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 dazzling 2016 lineup includes a free MLK Day Downtown Jazz Fiesta, January 18, and renowned international artists such as National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and saxophonist Jimmy Heath, the festival's guest of honor; Grammy winners Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, and Snarky Puppy; The Rad Trads; Lizz Wright; the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour; and Byron Stripling with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Venues include Fox Tucson Theatre, Rialto Theatre, Club Congress, TCC Music Hall, Centennial Hall, U of A Crowder Hall. Tickets, $26-$78, are available on tucsonjazzfestival.org. January 14-24, 2016
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 30 to February 14, 2016
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 20 to February 7, 2016
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 2016 Desert Diamond Cup takes place on these Wednesdays and Saturdays: February 17, 20, 24, 27, 2016.
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 91st Tucson Rodeo is February 20-28, 2016. The Tucson Rodeo is February 25, 2016.
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 12-13, 2016
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 13-20, 2016.
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 14-20, 2016.
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. April 1-3, 2016
April: Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival
In celebration of the 32th 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 16-17, 2016
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. April 20-23, 2016
May: Tucson Folk Festival
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. May 7-8, 2016.
October: Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta
Hi Corbett Field is the new location for Vamos a Tucson's annual "beisbol fiesta" - a series of double-headers featuring four favorite baseball teams from Mexico's Pacific Coast League (Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Yaquis de Obregón, Cañeros de Los Mochis and Águilas de Mexicali). Tickets for the tournament go on sale Sept. 8, 2015 at the Hi Corbett Field box office and on mexicanbaseballfiesta.com. October 2016 dates to be announced.
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, 8, 9, 2016.
October: Tucson Festival of Films
Quite possibly the first collaborative film festival on the planet, the inaugural Tucson Festival of Films will feature cinematic highlights from eight different Tucson film festivals, shown over four days at varied locations. There will be location tours and panel presentations by day and open-air screenings, special events, and parties by night as well as films of diverse genres, ranging from global issues, art house, and underground to films with themes related to Jewish, Mexican, and Native American cultural experiences at Temple of Music and Art, downtown Tucson. October 2016 Date to be announced.
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. October 22-25, 2015.
What started as one woman's remembrance in 1990 has grown to an event that's been called one of the country's most diverse, inclusive and extraordinary celebrations. More than 35,000 people walk two miles through downtown Tucson in the All Souls Procession, inspired by Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrated in many parts of 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 giant urn filled with messages and prayers hoisted by crane to be set afire high above the crowd. November 2016 Date to be announced.
El Tour de Tucson is Southern Arizona's premier bicycling event and one of this country's top cycling events, attracting more than 9,000 cyclists from around the world on the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year. As a major fundraiser for groups like Ben's Bells, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, "El Tour" has routes ranging from a quarter mile to 100+ miles, some hilly, some flat, all fun. Parties and other activities throughout the city make the day an event for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. November 21, 2015
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 11-13, 2015