Text by Tyler Phillips

To kickstart the fall season, we rounded up some fun festivals for you to explore. Watch artists create paintings in scenic locations, discover treasures at a vintage market, purchase a whimsical, handmade glass pumpkin and take in a parade and carnival in Superior…you decide!

Above: Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market returns to WestWorld this coming weekend.

Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market

September 17-19 | WestWorld, Scottsdale

This semi-annual shopping experience is celebrating its 10th year of offering Valley residents the opportunity to shop all things vintage, local and handmade. The Market will host over 130 vintage curators and handmade artisans from across the country. With a reputation for featuring quality vendors selling one-of-a-kind items and inspiring design, Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market continues to be a popular attraction for vintage enthusiasts across the Southwest. www.junkinthetrunkvintagemarket.com

Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour

October 1-3 | Prescott/Quad-City area

Featuring over 100 artists throughout the Prescott/Quad-City area, the Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour will offer attendees an opportunity to visit with the artists, observe the creative process and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art. Numerous mediums will be on display, including painting, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, digital art and more. Attendees of this free, self-guided event may begin at any of the 53 locations throughout Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley or Paulden, and may visit as many as they like. https://www.prescottstudiotour.com/

Sedona Arts Festival

October 9-10 | Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona

Held against the backdrop of Sedona’s breathtaking red rock vistas, the Sedona Arts Festival will present its 30th annual fine art festival on October 9 and 10. Attracting artists from across the country, this renowned festival will showcase a diverse line-up of over 100 juried artists, as well as live music, raffle prizes, food, and the newly added beer and wine garden. Held on the campus of Sedona Red Rock High School, at 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road in West Sedona, there will be ample parking and transportation right to the front gate. https://sedonaartsfestival.org/

Above: Prescott Plein Air Art Festival features 16 local artists creating artwork in outdoor settings.

Prescott Plein Air Art Festival

October 21-24 | Prescott

The Highlands Center for Natural History and the City of Prescott present the 2nd Annual Prescott Plein Air Art Festival, at scenic locations throughout the town of Prescott. This special event will feature 16 renowned Arizona artists who have been invited to create art in outdoor settings, with a focus on highlighting the area’s diverse natural landscapes, historical and architectural beauty. Paintings finished within the three-day period will be displayed at a ticketed reception held on Sunday, October 24 from 2-6 p.m. at The Finn Restaurant at Touchmark at the Ranch, where the public will be able to view, purchase and judge the works for a People’s Choice Award. https://highlandscenter.org/prescott-plein-air/

Glass Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser

October 22-24 | Holland Center, Scottsdale

The Holland Center will celebrate the Halloween season with its 2nd Annual Glass Pumpkin Patch. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, this festive event will showcase over 1,000 whimsical, vibrantly colored glass pumpkins handmade by Gregory Tomb, an acclaimed local glass artist known for his unique, intricate designs. These one-of-a-kind works of art will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Holland Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to enhancing arts, education and community in the Desert Foothills region. https://hollandcenter.org/

Above: Watch the Burro Run participants cross the finish line in Superior on October 23.

Burro Run and Apache Leap Mining Festival | October 22-24 | Superior

The Superior Chamber of Commerce is excited to bring back two of the town’s most popular events: the Superior Burro Run and the 33rd Annual Apache Leap Mining Festival. Held over the weekend of October 22-24, these one-of-a-kind events will celebrate Superior’s rich history as a mining town with a series of fun, family-friendly activities, ranging from pack burro racing to a hands-on mining competition and more. The Festival will launch on Friday, October 22 with a carnival, vendors selling handcrafted goods, music and dancing on Main Street. Saturday and Sunday will include the annual parade, with burros and big rigs and hilarious Chihuahua races, which feature a runoff between the fastest small dog and the fastest Chihuahua. Live entertainment will contribute to the upbeat atmosphere throughout the event. Attendees of all ages will enjoy hands-on activities, including a mining competition in which participants perform grueling tasks such as sawing, mucking, spiking and drilling in a battle to win a coveted prize. In addition to all the fun, the Festival offers fascinating educational opportunities, such as historian speakers bringing to life the area’s mining stories from the past. https://www.visitphoenix.com

On Saturday, October 23, the teams consisting of one human partner and one burro partner will race down Main Street and out onto Forest Service trails, completing in one of three course lengths: three-, six- or twelve-mile. Each course will conclude back on Main Street, where spectators can watch the teams dash across the finish line. Spectators are encouraged to attend this exciting event, which will also feature a beer garden, live music and other entertainment, as well as trained burro adoptions from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). https://www.visitphoenix.com

Sedona Open Studios Tour | October 29-31 | Sedona and the Verde Valley

The Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition (SVAC) is pleased to announce the return of the Sedona Fall Open Studios Tour, taking place over the weekend of October 29-31. As part of this popular biannual event, approximately 45 working artists throughout the Verde Valley will open their private studios to the public, offering attendees a chance to gain firsthand insight into the creative process and purchase unique works of art while enjoying the stunning autumn scenery of Sedona and the Verde Valley.This self-guided Tour, which is always free to the public, will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. https://sedonaartistscoalition.org/

Chamber Music Sedona, The Unfolding of Music Concert | October 31, 3 p.m. | Sedona Performing Arts Center, Sedona

Sedona Chamber Music will begin it’s 2021-22 Concert Series with The Unfolding of Music by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han. Hailed by The New York Times as “chamber music’s power couple,” Finckel and Han’s endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, artistic administrators, educators and cultural entrepreneurs have earned them a place among the most influential and esteemed classical musicians in the world today. With works spanning nearly a quarter of a millennium, their performance will lead listeners through the extraordinary evolution of classical music, ranging from Bach, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, to Debussy and Britten. https://chambermusicsedona.org