by: Editor on 7/1/2016
Sedona is the perfectly patriotic place to be this Independence Day, with events, parades and firework displays galore. The party starts early with the All-American Weekend at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel in nearby Camp Verde. For adults who want to try their luck, five times per day a $239 Castle Cash hot seat drawing takes place with complimentary hot dogs, chips and soda from 4-9pm on July 4th.
There are face painters and a carnival for the kids, and fireworks at 9:30pm on the big day. The Sedona 4th of July Concert and Laser Light Show offers a special light show every hour on the hour at the Performing Arts Center, with food vendors and a concert from 10am-2pm at Sedona Red Rock High School.
Light It Up!
The nearby Prescott 4th of July Celebration has the biggest fireworks show in the area. They also have zip-lining, a carnival, water slides, climbing walls, bungee trampolining, and live entertainment. Fireworks begin at 9pm and there’s a free shuttle and parking at Embry-Riddle located on Willow Creek Road.
For something a little different, head to the 4th of July Rodeo Parade in Prescott followed by Whiskey Row Boot Racing and a parade. It’s all in downtown Prescott from 9-11am!
by: Editor on 6/10/2016
Celebrate summer in the quintessential “always summer” city of Sedona. Even though it feels like the best season of all year-round, Sedona residents love the festivities that roll around every June. The Summer Solstice Celebration of Light Ceremonies and Vision Quest Retreat is held June 19-26, where participants engage in activities to “deepen spiritual insights” and celebrate their relationship with Mother Earth. Hosted by the Hopi Healing Circle, it draws eager attendees from around the world each year.
The Sedona Summer Solstice Festival is held on June 21 at Unity of Sedona from 9am-9pm and includes catered lunches and dinners. You’ll be treated to a myriad of speakers and performers including Druid Priestess Linda and songs from Three Trees and Kayt Pearl. Bohemian or renaissance attire is highly encouraged.
Ring in Summer
Sedona Spirit Yoga and Hiking Day Tours offer a Summer Solstice surrender every June where yogis of all abilities gather to salute the sun. You’ll be led on beautiful hikes to some of the most isolated areas in Sedona where seasoned yoga instructors will lead you in a series meant to brighten the light in and around you. It’s the perfect slice of zen for your trip.
However you celebrate summer, simply being in the spiritual city of Sedona is a fantastic way to kick off the season.
by: Editor on 5/5/2016
On May 7, the famous Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off, hosted by the local Rotary Club, takes place at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Part of the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend, 2016 welcomes a new Mayors’ Challenge as Mayor Diane Smith Joens of Cottonwood takes on Mayor Sandy Moriarty of Sedona. There’s also the much loved Fire Chiefs’ Challenge. This year it features the Chief of Camp Verde/Montezuma Rimrock Fire District, Terry Keller, against last years’ champ and the Chief of Sedona Fire District, Kris Kazian.
A number of awards are at stake, including the Peoples’ Choice Award and Judges’ Award, which go to restaurants eager to show off their best chili recipes. There’s also the Best Booth Décor Award. This year’s competing restaurants include 89Agave, a Sonoran Mexican taqueria, Café Paleo Brio Health Food Restaurant, and Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge (and many more!).
The Hideaway House is back, a country Italian restaurant that brings fresh flavor to a southwestern classic dish. The Hudson is also in the running, along with Timo, a wood-fired oven eatery and wine bar. Will Vino di Sedona (a craft beer haven), Verde Brewing Company or Whole Foods Market take home the trophy this year?
All proceeds benefit the Rotary’s charitable programs, especially the Imagination Library which offers free books to 400+ children in the Sedona area. There are also scholarships supported by the cook-off, and END POLIO NOW receives some of the proceeds too.
by: Editor on 4/20/2016
The fourth weekend in April marks the annual Sedona Open Studios Tour from 10am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday. Visit artists in their natural environment and enjoy live music, appetizers and great company as you go from studio to studio. Get to know a deeper level of artistry, watch the masters work, and maybe even fall in love with a piece that’s the perfect keepsake from your Sedona adventure.
The Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition is the host of the event, now in its 13th year. A celebration of all artists in the greater Verde Valley, the artist-operated non-profit welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Artists’ participation fees fully fund the tours, which makes it a free community event for all.
A Real Work of Art
In 2016, more than 40 studios will be participating, and every imaginable medium will be on display. Enjoy ceramics, fiber, watercolors, painting, sculpture, photography, and even jewelry making. The Coalition was founded in 1996 with nine artist friends who were passionate about conversations and the sharing of creative ideas.
A common bond can strengthen each individual artist. Now, there are more than 150 shows hosted by the Coalition each year. In 2006, the group gained non-profit status and has been featured in the Sedona Monthly magazine. Show your support, and indulge in a weekend of artistry to see another beautiful slice of Sedona.
by: Editor on 11/20/2015
Traveling during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! Many restaurants in town will have special holiday hours, and many will feature unique holiday dishes. Ask the front desk staff about their recommendations, including an abundance of events and festivals around town.
Home for the Holidays
Everyone’s idea of the holidays is different, and packing during this time of year can be a little challenging. If you exchange gifts, make sure to shop and wrap early—and perhaps bring some small token gifts with you to open on the big day. Slip into a coffee shop for a seasonal treat with pumpkin spice or cranberry pastries.
You’re in charge of your memories and how you celebrate, so make the most of it while you’re away from home!
by: Editor on 11/20/2015
Your December concert options are nearly endless in Sedona, whether you’re after a traditional holiday quarter show or want to check out world-class entertainment in a local venue. On December 11th Jake Dean will be in town at the Olde Sedona Restaurant and Bar, taking the stage at 9pm and offering a night of entertainment and dancing that you’ll never forget. Even better, it’s just a few miles from Best Western Sedona!
The OTCA Holiday Concert on December 12th kicks off at 7pm at the Old Town Center for the Arts. The annual series promises to be the best ever in 2015, playing both classic and modern holiday music. The best singers and performers in all of Arizona head to Cottonwood to celebrate the holiday season in style.
Music to Your Ears
See Anthony Mazzella in concert on November 28th, featured at the Sedona Creative Life Center. Dubbed the “guitar wizard,” it’s the perfect way to begin the holiday season—if you’re not scouring Sedona for those Black Friday deals, of course. In Cornville, you’ll find PK Gregory at the Page Springs Cellars performing December 12th at 5:30pm.
Keith Okie comes to Oak Creek Brewing Company on December 18th at 8pm, and you’ll find a host of live music on recurring event calendars at bars all around the area.