Events in Tucson
Always Something to Celebrate
We share stories with hundreds of authors and 100,000+ bibliophiles at the Tucson Festival of Books. We start the professional rodeo season each year at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. We cheer on 10,000 bicyclists circling the city for charity in El Tour de Tucson, and we paint our faces to celebrate the Day of the Dead, walking with tens of thousands in the All Souls Procession community-wide walk.
Events in Tucson are a snapshot of the city itself: all cultures, all politics, all walks of life, coming together to celebrate what they love. Sometimes that's dinosaur bones at the biggest gem and mineral show in the country, sometimes its didgeridoos, street corn and handmade jewelry at the Fourth Avenue Street Fair.
Be yourself, follow your heart, and see where Tucson takes you. Get started with these five fantastic freebies.
Visit Tucson's official calendar of events for info on concerts, food festivals, cultural celebrations, sports and more.
On this calendar you can post your own local workshops, lectures, fundraisers and other community events.
From a fiesta for the monsoon rains of summer to luminaria nights at Christmas, experience Tucson's seasonal celebrations.
SIGNATURE TUCSON EVENTS
January: Tucson Jazz Festival
Jazz of all genres brings together thousands of fans at the HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival in historic downtown Tucson. The 2016 dazzling lineup included a free MLK Day Downtown Jazz Fiesta and renowned international artists. Venues include Fox Tucson Theatre, Rialto Theatre, Club Congress, TCC Music Hall, Centennial Hall, U of A Crowder Hall. Tickets are available on tucsonjazzfestival.org. January 12-22, 2017
The biggest show of its kind in the USA, this two-week marketplace draws everyone from expert mineralogists to casual collectors seeking gems, minerals, fossils, meteorites, beads, art, jewelry, and more as well as educational resources and museum-quality exhibits from around the globe. Dozens of shows at 40+ different locations include the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, a local institution and the show that started it all in 1955. Most shows are free and open to the public. January 28-February 12, 2017; January 27-February 11, 2018
Jan/Feb: Tucson Desert Song Festival
While the rest of the country is shoveling out from under yet another snowstorm, you can be pretty sure the sun will shine on the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Each winter, under sky and stars, local performing arts groups join vocalists and other musicians from Arizona Early Music Society, Arizona Opera, Ballet Tucson, Tucson Chamber Artists, Tucson Guitar Society, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the UA School of Music, and more. January 18-February 3, 2017
Jan/Feb: MLS Preseason Training in Tucson
Pro soccer warms up in sunny Tucson, a favorite winter training capital of athletes everywhere. Watch elite soccer players prepare for the regular season at Kino Sports Complex during Desert Friendlies and the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, on select days in in January-February. The 2017 Desert Diamond Cup takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays on dates to be announced soon.
Tucson celebrates its Old West heritage at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds with the first major outdoor event of the annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. Events attract more than 650 competing cowboys and cowgirls. At the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum, more than 150 horse-drawn vehicles and other ranching-era artifacts are on display. The 92nd Tucson Rodeo is February 18-26, 2017. Six afternoon rodeos: February 18 & 19, February 23-26. Timed event slack February 20-21. The next Tucson Rodeo Parade is February 23, 2017.
March: Tucson Festival of Books
Since its 2009 debut, the Tucson Festival of Books has more than doubled in size to well over 100,000 attendees, establishing Tucson's already rich literary scene as the "Book Capital of the Southwest." Set up on the UA Mall against a backdrop of Tucson's amazing spring weather, TFOB presents hundreds of top writers from around the country, literary events for readers of all ages, children's activities, gifts, a host of fabulous local eateries, and, of course, lots and lots of books. March 11-12, 2017; March 10-11, 2018
The Arizona Friends of Chamber Music presents a week of musical activity at Leo Rich Theatre, featuring a world-class array of chamber musicians and performances of standard repertoire as well as more eclectic and exceptional chamber music works. Introductory talks and the chance for audience members to talk with the musicians are hallmarks of this critically acclaimed festival. March 5-12, 2017
Watch and learn as pro golf legends at the top of their games show how practice makes perfect. The PGA TOUR's Champions Tour's new event, the Tucson Conquistadores Classic, features a who's who of golf's masters strutting their stuff on the accessible and walkable Catalina Course at the Omni Tucson National Resort. See everybody's favorite pros play over three days of competition featuring a no-cut format. March 2017 dates to be announced soon.
The Fourth Avenue shopping and dining district is always a step outside the ordinary, but twice a year, the draw is not just the shops and restaurants that line 4th Ave but the hundreds of artisans, vendors and food booths that fill the street itself. Entertainers perform on stage and in the streets as 200,000 to 300,000 people shop tents filled with fine art, handmade soaps and salves, crafts, novelties, musical instruments, jewelry, and more. March 24, 25, 26, 2017
April: Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival
In celebration of the 33rd anniversary of Arizona's original and only American Viticulture Area (AVA), Kief-Joshua Vineyards hosts the third annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival, featuring 20 Arizona Wineries in one location. The day will be filled with new wine releases, fabulous winemakers, great wine, food vendors, a professional two-day chili cook-off and live music. April 22-23, 2017
April: Tucson International Mariachi Conference
The award-winning La Frontera Arizona Tucson International Mariachi Conference is a model for mariachi festivals nationwide with a week of student workshops followed by a Participant Showcase, Espectacular Concert and Fiesta de Garibaldi featuring many of the world's best mariachi musicians and talented folklorico dancers. 2017 dates to be announced soon.
Before there was MTV Unplugged, the Tucson Folk Festival was taking music to its roots with live music under open skies. Today, the annual Tucson Folk Festival, presented by the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, is one of the largest free festivals in United States, featuring 400+ local, regional and national musicians performing live acoustic music on five stages in downtown Tucson for more than 10,000 fans. 2017 dates to be announced soon.
October: Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta
Kino Stadium at Kino Sports Complex hosts the Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta in 2016. This annual borderland baseball celebration includes a series of double-headers featuring favorite teams from Mexico's Pacific Coast League and top players from USA teams as well as great food, live music and other family-friendly entertainment in between the baseball action. mexicanbaseballfiesta.com. September 29-October 2, 2016
October: Tucson Meet Yourself
This celebration of Tucson & Southern Arizona's ethnic and cultural diversity began 1974 and has grown every year since. Today, for three days every year, the festival takes over 60 acres in downtown Tucson as more than 100,000 residents and visitors revel in traditional music, dance, arts, crafts and food not just from Mexican and Native American heritage, but also African, Czech, Polish and other cultures all around the planet. October 7-9, 2016
October: Loft Film Fest
Started in 2010, the Loft Film Fest has been described by Filmmaker Magazine as "geared truly toward cinephiles of nearly every stripe." The programming showcases the best of independent, foreign and classic films from established as well as emerging talents, including selections from Cannes, Sundance, SXSW and other leading film festivals around the world. Interspersed with the Fest's carefully curated films, mixers with writers, directors and actors give film buffs a rare chance to talk shop with some of the industry's most luminous stars. 2016 dates to be announced soon.
November: All Souls Procession Weekend
An original Tucson event lauded as one of this country's most diverse, inclusive and extraordinary celebrations. More than 35,000 people walk two miles through downtown Tucson in All Souls Procession, inspired by Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and All Souls Day, which are observed throughout Latin America. Some construct elaborate floats, some create fantastic costumes, some paint their faces in traditional masks and many simply come as they are and witness the finale - a ceremonial burning of prayers and messages collected in a giant urn hoisted by crane above the crowd. November 5-6, 2016
Southern Arizona's premier bicycling event attracts an average 9,000 cyclists from around the country and the globe every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. A major fundraiser for local charities, "El Tour" offers rides ranging in distance from a quarter-mile to 100+ miles with terrain moving from flat to hilly. A family-friendly ride caters to the youngest beginners. An expo, parties and other activities round out a day of fun for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. November 19, 2016
December: 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair
Hundreds of thousands of holiday shoppers start and complete their shopping lists each year at Tucson's biggest arts and crafts celebration, featuring block after block of tents showcasing handmade and artisan goods, including jewelry, fine art, toys, apparel, decor, candles, coffees, soaps and more, banked on either side by the bohemian shops, cafes and restaurants of Tucson's year-round 4th Avenue shopping and dining district. December 9-11, 2016
December: NOVA® Homes Arizona Bowl
A new postseason college football game was played at Arizona Stadium - home of the Arizona Wildcats - on December 29, 2015. The NCAA-sanctioned NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl is the 41st college football game and the first in Tucson since 1999. The inaugural Arizona Bowl featured the Colorado State Rams against the Nevada Wolf Pack. The final score: Nevada topped Colorado State, 28-23. Media partner Campus Insiders live-streamed the game while American Sports Network (ASN) covered the event live for TV. 2016 dates to be announced soon.