There isn't much in this world that's better than drinking beer while listening to music. Good Cheer Brewfest combines these complementary activities with a good cause, and the result is a festival that will be hard to top this holiday season.
The formula is simple: bring together a team of brewers and musical acts, then donate a portion of the proceeds to local charities. This year, those charities include The Humanitarian Activist Alliance and Phoenix Children's Hospital, as well as Toys for Tots, which will be collecting toy donations.
Good Cheer's music schedule features eclectic sounds that range from the foot-stompin' Americana of local boys Random Karma to the soul-driven blues of Ebinezer. Keep an eye on the brew page for updates on the festival's featured beers, which may include everything from crisp lagers to the latest beer-flavored energy drink, BuzzBeer.
The Fourth of July is, by nature, just one day. However, Red White & Rawhide celebrates the holiday for two days straight, closing out both nights of revelry with epic fireworks. Before the glittering light displays fill the sky, though, there's plenty of fun to be had in the sun. Visitors taste craft beers and wines, for instance, and swig flavored margaritas, washing down meals from local food trucks. Musicians play live for the crowds, too, and local artists showcase handiwork more compelling than a pure black canvas depicting the Founding Fathers in a dark room.
Urban Dare Adventure Race is a fast-paced competition that challenges two-person teams to decipher clues, navigate the city, and perform playful stunts. A dozen trivia-based clues lead contestants to checkpoints all over Phoenix, where they must use a camera to document their presence and, in some cases, complete challenges, such as scaling a wall or solving a puzzle. In addition to running and walking, contestants may use public transportation to move from checkpoint to checkpoint, though taxis, cars, and bikes are off-limits. Races generally last less than four hours, and the winning team receives free entry to the Super Dare, a cruise-based take on the Urban Dare concept that features a $5,000 grand prize. Proceeds from the race will be used to help battle breast cancer.
Every year, more than 100 amateur and professional cooks prepare fresh salsas for My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge. Proceeds from the daylong salsa competition and festival benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association, which aims to enhance the life of sufferers and advocate for bleeding disorders. Now in its 30th year, the fest brings in more than 20,000 people annually. In addition to the salsa challenge, the Patron Margarita Mix-Off, which takes place from 12:30?3:30 p.m., challenges local bartenders to compete for the title of Best Margarita and a $500 cash prize. Outside of competitions, margaritas and cold beers wash down unlimited chips and salsa, and the rhythms of live bands keep crowds chewing in unison. Parents can accompany their children into a fun zone with multiple bounce houses, interactive games, and a bungee run.
Host Sharon Cooper-Lashley has trained with such celebrity stylists as Patric Bradley and Taliah Waajid, and in the first Annual Divas of Colour Hair & Beauty Show she brings together some of Arizona's rising stars in creative hair and makeup. They may all share a passion for transforming people into walking works of art, but it's not all buddy-buddy?it's a competition. The artists vie for top honors in categories such as Natural Hair, which bans chemical straighteners; Fantasy Hair, which is open to more imaginative possibilities; the Barber Battle, a lightning-round for elaborate fades and designs; and the Make-Up contest, which transforms models into high-concept fantasy beings.
Microbrews and macrobrews, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Coors Light, and Miller Genuine Draft, come together for a night of revelry at the Blue Collar Beerfest & Backyard BBQ. The event takes place at Rawhide Western Town, a replica of a bygone era complete with stagecoach rides and gold-panning activities. Once there, festgoers can swig samples of 20 beers and let a roller-derby expo and a mechanical bull vie for their attention.