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2015 Travel Guide

Tucson Event Profiles

Tucson Association of Realtors Soccer Shootout

The Tucson Association of Realtors Soccer Shootout annual youth soccer tournament matches up youth teams from throughout Arizona and the Southwest region. The event begins Friday with an evening of family fun with food and entertainment at the Fort Lowell Picnic in the Park, followed by Opening Ceremonies and Soccer Olympics. When the Olympics start, teams size up their competition - show off skills - and, maybe, take home a gold or silver medal. Skill competitions include Accuracy Shooting, Juggling, Dribbling Relay, and the Team Shootout. Games are played on Saturday and Sunday at roughly 13 different fields throughout Tucson, with the bulk of play at Fort Lowell Park

  • Date: January 15-27, 2016
  • Location: Fort Lowell Park, 2900 North Craycroft Road Tucson, AZ 85712
  • Media contact: Eileen Majeski at (520) 529-1493 or
  • Number of teams: 321 (174 of these are out-of-town teams)
  • Number of players per team: 15
  • Number of spectators: 14,000
  • Estimated economic impact: $5 million

Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase attracts tens of thousands of buyers, collectors, dealers, curators and guests for the premier event of its kind in the world. Dozens of shows at varied locations and venues throughout metropolitan Tucson make up Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. Centerpieces of the showcase include the American Gem Trade Association's (AGTA) wholesale-only AGTA GemFair Tucson, at Tucson Convention Center, and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society's (TGMS) open-to-the-public show (the show that started it all in 1955), also at Tucson Convention Center. Other shows take place in hotels, conference centers, and temporary tents, from one end of town to another.

  • Date: January 30-February 14, 2016
  • January 28 - February 12, 2017
  • Contact: American Gem Trade Association: (214) 742-4367 or (800) 972-1162
  • Contact: Tucson Gem & Mineral Society: (520) 322-5773
  • Contact: General media assistance: Dan Gibson, Visit Tucson Director of Corporate Communications, at (520) 770-2133 or
  • Online list of gem shows:
  • Estimated attendance: 50,000
  • Estimated economic impact: $120 million
  • Read the 2014 Economic Impact Report >>

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros - Tucson Rodeo & Parade

The Tucson Rodeo, La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Festival of the Cowboys), began in 1925 with three days of competition; today, this signature Tucson event spans more than a week of activities centered on the Tucson Rodeo, one of the top 25 professional rodeos in North America. The Tucson Rodeo includes six PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) events, hosted at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, and features the Tucson Rodeo Parade, the world's longest horse-drawn non-motorized parade, which also started in 1925. Daily barn dances and kid's events round out the fun. Tucson schools close for two days during "Rodeo Week" so students can attend.

  • Date: The La Fiesta de los Vaqueros: February 20-28, 2016
  • Date: Tucson Rodeo Parade: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016
  • Media contact: Joan Liess, Joan Liess Marketing Services, at (520) 881-8256 or
  • Location: Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85714-3004
  • Estimated rodeo attendance: 55,000
  • Estimated parade attendance: 200,000
  • Estimated economic impact: $16 million

The Tucson Conquistadores Classic

The Tucson Conquistadores presents The Tucson Conquistadores Classic, a new PGA TOUR's Champions Tour golf event, to be played on the Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National Resort. The Tucson Conquistadores Classic will feature an 81-player field competing for a $1.7 million purse as well as 255 Charles Schwab Cup points for the winner. The no-cut format features three days of competition (Friday-Sunday) with players participating in Pro-Am events, 2016 date are to be announced. The Tucson Conquistadores and its members are dedicated to continuing the tradition of professional golf in Tucson. Tucson has hosted a professional golf tournament since 1945. 

  • Date: March 2016
  • Location: Omni Tucson National Resort, Catalina Course
  • Attendance: N/A
  • Estimated economic impact: N/A

    Tucson Invitational Games

    The Tucson Invitational Games is host to DII, DIII and NAIA spring training collegiate baseball and softball. T.I.G. is proud to have hosted over 400 schools, their family and friends. Since its inception in 2002 the T.I.G. has grown because of our hospitality, warm weather, variety of competition and great field conditions.

          • Dates: February - April 2015
          • Location: Lincoln Park North/South Complex and Kino Sports Complex
          • Media contact: Matt Tiggas,
          • Number of teams: 125
          • Number of players per team: 26
          • Number of spectators: 8,325
          • Estimated economic impact: $7.9 Million

    Tucson Festival of Books

    The Tucson Festival of Books, sponsored by the Arizona Daily Star with the University of Arizona and presented by University Medical Center, takes place on the University of Arizona campus. The festival was organized in 2009; in 2012 it is the fourth-largest book festival in the USA. In 2011 the Tucson Festival of Books attracted 450 authors and presenters, 80,000 attendees, 2,000 festival volunteers, and more than 180 exhibitors. Programming includes talks by such renowned authors as J.A. Jance, Billy Collins, Diana Gabaldon, and Elmore Leonard; and lectures, readings, writer's workshops, and book signings, with many delicious local food vendors. Net proceeds promote literacy in Southern Arizona.

    • Date: TBA 2016
    • Location: University of Arizona campus, 1209 E. University Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85721
    • Festival contact: TFOB Director of Communications & Development, at (520) 891-9681
    • Participants: 450 authors, panelists and performers and more than 180 exhibitors
    • Estimated attendance: More than 100,000
    • Number of volunteers: 2,500
    • Estimated economic impact: N/A

    Tucson International Mariachi Conference

    The award-winning La Frontera Arizona Tucson International Mariachi Conference is Tucson's a model for other mariachi conferences and festivals nationwide. It includes a week of student workshops, followed by concerts that feature many of the world's best and brightest mariachi musicians and talented folklorico dancers: the Participant Showcase, Espectacular Concert, and Fiesta de Garibaldi. Workshops at the conference give students the opportunity to study traditional music and dance of Mexico with masters of the mariachi band and folklorico dance genres. In 2012, the conference moved from downtown Tucson to the Casino del Sol Resort & Conference Center.

    Tucson Folk Festival

    The Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association (TKMA) invites all music lovers to enjoy 20 hours of free, live acoustic music on five stages in downtown Tucson at the annual Tucson Folk Festival, one of the largest free festivals in United States. Started in 1986, the Tucson Folk Festival features hundreds of local, regional, and national musicians performing live music, unplugged and plugged in, for more than 10,000 fans. Portions of the festival are broadcast live on Tucson's community radio station KXCI 91.3 FM.

    • Date: May 2-3, 2015
    • Contact: Jim Lipson, TKMA President, at or (520) 271-6943
    • Number of volunteers: 250
    • Estimated attendance: 10,000
    • Estimated economic impact: N/A   

    Tucson Meet Yourself

    This celebration of Tucson & Southern Arizona's ethnic and cultural diversity was started by academic and public folklorist Dr. James "Big Jim" Griffith and his wife Loma in 1974. Every year since then the interactive family-friendly festival has grown, now encompassing six blocks and 60 downtown Tucson acres. Tucson Meet Yourself showcases traditional and ethnic music, dance, arts and crafts, and food, with demonstrations and workshops, staged performances, exhibits, and dozens of food vendors. "Big Jim" Griffith in 2011 was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts award, for his "significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage."

    • Date: October 9-11, 2015
    • Contact: Dr. Maribel Alvarez, Program Director,
    • Location: Downtown Tucson
    • Number of volunteers: 650
    • Estimated attendance: 100,000
    • Estimated economic impact: N/A

    Special Olympics El Tour de Tucson Presented by Casino del Sol Resort

    El Tour de Tucson is organized annually by Perimeter Bicycling Association of America on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. El Tour is Tucson & Southern Arizona's largest perimeter cycling event, attracting roughly 9,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from throughout the United States and worldwide; and consisting of novice, intermediate, advanced, and professional riders. Participants cycle main event distances of 104, 75, 55, and 40 miles, or choose the Fun Ride 10, 5 or 1/4-miles. Main event routes show off Sonoran Desert scenery. Course profiles range from flat to rolling or moderately hilly, though the 40-mile route is basically flat and a great family affair or a perfect first event for beginners.

    • Date: November 21, 2015
    • Contacts: Richard DeBernardis, president@perimeterbicycling, or Marilyn Hall, or (520) 745-2033
    • Number of participants: 9,000 cyclists
    • Number of spectators: 30,000
    • Economic impact: $13 - $20 million on ride weekend alone
    • Economic impact: $50 - $70 million year-round

    FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup

    FC Tucson, Tucson's semi-pro soccer club, and Major League Soccer host a four-day tournament of triple-headers, featuring 10 professional soccer teams, over 15 games. FC Tucson is Tucson's top-level, semi-pro soccer team. Founded in 2010, the team is member of USL Premier Development League in the fourth division of the United States soccer pyramid. Committed to bringing high-caliber competitive soccer to the Tucson area, FC Tucson was named the 2012 PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year by United Soccer Leagues and the Premier Developmental League.

    • Dates: February 18, 21, 25, 28, 2015 
    • Contact: Jose Bosch, Media Relations Manager,, 540-435-6097
    • Teams: 11 (10 MLS + FC Tucson)
    • Participants: 480
    • Players/Staff per Team: 30
    • Estimated attendance: 20,000
    • Estimated economic impact: $1.17 Million

    Fourth Avenue Winter/Spring Street Fair

    More than 400 arts and crafts booths and 40 food vendors, staged entertainment, kid's activities, and more draw close to 200,000-300,000 shoppers at two Fourth Avenue Street Fairs,one in spring and one in winter. Both fairs take place on Fourth Avenue, between Ninth Street and University Boulevard, between downtown Tucson and the University of Arizona.

    • Date: December 12-14, 2014, March 20-22, 2015
    • Contact: Kurt Tallis, Marketing & Events Director, at or (520) 624-5004
    • Estimated attendance: 200,000-300,000
    • Estimated economic impact: N/A

    USTA National Junior Winter Championships

    The United States Tennis Association (USTA) sanctions this annual invitational championship for junior tennis players, ages 12-14, from around the United States. Watch it for an early glimpse of tomorrow's tennis stars. A number of the junior players who have won this Tucson event are now on international circuits. This event is open to the public and is free to spectators. The USTA Junior Winter Championships is presented by Tucson Parks and Recreation at Reffkin Tennis Center, with tournament sites at Tucson Racquet Club, University of Arizona, Rincon High School, and Ft. Lowell Tennis Center.

    • Date: December 27, 2014 - January 2, 2015
    • Media Contacts: Meghan Houk, (520) 791-4896 or
    • Location: Reffkin Tennis Center, 50 S. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711
    • Number of participants: N/A
    • Estimated economic impact: N/A