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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

41st Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts

Thanks to Downtown Tempe for sponsoring this post, so we could share this amazing event with you!

The revered seasonal staple event, the Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts returns to Downtown Tempe this March -- now in its 41st incarnation. The Tempe Festival of the Arts is ranked as a leading fine arts festival; one of the largest and oldest festivals of its kind, drawing as many as 225,000 attendees from across the nation. From Friday March 23rd through Sunday March 25th 2018, the artist-driven event is open to the public from 10:00am to 5:30pm daily. Offering FREE admission for the entire family, the event is easily accessible via the Valley Metro Light Rail. The award-winning festival features holiday gift items including handmade art pieces, jewelry, home décor, snacks, food trucks, two local beer and wine gardens, plus live music and loads of entertainment.

Tempe Festival of the Arts boasts over 350 peer-juried, handpicked artists and artisans from around the country. Each festival features a singular, stand-out artist or artisan and for the 41st spring festival, Tucson artist Adam Homan was selected by the jurying committee. Adam is an Arizona native and has been a professional metal artist for 21 years. He is one of the more prolific artists with over 7,000 metal sculptures under his belt!

As a family-friendly festival, kid-oriented programming and interactive exhibits punctuate the festival footprint, including Kids Block, a hands-on exhibit featuring artwork from over 250 students throughout the valley. This year get the kids more involved by checking out one of the community partners doing take away projects with young visitors.

And on to my favorite part of the festival!! Fans of snacking should head directly to the Snack Spots, which includes hand-made gourmet foods, seasonings, cottage crafts and remedies, and festival favorite food such as kettle corn, cotton candy, fudge, roasted nuts and more from vendors like Dough Licious Desserts, Nutz about Nutz, Firehouse Shaved Ice, Mini Donut Trolley and others. And no Festival of the Arts would be complete without an assortment of fair food and street eats including Blue Banjo BBQ, Safari Samosas, Hot Bamboo, Island Noodles -- plus food trucks like Back in Thyme, The Maine Lobster Lady, The Great Australian Bakery, Yellowman Fry Bread and more.

Visit the festival’s two beer and wine gardens to enjoy beverages on site. Visit the Arizona Wine Tasting in Centerpoint Plaza of Hayden Square for sampling and purchase of featured Arizona wines. Or raise a glass and toast with beers and brews from Tempe’s own Pedal Haus, and Four Peaks Brewing Company. Tickets are available on-site for the beer and wine gardens, as well as online in advance.

As always, the festival entertainment proves one of the most popular aspects of the event, and includes all manner of street and booth performers, buskers, face painters, henna artists, musicians, unicyclists, caricature artists and balloon twisters as well as three festival stages programmed with toe-tap-inducing entertainment and live music by bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz and rock artists like Bluegrass Camp with Jam Pak, Nancy Kartoon, Walt Richardson, Vertical Fix and other local and regional talent.

The entire event is family-friendly, admission-free and is easily accessible via ValleyMetro Light Rail, Tempe Orbit buses as well as by car. For more information, please visit:

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