TEMPE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS BRINGS 360 EXPERIENCE BACK TO MILL AVENUE MARCH 25-27
Highly Anticipated Festival Blends Visual, Performing and Culinary Arts for Unique Family-Friendly Event
Hundreds of thousands of art lovers will convene when the 45th Annual Tempe Festival for the Arts returns to Downtown Tempe this March 25-27. One of the Southwest’s longest-running festivals, the event celebrates visual artists across numerous mediums, along with a full slate of entertainment on multiple stages and culinary delights for a full sensory experience. The festival runs daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The highlight of the festival is the collection of more than 350 juried artists from around the country who compete for top honors across 16 different categories from wood, photography and ceramics to glass, jewelry and other mediums. Artists will have their creations on display at booths lining downtown Tempe’s Mill Avenue and surrounding streets. Art aficionados will have the chance to immerse themselves in thousands of pieces of art on display, while also enjoying the option to purchase one-of-a-kind handmade gifts from the artists and a host of local vendors.
From musicians to jugglers, henna artist, caricature artists and more, visitors will have the chance to enjoy more than three dozen entertainers on site. The 360° experience includes a full slate of musical entertainment featuring well-known local and regional music at four separate stages throughout the event.
Additionally, guests will have the chance to take in an array of talented street performers, entertainers, live chalk muralists, and buskers scattered throughout the festival footprint all weekend long. Look for a Bluegrass Experience with Jam Pak, an award-winning children’s music group on 7th Street and Mill Ave., as well as henna art from Henna Shoppe, a top local merchant on Mill Avenue located next to the Valley Art. Street performers will include Atomic Balloons, who will roam the festival handing out free balloons, Dangerously Fun Juggling, a one-of-a-kind zany one-man juggling show, a free photo booth hosted by FNF Events, as well as Furious Styles Crew music, dance performances and live art, which will be at 6th Street West. The Chalk-A-Lot-Street on 4th and Mill features 9 chalk muralists who will create a mural inspired by the theme, Spring in the Desert. Live chalk art takes place on Friday and Saturday, where artists vie for the two top awards of Best Mural or People’s Choice.
Complementing 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 Hot Bamboo and Island Noodles, to Guac Girl, Nutz About Nuts, AZ Chimney Cakes, Jakes Lemonade, Maui Wowi Hawaiian, and a festival favorite, the San Francisco Chocolate Factory. The food complements three 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 Wine and Spirits Tasting on Maple Avenue presents an intimate lineup of Arizona winters and distilleries. Tickets can be purchased in advance or onsite.
Interactive, kid-friendly programming will be available over the course of the weekend. A Youth Exhibit features the work of hundreds of students from around the valley, with pieces on display or for sale. On Saturday and Sunday, Kids Block offers hands on activities from community partners that include tissue paper painting and beaded bracelets; yard games; chalk art; jumbo interlocking bricks; a puppet making activity; a tiny home painting studio; loose parts nature play area. In addition, kids can visit Young Collectors to begin their collecting journey by purchasing their very own piece of art that was donated by one of the exhibiting artists. The cost is $5 for a child to pick out their very own piece and all money collected goes towards a scholarship fund for local art teachers.
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 at the fall and spring festivals. With thousands of pieces on display and available for purchase, the 2022 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 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 complete lineup of events, including the Tempe Festival of the Arts, is available at downtowntempe.com/events.