As the temperatures mellow out into double digits, metro Phoenix gets ready for a variety of fall festivals. According to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, European immigrants began hosting fall fairs and festivals to promote their agricultural products and animal husbandry. After the industrial revolution drew more people away from farms and into urban areas, the popularity of these festivals waned. By the 20th century, food festivals had surpassed harvest festivals in popularity.
Nowadays, some regional festivals and state fairs still have an agricultural and livestock element, but the main draw for many attendees are the prepared food options. These festivals remain a great way for communities to share their heritage and culture through food.
Here in the Valley, we have dozens of festivals to choose from this year, ranging from celebrations of particular ingredients to international festivals.
Here’s your guide to all the fall food festivals happening in metro Phoenix and beyond.
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Arizona State Fair
Celebrate this 133-year-old tradition, which started in 1884 and has been in its current location since 1905. Enjoy music, the circus, magic, $3 food items from noon to 6 p.m. every Friday, farm tours, the great American petting zoo and monster trucks.
When: Sept. 23 to Oct. 30.
Where: 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix. 602-252-6771.
Tickets and information: $15 for general admission and $30 for VIP. azstatefair.com.
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This weekly food truck event, which consists of 15 to 20 trucks and takes place in Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek has added San Tan Valley as a destination.
When: Every Saturday, starting Sept. 24 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Where: The new location is Central Christian Church, 2505 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek. Check the website for other locations.
Tickets and information: Free to attend. Food purchase is additional. azfeastivals.com.
Old Town Fests
Old Town Scottsdale puts on four festivals from September to December: Sangria Fest on Sept 24, Margarita Fest on Oct. 22, Whiskey Fest on Nov. 12 and Wine Fest on Dec. 10.
Tickets and information: Visit oldtownfests.weebly.com and choose your favorite fest for prices and locations.
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church Food Festival
Explore Middle Eastern foods like kafta kabab, chicken shawarma, hummus, gyro, falafel, baklawa, kanafa and mahmool. Tour the church and enjoy Arabic music and dancing. Children’s activities will also take place.
When: Sept. 30 from 5 to 9 p.m., Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 4530 E. Gold Dust Ave., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Free. stgeorgefoodfestival.org.
Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest
If you missed the first Oktoberfest in Fountain Hills, here’s your chance to experience polka, stein holding, Weiner toss and a brat eating contest. This year’s event is hosted by San Tan Brewing Co. and Pedal Haus Brewery and includes music, German food, local beer, craft cocktails and games.
When: Oct. 1 from 3 to 11 p.m.
Where: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park at 3 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler.
Tickets and information: Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. Processing fees are additional. Kids under 6 attend for free. eventbrite.com/e/downtown-chandler-oktoberfest-2022-tickets-383127944997.
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Jamaican Jerk, Roots & Reggae Festival
This year, the Jamaican Jerk, Roots & Reggae Festival debuts in Phoenix. The celebration of Caribbean culture, music and food takes place in 30 states in the U.S. and internationally. Visitors can enjoy Jamaican cuisine from Ocho Rios Jerk Spot and Cool Vybz restaurants along with Island Boyz Jerk Spot food truck. The festival features musical guests, including Grammy Award winner, Mykal Rose of Black Uhuru reggae group and cultural dance performances. Local vendors and a kid zone round out the event.
When: Oct. 1 from noon to 7 p.m.
Where: Heritage Square. 113 N. Sixth St., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Nonrefundable tickets are $40 for ages 12 and older, $25 for ages 7 to 11 and free for under 6. Processing fees apply. Tickets are available on eventbrite.com under the event’s name.
Pumpkin and Chili Party
This annual event takes place at the Schnepf Farm. With over 40 rides, a candy shop, a bakery, mini golf, a bonfire to roast marshmallows, a toy store and lots of food, the Schnepfs recommend planning a whole day at the farm. As for food, expect four types of chili, including a pumpkin chili, burgers and sandwiches, burritos, mesquite grilled pizza, funnel cakes, pies, cookies, brownies and bread. There will also be fireworks 30 minutes prior to closing time.
When: Oct. 1 to Oct. 30. Hours: noon to 9 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Where: 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek.
Tickets and information: $23.95 per person for general admission, $79.95 per person for a season pass, free for kids under two. Ticket prices do not include train, food, pumpkins or haunted bus. Tickets are nonrefundable.
Discounted tickets are available for military, police, firefighters and veterans. pumpkinandchiliparty.com.
Wickenburg Oktoberfest supports the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. Visitors will sample brews from more than 50 Arizona breweries and other regional beers. Some of the returning breweries include State Forty Eight Brewery, Huss Brewing Co., The Beer Research Institute and O.H.S.O. There will also be German food trucks, games and live music at the event. Must be over 21 to attend.
When: Oct. 1 from 3 to 8 p.m.
Where: Stone Park, 164 E. Apache St., Wickenburg.
Tickets and information: General admissions is $40 and provides 4 p.m. entry and 15 tasting tickets. VIP is $60 and allows for 3 p.m. entry, 15 tasting tickets and a commemorative item. Designated Driver tickets cost $15. Tickets are nonrefundable. chooseazbrews.com.
Phoenix Greek Festival
Experience Greek food, music, dancing, jewelry and even some grocery items at this annual event. Learn about Greek history and take a tour of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church while you’re there.
When: Oct. 7 from 5 to 10 p.m., Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 1973 E. Maryland Ave., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: $5 per day, available only at the event. Free for children under 12 and for people over 60 on Saturday and Sunday. phoenixgreekfestival.org.
Four Peaks Tempe Oktoberfest
Now in its 49th year and named one of the best in the country, the three-day festival will open with a horse-drawn carriage parade and the crowning of the king and queen. Expect four bratwurst service tents, German desserts, music and carnival rides, fun runs, dachshund races and fashion shows and, of course, plenty of local and German beers.
When: Oct. 7 from 5 p.m. to midnight, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to midnight and Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe.
Tickets and information: Tickets are $20 for those over 21 and free for kids on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free for all ages on Sunday. fourpeaksoktoberfest.com.
Asian District Night Market 2022: Kamayan Festival
This year, the Asian District Night Market highlights Filipino culture with music, dancing and food. Hot Bamboo, Pokitrition, Bee Happy Boba, Jeepney Guy and Crafti Tea Boba are among the vendors.
When: Oct. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to midnight and Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: AZ International Marketplace, 1920 W. Broadway Road, Mesa.
Tickets and information: General admission is $5 per day or $8 for both days. Early admission is $15 for Oct. 8 and $18 for both days, VIP admission is $85 and includes early admission, fast pass, alcohol vouchers, a Kamayan feast, meet and greet with the performers and dedicated dining area. azasianchamber.com/adnm-22.
Harvest Moon Feast
Now in its eight year, the Harvest Moon Feast raises money to provide scholarship to the 9,000 Arizona high school students who participate in the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). C-CAP, a nonprofit program in operation since 1990, offers high school students training in the food industry. At the event, students pair with chef mentors and prepare food for the attendees to taste and vote on. “The winning team receives a $500 food credit from a major food distributor, and each student on the team gets an engraved chef’s knife,” said Jill Smith, the Arizona program director for C-CAP. Chef Brother Luck will also be at the event to sign copies of his new book, “No Lucks Given.”
When: Oct. 9 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: Tarbell’s, 3213 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-995-8100.
Tickets and information: $125 for general admission, $150 for admission plus a copy of the book. ccapaz.org.
The Hop Box Octoberfest
Come to the inaugural Oktoberfest in historic Pemberton to taste German-style beers such as Marzens and Festbiers from more than 10 independent breweries. Participants can also enjoy food, live music and games.
When: Oct. 15 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: Pemberton PHX, 1121 N. Second St., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: $45 for general admission includes 12 tasting tickets and a commemorative 5 oz. tasting mug, $65 VIP entry includes 12 tasting tickets, a commemorative Oktoberfest beer stein and 60-minutes early entry. Processing fees apply.
Taste of Italy
Taste of Italy celebrates Italian culture through food and music for two days in Scottsdale. Enjoy Italian food and dessert from Aroma Culinary, Gelato Dolce Vita, L’Imastpo Food Truck and D’Amico Coffee along with music, a light-up dance floor, kids’ spaghetti eating contest and an artisan market.
When: Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Scottsdale Canal (Scottsdale’s Southbridge Bridge to Solstice Park). 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale.
Tickets and information: $10 presale and $20 on event day. Free for children under 12. italianassociation.org.
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This is the last Oktoberfest celebration, so don’t miss the German food, local craft beer, brat-eating and stein-holding contests and polka music by the host, Queen of Oktoberfest and her band, “The Oktoburlesques.”
When: Oct. 15 from 2 to 9 p.m.
Where: 3005 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert.
Tickets and information: Nonrefundable tickets for admission and concert are $23.76 prior to the event. Free for kids under 12. forty8live.com/gilbertoktoberfest.
Salt and Lime Fiesta
Tacos, more than 40 food vendors and about 20 non-food vendors and over 40 tequila vendors will be present at this fiesta. Attendees can catch a low riders show, ride the mechanical taco and enjoy live music and lucha libre.
When: Oct. 22 from 3 to 10 p.m. and Oct. 23 from 3 to 9 p.m.
Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Tickets and information: Tickets range from $15 for Sunday general admission to $130 for a two-day VIP pass. saltlimefiesta.com.
Arizona Fried Chicken and Wings Festival
Fried chicken lovers, this one’s for you. The festival brings together more than 10 restaurants offering a variety of fried chicken from Nashville Hot to Korean. Some food vendors even create specific wings or fried chickens recipes for the event. Attendees can quench their thirst with beer and cocktails or nonalcoholic drinks, play games or peruse the artist market.
When: Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: The Pressroom. 3125 S. 52nd St., Tempe.
Tickets and information: Tickets range from $6 to $15. Free for kids under 6. Find more information on Arizona Fried Chicken and Wings Facebook page.
Kierland Fine Wine and Art
Enjoy a weekend discovering art from all over the globe while tasting wine from 15 Arizona wineries to the sound of live music. A variety of gourmet vendors and confectioners will also be onsite.
When: Oct. 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Kierland Commons, 15205 N. Kierland Blvd., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Admission is free. For people over 21, beer and wine packages are $35 for a wine glass and 10 tastings on Saturday, $30 for the same on Sunday and $10 for five extra tickets. vermillionpromotions.com/event/winter-art-wine-festival-tbd.
Chandler Asian Festival
During this two-day festival, Chandler celebrates Asian culture and heritage with food, performances by ERA K-pop dancers, Arizona Cambodian Dancers, Minh Thi, Victoria VaLead, Kerwin, WaiTai, Mahasarakham University of Thailand, Justin Wallace and Serenity Dance, to name a few. A beer garden, tea garden, Asian villages, an International fashion show, contests, martial arts demonstrations and scholarship presentation are other facets of this festival.
When: Oct. 29 and 30 from noon to 10 p.m.
Where: Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler.
Tickets and information: Free. chandleraz.gov/explore/special-events/chandler-asian-festival.
Arizona Fall Fest
Presented by Local First Arizona, the event is back after a three-year hiatus to celebrate local food and beverage. Now, in its 16th year, the family and dog-friendly festival is the largest certified local event. The Beverage Garden features Arizona wine, beer and spirits and restaurants and food trucks provide a variety of foods to taste. Kids’ activities are offered in the Kid Zone. Arizona sports teams will be at the Sport Zone. Adults can also participate in a silent auction.
The first 300 attendees receive a gift bag of local goodies.
When: Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Margaret T. Hance Park. 1222 N. 3rd St., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Free. Beverage tasting tickets for individuals over 21 are $1 each. localfirstaz.com/fall-fest.
ArmeniaFest is a two-day event featuring Armenian music, folk dance, beverage and homemade food, such as luleh kebab, chicken kebab, stuffed grape leaves (sarma), Armenian pizza or lahmejun, pahklava (baklava), bourma (phyllo dough stuffed with chopped nuts) and other packaged Armenian desserts. Expect art, entertainment, a raffle and kids’ activities.
When: Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: St. Apkar Armenian Apostolic Church, 8849 E. Cholla St., Scottsdale.
Tickets and information: Tickets are $2 for adults and free for kids under 12. facebook.com/StApkarArmeniaFest.
Experience Serbian culture, music, dancing, cuisine and pastries during this two-day event. Take a tour of the Byzantine-style church. SerbFest also offers a kid zone.
When: Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Nov. 6 from noon to 8 p.m.
Where: Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 4436 E. McKinley St., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Tickets are $5. facebook.com/events/3289825661264443/?ref=newsfeed.
Phoenix Wine & Food Experience
This annual event by USA Today features chefs and mixologists from all over the Valley. Attendees can sample food from chefs such as Nik Fields of the Chic Chef Café, Dushyant Singh from Weft + Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, Angelo Sosa of Tia Carmen, Omar Bernal of Sushi Roku and Simone Thompson with Pearls Mini Donuts. Mixologist Kim Haasarud of Garden Bar PHX, Wilson Creek Winery and Tim and Michelle Bridges of Four Bridges Wine will provide samples of their wines and cocktails.
When: Nov. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Tickets and information: VIP tickets are $100 and Grand Tasting tickets are $65. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Prices increase by $15 the day of the event. wineandfood.usatoday.com/events/phoenix.
Arizona Taco Festival
If you don’t make it to the Rockin’ Taco Festival, worry not. There’s another one. Arizona Taco Festival started 12 years ago and lasts for two days in November. Try $3 tacos, a taco eating contest, a variety of hot sauces and margaritas. There will also be lucha libre wrestling, chihuahua beauty pageant and activities for kids.
When: Nov. 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Bell Bank Park, 1 Legacy Drive, Mesa.
Tickets and information: Available only online, prices range from $25 for general admission to $250 for the foodie extravaganza tent with Chef Aaron May and six celebrity chefs. For more ticket levels and information visit the website: aztacofestival.com.
AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews
Check out beer, cider and wine made locally by 25 Arizona breweries, distilleries and wineries in one place.
When: Nov. 12 from 1 to 5 p.m. VIP admission is at 1 p.m. and general admission is at 2 p.m.
Where: Salt River Fields Centerfield Parking Lot. 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Tickets and information: Prices range from $19 for designated drivers to $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP. Guests must be 21 to attend. azbottlesandbrews.com.
Chilis & Chocolate
Take a stroll in the Desert Botanical Garden and shop chili, hot sauce, spice and gourmet chocolate vendors. In previous years other vendors such as Absolutely Delightful Honey, a local nut butter producer, Mano Y Metate stone ground spices and food trucks also participated.
When: November 11 – 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix. 480-941-1225.
Tickets and information: Tickets are included in membership and admission prices, which for non-members are $29.95 for adults, $16.95 for ages 3 to 17, free for children under 3. dbg.org.
The Arizona Honeybee Festival
Sponsored by Paradise Valley Community College, this is all things honeybee with free lectures, music and lots of food. Grab some free bagels when you attend the first lecture of the day. There will be mead-making classes, children’s book authors and more than 20 food vendors, including Spicy Sassy Dulces, Shannon’s Kitchen, The Joy Bus, VDawgs Hot Dogs and Holy Empanadas.
When: Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N. 32nd St., Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Attendance and all classes are free. azhoneybeefest.org
Phoenix Pizza Festival
Pizza lovers have the seventh annual Phoenix Pizza Festival and its more than 20 pizza makers to look forward to. Other than eating delicious pie, activities include live music, lawn games, beer and wine and kids activities. Some of last year’s pizza vendors included Dough Riders, Emerson Fry Bread, Fabio on Fire and Road Running Wood Fired Pizza from Tucson, to name a few.
When: Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Nov 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: East side of Margaret T. Hance Park. 1202 N. Third St. Phoenix.
Tickets and information: Tickets are $16 and nonrefundable. phoenix.pizza.
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