Five Must-Attend Events at the Fifth Annual Grand Avenue Festival in Phoenix

Categories: Events

Andrew Pielage
View from the street at the 2012 Grand Avenue Festival.

Every year as the weather cools, Phoenicians take to the streets across the city. After a sweltering and seemingly endless summer, the city rustles itself awake with the promise of art walks, food trucks, vendors, live music, performance art, people-watching, and festival shenanigans.

The Grand Avenue Festival is no exception. Now in its fifth year, the vibrant, daylong street (er, avenue) fair is hosted by the Grand Avenue Merchants Association and highlights lower Grand Avenue, loosely bookended by 7th and 16th avenues. Expect shows from local artists and designers and after-hours parties at the neighborhood's anchoring businesses, including Bragg's Pie Factory, Bikini Lounge, and the Oasis on Grand.

Here are five don't-miss events to help you navigate your way through everything Phoenix's favorite diagonal thoroughfare has to offer this Saturday.

See also: Call to Artists: Grand Avenue Festival Seeks Recycled Art

Andrew Pielage
The ReDapt tour visits the OS Stapley Hardware Store mid-facelift during Grand Avenue Festival 2012.

ReDapt Historic Commercial Building Tours
The festival's popular ReDapt Historic Commercial Building Tours are a chance to take a closer look at a selection of core real estate and see just how far the strip has come.

Led by local historians and sponsored by the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, the two-hour walking tours underscore three neighborhood mainstays. The free tours leave every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. until noon at the historic OS Stapley Hardware Store building at 747 Grand Avenue.

Built in 1917, the OS Stapley Hardware Store has recently undergone a $2 million restoration, which visitors will get to explore inside and out. The tour continues, dropping by what once was the original Phoenix Motor Company (then housed in a brick warehouse built in 1947), and ends at the Fushicho Daiko Doja Drum and Karate Studio, which has taken up residence in a 1950s storefront.

Found objects become art at Calaca's 9th Annual Dia de los Muertos show.
"Segunda Vida" at the Frontal Lobe Gallery
Re-adaptation is in Grand Avenue's roots, and in keeping with that theme, Calaca's 9th Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration features contemporary pieces using repurposed materials. The group show, titled "Segunda Vida," or "Second Life," is not only an artistic collaboration but also a cultural one, facilitating a new look at the age-old Mexican practice of connecting with the dead through gifts and left possessions. Participating artists include El Vaquero Muerto, Kathy Cano-Murillo and Patrick Murillo, and Annette Sexton-Ruiz.

The exhibition is held at the Frontal Lobe Gallery inside Bragg's Pie Factory, 1301 West Grand Avenue, and is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. It will remain on display through Friday, October 25.

No Festival Required in the Bragg's Parking Lot
After sunset, the parking lot at Bragg's Pie Factory turns into a free walk-up movie theater featuring two films, with projections courtesy of No Festival Required.

The first, Best of the Rural Route Film Festival: Shorts Edition, (6:30 to 8 p.m.) is a compilation of thirteen films from the first five years of the Rural Route Film Festival, an annual screening event based out of New York City.

The featured shorts are followed by the 2008 documentary Tokyo is Dreaming (8:15 to 9:30 p.m.), directed by Peter Chang with a score by John Covertino of Tucson-based band Calexico. The 68-minute piece depicts modern life in the capital city while crosscutting images of nationalist rallies and military newsreels, creating an eerie and unsettling look at existence.

Location Info


Grand Avenue Arts District

Grand Ave. roughly b/t 7th and 16th avenues, Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Frontal Lobe Gallery at Bragg's Pie Factory

1301 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Bragg's Pie Factory

1301 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Oasis on Grand

1501 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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