cheer at the ostrich, or even Chihuahua races, the East Valley has it! Let’s take advantage of our Arizona paradise and dance outdoors to live music, indulge during a cook-off, put on our boots for the rodeo and Old West Days, or run foot races.
This list can help you mark your calendar to prepare and explore the East Valley all year long. Before you go, make sure to contact the phone number given or search for the events online for new updates. You can also contact your city’s chamber of commerce or visitor’s bureau for information on smaller events such as weekly farmers markets, outdoor festivals and more.
33rd annual El Dia de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life Festival, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 3, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler. Music, dance, folk arts and crafts, storytelling, candlelight procession and community altar. (480) 833-5875.
28th annual Gilbert Days, Nov. 16-18, locations throughout Gilbert. Parade, carnival, rodeo, 5K and 1-mile run, other events. (480) 503-6200.
East Valley Veterans Day Parade, 11 a.m. Nov. 12, downtown Mesa. www.mesaveterans.org
Mesa Old West Days, Nov. 10, downtown Mesa. Outdoor costumed celebration of Arizona’s frontier era. (480) 898-3878.
Festival of the Superstitions, Nov. 9-11, Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce, 567 W. Apache Trail. Carnival, live entertainment, and more. (480) 982-3141
Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 10, Tumbleweed Ranch at Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road. (480) 782-2717.
Rock the Block Downtown Chandler Block Party, noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 10, along Arizona Avenue between Frye Road and Chandler Boulevard. Live entertainment, zip line, kids zone, vendors and more. (480) 855-3539.
Woofstock: The Great Chandler Dog Walk, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 17, Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road. (480) 782-2665.
The American Heritage Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17-18, Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. Educational living history event encompassing Colonial era onward. (480) 987-3100.
Little Buck-a-roos Rodeo, 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 17, Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road, Apache Junction. Rodeo-style games and contests for children. (480) 983-2181.
Ironman Arizona Triathlon, Nov. 18, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. (888) 280-9097.
Mesa Turkey Trot, Nov. 22, Red Mountain Park, 7745 E. Brown Road. Fitness run/walk. (602) 234-3460.
Mesa Temple Garden Lights, Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, Mesa Arizona Temple, 525 E. Main St., Mesa. Holiday lights display and music at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints temple. (480) 964-7164.
Fantasy of Lights Parade presented by Wells Fargo, 6 p.m. Nov. 24, Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. (480) 355-6060.
44th annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts, Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. Outdoor art and entertainment fair. (480) 355-6060.
Gilbert’s Holiday Nights of Lights, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 30, Gilbert Civic Center North Campus, 50 E. Civic Center Drive. (480) 503-6200.
Apache Junction Holiday Program & Light Parade, Dec. 1, Old Basha’s Plaza, Apache Trail and Phelps Drive. (480) 983-2181.
Queen Creek Holiday Festival and Parade, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1, north on Old Ellsworth Road from Founders Park to Queen Creek Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road. (480) 231-8959.
Chandler’s Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony & Parade of Lights, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 1, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave. (480) 782-2735.
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade presented by SRP, 5 p.m. Dec. 8, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. (480) 355-6060.
12K’s of Christmas, 10 a.m. Dec. 15, Freestone Park, 1045 E. Juniper Road. Fitness walks/runs with carolers at each kilometer, a pet village and a Christmas bazaar. (480) 609-3978.
Mesa Arts Festival, Dec. 8-9, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Artist booths, live entertainment, kids’ activities and food vendors. (480) 644-6500.
24th annual Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, 8 p.m. Dec. 29, Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. American college football game. (480) 350-0911.
New Years Eve Mill Avenue Block Party, 5 p.m. Dec. 31, Mill Avenue District in downtown Tempe. The Valley’s largest New Year’s Eve party. (480) 355-6060.
Chandler Multicultural Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, Downtown Chandler Library Plaza, 22 S. Delaware St. (480) 782-2735.
P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & Half Marathon, Jan. 20, routed through Phoenix and Scottsdale with a Finish Line Festival at Sun Devil Stadium, 219 Packard Drive, Tempe. (800) 311-1255.
Arizona Renaissance Festival, Feb. 9-March 31, 12601 E. U.S. Highway 60, Apache Junction. Medieval village teeming with costumed characters, live shows, rides, shops and attractions. (520) 463-2600.
Passport to Discovery, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 16, Desert Mountain Park, 22201 S. Hawes Road, Queen Creek. Family festival focusing on art, culture and science. (480) 358-3700.
Classic Car & Hot Rod Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23, Historic Downtown Chandler. (480) 782-2735.
Lost Dutchman Marathon, Feb. 17, Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road, Apache Junction, with parking/shuttles at Apache Junction Rodeo Park, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd. (480) 983-1500.
Lost Dutchman Days, Feb. 22-24, Apache Junction Rodeo Park, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd. Events celebrating town’s Western heritage. (480) 982-3141.
Peach Blossom Celebration, Thursdays-Sundays through the month, Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. (480) 987-3100.
Roots & Boots Queen Creek, March 8-10, Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre, 20464 E. Riggs Road, Queen Creek. PRCA and family rodeos, carnival, dance. (602) 448-6094.
Arizona Aloha Festival, March 9-10, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Celebration of Polynesian cultures. (602) 697-1824.
Chandler Ostrich Festival, dates TBA, Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road. Celebrate the birds’ role in city history with ostrich races, carnival rides and more. (480) 782-2735.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, 12 p.m. t0 10 p.m. March 17, Irish Republic, 58 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler. (480) 812-1588.
Jesus the Christ Easter Pageant, March 19-30, Mesa Arizona Temple, 525 E. Main St., Mesa. Lavishly staged outdoor theater production for all religions, cultures and ages by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (480) 964-7164.
Great American Barbecue & Beer Fest, March 23, downtown Chandler. (602) 276-2499.
Chandler’s Family Easter Celebration, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. March 30, Snedigar Sportsplex, 4500 S. Alma School Road. Egg hunt and activities for families. (480) 782-2735.
Chandler Jazz Festival, April 5-6, downtown Chandler. (480) 782-2735.
36th annual Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts, April 5-April 7, on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. Massive outdoor art and entertainment fair. (602) 997-2581.
Feathered Friends Festival, April 6, Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert. Live animal displays, booths and activities relating to ecology, wildlife and the environment. (480) 503-6744.
El Tour de Mesa, April 6, near Mesa Convention Center on Center Street. Competitive and just-for-fun 4-, 26-, and 72-mile bicycle rides. (520) 745-2033.
Corvettes in the Park, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 13, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave. (602) 751-9137.
Country Thunder Music Festival, April 11-14, 20585 E. Price (Station) Road, Florence. (866) 802-6418.
Gilbert Global Village Festival, April 13, Gilbert Civic Center North Campus, 50 E. Civic Center Drive. Interactive celebration of world’s cultures. (480) 503-6224.
Easter Egg-citement, dates TBA, Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. Egg hunt and farm activities. (480) 987-3100.
Pat’s Run, April 20, Sun Devil Stadium, 219 Packard Drive, Tempe. Fitness race honoring late Army Ranger, Arizona Cardinal and Arizona State University football player Pat Tillman. (480) 621-4074.
My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge, April 27, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Giant salsa-tasting party and competition with live entertainment. (602) 955-3947.
Ka-Pow Superhero Adventure Run, April 27, Freestone Park, 1045 E. Juniper Road. (480) 503-6200.
Powerline Mountain Bike Race, TBA, Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road, Apache Junction. Flat, 14-mile course open to cyclists 14 and older with helmets. (480) 983-2181.
Arizona Tattoo Expo, May 3-5, Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St. (480) 644-2178.
Chandler Cinco de Mayo Festival & Chihuahua Races, May 4, Downtown Chandler Library Plaza, 22 S. Delaware St. (480) 782-2735.
Peach Festival, every weekend in May, Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. Peach picking, cooking demos, rides, farm activities. (480) 987-3100.
Chandler Summer Splash Festival, June 22, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave. Water attractions and activities for families. (602) 276–2499.
The Southwest Ambulance Arizona Celebration of Freedom, June 28-29, downtown Mesa. (480) 644-2069.
Apache Junction Fourth of July Celebration, July 4, Apache Junction High School football stadium, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive. (480) 983-2181.
Chandler’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, July 4, Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road. (480) 782-2735.
Fire in the Sky Fourth of July Fireworks, July 4, Central Christian Church, 965 E. Germann Road, Gilbert. (480) 924-4946 or (480) 305-7500.
Queen Creek Fourth of July Celebration, July 4, Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. (480) 987-3100.
CBS 5 July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival, July 4, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. (480) 350-5189.
The 9/11 Memorial Healing Field, dates TBA, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks are honored with nearly 3,000 American flags, a sunrise ceremony and candlelight vigil. (480) 350-5200.
Chandler Oktoberfest, Sept. 28, downtown Chandler. (602) 276-2499.
Chandler’s Hispanic Heritage Month and 13th annual Chandler C3HR Mariachi Festival, dates and locations TBA. (480) 782-2735.
Schnepf Farms’ Pumpkin & Chili Party, Thursdays through Sundays in October, Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. Pumpkin patch, hayrides, bonfires, fireworks and more. (480) 987-3100.
Chandler Indian Art Market and Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program, Oct. 11-13, downtown Chandler, (480) 782-2214.
TASTE. Chandler’s Culinary Festival, Oct. 12, downtown Chandler. (602) 276-2499.
Tempe Oktoberfest, dates TBA, Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Sprawling celebration of Bavarian beer, food and music. (480) 350-8181.
Fall Rhythm Fest, date TBA, Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler. A dozen live bands, activities for kids and fireworks. (480) 782-2735.
Chandler’s Day of Play Celebration, Oct. 27, Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler. Active events for kids, booths on health, wellness and fitness for parents. (480) 782-2735.
Apache Junction Halloween Festival, Oct. 31, Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road. (480) 983-2181.
Chandler’s Howlin’ Halloween Spooktacular, date TBA, Chandler Community Center, 125 E. Commonwealth Ave. (480) 782-2735.
Gilbert Fall Music & Halloween Festival, Oct. 26, Freestone Park Ballfield Complex, 1045 E. Juniper Road. (480) 503-6200.
Queen Creek’s Trunk or Treat, date TBA, Desert Mountain Park, 22201 S. Hawes Road, Queen Creek. (480) 358-3700.
Tempe’s Family Halloween Carnival, 5 p.m. Oct. 26, Kiwanis Park, 6111 S. All America Way, Tempe. (480) 350-5200.
Dia de Los Muertos, dates TBA, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Music, dancing, kids crafts and activities, a mercado of gifts and food, and a community altar to honor deceased loved ones. (480) 644-6500.