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Your guide to the best festivals in and around North Scottsdale, AZ

People having fun at a festival in North Scottsdale, AZ
North Scottsdale is one of the best places to live in Arizona. This portion of “the west’s most western town,” is known for its warm, inviting weather, endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, and world-class attractions. The city itself is also one of the best venues for festivals, holiday celebrations, and other fun events.

If you’re thinking about buying a North Scottsdale home for sale, these unique festivals and events in and around the city will convince you even more that this is the place for you.

AT A GLANCE: Your guide to the best festivals in and around North Scottsdale

Art, Food, and Music Festivals

Music and food festival in North Scottsdale, NZ

Scottsdale’s arts and culture scene has a vibrancy that is unmatched. From weekly ArtWalks to annual music festivals, the city offers so many opportunities to experience the arts when you own a North Scottsdale home for sale. Check out these amazing art, food, and music festivals in and around Scottsdale:

Scottsdale Arts Festival

Hailed as one of the best art fairs in the nation, the festival showcases the work of artists across the United States and Canada. Amazing pieces of art on display include sculpture, paintings, photographs, and more. Adding fun to the festivities are live music, gourmet food trucks, and activities for people of all ages. The Scottsdale Arts Festival runs for three full days, giving visitors plenty of time to explore what the festival has to offer.

The Scottsdale Arts Festival is usually held every March at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park.

Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival

If you love good wine, good food, and great art, there’s no better place to go than to the Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival. The event takes place at Scottsdale Waterfront, one of the most sophisticated and scenic communities in the city. Discover art in every shape and medium, including acrylic paintings, glass sculptures, and handmade jewelry.

The Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival is held in Downtown Scottsdale, on 7135 E. Camelback Road. The event is organized by the top producer of fine art and wine festivals in the Southwest, Thunderbird Artists.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Also known as M3F, the McDowell Mountain Music Festival is a two-day festival featuring eclectic musical acts. Past performers included international, national, and local artists like Empire of the Sun, Kid Cudi, and The Revivalists, to name a few.

Get your fill of food and drinks, too, like delicious Arizonian fare served by a food truck or tasty cocktails from talented mixologists. The festival brings a variety of fun experiences each year, including yoga classes, drum circles, an arts and crafts station, and other interactive activities.

Established in 2004, M3F gives 100% of its proceeds back to the community and has donated over $2 million since it first started.

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival usually takes place in Downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park during the first week of March.

Scottsdale ArtWalk

For the past 30 years, the Scottsdale ArtWalk has been organizing art tours every Thursday to showcase the finest art from local galleries and museums. Join in and wander through the city’s renowned art galleries and take a closer look at the amazing works on display.

Participating galleries and museums are the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, Blink Gallery, and Carstens Fine Art.

The Scottsdale ArtWalk happens in Downtown Scottsdale, along Main Street and Marshall Way.

Arizona Taco Festival

From creating the first ever taco celebration in the world to being the largest taco festival in the nation, the Arizona Taco Festival showcases the best of this humble street food. Hard tacos, soft tacos, street tacos, breakfast tacos—you name it, the festival has it.

Pair the taco of your choice with the drink of your choice. There are over 100 tequilas to sample or a choice of cold margaritas. When it comes to entertainment, attendees are spoilt for choice. Enjoy Luche Libre performances, join the Taco Gordo Eating Contest, and enter your pooch in the Chihuahua Beauty Pageant.

The 2022 Arizona Taco Festival is scheduled in the fall.

Holiday Events

Night time image of house colourful christmas lights decorations

When it comes to the holidays, Scottsdale does not hold back. The city goes all out when it celebrates special days and occasions. Here are the holiday events you wouldn’t want to miss:


There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than with Scottsdazzle. Starting with a tree-lighting ceremony, the festival’s holiday-themed events run throughout December. Join painting parties, sign up for a farm-to-table and vines-to-glass experience, and bring the whole family along to meet Santa at the farmers’ market.

The tree-lighting ceremony itself is not to be missed! Typically held on the last weekend of November at Scottsdale Waterfront, the event treats visitors to hot chocolate, holiday snacks, and classic Christmas tunes performed by a professional orchestra.

The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Holiday Lights

From the end of November to the first week of January, The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Holiday Lights is a winter wonderland event unlike any other. You’ll be taken through a dazzling display of holiday lights and sounds via the Paradise & Pacific Railroad.

And if one train ride and one spin on the carousel wasn’t enough, you are welcome to go again for as many times as you’d like! Then, check out the historic Charros Carousel, live music, and a hot cocoa stall.

Visitors must buy tickets ahead of time and may only enter during their chosen time slot.

The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Holiday Lights is located at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Holiday Lights Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale.

Phoenix ZooLights

The annual transformation of the Phoenix Zoo into a twinkling Christmas wonderland just gets bigger and brighter each year. Revving up the festive mood are two new additions: The Wildlife Lantern Safari and the Endangered Species Light Boxes. The festival’s unique display of lights even inspire you to decorate your own North Scottsdale home for sale.

If you plan to attend the Phoenix ZooLights anytime from November to January, book your tickets ahead of time. You can walk through the light show or experience it from the comfort of your car.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Looking for the best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Take part in Scottsdale’s massive block party and pub crawl. You get to explore the local nightlife, meet new friends, and have the best St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

There are many organizers and bars that offer St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls like Clancy’s Pub Scottsdale and Nasstive Entertainment. These events already have the night planned out for you, including a list of participating bars and the exclusive drinks you can get from each one. If you join the right crawl, you may even get a pub crawl kit complete with coupons and discounts, custom badges, and a free shot glass.

4th of July Celebrations

Scottsdale is the perfect place to celebrate the nation’s independence. Impressive fireworks displays, live entertainment, and mouth-watering BBQ dishes are just a few of the fun things that you can expect.

Scottsdale’s Annual 4th of July Celebration at WestWorld promises double the fireworks. Set against a backdrop of the McDowell Mountains, the spectacular fireworks display here will leave you speechless. A VIP Backyard Barbeque ticket also grants access to a buffet-style menu, live music, and various activities for the kids to enjoy.

Cultural Events

american indian decor background pink and turquoise beads draped

Scottsdale has always shown an appreciation for cultural activities. The city puts great emphasis on celebrating and bringing awareness to the city’s rich and diverse culture.

Arizona Indian Festival

Celebrate the culture, arts, and crafts of Arizona’s indigenous communities at the Arizona Indian Festival. The festival showcases Native American culture through singing, storytelling, traditional dancing, and food. Arizona is home to 22 Native American tribes, most of whom will be present. Tribal royalty may also make a special appearance.

The Arizona Indian Festival is held at the Scottsdale Civic Center during the first weekend of February.

Scottsdale Persian New Year Festival

For more than 3,000 years, people have been celebrating Persian New Year or Nowruz (which means “new day”). And if you’re in or around Scottsdale, you can celebrate it too.

The Scottsdale Persian New Year Festival is a day filled with food, art, performances, and live music. Explore the vibrant Persian culture through authentic Persian dishes, incredible art pieces, and mesmerizing dances.

The festival is usually held at the Scottsdale Waterfront community on 7135 E. Camelback Road.

Parada del Sol Parade

Since 1953, the Parada del Sol Historic Parade has been bringing the Scottsdale community together for a day of fun and celebration. With over 30,000 people attending and more than 150 floats, individual horse rides, and other parade entries, the Parada del Sol has become the biggest horse-drawn parade in the world.

This annual event pays tribute to Scottsdale’s past, present, and future. Native American, Mexican, and many other cultures are represented and celebrated here. It also features multiple live entertainment stages, pony rides, and plenty of food and drink.

The day culminates in a massive Western-style block party called The Trail’s End Festival begins.

Sports, Rodeo, and Equestrian Events

bareback bull riding cowboy rodeo action clown raging bucking bull

True to form, Scottsdale regularly hosts sporting, rodeo, and equestrian events. From world-class golf tournaments to crowd-pleasing rodeo competitions, these are some of the dates worth saving.

Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

The “Superbowl of the Arabian World,” the Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is on a league of its own. What started as a platform to showcase Arabian horse breeds has turned into a massive, 11-day event with more than 2,000 Arabian horses and 300,000 attendees.

The annual event, which is hosted by the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona (AHAA), features an exciting lineup of youth, amateur, and professional trainers and exhibitors. Aside from the actual horse shows, the Arabian Horse Show offers educational seminars, more than 300 vendor booths, and family-friendly activities. Amateur photographers can even submit their best photos of Arabian or half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian horses.

The Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is held at WestWorld Scottsdale during the last two weeks of February. Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone.

Rodeo Scottsdale

There’s truly nothing like a good rodeo showdown in The West’s Most Western Town. Enjoy thrilling bull-riding performances from professionals and rising stars in Rodeo Scottsdale. Other events to look forward to are calf roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronco riding, and cowgirl’s barrel racing.

Take a break from all the action by listening to the live music performances, sampling the delicious dishes from the food vendors, or shopping for unique items. Once the bull-riding performances are over, put on your dancing boots because it’s time for the Coors Hoedown after party.

Rodeo Scottsdale (or Parada del Sol Rodeo) is a PRCA-sanctioned event held at the Equidome Arena in WestWorld Scottsdale.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona

Welcome the new year with a fun run through the cities of Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe. Held every mid-January, Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona is a world-class event that offers a fun mix of running and entertainment.

Choose to run a full marathon, half-marathon, 10 kilometers, or 5 kilometers. There’s a special race for kids called KiDS Rock. Participants are cheered on by live bands and local pep squads stationed every other mile.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Named as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” the Waste Management Phoenix Open is a long-time favorite among golf fans and players. Many of the top golfers in the world play at the open with more than 500,000 spectators in attendance.

The WM Phoenix Open happens on the award-winning Stadium Course of TPC Scottsdale. The course’s 16th hole is notorious for the high energy and noise that comes from the crowd at the grandstand.

Tickets to the WM Phoenix Open sell out fast so make sure to secure yours right away. The WM Phoenix Open is usually held during the second week of February.

Other notable events

camera crew at sporting event

The must-visit events in Scottsdale aren’t limited to sports, arts, music, and the holidays. When you buy a North Scottsdale home for sale, you’ll discover fun happenings that cater to different hobbies and interests.

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction

Find collector cars and other one-of-a-kind vehicles at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, one of the finest collector car events in the world. From iconic cars like the “Mirthmobile” from the 1992 cult movie, “Wayne’s World,” to fully restored vehicles like a 1969 Dodge Charger, gawp at the best of the best.

A-list actors, award-winning musicians, professional athletes, and other celebrities selling their personal vehicles may pop up to enliven things. Past celebrities who attended the popular Scottsdale event include Pitbull, Tim Allen, and Poison frontman Bret Michaels.

The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction is held towards the end of January, in WestWorld Scottsdale.

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Get transported into a world of wooden shields, swords, and magic at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Open every weekend from February to early April, this fun-filled outdoor event is packed with activities and attractions.

The highlight of the Arizona Renaissance Festival is its jousting tournament. Watch costumed contenders battle it out for the highly coveted championship title. The festival features three jousting tournaments each day: The Princess’ Joust, the Prince’s Joust, and Joust to the Death. You’ll also find a variety of activities, rides, and arts and crafts booths within the recreated 16th-century Tudor village.

Each weekend has a different theme, from pirates to fairies. If you want to join in on the fun and come in costume, check the website for the theme of the weekend you’ll be attending.

The Arizona Renaissance Festival takes place in Gold Canyon, less than an hour away from North Scottsdale.

Explore North Scottsdale, AZ with the Carol Royse Team

These fun and exciting events are just a glimpse of what living in North Scottsdale is like. If you’re looking for the best luxury North Scottsdale homes for sale, choose the feature and amenities you want, including gorgeous mountain views, spacious open floor plans, and expansive outdoor areas.

And when it comes to the best North Scottsdale homes for sale, there’s no one better to help you achieve your real estate goals than the Carol Royse Team. Led by top-producing luxury Realtor, Carol Royse, the team is focused on providing you with a smooth and successful real estate experience.

Here’s what a happy client had to say about working with us:

“Mr. James, ‘Jay’, with the Carol Royse team was amazing!!! I can’t thank him enough for his hard work, dedication, and perseverance throughout our home-buying process. This is a competitive market, and Jay guided us every step of the way into our beautiful new home. I couldn’t be more thankful. Highly recommended.” – Client-Buyer

Reach out to Carol Royse and her team by calling 480.776.5231 or sending an email to carol(at)carolroyse(dotted)com. Or drop your message here.

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