Two weekends ago we attended the Great Arizona Picnic as part of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and I’m just now getting around to writing a recap – yikes. You can’t go wrong with food in abundance, live music and spending family time outdoors on a nice spring day, so if you live in the Phoenix metro or are in town dodging the northern winter, this April festival is a must! (You can read about my take on small/local festivals here and a recap of the Arizona Vegetarian Food festival here.)
We’ve attended this one the past two years, and it’s quickly becoming our own little family tradition. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival is a pretty big deal around here – this year is its 37th edition! (the longest running event of its type in the nation). According to the website, the festival hosted over 35,000 guests, 20 events, 100 restaurants, dozens of top chefs and countless fine wine and spirit selections – for the lucky non-breastfeeding folks – this year. It lasts about a week, but the main event, the Great Arizona Picnic, happens over the weekend and it features 50 restaurants, chef demonstrations, live bands and specialty tasting venues.
|Folks jamming to soul and funk by one of three stages|
Featuring and supporting nonprofits is a big part of this blog, so this event also fits that category well! The festival is the primary fundraiser for the Scottsdale League for the Arts, an organization that supports artists, art programs, and arts education.
|My tiny dance partner|
The Great Arizona Picnic takes place in the Civic Center Mall, downtown Scottsdale, and just the venue alone is worth the trip. The area is dog-friendly and there are gardens, fountains, beautiful trees, shops and restaurants. Although this is a really popular event, it never feels too crowded, which is important since we have our tiny man with us.
|Civic Center Mall gardens|