Yuma Lettuce Days
March 10–11 — Cooking demonstrations, appearances by celebrity chefs, and a chance to sample locally grown food will be among the attractions at this festival at Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park in Yuma. For information, visit yumalettucedays.com.
Tempe Festival of the Arts
March 30—April 1 —More than 350 artist booths will line Mill Avenue and neighboring streets in Tempe during this festival. Participants will have their work judged in 18 categories, including woodworking, photography, ceramics and wearable art. There will also be musical entertainment and beer and wine tasting. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Admission is free. For information, visit tempefestivalofthearts.com.
Scottsdale Culinary Festival
April 17–22 — The Great Arizona Picnic, featuring more than 50 food and beverage exhibitors, will offer everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to Asian and Mediterranean cuisine from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at the Scottsdale Civic Center. The picnic is just one of many culinary events during the week, including a new one in which 20 chefs will compete to make the best burger. The burger competition will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 19, and those who attend will have a chance to taste the burgers and vote for their favorite. For information, visit scottsdalefest.org.
Charles Mingus Hometown Jazz Festival
April 20–22 — Jazz musician and composer Charles Mingus, who was born on a U.S. Army base in Nogales, will be celebrated at this festival, which will begin with a jazz concert Friday night across the border in Nogales, Sonora. High school and college jazz bands will perform at a free outdoor concert Saturday in Nogales, Arizona, and a big band concert will follow at Nogales High School. The celebration will end on what would have been Mingus’s 90th birthday with a Margarita Jazz Brunch at the Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico. Mingus, who died in 1979 at the age of 56, was a prolific composer and musician who played with such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. For information, visit mingusproject.com.
Tucson Folk Festival
May 5–6 — BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, a Grammy-winning Cajun band, will headline this festival that will offer more than 20 hours of music, dance and entertainment in downtown Tucson. Food and craft vendors will be at El Presidio Park and performances will be on four stages at nearby locations, including City Hall and the Tucson Museum of Art. The festival will be held from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For information, visit tkma.org.
Fallbrook Avocado Festival
April 15 — Guacamole contest, a farmers market, entertainment, a food court and children’s activities are included in this event along Main Street in downtown Fallbrook from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival celebrates Fallbrook’s heritage as an agricultural community. For information, visit Fallbrookchamberofcommerce.org.
Stagecoach Country Music Festival
April 27–29 — If you don’t already have tickets for this festival, it’s too late—it sold out in early January. Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Alabama, Martina McBride, Kenny Rogers, Sara Evans, the Band Perry, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, and many more will entertain RVers and others in the crowd at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. For information, visit stagecoachfestival.com.
A La Carte & Art
May 5–6 — About 200 artists will be selling their wares during this open-air festival on Castro Street in Mountain View in the Silicon Valley. The event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, will include 12 bands playing Latin, classic rock, rhythm and blues, jazz and dance music, a Kids’ Tons of Fun Zone, and a classic car show. Admission is free. For information, visit miramarevents.com.
Sacramento Music Festival
May 25–28 — It started out as the Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, then became the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee, and this year it has become the Sacramento Music Festival. The latest name change reflects the broadening of the event to include not only jazz, but all kinds of American music, including blues, rock, western swing, rhythm and blues, zydeco, Latin and bluegrass. Last year’s festival featured 70 bands performing at 20 venues, mostly in Old Sacramento. This year’s festival is expected to have about the same number of bands and venues. For information, visit SacMusicFest.com.
Dogwood Festival of the Lewis-Clark Valley
April 1–30 —“Art Under the Elms,” a three-day festival of art, food and entertainment, is the signature event of the Dogwood Festival, but there are other events, too, including a spring sailing regatta, beer and wine tasting, dog show, car show and quilt exhibit. Art Under the Elms will be held April 22-24 at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. The regatta will be on the Snake River April 16-17, the car show along Fourth Street in Lewiston April 23, the all-breed dog show at the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds on April 22-25, and the quilt exhibit at the Clarkston High School gym on April 24-25. For information, visit lcsc.edu/dogwood.
Moscow Renaissance Fair
May 5–6 — This will be the 39th year for this two-day celebration of spring with entertainment, food and crafts at East City Park in Moscow. For information, visit moscowrenfair.org.
Sun Valley Wellness Festival
May 25–28 — Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who suffered a severe stroke in 1996 and wrote a bestselling memoir about her recovery, will be the keynote speaker at this festival at the Sun Valley Resort. Taylor told her story in her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, and now that story is being made into a feature film directed by Ron Howard. Taylor will be among more than 20 speakers addressing body, mind and spiritual wellness at the festival, including author Alan Cohen, anti-aging pioneer Dr. Uzzi Reiss and yoga master Saul David Raye. For information, visit sunvalleywellness.org.
Laughlin River Run
April 25–29 — The largest motorcycle gathering on the West Coast will bring thousands of bike riders to Laughlin. Activities will include a bike ride from Kingman to Oatman in Arizona and concerts in Laughlin featuring Ted Nugent, David Allan Coe and Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of the Doors. For information, visit laughlinriverrun.com.
Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival
April 26–29 — The small town of Genoa in the Carson Valley will host cowboy poets and musicians during this annual festival that was inaugurated in 2010. The event includes concerts and workshops on cowboy and western life. Performers scheduled to appear include Waddie Mitchell, Dave Stamey and Juni Fisher. For information, visit cowboypoetrygenoa.com.
Reno River Festival
June 15–17 — This annual event has been moved from May to mid-June this year in search of warmer weather. Competitors on kayaks and paddleboards will race on the Truckee River, and there will be musical entertainment at Wingate Park. A new attraction has been added this year—dogs diving from a dock into a 40-foot pool. For information, visit renoriverfestival.com.
Pear Blossom Festival
April 13–14 — “Pears, Vines, Wines and Good Times!” is the theme of this year’s festival, which will begin with vendors offering locally produced wine, beer and food at the Pear A Fare at Alba Park in Medford from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Pear Blossom Parade will be held in downtown Medford at 11 a.m. Saturday. Other events will include a stamp show and a street fair. For information, visit pearblossomparade.org.
Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival
April 27–29 — Coastal cuisine, arts and crafts, wine tasting and musical entertainment will be among the attractions at this festival at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds in Astoria. The festival will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information, visit oldoregon.com.
Portland Rose Festival
May 20–June 17 — This annual spring celebration in Portland includes a floral parade and a rose show, but involves more than flowers. There are dragon boat races on the Willamette River, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon, and CityFair, offering a carnival and family entertainment at Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, starting on Memorial Day weekend and continuing for two more weekends. The KeyBank Grand Floral Parade from Memorial Coliseum to downtown Portland will be on Saturday, June 9. The Portland General Electric/SOLVE Starlight Parade downtown will be on June 2. The Rose Show will be at the Lloyd Center Ice Rink on June 7 and 8. For information, visit rosefestival.org.
Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts
June 1–3 — The small scenic town of Joseph is the setting for this festival that will present the works of more than 125 artists. The event in the Joseph Community Center will include a reception for artists Friday night, an exhibition free to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, and a quick draw event with art auctioned to the public at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. For information, visit wallowavalleyarts.org.
Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
May 17–21 — Birding areas around the Great Salt Lake will be explored and workshops will be conducted on issues such as interacting with live birds and how to involve youth and families in birding. Greg Miller, who was portrayed by actor Jack Black in a film comedy on competitive birding entitled The Big Year, will be the keynote speaker. To promote birding as a family event, Miller will talk about birding adventures with his father, and 8-year-old Ivan Richardson will share experiences of birding with his family. For information, visit greatsaltlakebirdfest.com.
Moab Arts Festival
May 26–27 — This free event, now in its 20th year, will include jewelry, pottery, wood, sculpture, photography, clothing and other arts and crafts. They will be on display at Swanny City Park in Moab from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The festival also will include a parade and exhibit of street-legal vehicles that have been modified into works of art. For information, visit moabartsfestival.org.
Utah Arts Festival
June 21–24 — A fine arts exhibition, short film festival, performances on five stages, and street theater will be part of this festival at Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City. The festival annually attracts about 80,000 people over four days. This year’s event will include 159 visual artists, more than 100 performing groups and 20 food vendors. It will include an artists-at-work section where artists will create art on site. For information, visit uaf.org.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
April 1–30 — When the tulips bloom is up to Mother Nature, but the whole month of April is set aside to celebrate the hundreds of acres of tulips growing in the fields of the Skagit Valley, north of Seattle. Besides viewing tulips, visitors can take in art shows, an arts and crafts fair and a Kiwanis salmon barbecue that serves 12,000 meals annually. There is also an organized bike ride through the tulip fields. For information, visit tulipfestival.org.
Hulda Klager Lilac Days
April 21–May 13 — The Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland will offer tours of Hulda Klager’s Victorian home and four acres of blooming lilacs, border plants and native and exotic trees daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Vintage Hats and Accessories” will be the theme of the home tour, featuring a display of hats and gloves from the 1940s through the 1960s. Several varieties of lilacs and a limited supply of perennials will be offered for sale. Admission is $2, with children under 12 admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For information, visit lilacgardens.com.
Apple Blossom Festival
April 26–May 6 — A tradition since 1919, the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee will include parades, a carnival, a food fair, an arts and crafts fair and lots of entertainment. The Funtastic Shows carnival with 25 rides will be at Riverfront Park. The Food Fair will be at Memorial Park, along with entertainment on stage during the lunch and dinner hours weekdays and all day on weekends. The Arts and Crafts Fair will be held at Memorial Park on the first weekend in May. For information, visit appleblossom.org.
Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival
May 4–6 — Field trips, lectures and a banquet and auction are among the activities at this festival that will bring visitors to view some of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds that stop to rest and feed in Grays Harbor estuary on their migration northward. Birding author Richard Crossley will be the keynote speaker. For information, visit shorebirdfestival.com.
Wooden Boat Fair
May 12–13 — Wooden boats of all ages, types and sizes, both power and sail, including rowboats, dinghies, kayaks and canoes, will be on display at this boat fair at Percival Landing and Percival Park in downtown Olympia. The free event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The fair will include arts and crafts booths, food vendors and local entertainment. There will also be an opportunity for children to build their own wooden boats. For information, visit olywoodenboat.org.