Newcomers’ Guide to Festivals & Events in February 2023

Editorial StaffNovember 2, 2022
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Arizona Musicfest
Through April 29
This multi-month festival features the nation’s top artists of classical, chamber, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, country, bluegrass and pop. North Scottsdale/Phoenix venues, 480-422-8449,

Arizona Balloon Classic
February 3-5
Dozens of hot air balloons fill the sky during Hare & Hound races; then light up the night during Desert Glows. Live entertainment, a kite festival, stunt bike shows, tethered balloon rides, a beer garden, fireworks and children’s activities add to the festivities. A portion of proceeds benefits Valley of the Sun United Way. Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear,

Arizona Renaissance Festival
February 4-April 2
Foolish pleasures mix with artisan treasures at this 50-acre festival village complete with storybook shops, hundreds of costumed characters, a hearty feast and 16 stages of entertainment, including music, dance, shenanigans and jousting knights. Huzzah! Saturdays-Sundays, plus President’s Day, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 12601 E. Hwy. 60, Gold Canyon, 520-463-2600,

Concours in the Hills
February 4
More than 1,000 collector and high-performance cars representing most makes and models take over the gently rolling slopes and green grass around the lake and world-famous fountain. Proceeds benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Fountain Park, 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, 480-837-1654,

Parada del Sol
Parada del Sol

Parada del Sol
February 4
Everyone’s a cowboy or cowgirl at the Parada del Sol Parade, which saunters through downtown Scottsdale, followed by the festive Trail’s End block party in Old Town. Downtown Scottsdale,

Arizona Strong Beer Festival
February 18
A longtime favorite of serious Valley beer geeks, the annual conclave of beer consumption features 500 stouts, Imperial IPAs, lip-smacking barleywines and other high-gravity styles, along with more demure brews (i.e. lagers and ciders). You get 30 pours, so pick wisely! Salt River Fields,

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
February 16-26
Since 1955, this show has been a pacesetter in the Arabian horse world, growing from 50 horses to nearly 2,400 of the world’s finest steeds, each competing for the title of “Scottsdale Champion.” WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, 480-515-1500,

Hoop Dance Contest 
February 18-19
Enjoy the fast-paced precision, grace and creativity of hoop dancing as top hoop dancers from the U.S. and Canada compete for cash prizes and the title of world champion. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-8848,

Fountain Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts
February 24-26
This juried show features nearly 500 artists, plus live music, food booths and beer gardens. Avenue of the Fountains and Saguaro Boulevard, Fountain Hills, 480-837-1654,

Innings Fest
February 25-26
The producers of Chicago’s Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits are behind this annual music fest set to coincide with Spring Training. Past performers have included Tame Impala, Foo Fighters, Gin Blossoms and Dave Matthews Band. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, 480-350-5200,

Devour Culinary Classic
February 25-26
The finest chefs from around the Valley converge on Papago Park for this always-sold-out culinary confab at Desert Botanical Garden. The event has been named Best Southwestern Culinary Festival by The New York Times. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,

Arizona Matsuri Festival
February 25-26
This two-day festival focuses on all aspects of Japanese culture, including music and dance, martial arts, food and drink and more. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix,

Hashknife Pony Express
February (TBD)
Welcome the Hashknife riders as they complete a 200-mile journey on horseback from Holbrook to Scottsdale, delivering thousands of letters. This re-enactment of Western history is the longest-running Pony Express ride in the nation. Riders arrive at high noon at a soon-to-be-announced Scottsdale location, 480-686-9539,

Schnepf Farms
Find peach blossom celebrations through February and March at the family farm. 24610 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, 480-987-3100,

This article first appeared in the 2023 City Guide, published by PHOENIX magazine in November 2022.


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