Arizona Strong Beer Festival
The prime party of Arizona Beer Week (February 9-18) brings more than 400 brews for the tasting, from plenty of local purveyors like Freak’N Brewing Company, Grand Canyon Brewing Company, SunUp Brewing Co. and Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., as well as national names like North Coast Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Company and DESTIHL Brewery. General admission tickets include 40 tickets to sample 2 oz. beers. $45, general admission; $100, VIP (includes seven extra drink tickets, access to VIP lounge with private bathroom, and food voucher).
Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix.
Wine, beer or spirits? Who says you have to choose? This two-year-old event unites all three branches of Arizona booze-craft, from winemakers Page Springs Cellars and Pillsbury Wine Company to craft brewers Prescott Brewing Company and Mudshark Brewery to spirit-makers Thumb Butte Distillery and O.H.S.O. Distillery. This year’s event includes a pizza throw-down and two stages featuring local bands. $45, general admission; $95, VIP.
Old Town Scottsdale.
Glendale Chocolate Affaire
Life is sweet at this annual confectionary convergence in Murphy Park. More than 40 candy makers will offer an assortment of delights that evoke a sweet-toothed version of Bubba’s shrimp speech in Forrest Gump: chocolate ice cream, deep-fried chocolate bacon, chocolate-covered strawberries and bananas, chocolate cotton candy, chocolate Bundt cakes, chocolate fudge, choco-etc. Event sponsor Cerreta Candy Co. will offer tours of its nearby chocolate factory. Carnival rides, crafts (chocolate pizza-making station, anyone?), live music and face painting are icing on the cake at this fête. Free admission.
Fountain Hills Great Fair of Fine Arts & Crafts
With the famous, geyser-like Fountain Hills Fountain as its centerpiece and a green, 64-acre park as its setting, the Great Fair feels like spring in February. More than 500 artists from around the world show their wares, from $5 earrings to $5,000 oil paintings, and food trucks keep the masses fed while live music gets them moving. Free admission.
Fountain Park in Fountain Hills.
Street Eats Food Truck Festival
Phoenix food trucks will be out in full force, dishing up everything from pizza and tacos to barbecue and seafood, at this popular nosh-a-thon. Phoenix food blogger Joanie Simon will host cooking demos, while local rock bands provide the live soundtrack. $12, general admission; $50, VIP (includes access to VIP lounge with private bathrooms, six bar beverages per person and four samples from food trucks).
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale.