The 2020 Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts cancelled

Above: Members of the Jam Pak Blues 'N' Grass Neighborhood Band perform at the 40th Annual Tempe Festival of the Arts. (Photo by Johanna Lovett) Experience AZ | 13 Nov |

The City of Tempe has made the difficult decision to postpone permits for large-scale events. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city’s zip codes, the county and the state of Arizona. The Downtown Tempe Authority believes this to be the right decision as public health should always be a top priority.

With that decision, this fall’s 52nd Annual Tempe Festival of the Arts is cancelled with the hopes of returning in the spring of 2021.

“As a strong partner of the City of Tempe, we know these cancellations were not easy calls to make,” Kate Borders, Executive Director of the Downtown Tempe Authority, said. “We were well into the planning stages of the Tempe Festival of the Arts and we know this will have impacts on our artists, vendors and the community. But we firmly believe this was the right decision and public health should always be paramount to anything else.”

This cancellation is another major hit to local artists, businesses and partners. To help, consider shopping small this holidays season and helping keep these small and local businesses alive. Here are a few resources to help guide you to our local partners:

City of Tempe’s Home for the Holidays (in collaboration with Hownd)

Tempe Festival of the Arts Artist Directory – This directory showcases this year’s artists

Open Status Guide – list of local downtown businesses that are open for business

This news may be saddening, but the Downtown Tempe Authority is still at work to make the holiday season as wonderful as it can be. The 6th Street Market, a smaller community activation, will continue to bring unique local art, food and produce until Nov. 29 at 6th Street Park. If you want to shop remotely, check out the 6th Street Market Vendor Directory for an updated vendor listing for this season.

In addition, please tune in to the virtual Downtown Tempe Holiday Special on Facebook Live at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving night for some quick and fun holiday cheer.

For the City of Tempe’s official statement regarding large-scale events, visit the Tempe Newsroom.

For more information on COVID-19 (coronavirus), please visit maricopa.gov/coronavirus.

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