From concerts, films and theater performances to a journey back to the Middle Ages and more, there is no shortage of activities in the Valley of the Sun. Here are our suggestions for the top 25 things to do this month.
Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace
THROUGH APRIL 2
The revelry continues! Medieval enthusiasts shan’t want to miss the opportunity to go back in time with this 35th annual festival. Enjoy a 50-acre village; 16 stages; an arts and crafts fair; jousting tournaments; feasting fit for a king; and loads of other entertainment, from circus and falconry performers to games and rides. See related story.
12601 E. U.S. Highway 60, Gold Canyon, 520-463-2600, arizona.renfestinfo.com, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, $21-$100
Best Picture Nominees
THROUGH MARCH 12
Leading up to the Academy Awards, cinephiles can catch up on missed 2022 films or just revisit them in anticipation at AMC and Harkins theatres locations. The 10 nominees are “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Tár,” “Triangle of Sadness” and “Women Talking.” AMC’s showcase has been running since January, with Harkins adding showtimes with its own Best Picture Film Fest from March 3 to 12. Who do you think the Oscar will go to this year?
Various AMC and Harkins Theatres locations, amctheatres.com, harkins.com, various date and times, $5-$40
Welcome to the Hotel California at this Phoenix show. The legendary Eagles — Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, with Vince Gill — will play the famed album of the same name from front to back, accompanied by an orchestra and choir, followed by a set of their greatest hits.
Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602-379-7800, footprintcenter.com, 8 p.m., $244-$264
Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque Festival
MARCH 3 AND MARCH 4
SanTan Brewing Company, Pedal Haus Brewery and SanTan Spirits are hosting this two-day festival. Georgia Chrome, Hit Rewind and Banana Gun’s Kevin Lloyd will perform the first day; Justin Hitson, The Zeppelin IV, Banana Gun and Mr. Skynyrd comprise the second day’s lineup. And, of course, there will be a host of vendors with all the best beer, bourbon, barbecue and more.
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, https://bit.ly/3YMVJ50, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, $15-$30, free for kids 6 and younger
OPENS MARCH 3
Actor Michael B. Jordan is making his directorial debut with this third installment in the “Creed” franchise, a successor to the legendary “Rocky” films. Jordan once again stars as Adonis Creed, son of Apollo, as he prepares to reenter the ring to face off against childhood friend and former boxing prodigy Damian “Dame” Anderson (Jonathan Majors), who has just been released from prison and is looking to prove himself. Also starring Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Mila Davis-Kent, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad. Rated PG-13.
In theaters, mgmstudios.com/creed-iii
MARCH 3 AND MARCH 4
The popular annual festival is back, with Maggie Rogers headlining the first day and Jamie xx the second. Other heavy hitters on the two-day lineup are Polo & Pan, Quinn XCII, Ashe, Coin, Toro y Moi, Purple Disco Machine, the Jungle Giants, Evan Giia and more. Plus, check out art activations and the vendor village, and try some grub and beverages. Rest assured knowing 100% of proceeds go to charity.
Hance Park, 1200 N. First Street, Phoenix, m3ffest.com, 1:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, $90-$275, free for kids 10 and younger
Phoenix Scottish Games
MARCH 3 TO MARCH 5
Celebrate Scottish heritage at the Caledonian Society of Arizona’s 58th annual Highland games. These three days of sport and culture in the East Valley include traditional Scottish athletics, live music and dancing, clan displays, genealogy, a car show, a Clydesdale horse exhibit, food and drink, and more.
Gilbert Regional Park, 3005 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert, phoenixscottishgames.com, 5 to 8:45 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, $15-$150, free for kids 10 and younger
“Dancing with the Stars: Live! The Tour”
The popular Disney+ reality series is back on tour, with two stops in Mesa. The performance will feature pros from the show as well as special guest stars.
Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $50.25-$575
Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder will make the trek down to the Valley to face off against the Suns in their first home game of the month. Tickets are going fast, but basketball fans can also catch the game on TV via Bally Sports AZ and radio via KMVP 98.7 and KSUN.
Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602-379-7800, nba.com/suns, 7 p.m., $109-$134
Cave Creek Sculpture & Wine Festival
MARCH 10 TO MARCH 12
The town of Cave Creek’s inaugural Sculpture & Wine Festival, this three-day event is the perfect place for art enthusiasts to get out and mingle with the community. Juried fine art will be on display, across a range of mediums, with plenty of wines, spirits, microbrews and food to try. Attendees can browse the marketplace, with musicians like Afterglow setting the mood all the while. A percentage of admission goes to area nonprofits.
Stagecoach Village, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, 480-837-5637, thunderbirdartists.com, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, $5
OPENS MARCH 10
Ghostface takes Manhattan! After the events of “Scream” (no, not the 1996 classic, but last year’s reboot/sequel of the same name), the four survivors leave Woodsboro for New York — where they once again find themselves stalked by a new masked killer. Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpinhe once again direct after taking the reins from the late, great horror maestro Wes Craven, with the ensemble cast seeing Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere and Courtney Cox reprising roles alongside newcomers like Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra, and Samara Weaving. Not yet rated.
In theaters, screammovie.com
Arizona Aloha Festival
MARCH 11 AND MARCH 12
Say “Aloha!” in Tempe with this free, family-friendly festival. Activities galore, including (but not limited to) music and dance performances, storytellers, cooking demonstrations, hula lessons, ukulele jamming, kids make-and-take crafts, a marketplace and, of course, food.
Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 602-697-1824, azalohafest.org, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, free admission
Irish Fountain Fest
Kick off the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day with these Fountain Hills festivities. Fun for the whole family, the event centers around a 560-foot fountain that will, quite literally, turn green at 4 p.m. But before and surrounding that exciting centerpiece, check out music and dance performances, a kids zone, food trucks, a beer garden and more.
Fountain Park, 12925 N. Saguaro Boulevard, Fountain Hills, 480-816-5100, experiencefountainhills.org, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., free admission
“The Last Five Years”
MARCH 15 TO APRIL 2
Jason Robert Brown’s acclaimed musical relationship examination is coming to the Hormel Theatre. Directed by Dwayne Hartford, the performance alternates between past and present, exploring multiple perspectives. The Phoenix Theatre Company describes it as intimate, bittersweet, emotional and ingenious, elaborating that it “chronicles the triumphs, heartbreak and intricacies of two artists in New York City.”
The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602-254-2151, phoenixtheatre.com, various dates and times, see website for prices
OPENS MARCH 17
A one-man show led by the always interesting Willem Dafoe, this psychological thriller is about an art thief who must use his cunning and innovativeness to survive after he gets locked inside a New York penthouse with priceless works of art during a heist. It’s also the directorial debut of filmmaker Vasilis Katsoupis. Rated R.
In theaters, focusfeatures.com/inside
MARCH 17 AND MARCH 18
Taylor Swift is returning to the Valley for not one but two shows, with Paramore and Gayle providing support. Billed as The Eras Tour, it sees Swift supporting the release of last year’s “Midnights” as well as the ongoing series of her re-recorded back catalog. Paramore, meanwhile, just returned after a five-year absence with the post-punk revival album “This Is Why.”
State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, 602-379-0102, statefarmstadium.com, 6:30 p.m. each day, sold out
Spring Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival
MARCH 17 TO MARCH 19
Downtown Carefree once again transforms with the return of this annual festival. The spring iteration is now in its 28th year, with the seasonal event as a whole going on 88. Around 150 juried fine artists’ works, spanning a multitude of mediums, will be on display, complemented by tasty food, sampleable wines and spirits, and live music. Wildlife photographer Mary Hone and sculptor/charcoal artist Al Hone are the featured artists, with Tim McGraw tribute artist Vegas McGraw as the featured entertainment. A percentage of admission will go to the Veteran Heritage Project.
101 Easy Street, Carefree, 480-837-5637, thunderbirdartists.com, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, $5
Boots in the Park
Country music fanatics will gather in Gilbert for this one-day party featuring performers like Chris Young, Trace Adkins, Dylan Scott, Frank Ray, Ella Langley and Joe Peters. Line dance with your friends while enjoying the tunes, and check out all the park has to offer with regard to craft food and cocktails. Attendees can also play games and try their hands at giveaways, with more in store.
Gilbert Regional Park, 3005 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert, bootsinthepark.com, 1 to 10 p.m., $59-$3,200
The Magnetic Fields
Multi-talented musician Stephin Merritt’s beloved indie project has a decades-spanning discography to pull from at this North Valley show. With a humorous outlook and a sense of ambition — albums include “69 Love Songs” and “50 Song Memoir” — the acclaim songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Merritt, cellist Sam Davol, banjoist/guitarist John Woo, percussionist/pianist Claudia Gonson and singer Shirley Simms have been garnering for over three decades can’t be understated.
Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, 480-478-6000, mim.org, 7 p.m., $49.50-$64.50
Arizona Jazz Festival
MARCH 24 TO MARCH 26
The annual jazz experience is back on High Street, bringing a slate of more than 20 artists to the North Valley. Anthony Hamilton headlines the first day, with Morris Day and the Time on the second, and Stephanie Mills and Musiq Soulchild to end the weekend. Food and drinks will also be available.
High Street, 5415 E. High Street, Phoenix, azjazzfest.com, 4 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday and Sunday, see website for tickets
“John Wick: Chapter 4”
OPENS MARCH 24
The “John Wick” franchise is showing no signs of slowing down. With this fourth installment in the can and a fifth in the pipeline, the titular John Wick is now finding himself on the path to defeating the High Table, though he must first face off against new enemies and old friends to earn his freedom. The ensemble cast includes Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, Natalia Tena, Marko Zaror and Ian McShane. Not yet rated.
In theaters, johnwick.movie
NHRA Arizona Nationals
MARCH 24 TO MARCH 26
It’s the final chance for drag racing enthusiasts to see the Arizona Nationals, with the National Hot Rod Association’s annual duel in the desert, a popular attraction since 1985, coming to an end. This year’s event also features the new #2Fast2Tasty Mission NHRA Challenge, “pitting the semifinalists against each other during Saturday qualifying in the pro classes for a chance at bonus money and points,” according to the NHRA website.
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, 20000 S. Maricopa Road, Chandler, 1-800-884-NHRA (6472), nhra.com, 7:30 a.m. each day, $20-$250
102.5 KNIX Barbeque & Beer Festival
Why barbecue in the backyard with the family when you can come out and do it with the whole community? More than 30 pitmasters will show off their skills, with lots of beer, spirits and other food items to pair. Enjoy activities like a lumberjack show, line dancing lessons and competitions, ax throwing, a kids zone, food eating competitions, yard games, vendors and lots more. All the while, artists like Chris Jason, Craig Morgan, Hailey Whitters, Conner Smith and Jaty & the Black Stallions will keep the tunes running.
Tumbleweed Park, 745 E. Germann Road, Chandler, forty8live.com/chandlerbbq, noon to 10 p.m., $65-$5,895, free for kids 12 and younger
AIDS Walk Arizona Festival and 5K
It’s a “Brand New Day” for Aunt Rita’s Foundation. That’s the theme for this year’s AIDS Walk, through which Aunt Rita’s has been raising funds and awareness for 15 years. That’s not the only anniversary, though, with the hosting organization celebrating 35 years of work to eliminate HIV/AIDS. Known as the “Connector of the HIV Community,” Aunt Rita’s donates proceeds to covering costs of programs and services by partner agencies. Register to run or walk, or just donate to the cause; there will be entertainment, too.
Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 602-882-8675, aidswalkaz.org, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $10-$45, free for kids 12 and younger
Arizona Bike Week
MARCH 29 TO APRIL 2
Bike Week is back! Close out the month and welcome spring with the 26th annual event, where motorcycle rally and rock concert meet via two main areas. The PowerYard features entertainment and activities like bike and stunt shows, live music, exhibitions, contests and games, happy hour parties, food and beverages, vendors and more. RockYard headliners in the evening include Texas Hippie Coalition (Wednesday), Billy Idol (Thursday), Megadeth (Friday) and Staind (Saturday).
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480-644-8191, azbikeweek.com, various dates and times, $15-$150
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