Here's the Low Down on Chandler Events these Next 14 Days

Mar. 24, 2017
By: Karli Ragan

These next two weeks are a busy time in our beautiful downtown for some of our most popular annual events! Returning tomorrow, March 25, is the popular Great American BBQ and Beer Festival, and the week after that is the 18th Chandler Jazz Festival on March 31 and April 1. Sandwiched between (and after) these annual events is the Chandler Farmers market. Keep scrolling for information on the next two weeks, and some special, insider tips on what to bring, where to park and what to expect. 

The Great BBQ and Beer Festival
This is the largest event in downtown Chandler. And, it has a cult following. Because, let's face it, what part of beer and bbq is hard to convince you or your friends to attend? The event runs noon-10 p.m. tomorrow, March 25, at the Downtown Stage.

One thing to note is there is an admission fee to attend this event, think of it like a cost for a concert ticket, because this event brings a national musician to the stage, typically a country star, every year. This year's headliner is Easton Corbin; he sings the popular songs Baby be my Love Song and All over the Road. He kicks off at 8:30 p.m., but there's live music all day. Price for a ticket is $15 presale and $20 day of, so don't procrastinate, and use that extra $5 to get yourself something nice; like a beer, or towards a bbq platter. 

What else to expect...let's see... how about the fact that there will be over 60 pit masters from across the nation serving over 20 THOUSAND pounds of BBQ? It that doesn't seal the deal, they'll also have beer. A lot of beer. Like 200 kegs of it. 

Wondering if this event is family-friendly? Yes, good sir/madam, you betcha it is; the event has a kid zone. 

Other notable activities include a March Madness lounge, eating competitions, grilling and cooking demonstration, and beer games. Enough talking? Get your tickets here. 

We recommend lathering up on that sunscreen and being prepared to stay a while, as this event is huge, and you're going to want to see everything. If you get to the event early enough, you should be able to grab a seat on the grassy lawn in front of the stage; don't forget lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on. Feel free to bring sealed water, and bring cash for the beer tickets (the event will also have ATMs).

Parking can be tricky because this is a large event, and there will be some street closures. We recommend parking at the City Hall Parking Garage. A parking map for downtown Chandler can be found here. 

Chandler Farmers Market
This weekly market is on Thursdays, from 3-7 p.m. in the months of October through April. Fear not, as the farmer still comes all year, rain or shine, to sell his wonderful produce.

This event features over 30 vendors to shop, including bread, produce, baked goods, sauces, salsa, tamales, craft items, soaps, lavender, cotton candy, and more. Plus, we don't mean to brag (okay, maybe a little), but the market just won the Best of the Valley by Arizona Foothills Magazine, and features live music by talent musicians every week.

For more information, visit this link. Market is held at Dr. AJ Chandler Park, west. 

18th Annual Chandler Jazz Festival
Next week is the Chandler Jazz Festival. This free-to-attend, two day event kicks-off Friday, March 31 and continues the next night on Saturday, April 1. The downtown is filled with jazz music during this time; inside participating merchants, along the street, on the main stage. 

Most people bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on for this event, and come early and stay until the end. The gates of the event open at 4 p.m. both days so you can grab your spot, but be prepared to wait for vendors to open for business and music to start as the main stage event kicks off at 5 p.m. A good plan of attack is having one person stay with your stuff, and the rest of the group can go and explore the music within the businesses, and on Saturday, along the street. Must we remind you to be fair and trade off who has to wait with the stuff? 

We also recommend bringing cash for beer/wine as there is a large beer garden. There will be ATMs inside the event if you forget. Sealed water is allowed, go ahead and bring some so you stay hydrated. 

Vendors include a mix of retail vendors with artwork, soap, clothing, candles, and more, food vendors selling ready to eat meals and items to fill your pantry, and more. 

The best way to enjoy this event fully is to grab dinner at a restaurant with a band playing, heading to the main stage to enjoy the music after, and then capping things off with a cocktail at a different restaurant that will have a band. 

For the music schedule inside the merchants, along the street (just on Saturday) and on the main stage, as well as more information on the event, visit this website. For a parking map of the downtown, click here. 

St. Patrick's Day Activities in Chandler

Mar. 16, 2017
By: Karli Ragan 

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. Now that you've stopped the mental cheering/dancing at your office desk, let me fill you in on the St. Patrick's Day activities that will be doing on in downtown Chandler. The best part is the events are very different in nature; one for those that are ready to party and another for those looking for an art/culture fix. In addition, a merchant in the downtown will have Irish food specials and live music. Go for the (pot of) gold, and experience them all. 

For the first time ever, the ShamRockFest by Murphy's Law Irish pub is a party you shouldn't miss. There will be performances by the local bands Volatile Minds, 2 Tones Lizard Kings, Retro Connection, RadioFix, and August in Stereo on the Downtown Stage. In addition, with unique activities like Lucky Charm eating contests, cabbage bowling, a money grab (what's more green than cash?), and more - you're bound to make a great story when you're telling your coworkers about your weekend on Monday. The party goes from 4 p.m. until midnight. Tickets are on sale now. 

Shamrockin' Art Walk
Maybe you're not a partier, and you'd instead like to grab an Irish dinner, listen to live music in a relaxed setting and peruse some locally crafted artisan art. Enter the Shamrockin' Art Walk, the theme of March's Chandler Art Walk. The event will feature live music by the band Kilted Spirit, who will be playing Irish tunes from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Over 30 artists will gather in Dr. AJ Chandler Park west and along San Marcos Pl. to showcase and sell their works. Some artists will bring art specially made for the night, with items like green shamrock necklace pendants and green Celtic Cross stained glass mosaics. Mediums vary, from woodworking, jewelry, painting, and more. New artists attend each month, so each month is a new experience. To make a night of it, have dinner at Bourbon Jack's who will have a very Irish special, Corned Beef and Guinness Stew, and live music starting at 4 p.m. There will be no cover. Shamrockin' Art Walk runs 6-9:30 p.m. More information on the event can be found on the Facebook event listing. 



There's Something Every Weekend in March

Mar. 3, 2017
By Karli Ragan

As many valley locals know, March is a busy season in Phoenix. The weather and the many visitors coming for spring training games makes the month of March a popular month for events. So much so, we have something going on every weekend in March here in downtown Chandler. Here's the roundup on the events you shouldn't miss. 

March 4, 2017 - Tomorrow! 
Kicking things off are 4 (yes, four) events on Saturday, March 4. The Ostrich Festival Parade & Mayor's Fun Run will run (pun intended) from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and Chandler Police Safety Fair & Classic Car Show from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For those curious, the Classic Car Show is the Classic Car Show that in year's past was a stand alone event. This year they teamed up with the Chandler Police Safety Fair to give guests even more to see and do. More information for the events found here. 

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March 11 + 12, 2017
For the first time ever, The 'Best of' Thieves Flea Market will take place in downtown Chandler. This event is run by the same group that puts together the monthly Thieves Flea Market in Tempe's Big Sur Parking lot. What makes this event the 'best of'? The vendors will be displaying their best items since they've had the event on their calendars for a few months. This event is funky, with unique and one-of-a-kind pieces for sale. Entry is $5. Event runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. both Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12.  Check out the Facebook event for more information. 

March 17
St. Patty's Day lands on a Friday so you bet your Irish ancestry that downtown Chandler is prepared to celebrate right. In fact, we'll have two events going on during the night of the 17th. First up is the Shamrockin' Art Walk, the theme of March's Chandler Art Walk. This free-to-attend event will feature over 30 local artisans displaying and selling their wares. Mediums vary from painting, jewelry, illustrations, wood-working and more. Some artists will have special Irish pieces for sale. Each month new artists join the event, so you're bound to see something new, even if you've been to past shows. Entertainment for the night is Kilted Spirit, who will play Irish tunes from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Find out more on the Facebook event listing. 

The other event going on for the night is the first annual ShamRockFest by local Irish Pub, Murphy's Law Irish Pub. The festivities for this event kick-off at 4 p.m. and go until 12 a.m. They'll have local musicians to rock the night away, a beer garden, Irish dances, bagpipes, festive games and traditional Irish food. Tickets are on sale now, the earlier you get them, the less expensive the price so don't sleep on this event! Check out their website for more information. 

March 25, 2017
The community favorite, The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival, returns to downtown Chandler Saturday, March 25. Country singer, Easton Corbin will headline the event. The event features a kid zone, a full day of country music, a March Madness lounge, grilling demonstrations, eating competition zone, a local band stage, mechanical bull riding, jumbo lawn games, a farmers market and over 100 exhibitors. Over 60 BBQ pitmasters from across the nation serving up over 20,000 lbs. of mouth-watering pork ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken, all paired with 200 kegs of the state's finest craft beer from SanTan Brewing Company. Tickets on sale now. 

March 31 + April 1, 2017
The 18th Annual Chandler Jazz Festival begins Friday, March 31, at 5 p.m. This free-to-attend event is beloved by the community and features various jazz artists from Arizona and beyond, as well as vendors to shop food and retail. The event is a two-day fest, going 5-10 p.m. both Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. Both nights local various local businesses will also feature jazz talent in their businesses. Saturday will also feature street bands along the downtown historic square from 2-4:30 p.m. Schedule of performances can be found here. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on the grass in front of Downtown Stage. A large beer and wine garden will be at the event for the 21 and older crowd. Stay updated on the event through the Facebook event listing. 

Your Friday Night Plans are Covered

Feb. 13, 2017
By Karli Ragan

Who ya gonna call when you have no weekend plans? Your mom, your sister, your partner? Well dial them up and let them know that Friday night plans are set because the Family Flicks Art Walk is this Friday, Feb. 17. Grab a blanket, find your spot on the grassy lawn of Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, and enjoy the original Ghostbusters movie. Oh, did we mention this event is free-to-attend? 

Here's a run down on the activities that will be happening for the night. 

·  Arizona Ghostbusters group (yes, they'll be bringing a Marshmallow Man and a Ghostbusters vehicle) will be doing a costume contest. Dress as a ghost or dress as a Ghostbuster. Let's see which side wins... Costume contest is at 6:30 p.m.

·  East Valley Engineering for Kids will be providing a green slime activity for the kids (or kids at heart) from 6-7 p.m. Because, what's a Ghostbusters event without some green slime? 

·  Chandler Christian Community Center will be accepting new socks and underwear for their program iHelp, which helps those experiencing homelessness. You can win a $50 gift card to a Downtown Chandler business if you bring items to donate. 

·  Murphy's Law Irish Pub will be giving free green apple cider as supplies last. 

·  For the first time, this event will be tied with the Chandler Art Walk, so you can also shop local artisans. 

·  Oh yeah, and we'll have a foam machine. *drops mic*

You don't even need to hide your Twizzlers in your purse because you're allowed to bring your own snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic beverages only please). There will also be popcorn for purchase.

This event kicks off a weekend of science in Downtown Chandler. The following day, on Saturday, Feb. 18 is the City of Chandler's Science Spectacular event.

The event runs 6-9:30 p.m., movie starts at 6:30 p.m. Address for the event is: 
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, west
3 S. Arizona Ave.
Chandler, AZ 85225

Check out all the free parking locations via this map. 

You need to make plans Because Valentine's Day is Coming


Feb. 6, 2017
Karli Ragan

If you've started to notice all the pink and red hearts, you have probably realized Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. We know you like to procrastinate, but it's time to make those plans. Whether you're looking for a romantic date night, a gift for a loved one, or something to do with your friends or little ones, downtown Chandler has you covered. 

Paletas Betty
They make your life simple by offering a special flavor; called their San Valentin flavor; it's strawberry with a dark drizzle (excuse us, got a lil' drool on the keyboard), and letting you order online. Yes. Online. You're probably reading this while sitting in pjs and mopping the sweat off your forehead as you realize you haven't made any plans, but you're also lazy, like us. Fear not! Just go to their website (or GrubHub, or Ubereats - you have options), and order your sweetheart, your friend, your sister, some delicious paletas. 

SanTan Brewing Co. 
It's a win-win for couples that have both a brew-loving partner, and another that's more interested in the food (raises hand *cough* me *cough*). Support local by ordering one of their house made beers and something off their special Valentine's menu.  

Sibley's West: The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop
Okay, but what about those loved ones that prefer a tangible gift, something they can hang on to? Please don't get one of those generic teddy bears from Walmart again. Instead, call up the good people at Sibley's West and order one of their Valentine gift baskets. It includes 1lb. assorted chocolates, a votive candle with heart-shaped ceramic holder, a lavender eye pillow (to steal the night after Valentine's Day, because you can finally relax, you did good kid), and 2 oz. lotion (because we live in a desert and it's dry). All of these items usually cost $60, but they're offering a special of $49.95 while supplies last because they're charitable and they probably really don't want your loved one to have to get another synthetic teddy bear again. 

Burst of Butterflies - Create & Paint Studio
Looking to add some romance a la the iconic Ghost ceramic scene? Or maybe just something fun to do while you talk about how there are no good options available with your girlfriends? How about that little one in your life that just ate a whole box of sweethearts and is now bouncing off the walls? Head on down to Burst of Butterflies Art Studio for one of their many classes they're offering for the week of Valentine's day. Offerings include a heart fused glass project and BYOB painting on canvas classes. In addition, they're offering 14% off (Get it? No? You really need to be better at looking at your calendar) all pottery and canvas painting, all day on Valentine's Day. That day will be kid-friendly from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and turns into BYOB (beer or wine, you crazies) Adult Date Night from 6-9 p.m. Visit their website for more information and to sign up for a class. 

DC Steakhouse
Hello love birds; this one is for you! Sit across from that special someone at DC Steakhouse and enjoy their special Steak and Lobster Valentines Sweetheart Dinner. They'll be offering the dinner all-week-long (into the weekend). Don't forget to add some of their wine in for good measure. 

Chandler Center for the Arts
You've stared into each other's eyes long enough that it's time to look at something else. Enter the Chandler Center for the Arts. Enjoy the Sunday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. showing of National Dance Company of Ireland's Rhythm of Dance at a special of buy one get one free. Just mention you would like the Downtown Chandler Valentines Special when you stop by or call. Limited quantities, so dance to it! 

TechShop Chandler
Maybe your loved one loves wine. Therefore, they need a lot of wine glasses. Enter TechShop Chandler. They'll have an Etched Wine Glass Date Night on Valentine's night. For those looking for something to do with their little ones, they'll also have a Tie Dye Night and a plushy 'love craft' build night earlier in the week. 

The Brickyard Downtown
Score some major brownie points and schedule reservations at one of downtown Chandler's newest hotspots, The Brickyard Downtown. They're offering a 4-course dinner ($65++ per person) with an optional (do it) cocktail pairing ($35 per person). Call for reservations; 480.963.1373. 

Lauren Snow Beauty
This one is for the ladies. Those familiar with the show Parks and Recreation should recall Galentine's Day. Now, you too can enjoy this holiday Leslie Knope style, sans waffles. Lauren Snow Beauty, a new merchant to our downtown, is hosting a Galentine's Day Bash on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 7-9 p.m. Kendra Scott will have a pop-up Color Bar shop at 15% off and Couple of Bartenders will be serving up sips while you shop. Finishing things off, Lauren Snow Beauty will offer complimentary makeup touch-up and they'll give $10 off your first service if you book an express facial. 

Bourbon Jack's
The perfect spot for a couple with an affinity for country music, dancing, and good times is Bourbon Jack's. They'll have surprise (you'll just have to wait and see) Valentine's Day food specials and they'll have free two-step dance lessons starting at 7:30 p.m. They promise the lessons are perfect for all levels of dancers, even those with two left feet. You're welcome to even attend Han Solo style (sans date). 

Cup O'Karma: A Community Café for a Cause (inside the Downtown Chandler Library) 
For those who have never been, the Cup O'Karma coffee shop is a hidden gem. Yes, it may be a bit scary trying to find the place if you're against libraries (we hope not), but all you have to do it enter the main entrance of the library and then a hang a right to find this coffee spot. This a coffee shop with heart, they remind us that February is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and they'll be accepting donations at the shop to spread awareness. Any donation over $5 scores a free stuffed animal. The cherry on top? Their specialty drink this month is a White-Mocha Raspberry Latte, can be served ice, hot or frappe-style to keep up with the ever-evolving weather.