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There’s a reason why Phoenix ranks as one of the top five cities in the U.S. and receives millions of visitors each year. It seems that people can’t get enough of the Valley of the Sun!

Offering year-round warm temperatures and abundant natural beauty, Phoenix is where the Wild West meets modern sophistication. Whether you’re into golfing, hiking, mountain biking, shopping, trendy nightclubs, or family-friendly fun, Phoenix offers something for everyone.

Being a populous city, Phoenix always has something exciting going on; a huge range of special events and festivals throughout the year, which is why I’ve partnered with Hotels.com to bring you a list of my annual favorites, returning in 2020!

You’ll find plenty of notable resorts and hotels available throughout the city, but I advise that you book your Phoenix hotel well in advance if you plan on attending one of these top events – having worked in hotels in Phoenix, I can tell you first hand that rooms always book out fast!

This year will see music festivals, big name concerts including Post Malone and Maroon 5, exciting expos, beer and wine festivals, food festivals, professional golf tournaments, special holiday events, and more!

Here are the best 20 events in Phoenix in 2020!

The Best 2020 Events Happening in Phoenix, Arizona

Early 2020 Phoenix Events

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Innings Festival

Baseball and music combine with the annual Innings Festival. This two-day music festival will take place on Feb 29 and Mar 1, being headlined by Dave Matthews Band, Weezer, and Portugal. The Man.

In addition to the music line-up, there will be baseball-themed activities such as batting cages and the chance to meet with professional MLB players. There will be plenty of food vendors on site and music will be a mix of pop, country, and rock.

The Innings Festival will be held at Tempe Beach Park and coincides with the start of the Cactus League baseball spring training.

Arizona Strong Beer Festival

Beer lovers descend on Arizona every February for Arizona Beer Week. Roughly 200 special beer events are held around the state, the premier event being Phoenix’s Strong Beer Festival.

This year’s festival will be held on Feb 8 at Steele Indian School Park and marks its 20th anniversary. There will be around 500 beers on tap, many of which are rare craft beers from local breweries. Numerous breweries will also be collaborating to bring you new special brews.

The statewide Beer Week events will take place from Feb 6 – 16, with events being held at various bars, breweries, restaurants, and hotels from around the state.

M3F Music Festival

Music festival Vegas RF

Head to Margaret T. Hance Park March 6-8 to catch the M3F Music Festival which combines art and music. The festival will feature a giant line-up of diverse musicians representing indie music, folk music, EDM, and more.

Also known as the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, it is a 100% non-profit music festival which raises funds for local charities such as the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona.

Past musical acts include Kid Cudi and Flume, while this year’s line-up will include Bon Iver, Local Natives, and Rüfüs Du Sol. Children 10 and under enjoy free entry, with a special Kid Zone being set up for them.

There will be local artists creating unique works of art onsite, communal yoga sessions, drum circles, and a market where local artists will offer custom apparel and unique creations for sale. The festival’s commitment to community, culture, and charity has made this a popular annual occurrence.

Image credit: Matty Adame via Unsplash

Phoenix Events for 2020 Spring

Phoenix Fan Fusion

Superman child dog RF

Phoenix Convention Centre will be the place to catch all your comic heroes and villains as well as elements of pop culture. Formerly known as the Phoenix Comicon or Phoenix Comic Fest, 2020’s Phoenix Fan Fusion will take place from May 21 – 24.

Congregate with thousands of other fans as you attend comic related panels, art contests, and autograph signings. Whether you’re into science fiction, fantasy novels, collectible card games, or anime, the event offers fun for many interests and age groups.

LPGA Tour’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa will host the tenth annual LPGA’s Bank of Hope Cup. The tournament honors the 13 original Founders of the LPGA and helps expand the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program.

You can expect to see the top women in golf tee it up as they compete for a $1.5 million purse. The four day tournament will run from March 19 – 22.

Phoenix Pride Festival

Gay pride festival free hugs RF

April 4-5 marks the 40th annual Phoenix Pride Festival, held at Steele Indian School Park. This two day celebration celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and helps brings awareness to the discrimination and injustices many still face.

Hundreds of local business and organizations support this event which will feature entertainment performances, local food trucks, celebrity guests, and hundreds of exhibitors.

Image credit: Mick De Paola via Unsplash

Other Events

In addition to the events listed above, you can also catch the Phoenix Lights dance music festival April 3 – 4 at The Park at Wild Horse as well as the Dancing with the Stars: Live! 2020 Tour at the Arizona Federal Theatre on March 27.

Phoenix Events Summer 2020

Tempe Town Lake Festival

Fireworks RF

Celebrate America’s Independence Day this Fourth of July in the desert with the annual 4th of July Tempe Town Lake Festival. The event has been one of the most loved 4th of July celebrations in the Valley for nearly 70 years.

Held at Tempe Beach Park, the event will feature live entertainment, face painting and an inflatable village for the kids, relay races, food vendors, and fireworks choreographed to music launched from the Mill Avenue Bridge over Tempe Town Lake.

It’s a great family event where proceeds benefit local children’s charities.

Botanic Garden Flashlight Tours

While summer days in Arizona can be hot, nights are beautiful and offer the chance to embark on a special after dark flashlight tour of the Desert Botanical Garden.

This is a great opportunity to roam the gardens on a self-guided night journey where you will witness night blooming desert plants and possibility nocturnal wildlife such as owls, coyotes, scorpions, and bobcats.

The nighttime flashlight tours are available on Saturdays during June, July, and August. Just don’t forget to bring your flashlight.

Elevate 2020

Music concert festival RF

Two nights of uplifting and powerful Christian music can be experienced at the GCU Arena with the 2020 Elevate Music Festival.

Held on Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th, the Christian music festival will be headlined by Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, and Mathew West. The Arena becomes like a giant church where you can embrace your Christian beliefs while hearing some incredibly inspiring tracks.

All up there will be around a dozen Christian artists performing across the two days and a special Comedy Night on Friday, June 26th on the GCU campus next door to the Arena. There will be plenty of free parking available.

Phoenix Events in Fall 2020

Arizona Taco Festival

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It only makes sense that Arizona would have a Taco Festival. Enjoy over 50 food trucks and restaurants serving up cheap tacos along with tequila and margaritas. The festival is held in October every year at WestWorld of Scottsdale, which also annually hosts the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction.

Stuff your face with all kinds of different tacos beneath the McDowell Mountains and experience a range of events including lucha libre wrestling, Chihuahua beauty pageants, interactive photo booths, live music, and hot chili pepper eating contests.

There is also usually a Hot Sauce Expo which offers up nearly 100 different types of eye-watering sauce.

Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party

October is also the time to check out Schnepf Farms. Every Thursday through Sunday during the month, Schnepf Farms hosts a range of family-friendly activities that celebrate the harvest season.

Enjoy hay rides, a large pumpkin patch, corn mazes, pig races, fresh chili, fireworks, zip-lines, and a giant difficult to navigate 10-acre maze.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is celebrated annually on November 2 throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage throughout the world. The holiday is a time for families to gather to honor family members who have passed away.

It’s a joyous event rather than a somber affair, with many events taking place around Phoenix. Events take place from the end of October until November 2 each year.

Places like Mesa Arts Center, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Desert Botanical Garden host celebrations that feature live mariachi bands, Mexican cuisine, Latin American arts and crafts, and Day of the Dead processions.

Image credit: Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Winter 2020 Events in Phoenix

Glendale Glitters

The largest free holiday light display in Arizona, Glendale Glitters illuminates Historic Downtown Glendale with a million and a half multi-colored twinkling LED Christmas lights that shine from 5 pm to 10 pm nightly.

The light display is spread out over 16 blocks and kicks off November 29, 2020. The lights will remain on until January 11 2021, with a selection of special weekend events taking place in-between.

There will be plenty of holiday entertainment, a children’s winter wonderland, visits with Santa, petting zoo, and hand-crafted goods perfect for Christmas gifts. The event finishes off with the Glendale Glitter & Glow Block Party on January 11 where street musicians perform before a collection of tethered hot air balloons

ZooLights

Zoolights

Find even more holiday light displays at the Phoenix Zoo. During ZooLights, countless Christmas lights are strung up at the zoo along with a three-story Christmas tree. There’s also a 200-foot snow slide, live reindeer, a 60-foot light tunnel, and musical light show over the lake.

In past seasons, there has also been a Wildlife Lantern Safari, where large lanterns in the shape of dozens of different animals are displayed. ZooLights usually runs from late-November until mid-January.

If you wish to enjoy a bit of ice skating in the desert, head north to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess or west to the Westgate Entertainment District where pop-up outdoor ice rinks appear during the winter holiday season.

Image credit: thompson.ruth (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Arizona Renaissance Festival Jousting

Journey back in time to come face to face with knights and jousters with the Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival which is held in Gold Canyon just east of Phoenix.

Join thousands of people in Medieval and Elizabethan era costumes as they descend upon a 30-acre recreation of a 16th century English village. Bring your own costume or rent one there.

Experience jousting tournaments, theatre performances, an arts and crafts fair, giant roasted turkey legs, comedy routines, sword swallowing, and even possibly a live mermaid exhibit. The Artisan Marketplace offers up period-themed goods and the popular twice daily Pleasure Feast presents a five-course meal fit for a king or queen.

Image credit: ksblack99 via Flickr

So, which events are you hitting up this year?!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

    4 Comments

  1. Hi! I absolutely love Arizona! I want to go to the taco festival. I’ve traveled to Arizona several times because I have a sister in Phoenix and 6 nieces to visit there. They’ve been to the tamale festival there. I live an hour from Denver so it is affordable to travel to Phoenix. I think it’s time to go soon! Love your travel blog!

    • Hi Madelyn! The Taco festival is one of my favorite food events – I usually skip breakfast because I know I’m going to eat so much there lol!!

      So glad to hear you love AZ too – perfect excuse to visit Phoenix often having family there (and free tour guides too :D!) – it’s great to hear it’s so affordable from Denver!

      Thanks so much for reading. Maybe we’ll bump into each other at the Taco Festival this year :D!

  2. This is a wonderful blog and I enjoyed reading the post. I especially love the beer festival and the renaissance festival. They seem so colourful.

    • Thanks Didi! So glad you enjoyed the post – the renaissance festival really is so colorful, and the beer festival always makes for a great time out!

      Will you be visiting Phoenix this year?

      Thanks for reading :)

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