With over 300 days of sunshine a year at our resort community , Chandler, Arizona, inspires residents and visitors alike to enjoy a host of special events, holidays, and festivals. Some of these are one-of-a-kind events unique to Chandler itself, such as the Ostrich Festival in March—a tribute to the area’s historic ostrich farms—and the Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parade of Lights, featuring the only tumbleweed Christmas tree in the entire U.S. Here are just a handful of the many special days you can celebrate in Southwest style.
Love baseball? You’ll love Chandler and the entire Phoenix area for Spring Training. The Cactus League, featuring 15 major league teams, had its beginnings in 1947 with the Cleveland Indians and New York Giants coming to the Arizona desert to knock away the winter “cobwebs” before Opening Day. Of course, the fans followed…and the rest has been happy history.
Today, the Phoenix area boasts the largest concentration of pro baseball anywhere in the country; stadiums are short drives from one another, and there are plenty of hotel rooms to accommodate the “snowbirds” who follow their favorites so faithfully. With a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, family-friendly ticket prices, and that ever-present sunshine, the Cactus League draws throngs year after year—and helps make this area a terrific place to spend February or March.
Doing the Tech Crawl…
If your tastes run less to athletic events and more to the pursuit of glorious “geekdom,” then February’s Science Festival will be right up your alley. For three days, Chandler puts its spotlight on inventions and inventors, technology, and practical science, showcasing businesses and students participating in the Arizona SciTech Festival.
Among the fun: the “tech crawl,” in which local hi-tech businesses open their doors and let you peek behind the scenes; the Art of Science, where the monthly Chandler Art Walk is focused on the science behind art, food, drink, beauty, and innovation; and Science Saturday, with interactive demonstrations that impart “sneaky learning” to the whole family.
…or Cruisin’ in a Classic
If you’re a gear head, February’s your time in Chandler, thanks to the Classic Car and Hot Rod Show. Founded in 2003 by Maury Williamson and the late Jerry Biondi (owners of an old-time barbershop in the historic downtown), this festival combines the founders’ love of classic cars and vintage hot rods and a desire to give back to the community. Since its inception, the show has raised over $100,000 for nonprofits such as ICAN, Well-Founded Hope, and Dogs-4-Vets; since 2003, the festival has tripled in size and continues to grow more popular every year.
Birds of a Different Feather
Close on the heels of baseball-fan snowbirds come…ostriches. Really!
In earlier times, ostrich feathers graced the wearing apparel of well-dressed ladies, and Chandler’s ostrich ranchers raised the birds to supply those ladies’ dress and hat makers with the beautiful (and expensive!) plumes. Now, you won’t find too many ostrich ranches anywhere—but you can still find a focus on ostriches in Chandler during mid-March. Hundreds of thousands of people flock (no pun intended) to Tumbleweed Park for a family event that features everything from nationally-known entertainers to arts and crafts collections, carnival games, great food and, of course, ostrich races!
And That’s Just the Beginning.
Rounding out March are a city St. Patrick’s Day bash and the Great American BBQ and Beer Festival, with national barbecue champions competing to the accompaniment of blues, country, and rock performers. Naturally, the Southwest wouldn’t be the Southwest without a notable Cinco de Mayo celebration, too; Chandler does theirs in style with Chihuahua Races featuring four-footed competitors vying for honors as Fastest Little Dog in the West. The Fourth of July brings in tons of family fun with a free carnival, bike parade, and—of course—a spectacular fireworks show.
Then, it’s time for the fall and winter holiday season to kick off with the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off (including a kids’ competition) and “Rock the Block,” a November event billed as the Biggest Party in Chandler. Before you know it, it’s time for Santa to make his annual appearance in the Southwest. The city welcomes some 12,000 happy spectators who watch the mayor light the Tumbleweed Tree, then tour Santa’s House and enjoy holiday treats.
Something for Everyone
From January’s Multicultural Festivals to Native American Art and Craft fairs to good old-fashioned outdoor adventures, Chandler embraces it all—and they’re waiting for you with warm sunshine, warm welcomes, and warm smiles. In Chandler, it’s always a good time for a party!