Arts and Culture

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Flagstaff is host to rodeos, concerts, museums and festivals, and is a thriving arts and culture scene that attracts visitors from all over the country to the southwestern corner of the U.S.

Every June, Flagstaff Blues & Brews serves up some of the best tunes and craft beer around. The 2018 lineup featured Robert Randolph and the Family, Ana Popovic, Curtis Salgado and Nick Moss Band. Local breweries like Mother Road Brewing Company and Lumberyard Brewery are on tap while local vendors offer a variety of food for a full day of family friendly fun.

June also brings the Flag Wool and Fiber Festival, a two-day event dedicated to the fiber arts. Observe sheep shearing, guest speakers and animal exhibits that feature camels, llamas, alpacas and rabbits. Visit vendor booths to browse and buy yarn, scarves, clothing and much more. Want to learn a craft? The festival offers workshops on spinning, dyeing, weaving and felting, while participants take part in demonstrations and competitions.

Next, saddle up for the Flagstaff Pro Rodeo at the end of June, which brings nearly 9,000 fans, 50 vendors and more than 300 contestants to the area. This three-day event features team roping, barrel racing, bull riding, bareback riding and other events.

During the height of summer, celebrate Independence Day at the Flagstaff Fourth of July Parade. Named the No. 1 town for July 4 by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Flagstaff goes all out for this national holiday. The parade, which tours the historic downtown area, features more than 100 entries and is organized by the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce. Everyone will have a blast at this family friendly celebration.

It wouldn’t be October without Flagstaff Oktoberfest! Polka dancing, live music, food, craft beer and contests ensure that this event is jam packed with fun. Now in its 10th year, Oktoberfest is the perfect time to strap on your Lederhosen and enjoy a day of fun.

In nearby Williams, only 35 miles west of Flagstaff, ARTober Fest, hosted by Magic Bird, is the place to be for local artwork. The October festival hosts more than 100 artists and vendors that display and sell music, jewelry, food, crafts and more.

If you happen to miss these events, enjoy the arts all year long at area museums and make your own crafts at local workshops. The Flagstaff Arts Council hosts the Summer Concert Series, Downtown Friday Nights and First Friday ArtWalk. The council operates the Coconino Center for the Arts, which features a 200-seat theater and a 4,000-square-foot gallery. The center regularly hosts concerts, exhibits and art workshops in numerous mediums including drawing, felting, acting, photography and embroidery.

The Museum of Northern Arizona offers extensive exhibits, beautiful collections and engaging festivals that celebrate the art, culture and natural science of the Colorado Plateau. The stunning Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau exhibit, which opened in 2018 in partnership with 45 tribal consultants, features 350 artifacts including weavings, carvings, pottery and toys. Engaging children’s programming includes STEAM Second Saturdays each month.

MNA also hosts multiple events throughout the year, including the Annual Zuni Festival of Arts & Culture on Memorial Day weekend and the Hopi Festival of Arts & Culture on July 4. The Hopi Festival dates back to the 1930s and showcases 100 Hopi artists. In August, the Annual Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture features authentic food, dance, performances and artwork by Navajo artists.

Enjoy arts and crafts, dancing, ofrendas (altars), music and more at the Celebraciónes de la Gente, the annual Day of the Dead festival in October.

By Brooke Payne