3rd Weekend in January
311 E Congress St
Tucson, AZ 85701
Public Enemy No. 1 during Great Depression was notorious gangster John Dillinger. After months of murders, bank robberies, and jail breaks, he was captured in Tucson on January 25th, 1934. We celebrate this moment in Tucson’s history with Dillinger Days. The event takes place at Hotel Congress. The weekend event features live re-enactments, historical presentations, a vintage car show, and a special speakeasy fundraiser.
Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
Late January to
The largest, oldest, and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world takes place in Tucson in late January to mid-February. During this two week event, there are nearly 50 different shows spread out across Tucson. The event brings in 4,000 vendors and 65,000 visitors from across the world to Tucson. It is estimated that over $131 million is spent during the event. But the event is not just for those looking to buy or sell gems and minerals. There are many shows where you can view rare stones, minerals, ancient artifacts, and one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Fiesta de Los Vaqueros
4823 S 6th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85714
The Fiesta de Los Vaqueros is a weeklong festival centered around the Tucson Rodeo. The festival starts with the Tucson Rodeo Parade which is the longest non-motorized parade in the world. Around 150,000 spectators gather along the streets to watch over 150 western-themed floats, Mexican folk dancers, and marching musical groups parade down the streets of Tucson. The Rodeo itself is one of the top 25 rodeos on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association calendar. The event is so large, that Tucson’s schools have “Rodeo Break” during this festival.
Tucson Festival of Books
1200 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85721
This two day event takes place on the University of Arizona campus, during their spring break, that celebrates books, authors, illustrators, and readers. It is the 3rd largest book festival in the USA. Roughly 140,000 people attend the Festival every year. The event features over 250 authors, book signings, panel discussions, workshops, and children activities. The event is Free to the Public.
Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85707
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base puts on an Air Show every March. The main event of the show is the United States Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration. The show also features acrobatic air stunts by a varied of aircrafts, from A-10s and F-35As, to smaller stunt planes, helicopters, and sky divers. On the ground you can walk around to see 45 different aircrafts, and meet the airman who work at Davis-Monthan. The military base is open to public for the event, which is free to the public.
4th Ave Street Fair
Late March & Mid December
4th Ave between University Blvd & 8th St
This Tucson tradition takes place twice every year. The fair hosts over 350 artists from around the world, over 50 local food vendors, and two stages for musical performances. It is recognized as one of the premier community celebrations in the Southwest and is considered a Top 100 event internationally. Over 350,000 people enjoy the fair every year. The event is free to the public.
Marana Star-Spangled Spectacular
7548 N Silverbell Rd
Tucson, AZ 85743
The largest Independence Day event in Southern Arizona. The event takes place at the 50-acre Crossroads at Silverbell District Park and features a 20-minute Firework show, Car show, splash pad, field games, inflatables, Petting Zoo, living music, creation stations for kids, and over 35 food vendors. This event is outdoors in July, so prepare for the heat.
All Souls Procession
267 S Avenida Del Convento Tucson, AZ
Tucson’s take on the Mexican tradition of Dia De Low Muertos (Day of the Dead). A two mile procession through the streets of the west side of downtown to the Mercado San Agustin remembering, and celebrating those who we have lost. Come dressed in Dia De Los Muertos costumes and face paint, or in street clothes. Performance groups fill in the procession with flames, acrobatics, dancers, drummers, and musicians. At the end, the crowd gathers around a giant Urn filled with messages and thoughts that is set a blaze the lifted 30 feet into the air.
Celtic Festival & Scottish Highland Games
4502 N 1st Ave
Tucson, AZ 85718
For one weekend, every November the Rillito Park Racetrack is transformed into a Festival celebrating Celtic Traditions. The 3-day festival features Celtic, Irish, and Scottish music, Irish and Highland Dancing, bagpipe bands, fine crafts, kid activities, and whiskey tasting. One of the main events of the festival is the Highland games which features nine events: Open Stone, Braemar Stone, Heavy & Light Hammers, Heavy & Light Weight for Distance (WFD), Caber, Weight Over Bar (WOB), Sheaf.
El Tour De Tucson
260 S Church Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701
The Top Road Cycling Event in the County according to USA Today. Every November, over 7500 cyclists take part in the 102-mile race around the city. The even to open to all riders from professional cyclists to families. The main race is 102 miles long, but there are smaller races to participate in as well with distances ranging from 1 Mile to 62 Miles. Over the past 40 years, the event has raised over $100 million for local and international charities. With this event taking over most of the city for that one day in November, you want to plan ahead whether you are in the race or not.
Winterhaven Festival of Lights
Mid to Late December
Christmas Ave and Fort Lowell Rd, 85716
Tucson’s Holiday Tradition takes place in the community of Winterhaven in Central Tucson. Almost every home in the neighborhood goes over the top with holiday lights and decoration. You can tour the neighborhood on foot, hayride, or a trolley. One of the main attractions is the wishing the tree. What was once a 7th graders science project, has grown over the past 20 years. Now about 18,000 wishes are written down and hung from the tree during the festival. This Tucson Tradition is a must if you are here for the holidays. It’s free, but food donations are recommended.