Wondering where you should go to experience a lively Hispanic Heritage celebration? Head to Phoenix and its outskirts! There’s a variety of events that take place year-round, especially from September through November. From live entertainment to authentic cuisine, you’ll surely be satisfied with what this city has to offer.
Read on to learn about some of the best annual celebrations to visit this year or the next!
Note: Dates for each event are subject to change each year. Check with the event websites for details on the coming year.
Fiesta de Septiembre
Although this event passed, there’s always next year and the years to follow! If you haven’t already been to this 30-year-running celebration, you should know this annual fiesta’s purpose is to celebrate the town of Wickenburg’s Hispanic Heritage. With that said, Wickenburg Community Center is where the party takes place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. At Fiesta de Septiembre, families come together to enjoy the day while taking photographs, listening to Mariachi bands, and watching folkloric dances. Admission is usually just $5 so be sure to plan to attend this Hispanic Heritage event for September 2019!
Chandler Mariachi Festival
The 19th Annual Mariachi and Folklorico Festival will be held on October 6, 2018 in Chandler, which isn’t too far from Phoenix. Head to the Chandler Center for the Arts to get a sense of Hispanic cultural history. The acts at this year’s festival will include performers Mariachi Angeles de Pepe Martinez Jr., and Mariachi Sonido de Mexico, both from Guadalajara, Mexico. Also, a group of traditional folkloric dancers will perform during the event. Tickets are available on the Chandler Center for the Arts website starting at just $35.
Tempe Tardeada (tardeada meaning afternoon party) invites guests to celebrate Tempe’s Hispanic roots dating back to the mid-1800s. On October 7, 2018, this 20th annual event will bring together friends and families of the Tempe community to enjoy several activities such as exhibits, dancing, music, children crafts, and more! The event is free and appropriate for all ages and includes live entertainment, arts and crafts, food (at low prices), tortilla-making lessons, and folkloric lessons. Clear your schedule – you’re not going to want to miss this!
Surprise Fiesta Grande
Ready for a fiesta? The 5th annual Surprise Fiesta Grande is scheduled this year on October 18. Join the fun in Surprise, Arizona by celebrating the city’s heritage on the streets at the Original Town Site. Attendees will be entertained by live music, folkloric dancing, mariachi bands, and a classic car show! Authentic Mexican food will also be served, so be sure to come to the event feelin’ hungry!
Arizona Taco Festival
Did someone say…TACOS?! The Arizona Taco Festival is on October 13 and 14 of this year at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. Once you purchase tickets for admission, you’ll indulge in food and drinks from over 50 restaurants, food trucks, and caterers – and the best part is tacos are only $2! But, don’t think these are your average tacos; each vendor has their own unique creations. And, if you happen to feel daring, guests are welcomed to participate in the Hot Chile Pepper Eating Contest and/or the Taco Eating Contest. Other exciting activities include lucha libre wrestling throughout the event, live music, a tequila expo, and more!
Dia de Los Muertos Celebration
If your calendar happens to be filled during Hispanic Heritage Month but you want to attend a Hispanic celebration, then this two-day festival (on November 3 and 4 this year) celebrating the Day of the Dead at the Desert Botanical Garden is something the whole family will enjoy! Here you’ll have a fun-filled day of dancing, listening to music, and storytelling explaining the meaning and history of the Hispanic holiday. Fun art and crafts and face painting are available for the kids to enjoy, and as for the adults, the market is where you’ll shop some amazing pieces of art, jewelry, and more! Whichever day you choose to attend the celebration, you’ll witness the grand La Procesión parade at the end of the day. The idea of this closing ceremony comes from an old tradition where all attendees and performers will march together through the Garden to remember and honor the deceased.
Know of any other Hispanic Heritage events in or around the Phoenix area? Tell us in the comments below!