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Tempe Festival of the Arts offers art, music, food and fun for all

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The holiday season is a wonderful time to be in Tempe, Arizona. The Mill Avenue District is a-glitter with festive lights. There are all sorts of celebrations and events, including the annual Tempe Festival of the Arts, December 6-8, 10:00 a.m.- 5 p.m. A long-standing favorite Tempe event, the festival attracts 250,000 visitors each year. As many as 400 artists are selected to display their works from booths that line Mill Avenue and the adjacent streets. Their unique, hand-made works include woodworking, photography, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and wearable art. It’s the perfect place to find special one-of-a-kind gifts.

Arts and crafts are the festival’s main focus, but there will also be a variety of other fun vendors and activities, including live entertainment, including well-known local and regional music at multiple locations throughout the event. More than two dozen street entertainers will be on site, including stilt walkers, face painters, musicians, magicians, caricature artists and other fun entertainment

In addition to the spirit-lifting live performances, there will be plenty of spirits to be lifted. At the Arizona Wine Festival, festival goers can sample some of Arizona’s best wines or purchase a glass, bottle or case. Artisan beer aficionados will enjoy raising a glass at the Art of Beer where local microbreweries will offer samples and sales.

An entire area will be devoted to the cottage edibles and crafts where some ideal stocking stuffers, gifts for teachers, hostess gifts or goodies for you such as handmade soup mixes, jams, seasonings, salsas, dips, soaps, lotions, aromatherapy and other crafts can be purchased.

Children will have their own special place to be creative. The Kid’s Innovation Station will offer kids, preschool through high school, an opportunity to create their own masterpieces free of charge. They’ll be able to choose from three types of printmaking instruction and learn about the medium of the festival’s Featured Artist, Stephen Harmston.

No festival would be complete without tasty food. Food vendors will on hand with festival favorites like kettle corn, chocolate dipped fruits, fudge and caramel apples, to name a few. Those who are hungry for something more substantial will find stands offering barbecue, noodle, crepes, Mexican food or fry bread and in great restaurants along the Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets.

If you’re looking for a truly special gift or if you’re in the mood for an especially fun festival experience, plan on coming to the Tempe Festival of the Arts in the Mill Avenue District, December 6-8, 10:00 a.m-5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

In addition to the Tempe Festival of the Arts, this week is full of festive holiday events and all kinds of entertainment for the entire family. View a complete listing of Tempe events or call 480-894-8158.


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