March marks the start of the festival season in metro Phoenix, and there are plenty to choose from in our list this week and weekend. Check out the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Country Thunder Arizona and more.

Through 4/3: Final Four Fan Fest

Come celebrate the Final Four weekend in Phoenix with a festival that is jam-packed for basketball fans of all ages. The event includes youth clinics, concerts, interactive games, giveaways, autograph signings and much more.

Details: 12-6 p.m. Monday. Phoenix Convention Center, 33 S. Third Street, Phoenix. $8, $4 for seniors and military, before March 15. Free for age 12 and under.

4/5-8: Mesa Easter Pageant 

One of the largest Easter pageants in the world, with a cast of 480 performing on a four-story stage and seating for 10,000. Free tours of the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors’ Center are offered before and after the pageant. The Saturday, April 8, performance is in Spanish.

Details: 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 5-Saturday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 11-Saturday, April 15.  525 E. Main St., Mesa. Free. 480-347-7807.

4/5-9: Arizona Bike Week 


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Hop on your motorcycle and help celebrate Arizona Bike Week’s 21st anniversary. Get together with fellow sons of anarchy for the biggest bike rally in Arizona, featuring vendors, shows and concerts from Brett Michaels, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Korn, and Alice Cooper. Events include stunt shows, charity rides, an awards presentation, flat track racing and motorcycle drill teams.

Details: April 5-9. Full event $58; Wednesday and Thursday, gates open at noon, $25; Friday, gates open at 10 a.m, $30; Saturday, gates open at 9 a.m., $30; Sunday, gates open at 10 a.m. $20. Passes include admission to concerts. Westworld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road. 480-644-8191,

4/6-9: Phoenix Bikefest 

Bikefest celebrates all things motorcycle with a four-day event featuring demos, live entertainment and group rides. Every day of the event, the top bike brands in the industry will hold demo rides of their latest motorcycles. More than 100 vendors will sell biker-related clothing, motorcycle accessories and design products.

Details: April 6-9. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Demo hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sunday. Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria. Free.

4/6-9: Country Thunder Arizona


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They’re calling it “one of the greatest lineups ever assembled in the Grand Canyon State.” Phoenix native Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton (who also headlined in 2015), Thomas Rhett and Chris Young are set to headline Arizona’s biggest country music festival. In 2016, Country Thunder Arizona drew an average of 29,000 fans a day, with headlining sets by Kip Moore, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen and Eric Church. Chris Young headlines Thursday’s bill with LOCASH, Terri Clark and more. Bentley headlines Friday, with Jon Pardi, Maddie & Tae, Aaron Watson and more. Saturday’s bill is topped by Rhett with Joe Nichols, Frankie Ballard, Randy Rogers Band and more. And Sunday brings Shelton to headline a bill that also features Tyler Farr, the Oak Ridge Boys and more.

Details: 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6; 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 7-Sunday, April 9. 20585 E. Price Station, Florence. $160.

MORE: Dierks Bentley on Country Thunder, new album, wife | Country Thunder complete music guide | Headliners, from 1996 to 2017 | Ultimate guide to staying alive at Country Thunder | Country Thunder Arizona 2017 lineup | Love Country Thunder? Send us your photos | Country Thunder photos, 1998-2016 | The six types of people you’ll see

4/6-13: Phoenix Film Festival 

More than 175 features and shorts from local, national and international filmmakers will be screened at this cinematic celebration. Visit for complete times and listings.

Details: April 6-13. Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. VIP pass includes opening night and priority seating to all films, $250. Regular festival pass includes all films, $125. Four-film flex pass, $40. 602-955-6444,

4/7-9: ‘Cinderella’

Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, who just made her Metropolitan Opera debut in “Rusalka,” returns to Arizona Opera after starring in “Carmen” last year. She sings the lead role of Angelina (alternating with Alyssa Martin) in “La Cenerentola,” Rossini’s frothy retelling of the “Cinderella” fairy tale.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 7-8; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. $25-$135. 602-266-7464,

4/7-8: Tom Green 

Comedian Tom Green will bring his hilarious humor to four shows in Phoenix. Green is well-known for his antics on MTV, his appearances in movies like “Road Trip” and his talk show “Tom Green Live.” His Tom Green Radio podcast was a popular weekly event, and was consistently one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes.

Details: April 7-8. 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. StandUp Live, 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $22. 480-719-6100,

4/8-9: Scottsdale Culinary Festival


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The annual outdoor festival at the Scottsdale Civic Center is a major fundraiser for the Scottsdale League for the Arts. Festival goers pay for admission, and then purchase tickets for food and beverage from a wide array of restaurants. The festival is for all ages, and there’s a Family Zone for kids 12 and younger that includes carnival games, a bounce house, hands-on activities and more. For the 21-and-old crowd, check out the new Local Lounge, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Deck, and wine and beer gardens. Country star LeAnn Rimes performs on Saturday, April 8.

Details: Noon-9 p.m. Saturday, April 8; and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, April 9. Scottsdale Civic Center, 7375 E. Second St. $12-$15 for admission. $42 for festival admission and beer garden access (up to 20 samples). VIP tickets are $150 on Saturday and $125 on Sunday.

4/8: Phoenix Children’s Festival 

Kids ages 3-12 are the focus of this family-friendly outdoor event. Check out the themed Fun Zones, take your teddy bear in for a checkup, cheer on your favorite tot at a diaper derby, and take part in Kids Zumba dancing, discovery zones and face painting. Meet actress Peyton List from Disney Channel’s “Jessie” and “Bunk’d.” When hunger strikes, check out the food trucks.

Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, April 8. CityScape, 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $10, free for under 3.

4/8-9: Phoenix Lights Festival 


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Attend this open-air electronic music festival to see artists like Alesso, Above and Beyond, Tiesto, Oliver Heldens, Hucci and more. VIP packages include preferred seating and VIP entrance, 2 drink tickets, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and catered food and premium views of the main stage.

Details: Noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9. 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix. General admission $159-$179 and VIP for $349-$399. Table experience available starting at $500. 323-908-0607,

4/9: Amazing Jake’s Easter egg hunt

Hunt for colorful, prize-filled Easter eggs, pose for photos and have breakfast with the Easter bunny.

Details: 8-10 a.m. Sunday, April 9. Amazing Jake’s Food and Fun, 1830 E. Baseline Road, Mesa. $10. 480-926-7499,

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Through 4/16: ‘Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash’

Arizona Theatre Company’s revue celebrates the life and songs of a country-music legend. That’s about all the selling this show needs, but for theater geeks in particular, there’s this tidbit: Co-creator Richard Maltby Jr. also conceived and originally directed “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” possibly the most inventive musical revue ever staged.

Details: Through Sunday, April 16. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. $46-$85. 602-256-6995,

Through 5/29: ‘Planet Shark: Predator or Prey’


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Shark Week’s a thing for a reason. People love sharks. Or to be scared of sharks. Either way, the new Arizona Science Center exhibit promises to be cool, with SENSORY4 Technology for a walking, multi-sensory cinematic experience. “Come face-to-face with the great white shark” and “gain a whole new level of respect for the ocean’s oldest predator.” Oh, and get a look-see at the teeth, the jaws and at fossils as old as 370 million years old.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Monday, May 29. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $11.95 adults, $9.95 for children ages 3-17.

Through 7/16: ‘Samurai: Armor From the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection’


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More than 140 suits of armor, helmets and face guards, weapons, horse trappings and other battle gear trace the evolution of the distinctive Japanese warrior culture through exquisite workmanship and design. The pieces come from one of the best and largest collections in the world and will be featured in an illustrated catalog featuring essays by experts in samurai armor.

Details: Through July 16. $18; $15 seniors; $13 students with ID; $9 ages 6-17. Admission is free 3-9 p.m. every Wednesday, 6-10 p.m., on First Fridays and the second weekend of every month. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. First Fridays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesdays; and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. 602-257-1880,

Alison Stanton contributed to this article.

Biggest and best upcoming events in Phoenix

Hoping to plan out your weekends and big outings for the next couple of months in the Valley? We have you covered.


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