One of the oldest and most highly anticipated events in the Southwest is expected to welcome thousands of local and out-of-town visitors to the Tempe Festival for the Arts, which returns to Mill Avenue and surrounding streets from Dec. 3-5.
Running daily from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., more than 350 juried artists from around the country, who are competing for top honors across 18 different categories from wood, photography and ceramics to wearable art, jewelry, and other mediums, will have their creations on display at booths lining downtown Tempe’s Mill Avenue and surrounding streets.
Visitors and art aficionados will have the chance to immerse themselves in thousands of pieces of art on display, while also putting on their holiday shopping hats to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts from the artists and a host of local vendors.
In addition to the wide range of restaurants in downtown Tempe, more than 20 different food options by way of a food court, food trucks, and snack and drink vendors will be available on site, ranging from Blue Banjo BBQ and Island Noodles, to Guac Girl, AZ Chimney Cakes, Jakes Lemonade, Maui Wowi Hawaiian, and a festival favorite, the San Francisco Chocolate Factory. The food complements two beer and wine gardens at the event, including Pedal Haus Brewery-hosted garden at Centerpoint and Maple, as well as a garden at Hayden Square that is hosted by Four Peaks Brewing Company.
The 360° experience will also include a full slate of entertainment featuring well-known local and regional music at multiple locations throughout the event. From henna artists and musicians to magicians, caricature artists and so many more experiences, visitors will have the chance to enjoy more than two dozen street entertainers are on-site.
Additionally, guests will be entertained by musical performers on four separate stages throughout the event, including:
|Hayden Vinyl Station Stage
|4th Street East
|Fri., Dec. 3
|People Who Could Fly
|Recordbar Radio DJs
|Venessa Mendex Duo
|Blues Review Band
|Recordbar Radio DJs
|Corey Gloden Duo
|A Casual Divorce
|Tobey and Novak
|Sat., Dec. 4
|Walt Richardson Band
|Kate Scratch Fever
|Grand Canyon Woodwind Trio
|Serena Nicolle Band
|Southwest Diamond Duo
|The Hourglass Cats
|AZ Rhythm Connection
|Sun., Dec. 5
|Of the Earth
|Betsy Ganz Duo
|Mob Vs. Ballot Box
|Kevin Loyd Duo
|School of Rock
|AZ Rhythm Connection
*Entertainers and set times subject to change.
Additionally, guests will have the chance to take in an array of talented street performers, entertainers and buskers scattered throughout the festival footprint all weekend long. Dozens of outstanding musical and performing arts experiences throughout the Tempe Festival of the Arts will include a Bluegrass Experience with Jam Pak, an award-winning children’s music group on 7th Street and Mill Ave., as well as Henna Shoppe featuring Henna art from top local merchant on Mill next to the Valley Art. Street performers will include Atomic Balloons, who will be handing out FREE balloons as they roam the festival and FNF Events’ Photobooth Fun! located on Mill Avenue, as well as Furious Styles Crew, which will be at 6th Street West.
With fun for the whole family, interactive, kid-friendly programming will be available over the course of the weekend. Kids Block, a hands-on interactive block for young artists and a youth exhibition featuring 450+ of student works from around the Valley, will have art on display and for sale, as well as hosting take-away projects. Community partners, including Be an Artist Studio and Educating Children Outdoors, will have a range of child-friendly activities such as Recycled City, where children create a city with recycled cardboard boxes, a variety of crafts, including do-it-yourself lanterns and beaded bracelets; yard games; chalk art; and jumbo interlocking bricks
The event will also stoke an appreciation for arts by offering up handcrafted pieces for $5 each to children wishing to start their own art-collecting journeys.
Full details about the Tempe Festival of the Arts is available at tempefestivalofthearts.com/.
For more than 50 years, Tempe Festival of the Arts has intrigued and delighted art lovers. With thousands of pieces on display and available for purchase, the 2021 event is expected to draw a huge following as Arizonans and out-of-town visitors shop, eat, drink and enjoy all that local Tempe has to offer.
The event has been carefully evaluated and modified, where possible, to incorporate safety measures that help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Downtown Tempe is also incorporating educational awareness into the events this fall/winter to encourage safe participation.
Dec. 3-5 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Mill Avenue, Downtown Tempe
The award-winning Downtown Tempe Authority is a private, nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the City of Tempe to increase the value of Downtown Tempe through enhanced management, safety, marketing, and promotional services on behalf of DTA members and other downtown stakeholders.
More information about Downtown Tempe’s Fall/Winter festivities this season, including a complete lineup of events, is available at downtowntempe.com/events.