WESTERN WEEK
Returns to Scottsdale
Text by Tyler Phillips

Above: Western Week includes a parade and a family-friendly block party with vendors, live entertainment, an ArtWalk, and food trucks.

The city of Scottsdale’s rich history dates back more than 130 years to the original farming and ranching operations that earned it the title of “The West’s Most Western Town.” Today, Old Town is a bustling area with dozens of local boutiques, art galleries, fine dining establishments, wineries and craft breweries. 

However, the city works hard to maintain its “Wild West” charm and keep its heritage alive through events such as Western Week, which returns with an exciting lineup of events that pay homage to the city’s Western roots and Native American heritage. From Saturday, January 29 through Sunday, February 6, 2022, guests can enjoy an array of activities, educational events and entertainment that tips its hat to all the city was, is and will be for years to come, thanks to its rich history and cultures.

“This year’s Western Week is packed full of our most time-honored traditional events and some fascinating new happenings, too,” says Karen Churchard, Director of Tourism & Events for the city of Scottsdale. “Each year we work hard to not only honor the city’s past but also the people who have made up the rich and interesting tapestry that makes the community of Scottsdale so desirable today. We look forward to celebrating Western Week with all our residents and visitors.”

Above: The Farmers Market will offer seasonal produce, cheeses, artisan breads, jams, indigenous specialties and flowers from local purveyors.

Western Week is comprised of a multitude of events taking place all week long throughout Old Town Scottsdale including:

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market

Saturday, January 29 | 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

At Brown Avenue and 1st Street, enjoy a selection of the freshest produce of the season, indigenous specialties of the West, flowers, free-range beef, eggs, local cheeses, freshly baked artisan breads, jams and more from local purveyors. During a visit to the market, guests can get into the Western Spirit by enjoying a Wild West Show at the Old Town Scottsdale Rodeo Museum right next door. Watch as World Champion Showman Johnny Hotshot thrills with a rowdy, cowboy-style display of trick shooting (with safe “balloon buster” blanks), gun spinning, trick roping and whip cracking. Free and fun for all ages, shows take place at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Western Spirit Gold Palette ArtWalk

Thursday, February 3 | 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

As attendees stroll the streets of the Scottsdale Arts District (from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard, and north of Indian School Road on Marshall Way to 5th Avenue), guests can enjoy special Western-themed exhibitions within participating galleries as well as live entertainment from the Desert Dixie Band and Gary Sprague, Arizona’s Singing Cowboy and his trusty horse Dusty.

64th Annual Hashknife Pony Express Arrival

Friday, February 4 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Guests are invited to gather as this annual ride culminates on the steps of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, delivering more than 20,000 pieces of U.S. Mail. This traditional event begins with fanfare surrounding the arrival including live music, bands, line dancers, Native American hoop dancers and royalty, kids’ activities, food trucks, a presentation about the History of Hashknife at 10:00 a.m., and more. The arrival of the Hashknife Pony Express, the oldest officially sanctioned Pony Express in the world, takes place at high noon. Event is free and admission to the Museum is also free that day.

Above: The two-day cultural celebration, Arizona Indian Festival, honors the 22 indigenous Arizona Indian communities.  

Arizona Indian Festival

Saturday, February 5 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, February 6 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Featuring an array of traditional arts and crafts, entertainment, foods, innovations and trends in cultural tourism experiences, the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association’s two-day cultural celebration honors the 22 indigenous Arizona Indian communities. Located at Brown Avenue and 1st Street, this inclusive inter-tribal event serves as a platform for tribal tourism to raise awareness about Arizona’s indigenous communities through fun and engaging experiences.

Above: This year’s Scottsdale Parada del Sol Historic Parade and Trail’s End Festival is themed Back in the Saddle.

Parada del Sol Historic Parade and Trail’s End Festival

Saturday, February 5 | 10 a.m.- noon (parade), noon – 4 p.m. (festival)

With nearly 70 years of history under its belt, the annual Scottsdale Parada del Sol Historic Parade and Trail’s End Festival is “back in the saddle” (the event’s theme) this year after a one year hiatus. Dan Harkins serves as Grand Marshall of the parade that features more than 125 lively entries including colorful floats, mounted horse-riders, horse-drawn carriages, school marching bands, wagons and stagecoaches representing many cultures from Mexican and Native American to Arabian and Western. Immediately following the parade, the Historic Old Town district transforms into a massive Western-style block party with a kids’ zone, food trucks, merchandise vendors, and multiple stages with live entertainment, including concerts from today’s popular bands to traditional performers. The parade follows a route from Drinkwater Boulevard along Scottsdale Road, finishing at Brown Avenue and Indian School Road.

Above: Guests will enjoy Native traditional and fusion foods and cocktails.

Arizona Native Edible Experience

Saturday, February 5 | 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Complementing the Arizona Indian Festival, this signature culinary event offers guests an opportunity to taste traditional and fusion foods and cocktails prepared by Native Chefs while enjoying Native American arts and artists in a glamorous cocktail party setting. Held at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, the evening presents a rich tapestry of Native Arizona through its history, food, people, music and culture and aims to bring together multiple Native communities to highlight and celebrate the contributions of Arizona’s Native Peoples. Tickets are limited; cost is $25 per person including no-host bar and silent auction.

For more, visit www.scottsdalewesternweek.com