4 Must-Attend Cultural Festivals in Tucson

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Get out of the classroom and off campus to experience the city’s diverse culture firsthand.

Whether it’s the community-wide All Souls Procession walk the folklife festival known as Tucson Meet Yourself or the kickoff to rodeo season at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, events in Tucson bring together people from all walks of life to celebrate the history and heritage of the Old Pueblo — not to mention eat really good food. Here are the events you should add to your calendar.

1. All Souls Procession Weekend

Join the crowd as more than 150,000 people take to the streets to walk two miles through downtown in the All Souls Procession, a unique Tucson event held every November. Inspired by traditional Dia de los Meurtos and All Souls Day celebrations, Tucsonans have made this an event all their own with elaborate costumes, installation art, performers and more.
Don’t Miss: The grand finale includes a ceremonial burning of prayers and messages for loved ones that are collected in a giant urn.

2. Tucson Jazz Festival

Held every January, this two-week-long celebration of music brings world-class acts to downtown Tucson venues like the Fox and Rialto theaters.
Don’t Miss: Two words: free concert. On Martin Luther King Jr. day, the streets of downtown become home to the free daylong Downtown Jazz Fiesta, with two outdoor stages and multiple other venues.

3. Tucson Meet Yourself

Music, art, food — this celebration of Southern Arizona’s eclectic ethnic and cultural diversity checks all the boxes. For three days in October, the festival takes over 60 acres in downtown Tucson as hundreds of artisans, cooks, dancers, musicians and more come together to showcase their talents.
Don’t Miss: From pad Thai to jerk chicken, Tucson Meet Yourself is the best place to find authentic food from all corners of the world.

4. Tucson Rodeo and Parade (La Fiesta de los Vaqueros)

You know you’re in the Old West when you find out that Tucson schools get a “rodeo break.” Every February, the town celebrates its western heritage at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds with the first major outdoor event of the annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit.
Don’t Miss: The Tucson Rodeo Parade has been held every year since 1925 and is the largest non-motorized parade in the country.