Tag Archives: Arizona Renaissance Festival

Top 5: Art & Food Festivals, Experience AZ, Fall-Winter 2012

Get outside with this week’s top events

St. Patrick’s Day Block Party

The next Tempe block party is here. El Hefe, Fat Tuesday, and Handlebar are joining forces to put on the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party in Tempe. This all day block party features four stages and six bars along Mill Avenue. Once the sun goes down, a Live DJ will provide entertainment until close. This event is 21 and over. The event benefits the Navy League of America.

Mill Avenue, 680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, March 17, $10 adv, $20 dos

Haru in the Garden

Haru is the Japanese word for spring. This spring festival is the Japanese Friendship Garden’s largest event of the year. It celebrates the beginning of spring in colorful and cultural fashion. The event features artists working in a number of mediums such as clay, sculptures, fabric and water painting, and others. In addition, there will be Japanese bamboo flutes, fire dancers, ensemble groups, and more to entertain the crowd. Asian food will be available via food trucks alongside sake, beer and wine.

Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N. Third Ave., Phoenix, March 20, $20 adv, $25 dos

Kathy Griffin

The bubbly Kathy Griffin brings her comedic talents to Chandler this weekend. Most recognized for her annual New Years Eve show with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, this quick-witted celebrity’s standup has crowds laughing from coast to coast.

Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, March 20-21, $65+

NOH8 Campaign Photo Shoot

The NOH8 campaign is an organization that promotes marriage, gender and humane equality through silent photographic protests. Their campaign is coming to phoenix to give people the chance to participate in the campaign. Photographer and Co-Founder Adam Bouska will take about 5-10 frames for each person. Participants must wear a white t-shirt. Photos will be ready in approximately eight weeks. The photo shoot lasts from 5p.m.-8p.m., but as long as participants are in line by 8 p.m., they should be guaranteed a chance to pose.

W Scottsdale Hotel, 7277 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, March 20, $40 for single photos; $25 per person for couple/ group shots

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Take a step back in time and experience the annual festivities of the Arizona Renaissance Festival. This event sprawls across 30 acres and offers an assortment of entertainment, arts and crafts, and other spectacles. Over 2,000 actors work throughout the festival as dancers, acrobats, musicians, and other performers. Shows take place throughout the day on 13 stages. One of the largest events at the festival is live jousting, which takes place three times a day. In addition to the hefty entertainment, the festival offers medieval eats as well.

Arizona Renaissance Festival, 12601 E. Highway 60, Gold Canyon, March 21-22 and March 28-29, $20 adv at Fry’s, $22 dos


Phoenix Festival de España

The second annual Phoenix Festival de España will take place this weekend. The two-day festival features Spanish food, culinary demonstrations, presentations about Spanish culture, live performances and more. Children and adults will have the opportunity to learn to dance the Flamenco during workshops. Sunday will feature a screening of “Flamenco Flamenco” as well as a performance by internationally acclaimed guitarist Misael Barraza Diaz in “Luz De Dia.” These two events require tickets ($10 for “Flamenco Flamenco, and $15 for “Luz De Dia”), but those seeking to attend both can purchase a combo ticket for $20.

Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, March 21-22, Free


fairy2, web, renaissance festival

Celebrate pomp and mutton at the Arizona Renaissance Festival

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 27th year of medieval fun and festivities. A 13-stage theater, 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, jousting tournament and an array of feasts consisting of monstrous roasted turkey legs, cinnamon-roasted almonds and steins of beer, fit for a king!

A variety of events such as fire eating, rope walking, juggling and a variety of comedy acts. You also have a chance of running into one of the performers as you meander around the festival grounds such as The Whipmaster Adam Crack, a holder of multiple Guinness World Records for his impressive whip skills, Shamus the Insulter who drops impressive jabs that leave you laughing long after he has disappeared, and new for 2015 Fireflicker the dragon of whimsy and magic who brings joy to the lives of people everywhere and Lady Prudence who sings all sorts of different songs for all occasions with the help of harp, whistle and a shaker.

A series of games of skill such as target shooting with a crossbow, storm the castle paintball, and Vegetable Justice where patrons can throw tomatoes at an insulting peasant. There are also rides for children of all ages including soaring into the sky on the Assault Catapult, taking a spin on Da Vinci’s Flying Machine or sailing the high seas on the Voyage to the New World

Special events take place every weekend at the fair such as the Wooing Contest at 2 P.M. Saturday February 14th sponsored by 95.1 The Oasis and the princess costume contest (girls ages 5-12) at 2 P.M. Sunday February 15th in the Royal Pavilion sponsored by 95.5 The Mountain.

Tickets: $10 to $22

When: Saturdays & Sundays, Feb. 7 to March 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (rain or shine)

Where: 12601 East Highway 60, Gold Canyon AZ 85118

Top 5 Arizona Art & Food Festivals (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Art & Food Festivals (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Art & Food Festivals — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Scottsdale Arts Festival

7380 E. Second St.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480-499-TKTS (8587)
The award-winning Scottsdale Arts Festival – scheduled for March 9-11, 2012 – features 200 jury-selected artists from throughout the U.S., top-notch live music and entertainment, delicious fare from the Valley’s gourmet specialty food trucks, fun activities for kids and families and much more.

Tempe Festival of the Arts

310 S. Mill Ave., #A-201,
Tempe, AZ 85281
The twice-annual Tempe Festival of the Arts consistently ranks among the Top 200 art festivals in the nation by Sunshine Artist and has received the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. The Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts is March 30-April 1, 2012. The Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts is November 30-December 2, 2012.

Fountain Festival of the Arts & Crafts

Avenue of the Fountains,
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
The Fountain Festival of Arts & Crafts is held in the second full weekend in November and features some 500 artists and artisans and gourmet food provisioners. More than 200,000 visitors attend to this event to do their holiday shopping, purchase art and enjoy good food and entertainment.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Scottsdale Civic Plaza,
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
From April 17-22, 2012, you can look forward to numerous talented chefs, a larger variety of foods to savor and even more captivating entertainment. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival has something to satisfy every palate.

Arizona Renaissance Festival

12601 E. Hwy 60,
Apache Junction, AZ 85118
The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park attraction with a 12-stage theater, 30-acre circus, arts and crafts fair, and jousting tournament all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure. Saturdays and Sundays, February 11 – April 1, 2012.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

Crowd at the Arizona Renaissance Festival Photo: neepster, Flickr

The Arizona Renaissance Festival: A Trip Back In Time

I never thought it possible to travel back in time until I went to the Renaissance Festival. From the moment you step past the entrance you are transported into a different world. There are old-fashioned shops, rides operating on man-power, jousting tournaments and plenty of live entertainment.

It was my first time attending a festival of this kind and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Once there, the 16th century atmosphere instantly surrounded me. I began the day by browsing the over 200 shops that offered many things typical of the period including homemade natural soaps, celtic jewelry, swords, even beautiful carved ostrich eggs.

With shows being held on 12 stages all day long it’s crucial to know which events you’re most interested in. The schedule of events, located on the back of the festival’s map, was helpful with this. I knew for certain that I wanted to watch the jousting tournament so I planned accordingly.

As you walk from stage to stage there are plenty of sights to see, making boredom impossible. The costumed street performers portray historical characters while interacting with the visitors, turning the festival into a stage in itself. There was an instance where my boyfriend and I walked past a table seating a dozen or so acting women that shouted out to us, “Ahh lovers!” This type of interaction makes the Arizona Renaissance Festival a unique experience for each individual.

What captured my attention the most were the costumes. There were people dressed as pirates, fairies, wenches, magical trees, the list goes on. Not only was their attire historically correct but their manners were as well. The pirates were well, typical pirates, they shouted and traveled in groups causing ruckus and overall being rambunctious. The fairies played instruments, usually flutes. It was easy enough to spot the wenches since they were usually at bars serving beer to customers. I was also lucky enough to spot the queen donned in a beautiful, intricate dress and accompanied by her royal court.

Besides the shows and actors there are also contests and rides, all of which follow the theme of the Renaissance era. Vegetable Justice for instance is a game where the object is to throw tomatoes at an insulting peasant. There is also knife and axe throwing as well as a myriad of other unique games.

However, the main attraction of the Arizona Renaissance Festival are the jousting tournaments. These occur three times throughout the day (12 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.)  in the King’s Tournament Arena. Four knights fight to the death for royal recognition. This exciting show has the audience cheering for their favorite knight and insulting the opposing teams.

After all these activities you’re sure to be hungry. The Renaissance Festival offers a large variety of food items such as roasted turkey drumsticks, bread bowls, pizza, steak-on-a-stake, salads and stews. The prices were reasonable and the food was surprisingly tasty. For dessert the Monk’s Bakery, the Cappuccino Inn and the Chocolate Shoppe tempt you with their different variations of chocolate covered strawberries and other sweet treats.

If you think this might not be enough to satisfy your hunger book a seat at The Pleasure Feast. This 1 and a half hour meal includes a five course meal and lively entertainment. There are two held during the day, one at noon and the other at 2:30 p.m. You can view the 2012 menu here.

The Renaissance Festival’s unique characters, sights and food had me believing I had traveled back in time to a world where pirates and fairies still existed and magic was real.

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is open from February through March. With over 30 acres of music, shows, street performers and shopping there is no shortage of entertainment. The festival is open every weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information visit the Arizona Renaissance Festival’s official site at royalfaires.com