The Grand Avenue Festival, produced by Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP), is a non-traditional ‘walking’ and ‘discovery’ arts and preservation festival. GAP, as well as area businesses, host
The Grand Avenue Festival, produced by Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP), is a non-traditional ‘walking’ and ‘discovery’ arts and preservation festival. GAP, as well as area businesses, host art exhibits, performances, tours, arts and craft making sites, vendors, food trucks, music, demonstrations and much more.
House of Cirque can be spotted throughout the day and will delight young and old alike with their exotic costumes. Their entourage includes strolling musicians, jugglers, dancing skeletons, 10-foot-high stilt walkers and interactive hula hoopers.
Artists, as well as community members, create art from recycled materials. “Hanging Gardens and Woven Fences” are installed on tree trunks, branches, light posts, fences and the right-of-way. Walter Productions’ ‘Billy,’ a glittery longhorn steer covered with hundreds of mosaic mirrors, will be displayed at Grand and 15th Avenue – also the site of hands-on flower-making, birdhouse construction, “baby billy” decorating and wire mobile-making by local artists.
Special exhibits include Sisao Gallery’s (1501 Grand) 2nd Annual Carmody Foundation Grant Winners. Lisa Marie Jacobs exhibits textile works at TransAm Cafe and Bragg’s Pie Factory hosts multiple offerings with Doug Towne’s historic Grand Avenue photos; work by Marlys Kubicek at 515 Arts Collective; Bill Dambrova’s open studio; Mark Allred’s guitar-making and repairing workshop and Kenosha Drucker and Abe Zucca at Abe Zucca Gallery. The Lodge hosts their annual “Choice Cuts” exhibit with 15 local artists, and Gallery 9 next door hosts “FRIENDSNOFOES.” Hector Ruiz will open his combination studio/gallery at the Chocolate Factory; Rodgell will exhibit his found object sculptures and re-purposed bicycles at ‘The Whim on Grand’ at La Melgosa. And look for Luster Kaboom’s colorful hand-painted selfie stands along the festival route.
The “Untrashed Recycled Fashion Show and Trashy Hat Promenade” will walk the stage at Unexpected Gallery, 734 W. Polk Street, at 2:30 p.m., then promenade to ThirdSpace (1028 Grand) for jurying and prizes at 3:30p.m. Kicking off After Hours at 8pm, Marshall Shore (Arizona’s “Hip Historian”), WEARizona and Hamati Designs, present “Decades of Decadence,” highlighting local designers, stylists and makeup artists. Show starts at Unexpected Gallery at 8p.m.; doors open at 7p.m.
“Under the Vintage Roof” tours leave from the historic National Guard Armory, 1614 W. Roosevelt Street, at noon, 1 and 2p.m. (plenty of free parking onsite). View historic architecture and interesting adaptive re-use projects, led by knowledgeable tour guides including Jill Johnson, Phoenix Rising Tours, Jim McPherson and Arizona Preservation Foundation. Visitors will learn about Grand Avenue history and meet building owners who tell their own stories. Stops include the Armory (circa 1963); the historic adobe Four Square Church (circa 1939); and the 1920’s – 1940’s Shaughnessy complex (Bikini Lounge et al). Tours are free; sun hats and comfortable shoes encouraged.
“Grand Avenue Sticker Challenge” passbooks can be picked up at the GAP Info Table in front of the Bragg’s building, 1301 Grand. A scavenger hunt of sorts, participants visit 9 neighborhood businesses and are awarded with a sticker at each, representing 7 festival logos by Abraham Reyes Pardo and 2 stickers created from images on this year’s festival poster by Tato Caraveo.
Free children’s activities include face painting, corner of Grand and Fillmore; creative hat-making, a puppet-making workshop (Puppet Pie), finger weaving at the ‘Wishing Tree,’ and a kid’s craft table (Lady Luck Tattoo), at the Bragg’s Pie Factory (1301 Grand); a coloring table at The Lodge Art Studio (1231 Grand); a place-making workshop with Laura Spalding-Best at the Community Gallery at the MariSol Credit Union (1515 W. Roosevelt Street); and a wandering balloon twister. Catch Paul Nosa at Taylor and Grand, with his solar powered sewing machine, who will stitch a patch on request using visitor design ideas. Mike Butzine will be hosting glass blowing demonstrations in front of 11th Monk3y at 1022 Grand. An old fashioned talent show, “Trolley Follies”, will take place at 4 p.m. at the Phoenix Trolley Museum (1117 Grand).
The community can join in the mural painting at Unexpected Gallery (734 W. Polk Street), and watch a robot wielding spray paint create a mural as well. Join AZDragoneers to decorate a beautiful 20-foot-long cloth dragon with paint, feathers, stickers and stencils at Fushicho Daiko Dojo, 925 Grand, where you can also make a ‘ganza’ (rattle) from a recycled can and join mini-drumming parades at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Taiko and African drumming, and Chinese dance will activate the stage all day.
Food trucks will be parked up and down the Avenue with a cluster at the Desert Sun Plaza. These are in addition to neighborhood eateries within close walking distance like Trans Am Cafe, Irma’s Kitchen, El Charro Hipster Cafe, Cha Cha’s Tea Lounge, Cookie Brokers, Grand Avenue Pizza Company, ThirdSpace and Novel Ice Cream.
For more festivals downtown, visit our events page.
(Saturday) 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
1301 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85007