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Tucson Signature Events

Reading adventures for kids take many forms at Tucson Festival of Books, March 14-15, 2020!

Tucson Signature Events

Long-running and much-loved by locals, these major annual events are singular sensations -- a festive reflection of Tucson's multicultural heritage, food traditions, arts scene, and outdoors-loving personality.

Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase (February 1-16, 2020) This one-of-a-kind international marketplace of museum-quality exhibits and world-class collections -- gemstones, minerals, fossils, beads, crystals, jewelry, supplies, apparel, and more -- includes 50 different locations citywide; it originated in 1955 with a single show staged in a school parking lot, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, which is now at Tucson Convention Center.

Winter Meet at Rillito Park Racetrack (Saturdays-Sundays, February 8-March 22, 2020) It's fast horses, skillful jockeys and big purses at Rillito Park, Tucson's historic racetrack (established in 1943) and birthplace of quarter horse racing and the "photo finish." Weekly themed programs add to the fun. 

Tucson Rodeo & Parade - La Fiesta de los Vaqueros® (February 15-23, 2020) Since 1925, Tucson has celebrated its ranching heritage at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros® (Celebration of the Cowboys), including the Tucson Rodeo at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, one of North America's top-25 professional rodeos, and the Tucson Rodeo Parade, the largest non-motorized, horse-drawn parade in the United States.

Cologuard Classic, Tucson's PGA Tour Champions Tour Event (February 23-March 1, 2020) Dozens of Hall of Famers and top-ranked legends of men's pro golf play in a no-cut competition and walk the course with fans at a two-day Pro-Am on the famed Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National Resort, a popular PGA Tour venue since the 1960s.

Tucson Festival of Books (March 14-15, 2020) Tucson's celebration of literacy debuted in 2009 and ranks as the third-largest book festival in the United States, attracting as many as 135,000 fans to the University of Arizona Mall (during spring break) for author presentations, panel discussions, and exhibits as well as chef demonstrations, a literary circus, a poetry venue, and an expansive Science City area.

Tucson Cine Mexico (April 1-5, 2020) Established in 2004, this is the longest-running festival of contemporary Mexican cinema and a vital platform for the screening of Mexican films in the United States. The four-day, admission-free festival is promoted bilingually and attracts a culturally diverse audience with award-winning contemporary films and documentaries and post-screening question-and-answer and filmmaker panels.

Tucson International Mariachi Conference (April 22-25, 2020) Masters of mariachi music perform with baile folklórico dancers in public concerts and at a traditional Catholic mariachi mass during this event—founded in 1982 and nurtured by such legends as Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlán, Mariachi Cobre, the late Lola Beltrán, and Tucson native Linda Ronstadt. In 2020, this event returns downtown to the Tucson Convention Center Arena.

Agave Heritage Festival (April 23-May 5, 2020) What began as a tequila-lover’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2008 has evolved into a two-week event rooted in the historical and cultural significance of the agave plant, with seminars and tradeshows, culinary and musical events, spirit and food tastings, and a film screening and an art exhibit -- all together offering a borderland taste of Tucson, selected in 2015 as UNESCO's first U.S. City of Gastronomy.

Ha:san Bak Saguaro Festival (June 2020) Colossal Cave Mountain Park hosts presentations and hands-on activities, like archaeology hikes and arts-and-crafts projects, that tell the story of the cultural, historical and spiritual significance the saguaro cactus to the Tohono O'odham Nation (Desert People). Depending on harvest and weather conditions, a sunrise fruit-harvesting workshop is also offered. 

Tucson Fall Gem Show (September 2020) A smaller version of February's mega-show with open-to-the-public gem and lapidary shows featuring exhibits for shoppers and collectors at various locations around town.

Tucson Meet Yourself (October 9-11, 2020) The Southwest's greatest outdoor food court takes over downtown once a year during this festival, a multicultural celebration of foods and traditional arts of Arizona-Sonora's folk and ethnic communities, co-founded in 1974 by Tucson folklorist Jim Griffith, a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Heritage Fellow.

All Souls Procession Weekend (November 6-8, 2020) Since it began in 1990 with a performance memorializing the passing of artist Susan Johnson's father, this one-of-a-kind blend of All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos has grown to 150,000+ pedestrians and has been called "one of the most inclusive and authentic public ceremonies in North America today."

El Tour de Tucson (November 21, 2020) Founded in 1983, Arizona's largest and longest-running cycling event is a Tucson tradition happening every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. "El Tour" typically attracts more than 6,500 participants of all ages and abilities and typically features rides of 100-mile, 75-mile, 50-mile and 25-mile distances in addition to a Fun Ride that appeals to kids.

Fourth Avenue Street Fairs (December 2020 & March 20-22, 2020) Ever since a group of local merchants began selling their wares from the sidewalk in front of their shops in December 1970, Historic Fourth Avenue has been a destination for shopping, eating, and people-watching. Now, hundreds of local, regional and national artisans and vendors line the street twice a year for this much-anticipated event.

Find more festivals, exhibitions and concerts to enjoy in and around Tucson on our Events Calendar.

Agave Heritage Festival - Hotel Congress

Video: Tucson IFEA Video


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