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.
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.