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10 Fall Festivals and Events in Downtown Phoenix

10 Fall Festivals and Events in Downtown Phoenix

August 28, 2015 by Brandi Porter

Nothing beats events season in Downtown Phoenix — nothing. The weather is cooler, people are happier, and locals resurface from air-conditioned fortresses in search of fun. Well, we’re all in luck.

Though there’s always numerous things to do downtown, the fall season promises a remarkable influx of events and festivals — from outdoor movie nights to arts celebrations to music shows.

And while we’ve compiled dozens more events coming up in the next few months — here are just 10 ways you can Live It Up in Downtown Phoenix this September and October.

Marine Week: Sept. 10-13


What do Downtown Phoenix and the Marine Corps have in common? Well, 600 marines will be here Sept. 10-13 during Marine Week to show off their equipment, give martial arts demonstrations and host dozens of other free activities. Last year’s Marine Week took Seattle by storm, and this year’s offers Phoenicians the chance to meet members of the United States Marine Corps as well as crawl around in military-grade vehicles and aircraft, watch live band performances and attend flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies. Oo-rah!

Urban Ale Trail: Saturday, Sept. 12, 1-6 p.m.


Brew. Beer. Ale. Whatever you call it, you don’t want to miss this self-guided excursion to sample craft beer at local bars and restaurants – each a short walk, bike ride or light rail stop away. Each participating location will serve three different samples of beer for just $1-2 in addition to a complimentary snack. Attendees are encouraged to visit new restaurants and experience Downtown Phoenix in a new way. A list of participating locations is available at www.dtphx.org/aletrail

Navigator Live: Monday, Sept. 21

Ren Hotels_Nav Live_Phoenix_CutCopy_Invite 9.21.15

Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel is closing down Adams Street, and opening it up to a massive block party from 6-10 p.m. complete with rad street activations like photo booths and bike charging stations (you charge your phone by pedaling). The electronic band, Cut Copy, will headline the celebration. Follow Renaissance on Facebook for more information on the event.

Downtown Sundown: Every Thursday starting Sept. 24, 5-9 p.m.


Every Thursday starting Sept. 24, the Phoenix Public Market grounds will transform into an outdoor marketplace for dinner, drinks, live entertainment and shopping. Set under the city lights and stars, Downtown Sundown is an outdoor market where you can enjoy beer, wine and cocktails while you dine or shop for farm fresh foods and specialty goods. Evenings will also include a rotating line-up of live music, performance art groups, local filmmakers and dancing.

Los Dias De La Crescent: Saturday, Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m.


In its fourth year, Los Dias De La Crescent at Crescent Ballroom quickly became a fan favorite for its celebration of Arizona music. The show features performances by 10 locally cherished bands spread across two stages — one indoors and an outdoor stage on Second Avenue. This year’s lineup includes Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, Playboy Manbaby, Chica Dust and WLFPCK to name a few. Tickets are $10 in advance.

Chile Pepper Festival: Saturday, Sept. 26, 4-11 p.m.


The Chile Pepper Festival is one the hottest events in town — literally. Hosted by Roosevelt Row CDC and Roosevelt Growhouse, the event’s main draw is the chile-pepper inspired fare created by some of the best restauranteurs and chefs in Phoenix. In between bites, make sure to check out on-site chile roasting, cooking demos, talent show, kids’ activities or salsa dancing. And don’t worry, you can cool your mouth down with a beer from the Deschutes Brewery beer garden or a drink from the gourmet margarita station. Admission is free, but RSVPs are encouraged.

PHX Arts + Culture 30 Years Celebration: Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


In recognition of 30 years of the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission, the City of Phoenix is hosting a free festival in Downtown Phoenix featuring music, dance, theatre and arts demonstrations. The multi-site celebration will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center, Herberger Theater and on Monroe Street between Second and Third streets. Nearly 100 arts and culture organizations are contributing to the event, which will also include downtown public art tours, food trucks and family-friendly activities.

City Lights Movie Nights, every second Thursday of the month, 6:30-9:30 p.m.


Enjoy an evening beneath the city lights at a free monthly outdoor movie series at Patriots Park in CityScape. Every second Thursday of the month (October’s will be the second Friday), movie goers are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket, some chairs and the whole family for a night of free family fun. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with pre-movie activities and giveaways. Presented by CityScape in partnership with Downtown Phoenix Inc.

The Speed of Sound 2: Saturday, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.


Beautiful music and gorgeous cars collide at this unique event benefiting The Phoenix Symphony. On Saturday, Oct. 24, car lovers can peruse priceless collector cars and race cars orchestrated by the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company before enjoying a world-premiere performance by the symphony itself.

Zombie Walk 7: Saturday, Oct. 24, 2-11 p.m.


Zombie Walk 7, the preeminent gathering of zombies west of the Mississippi, returns to Heritage & Science Park on Saturday, Oct. 24. This family-friendly event features loads of undead entertainment including: the Lil’ Zombie Zone, Goodwill Arizona Zombification Zone, Four Peaks Beer Gardens, Rebel Lounge Main Stage featuring Alien Ant Farm, and of course, the 1.5-mile zombie limp through Downtown Phoenix led by John Holmberg from KUPD’s Morning Sickness. The best part? Zombie Walk is FREE — just bring canned food to help reach a charitable goal of 7 tons of donations benefiting St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Looking for more fun-filled events? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled them all into one, convenient web address: www.dtphx.org/liveitup

5 Must-Try Creative, Iced Drinks in Downtown Phoenix

There’s no denying it — summer is here, and it brought some thirst-inducing temperatures with it. Fortunately, Downtown Phoenix bars, cafes and restaurants have a solution.

They’re keeping things cool with delicious ice-cold cocktails and iced coffee and tea drinks all summer long. Here are a few must-try iced beverages for those desert-hot summer days.

Black Rose Tea Macchiato at Tea & Toast Co. inside DeSoto Central Market

 From left to right: Caramel Cape Town, Black Rose and London Fog macchiatos. (Photo by Tea & Toast Co.)

One of the newest ventures in Downtown Phoenix, Tea & Toast Co.’s menu features a plethora of iced tea options, one to suit every palate. However, the Black Rose Macchiato, pictured above, is just about everything you could ever want in an iced drink: creamy and caffeinated with just a touch of sweetness. The drink features their Manhattan black tea blend with a touch of rose and dash of cold milk, of which there are several non-dairy options available. All of their tea drinks are prepared using concentrated tea shots – like espresso – giving the Black Rose Macchiato a rich, full body flavor that isn’t diluted by the milk or rose flavor.

915 N Central Avenue — Monday – Thursday 6:30 am – 9 pm; Friday – Saturday 6:30 am – 11 pm; Sunday 6:30 am – 9 pm.

The “Kate + Ruben” at Valley Bar

This delicious cocktail, named after Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego and her husband U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego, is a go-to drink on a warm summer night. Cruzan Rum melds well with three kinds of juices – pineapple, lime and Arizona & Co. Passion Fruit – while Campari balances the drink, preventing it from being overly sweet.

130 N Central Avenue (basement) — Monday – Friday 4 pm – 2 am; Saturday – Sunday 6 pm – 2 am.

Nitro Cold Brew at Songbird Coffee & Tea House

The Nitro Cold Brew. (Photo: Songbird Coffee & Tea House Facebook)

Everybody’s favorite drink just got better. Nitro Cold Brew coffee is a new addition to Songbird Coffee & Tea House, and it’s definitely a creative take on what’s become a go-to summer drink. Nitro Cold Brew gives a beer-like quality to coffee: It’s cold and a little bubbly with a rich head of foam. When treated with Nitrogen, cold brew coffee becomes velvety, creamy and almost sweeter.

812 N Third Street — Sunday – Thursday 7 am – 7 pm; Friday – Saturday 7 am – 10 pm.

Lemonade at Bowl of Greens

This Mediterranean-style restaurant is beloved by students and downtown workers for its healthy wraps, salads and juices, but their lemonade might be one of the best items on the menu. Like any good lemonade, it’s not overly sweet. But what makes this iced drink really stand out is the chopped, fresh mint, which though subtle, adds some much-appreciated kick to an otherwise traditional drink.

555 N Central Avenue — Monday – Friday 8 am – 4 pm.

The Flawless at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor

The Flawless at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour. (Photo by Fara Illich)

This simply perfect martini at Bitter & Twisted is a classic, and at a freezing 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a tasty way to escape from the heat.

1 W Jefferson Street — Tuesday – Saturday 4 pm – 2 am.


Source: http://dtphx.org/2015/06/24/5-must-try-creative-iced-drinks-in-downtown-phoenix/

Roosevelt Growhouse grows community and good food too

When Kenny Barrett cofounded Roosevelt Growhouse with Kelly Placke in 2008, neither of them really expected it to grow into what it is today.

“It just got bigger and bigger,” Barrett said. “It grew organically in every sense of that word.”

With Barrett’s business and marketing background and Placke’s knowledge of farming practices, the two purchased a 1920s-era bungalow on a quarter acre near Roosevelt Row and set out on a “public art experiment.”

A pink hollyhock blooms in the Roosevelt Growhouse gardens. (Photo: Fara Illich)

“It was a genuine curiosity about finding out where our food comes from and an interest in contributing to the revitalization of Roosevelt Row,” Barrett said. “I didn’t imagine we would still be going in 2015.”

Over the past seven years, Growhouse blossomed into a sustainable community garden, residence, cooperative retail space and even an Airbnb.

Hundreds of community members and volunteers helped foster its development and continue to support its ever-evolving transformation.

From the development of the vintage boutique, Growop, to beekeeping and starting an aquaponics system (run by Bioscience High School students) — Growhouse didn’t end up looking quite like the original plan, according to Barrett. But the surprising twists of fate have made for a beautiful journey.

In keeping with the tradition of new and innovative endeavors, Growhouse is hosting its first all-inclusive farm-to-table dinner called CultivEAT Friday, May 15.

In addition to tours of the garden and student presentations by Bioscience High School, which is an educational partner, guests of CultivEAT can expect a truly exceptional four-course dining experience.

Growop boutique is located inside the Growhouse bungalow. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Made from a “bounty of local goodness” by Pizzeria Bianco Chef Robbie Tutlewski, this is just one more way Growhouse is helping promote the local food movement in Downtown Phoenix.

While advance tickets are no longer available, you can still donate to the cause.

Proceeds benefit hands-on educational programs with Bioscience High School and other partners, in addition to the Evans Churchill Community Association, which works to improve and protect the neighborhood.

If you want to get your hands dirty and learn more about urban agriculture, show up on Sundays during volunteer hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (seasonal). Growhouse is located at 902 N. Sixth Street and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 12-7 p.m.


source: http://dtphx.org/2015/05/13/roosevelt-growhouse-grows-community-good-food/

Local Groups Activate First Street With Local Art, New Signage



With the stroke of a paintbrush and the flame of a blow torch, First Street is looking more colorful and welcoming than ever.

Amidst the Super Bowl activities that drew a million visitors to Downtown Phoenix Jan. 29 – Feb. 1; there was a smaller movement happening that may have longterm impact along First Street in Downtown Phoenix.

A grassroots effort carried out by various community members, artists and organizations installed new planters; placed new Arts District way-finding signage; and organized activities celebrating Phoenix arts and culture with the intention of promoting First Street as the “pedestrian corridor” into the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

Peter Rasmussen, a member of the Arts, Culture and Public Life subcommittee for Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA), said the idea to activate First Street began in a subcommittee meeting in September as a way to highlight the culture and vitality of the Arts District during Super Bowl weekend.

As months went by, it then morphed into activating the street as “a yellow-brick road to the Arts District,” he said.

Acting as somewhat of a manager for the project, Rasmussen said that each person involved came forward with their own idea and then implemented it without a lot of micromanagement.

Personally, Rasmussen helped bring activities to the open-air market at the Phoenix Public Market with a musical group from Phoenix Center for the Arts and an arts workshop hosted by Arizona School for the Arts.

The City of Phoenix Streets Department activated First Street last year with painted streets and pots, and expanding upon that, the group created an even greater connection between the Downtown Core and Roosevelt Row. Once the Downtown Phoenix Inc. Streetscape Team had the planters and signage prepped and placed for painting, Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) stepped in, commissioning local artists to paint the planters to activate First Street as well as drive visitors to more activations along Roosevelt Street.

Nicole Underwood, director of operations for Roosevelt Row CDC, said this was a way to have something visual and recognizable to attract visitors to the Arts District.

“The artists who we worked with are artists who already have a strong visual presence in the area,” she said. These are local artists like Andy Brown, Tato Caraveo, Angel Diaz, Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, JB Snyder, Roy Wasson Valle and Yai, who each painted planters along First Street and also have murals scattered around Roosevelt Row.



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Underwood said the new signage and planters show “a lot of support of the arts district. There’s no line or clash of cultures, but a blend of neighborhoods.”

The names of area bars, restaurants and galleries are now displayed in bright hues of blue, yellow, orange and green on metal signs designed by brand consultant Caleb Barclay and created by Ruben Gonzales of 11th Monk3y Industries.

The two met through Seed Spot, and Barclay said he wanted Gonzales to make the signs, because he’s a local manufacturer and has great work.

“Naturally, he was a good fit for this project,” he said.

Gonzales was a crucial part to making the signs into a reality, according to Barclay. After receiving donations from community leaders, he was able to purchase the materials for the signs while Gonzales donated his time, working through the night to get them finished in time for Super Bowl.

Barclay stressed that there were many people who contributed to the activations and that it formed as a result of a community effort.

The signs were placed into the planters painted by the artists, starting at Van Buren Street and continuing north until Roosevelt Street.

Rasmussen said the best part of the experience was seeing everyone get excited about what First Street could be. He also said that there’s now a larger conversation taking place about how Phoenix Community Alliance can help shape urban design with the city.


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TrueDTPHX Blends Art, Music, Community

TrueDTPHX Blends Art, Music, Community


Experience the true downtown at TrueDTPHX, a free local music festival at Civic Space Park during 2015 Pro Bowl weekend, Friday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Jan. 24.

Just days before Super Bowl Central transforms Downtown Phoenix into an NFL-themed fan campus and Pro Bowl kick off in Glendale; we’re celebrating everything that makes our community great.

In addition to beautiful weather, a vibrant art scene, breathtaking public spaces like Civic Space Park and top-notch restaurants, Phoenix boasts some of the very best local music. While our city sits under the spotlight during two major back-to-back sports events, let’s share a slice of the TrueDTPHX with visitors, loved ones, strangers and friends.

In addition to great live performances by Jared and the Mill, Luna Aura, Decker, Captain Squeegee and many others, Phoenix-based painter and designer Isaac Caruso will be constructing a visually stunning interactive art piece, with the help of the public.

As a means of connecting the community through art and music, True Music Xperience, the group behind 2013’s successful True Music Festival, and Downtown Phoenix Inc. developed a concept that really captures what locals love about their city – and brings it all together.

Featuring food trucks, local craft breweries, a solar powered stage and multiple composting and recycling vessels, TrueDTPHX is a festival for the people by the people.

So hop on your bike or take the light rail down to Civic Space Park Friday, Jan. 23 for a night of indie-pop and electronica from 7-10:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Jan. 24, don your dancing shoes for an eclectic mix of jam-rock and multi-genre music during a full day of family-friendly fun from 3-10:30 p.m.