Teri Murphy, community chairwoman of the Marana Main Street Festival, knows Marana’s downtown isn’t much to speak of — yet. But she sees a future in which it’s a bustling nerve center that captures the town’s spirit.
Murphy’s vision will come true, at least for a day, thanks to the festival she helps stage.
“What our goal is with Marana Main Street is to go out there right now with the kind of vision that the area could be what downtown Scottsdale is now in 10 years,” Murphy said.
“Someday we’ll remember there was nothing there. The atmosphere with the festival is what we think is going to happen in the future, giving people in the community something everyone can go and enjoy.”
Marsha Regrutto, a volunteer who helps organize the festival and helped round up corporate sponsors, said the event has lasting implications for Marana’s culture.
“I’m trying to make sure the community stays in step, so my children stay here and live here in the future, and future generations have things to do here as well,” she said. “I also hope it brings in new business opportunities for them.”
The Marana Main Street Festival goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive. Emceed by KOLD’s Joan Lee, the event boasts craft and food vendors, a beer garden, live music and bed races.
Those bed races — in which five-person, themed costume-wearing teams skid downhill on wheeled beds, is what most sets the festival apart from others.
The racers compete for best time, costumes, most money raised and also some zany categories, including “almost first place.”
Teams pay $75 to register. Check-in is at 9 a.m. and the races start at 10.
“The bed races are just hilarious,” Regrutto said. “They are fun to watch and fun to participate in. It’s just fun to see people bring their family members out just to have a good time.”
For RV enthusiasts, the festivities begin Friday night with a boondocking campout at Marana Health Center, 2355 N. Wyatt Drive.
“It’s Marana’s biggest tailgate party,” Regrutto said. “People bring out their lounge chairs and hang out.”
The festival’s variety of activities should please diverse groups.
“There’s kind of something for everyone,” Murphy said. “There’s a kids area and there are booths that people can just kind of stop at and find fun, exciting things to do. There are things to entertain the whole family.”
Regrutto said the attendees themselves are part of the festival’s attraction.
“It’s a good way to network and meet people,” she said, “and if someone is new in the community, they can come and be exposed to businesses and just learn a little bit more about the town of Marana.”