Scottsdale is one of the most popular destinations in Arizona. To start filling your calendar in the coming months, keep in mind the following events.
1. Discovery Film Series. Hosted at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Discovery Film Series showcases unique films by exciting directors from around the world. This year’s festival will highlight films from Spain and Portugal. Showings are scheduled for Sundays and Mondays with competitive pricing options from May through August.
2. Live concerts. There are many events at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, but the live concerts on Fridays are particularly popular. These live events are performed at the Virginia G. Piper Theater, which can seat more than 800 people. The performance schedule will vary, featuring both international acts and local favorites.
3. Music in the Garden Concert Series. The Desert Botanical Garden is always spectacular, but the spring offers a unique opportunity with the Music in the Garden Concert Series. With a stunning backdrop of desert life, guests can also enjoy concerts by a number of local and regional performers through the end of June.
4. Pueblo Grande Museum. The Pueblo Grande Museum is one of the best places to see remnants of the prehistoric Hohokam people, who are one of only four known ancient people in the Southwest. While there is never a bad time to visit the Pueblo Grande Museum, the admission price will be discounted July 1 through July 5. With prices at $4 per person, this is not to be missed.
5. July Fourth at Westworld. The festivities start at 2 PM on July 4, lasting until 9:30 PM. There will be a range of games and food, and guests can enjoy live entertainment and other fun events. In addition to these perks, the Westworld celebration is also comfortably air conditioned in the North Hall, making this an easy choice for a day of family friendly fun.
6. Free Summer Concerts at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Concerts will take place every Sunday night at 7:30 PM. Guests are welcome to enjoy all the park has to offer while listening to the best selection of local bands. The train and carousel offer rides for $2 per person. Food and other concessions are also available.
7. Garden Flashlight Tours. Rediscover the beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden with a Garden Flashlight Tour. Guests can bring their own flashlight to explore the grounds as the sun sets. These tours are included in the price of admission, and flashlights are available in the Garden Shop. Tours are only available in the summer, so plan a trip before the end of August.
8. Arizona Fall Championship Horse Show. Although the Arizona Fall Championship Horse Show is relatively new, it is already making a strong impression. Participants will undergo various rounds of judging, and guests are encouraged to watch and visit the vendors. The events will be on September 25 in the Equidome and Warm Up Paddock, both of which are air conditioned.
9. Phoenix Symphony: Appalachian Spring. For a refined musical treat, visit the Phoenix Symphony on October 2 for a performance of Appalachian Spring. Led by Maestro Tito Munoz, the orchestra will perform this masterpiece by Aaron Copland. Of particular note in this performance will be saxophonist Amy Dickson, who has already won acclaim for her work in Hollywood and beyond.
10. Scottsdale International Film Festival. This growing festival attracted 9000 people in 2013 with 55 films. A total of 31 countries were represented, and many of the directors and producers participated in question and answer sessions. The 2014 event is slated for October 9 through October 13.
11. Tour de Scottsdale. The Tour de Scottsdale is one of the most rigorous bike races in the Southwestern United States. There are two rides, including a longer 70 mile course and a shorter 30 mile ride. Both riders and guests are invited to join the starting line at Market Street in DC Ranch. Riders can use any type of bike as long as it is safe in large groups. The 2014 ride will be on October 12.
12. Arizona Taco Festival. The Arizona Taco Festival is a great way to celebrate Scottsdale’s Southwestern heritage. There are many events throughout the day, but the main attraction is the taco competition. In this spirited competition, teams will create different tacos and side dishes in order to see who comes out on top. Be sure to stop by Salt River Fields on October 18 or October 19.
Many of these events attract large followings, so hotels may fill up quickly. Fortunately, the Best Western Plus Thunderbird Suites is only eight miles away from Old Town Scottsdale and three miles from Westworld, making it a great choice for these exciting Scottsdale events.
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