If exploring our state over the next week is on your summer agenda, check out what’s happening in these cities:
Seems all of the East Valley communities — Mesa, Chandler and Scottsdale — host monthly art walks and festivals.
Mesa and Chandler set aside the second and third Friday of the month respectively. But Scottsdale, that bastion of Western art and haute culture, hosts one every Thursday, and not just during the summer months: It’s a year-round thing that’s been growing every year for the past 30. Starting at 7 p.m., artists and galleries in the Scottsdale Art District — along Main Street from Scottsdale Road west to Goldwater Boulevard and on Marshall Way north of Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue — open their doors to guests.
Admission is free and the art walk runs through 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Details: scottsdalegalleries.com
On average, Alpine, not far from the New Mexico border, is at least 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix or Tucson, which is reason enough to explore this tiny town on the eastern end of the White Mountains.
But over the weekend of Saturday, July 6, and Sunday, July 7, you can use art as your excuse to climb that mountain for the Alpine Area Artisans Festival. The annual multi-day festival shines a spotlight on the Alpine area’s quilters, photographers, basket weavers, jewelers, painters and knitters.
Ready for a sports weekend? The Arizona Diamondbacks have a three-game homestretch this weekend at Chase Field, with games against the Colorado Rockies Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 5-7. And the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team is playing a pair of games next door at Talking Stick Arena vs. New York Liberty on July 5 and Atlanta Dream July 7.
With a little creative wiggling, you could even double-dip and snag a two-fer — the D’Backs play at 1:10 p.m. Sunday, the Mercury tips off at 3.
Your tween/teen is going to love you when you pull up to the Gila River Arena in Glendale — next door to State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals — on Tuesday, July 9, with tickets to see Shawn Mendes. The Canadian pop star is the “it boy” with a handful of hits and hard-to-resist boy-next-door charm that comes through when he stands on stage. Fellow Canadian Alessia Cara (“Out of Love,” “Stay”) opens the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $44 through ticketmaster.com.
After a 10-year hiatus, Festival in the Pines returns to Flagstaff’s Fort Tuthill Coconino County Fairgrounds at 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop off Interstate 17. This is not only an excuse to escape the valley heat, it’s a chance to become part of history revisited. The festival is expecting as many as 20,000 people to see the works of 150 artisans and vendors from around the country. Admission is $10, free for kids 12 and younger. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 4, through Saturday, July 6 . Details: flagstaffartfest.com