Even though the temperatures are already heating up, that doesn’t stop Phoenicians from getting outside and enjoying some of the best food festivals around town.

There is everything from barbeque to Italian, and you won’t have to invite me twice to get me to one of these events!

March

Eighth Annual Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival

Date: Saturday, March 25

​Time: Noon – 10 PM

Price: $20 general admission

​Location: Dr AJ Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler, AZ 85225

Just thinking about this one day festival will make any carnivore start to salivate.  When you combine 60 barbecue pitmasters with 20,000 pounds of barbecue with grilling demonstrations, eating competitions, over 100 exhibitors, and all the barbecued chicken, pork, beef, and ribs you can eat it sounds like a really good day!

Other festival highlights include a full day of country music with national headlining entertainment, March Madness lounge, grilling demonstrations, and a kid’s zone, eating competition zone, live cooking demonstrations, backyard beer games, and a farmers market.  Some proceeds benefit the Boot Campaign for wounded military and families.

4th Annual Italian Festival

Date: Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26

Time: March 25th (11am – 9pm) and 26th (11am – 5pm)

Price: $10 presales, $15 at the door, children under 12 years old are free

Location: Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

You might want to wear a bib to this festival because the sauce the pastas, pizzas and pastries galore, might just make you mangia mangia!

If it’s not the authentic Italian cuisine, this two day festival has something for everyone; live music, an arts, crafts, and food-focused marketplace – all presented by the Italian Association of Arizona.  The event opens a window on Italian culture, past and present.

33rd Annual My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge

Date: Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26

Time: March 25th (10am – 6pm) and 26th (10am – 4pm)

Price: $15 general admission

Location: Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85012

Spicy, sweet, salty, smooth, chunky; the list goes on and on. When it comes to salsa the varieties are endless.  Not only is salsa delicious, it is also good for you because it is made with fresh ingredients, so go ahead and eat up!

And boy oh boy do we have the place for you to indulge.  My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge.  A two-day-long festival featuring over one hundred freshly made salsas.  Come and enjoy all the chips and salsa you can eat while “chefs” compete for the judge’s vote.

Then after you are sufficiently full and your taste buds are satiated, come let your mouth cool off while enjoying live music, a margarita mix-off, and activities like cornhole tournaments and the 2017 Too Hot to Trot 5K.

April

The Cocktail Society Soiree

Date: Saturday, April 7

Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Price: $85 Presale, $100 Day of Event

Location: Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(Must be 21 or over to attend.)

This is the inaugural year for The Cocktail Society Soiree.

Come be entertained, be inspired and amazed.  Let the atmosphere lure you in with aerial bartenders dropping down from the ceiling for service, electrifying dueling DJ’s and shadow dancers.  Let your imaginations run wild with the projection mapping video technology that will create not only a dynamic futuristic atmosphere, but help to make this not only an event not to be missed, but an entirely new experience.

Come enjoy this feast for your senses on April 7th.

Flavors of the West

Date: Saturday, April 8

Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, VIP entrance at 11:00am

Price: $60 general admission

Location: Downtown Litchfield Park, Northwest Corner of Wigwam Boulevard and Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park, Arizona

There’s a little something for everyone at this West Valley charity event.  They’ve got you covered, from cooking demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, live music and even a kid’s action zone.

Here’s a tip for you, the food sampling runs from 2 to 5 p.m.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Date: Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9

Time: April 16th (12pm – 9pm) and 17th (12pm – 6pm)

Price: $15 general admission, VIP SATURDAY – SOLD OUT, Sunday VIP $115, Beer Garden $40, Children under 12 years old are free

Location: Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Come hungry!  The Scottsdale Culinary Festival weekend allows you the opportunity to enjoy foods from over 40 area restaurants, including a variety of gluten free and vegan options plus you’ll have a plethora of opportunities to try some tasty brews from a selection of over 30 craft breweries.

Other highlights include chef demos in the Culinary Experience Tent, Corporate Cabanas, a Teen Cook Off in the Virginia Piper Theater, 20 bands and a Tito’s Handmade Vodka deck.

The festival is spread out across two acres of beautiful park lands and there is a family zone, so the festival is not just for the adults.

6th Annual AZ Wine & Dine

Date: Thursday, April 13

Time: April 13, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Price: $65 general admission

Location: Scottsdale Quarter, 15279 N. Scottsdale Rd. (Scottsdale Road and Greenway Parkway)

The Scottsdale Quarter sets the stage for a world-class culinary scene featuring premier chefs, resorts, restaurants, fine wines, craft beer and more.  You are invited to share an evening of socializing and samplings from several of Arizona’s top chefs, restaurants, resorts, wines, and craft beers.  They have paired the evening with live jazz to ensure a perfect evening out.

The Great Southwest Cajun Fest

Date: Saturday, April 22

Time: 12pm – 9pm

Price: General admission is $8 during online presale, $10 at the gate, VIP admission is $125 and children under the age of 12 are free

Location: Dr AJ Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler, AZ 85225

Want to take a trip to Bourbon Street, the French Quarter or the Garden District and more without leaving Arizona?  You’ll walk into the smells of the red crawfish, po’ boys, gumbo, and jambalaya.

The Southwest Cajun Fest celebrates Cajun culture, cuisine and handcrafted beer, and will feature live music with jazz, blues and contemporary swing revival bands. Festival patrons will feel transported to the southeastern region of Louisiana during the Cajun Fest.

In addition, the festival will have themed zones set up so you will truly feel like you have stepped into Louisiana, and of course patrons of all ages are encouraged to dress in festive parade style attire and join in on the fun and celebration.

The Original Taste

Date: Saturday, April 22

Time: 7:00 – 10:00 PM

Price: $100 general admission

Location: Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 155 Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(Must be 21 or over to attend.)

The Original Taste is presented by the Executive Council Charities; the event combines more than 40 of the Valley’s best restaurants, over 50 wines from across the world, select brands of beer and premium liquor, entertainment and a scene you will not want to miss. The evening also includes live music and plenty of high-fashion attendees.

Proceeds from Original Taste benefit Executive Council Charities to fund critical youth programs at organizations like Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Ryan House, Foundation for Blind Children, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Sojourner Center, New Pathways for Youth, UMOM New Day Centers and many more.

Sixth Annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival

Date: Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23

Time: 11 am to 5 pm

Price: $20 general admission

Location: Kief-Joshua Vineyards, 370 Elgin Rd., Elgin, AZ 85611

For a look at 20 Arizona wineries in one location, check out the sixth annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival in Sonoita, Arizona. The weekend is set to include the 33rd anniversary celebration of Arizona’s American Viticulture Area (AVA), new wine releases from spots like Arizona Stronghold, Village of Elgin Winery, and Coronado Vineyards, and a chili cook-off hosted by the Chili Appreciation Society (CASI).

Nirvana Food & Wine

Date: Thursday, April 27, through Sunday, April 30

Price: Prices vary, ranging from $85 to $400

Location: Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort, 5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

From April 27–30, this inaugural, four-day culinary and beverage festival is an assortment of events held throughout the 53-acre Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort drawing international talent to a food & beverage extravaganza featuring star chefs along with Executive Chef Beau MacMillan. Throughout the weekend, you’ll enjoy informative, intimate conversation with celebrities from the world of food and wine…accompanied by tantalizing tastings, sumptuous meals and activities that make the most of Arizona’s glorious spring weather.

An exciting series of special events — including the poolside Torch evening, Birds & Bubbles dinner, private-home Master of Taste gala, desert golf tournament, Best of the West celebration, and New Orleans jazz brunch.

Don’t miss this chance to see some of the best chef’s like Scott Conant, Robert Ireland, Christopher Gross, Justin Beckett, Samantha Sanz, and more.

Fourth Annual Chandler Craft Sprits Festival

Date: Saturday, April 29

Time: 4 pm – 9 pm

Price: $40 general admission

Location: Downtown Ocotillo, 2855 W. Queen Creek Road, Chandler, AZ 85248

(Must be 21 or over to attend.)

Don’t miss out on the chance to try over 150 savory and sweet cocktails from local and boutique distilleries.

This year will feature seminars and demonstrations, an opportunity to sample more than 50 cocktails, plus learn how to pair food and a variety of spirits together.

To add to the enjoyment, aerial bartenders will delight, while guest enjoy cocktails, live music, tasty food from local restaurants, food trucks and a few fun games from local and boutique distilleries.

May

AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival

Date: Saturday, May 13

Time: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Price: General Admission: $35 online, $45 day of

Location: Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, 67 W. Culver St., Phoenix, AZ 85003

While other beer festivals serve draft beer or bottled beers, the AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival is all about canned beer, local and national. The 2017 festival is moving to Phoenix. Exact details are still being worked out. Make sure to check the website for updates.

24th Annual Phoenix Cinco de Mayo Festival

Date: Saturday, May 7th and Sunday, May 8th

Time: May 7th (2pm – 12am) and 8th (12pm – 10pm)

Price: General Admission: $5 before 5pm, $15 after 5pm, Children ages 10 & under Free

Location: 200 W. Washington St., Across from Cityscape

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos, music and lucha libre.

The 24th Annual Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival is one of the largest multicultural festivals in Arizona. This two-day festival celebrates culture with live entertainment, ballet folklorico, traditional food and beverages, family fun and activities, and much more!