This weekend’s lineup of events has much to offer with arts and music. And for those looking to give their landscaping a face lift, check out the cactus and succulent show and sale.

Artwork by students is the highlight of the Peoria Arts and Cultural Festival this Saturday, which takes place in Old Town Peoria.

Peoria Unified School District students’ artwork will be on display. All grade levels and every school in the district will be represented.

“This is a coveted thing for parents, to have their kids’ art on display,” Erin Dunsey, district media relations specialist, says. “Only some artwork is chosen to be on display.”

In addition, dance routines, theater acts, choir and band performances will take place on multiple stages.

Don’t miss the tent with pottery demonstrations throughout the day. According to Dunsey, this has been a popular attraction every year.

There will be a kids zone with bounce houses, face painting and activities. Festival-goers can purchase wrist bands to enjoy this zone. All proceeds go to the school district.

“This event is meant for the entire community,” Dunsey says. “It’s been a community event for years, and we want to continue that tradition.”

Craft vendors and about 20 food vendors also will be selling their wares. About 16,000 community members attended the festival last year, and Dunsey says that number is expected to grow this year.

“I hope people get excited about the wonderful arts opportunities in the district,” Dunsey says. “We are extremely proud to offer arts education. We think it’s a pillar in a child’s education.”

Details: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 7. Various locations in Old Town Peoria, at Peoria and Grand avenues. Free.

Maricopa Music Fest

If you like music, head to Maricopa on Saturday. About two dozen performers will take their acts to two stages at Copper Sky Recreation Complex.

Music will cover such genres as hip hop, R&B, pop, rock, indie, reggae and jazz. Performers include Jimi Hendrix Review By Derrick Cummings, Lighthouse Band, The Sink or Swim and AlmostBlu Band, just to name a few.

The show will include a DJ booth, three screens for audience viewing and a VIP lounge.

The Maricopa Music Fest takes place Saturday, April

The Maricopa Music Fest takes place Saturday, April 7 at Copper Sky Recreation Complex in Maricopa. Photo of the band The Sink or Swim. (Photo: Photo by Raysquared)



There also will be glow-in-the-dark face painting with a contest, an art walk and a science walk. Or take part in a game of live checkers. A beer garden will be open to adults.

The art walk will feature nine artists who will visit with festival-goers. Bikers Against Abuse will be honored at the event for their work helping abused youths around the globe.

Details: 1-10 p.m. Saturday, April 7. Copper Sky Recreation Complex, 44345 M.L.K. Jr. Blvd., Maricopa. General admission is $20-$50.

Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts

April is the last month this year to catch the free Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts. Held the first and third Saturdays of every month from fall through spring, this Saturday is the second-to-last show for a while and feature a wide range of art and goodies.

Sixty to 70 vendors will line the streets of downtown Mesa, offering an intriguing mix of items. In the food category are caramels, fudge and peanut brittle with a kick. Art items include blown glass, wood items, multimedia art and wire-wrap jewelry. 

During the Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts, patrons

During the Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts, patrons can see live art demos. During the Celebration of Fine Art, guests can see artists such as wood sculptor David Barkby at work. (Photo: Karen Svoboda)



If you’re looking for household items, this is the place to search. There are soaps, scrubs, candles, handmade herbal concoctions, hand-hammered copper and items crafted from recycled silverware.

All that walking and buying can make anyone hungry. Food vendors such as Dubb Ya Bee’s BBQ, The Lemongrass Shack, Let It Snow Cones and Road Snacks Tasty Treats will be there as well.

Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 7. 1 N. MacDonald, Mesa. Free.

Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Show and Sale

Spring is the time to evaluate your landscaping. Whether it’s time for a complete yard overhaul or just some sprucing up, the place to start is the Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Show and Sale this weekend at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

You’ll find unusual plants, pots and related items on display in Dorrance Hall and on the patio outside the hall.

A plethora of succulents and cactuses will be entered into the show, some for judging and others simply for display.

Adam RodriguezDesert Botanical Garden will have 30,000

Adam Rodriguez Desert Botanical Garden will have 30,000 plants for sale the weekend of March 18-19. Adam Rodriguez The Desert Botanical Garden plans to sell 30,000 plants during its annual Spring Plant Sale, a fundraising event that is expected to attract at least 6,000 people. The Desert Botanical Garden plans to sell 30,000 plants at the Fall Plant Sale. (Photo: Adam Rodriguez)


There are four competition categories, including junior novice, novice, advanced and master. These classifications are based on first-place ribbons won at previous competitions.

First- through third-place ribbons will be awarded along with honorable mentions.

The Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society is an affiliate of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. It has monthly meetings and regular activities.

Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, April 6-8. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Free. centralarizonacactus.org/annual-show.