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9 Can't-Miss Festivals in Scottsdale

There’s truly always something to do in Scottsdale, and it goes far beyond the hiking trails, world-class shopping, golf courses, and vibrant nightlife. The city’s festival scene has something for every imaginable interest. From events that celebrate our traditional Western heritage to motorcycle rallies and weekends honoring Elvis Presley, you just never know what you might experience at Scottsdale festivals.


Parada del Sol Parade & Trail's End Festival

One of the Valley’s longest-running festivals, Parada del Sol started in 1953. Today, it’s one of the longest horse-drawn parades in the world and takes place annually in February. The event quite literally takes over the streets of Old Town every February, with the massive Trail’s End block party starting right after the parade. The Western-themed festival features several stages with live music, kids’ zones, vendors, and food trucks. Both events are free.


Arizona Indian Festival

In conjunction with February’s Scottsdale Western Week, the Arizona Indian Festival celebrates the state’s indigenous communities. The inter-tribal, inclusive festival highlights Native American traditions, culture, art, food, and more. Hosted by the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association at the Scottsdale Civic Center, the festival also puts a spotlight on unique tribal tourism experiences.


Arizona Bike Week

Celebrating nearly 30 years, ABW is arguably one of Arizona’s most famous events. Every April, the week-long festival draws motorcycle enthusiasts to Westworld from all over the globe. Bike Week includes a ton of thrilling events, including concerts, stunt shows, organized rides all over the city, games and competitions, and vendors selling everything you can imagine related to motorcycles. There are even tent and RV campgrounds onsite at Westworld.


Arizona Elvis Festival

Another inaugural Scottsdale festival, this one’s for the music and Americana lovers debuted in September 2023. The Arizona Elvis Fest features a whopping 16 Elvis tribute artists, six complete production shows, and everything else you need to celebrate The King in the ultimate way.


Scottsdale Oktoberfest at Wasted Grain

Held on the last weekend in September, the annual Oktoberfest celebration comes at the perfect time, ushering in the holiday season and saying farewell to the summer heat (finally!). Popular watering hole Wasted Grain serves as the city’s Oktoberfest homebase, hosting a lively all-day festival with traditional German beer, food, and music. Plenty of people dress up, so feel free to bust out the lederhosen or St. Pauli girl dresses!


Scottsdale Bridal Expo

Calling all brides and grooms to be! This cheerful expo has a festival vibe, with dozens of local vendors and services onsite to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. Held in September, this is the largest bridal expo in the state, and it’s totally free! Beyond the vendors, enjoy food, music, contests, and more. Plus, this year, Wasted Grain is hosting a complimentary mimosa after party!


Pet-a-Palooza / Day of the Dog

It’s no secret that Scottsdale is exceptionally dog-friendly, and this November festival proves it. Officially called Pet-A-Palooza West's Day of the Dog, it’s the largest pet festival in North America! Old Town really will be a dog’s world for the weekend, when pups and their humans can enjoy contests and demos, agility courses, dog-focused vendors, and even pet spa treatments. For the two-legged attendees, there will also be food trucks, live music, and a kids’ corner.


Dreamy Draw Music Festival

This brand-new annual music festival debuted in November 2023 and featured more than 20 “indie” bands in the country, folk, Americana, and bluegrass genres, including headliners Lord Huron and Midland. The event takes place on three stages outdoors at the Scottsdale Civic Center, across two days. In addition to the music, Dreamy Draw features immersive art activations, a trading post-style vendor alley, and plenty of food and cocktails.


McCormick-Stillman Holiday Lights

Locals know it isn’t really the holidays until you go to Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The winter festival, which runs from Thanksgiving weekend to just after the New Year, features thousands of dazzling lights, carousel and train rides, and an elaborate model train display. There also will be food and drink options. Tickets are all-access, but they must be purchased in advance, and you’ll choose a 1.5-hour time block at the time of purchase. The park also hosts a special sensory adaptive night.

Based in the East Valley, Taryn has lived in Arizona most of her life. She loves exploring our stunning, diverse state and especially enjoys discovering quirky hidden gems - as well as new local breweries and great happy hours! When she isn't adventuring, Taryn writes for clients including PHOENIX Magazine and runs her own travel blog, Chasing Trail.