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.
by: Editor on 10/13/2015
Experience the beauty of Sedona from an entirely new perspective—that of more than 22 of the best living painters in the world. “En plein air” is a French phrase that translates to “in the open air,” and it perfectly captures artistry that is crafted outdoors, far from the confines of a studio. The Sedona Arts Center is featuring the Sedona Plein Air Festival October 17-24, showcasing art that shows off the incredible vistas, red rocks, and desert beauty of Arizona.
You’ll get a glimpse into the working strategy of numerous painters, many of whom will be creating stunning pieces on site. The City of Sedona backs this festival, along with a series of galleries, artists, and complementary artisans such as the Sedona International Film Festival and Wildflower Bread Company.
An Artist’s Eye
On October 17 from 1-4pm, the Main Street Paint Out is a free event on Main Street where you can see artists in action. From 5-7pm, join the free reception in the Plein Air Galleries featuring pieces that artists bring from around the world. On October 18 from 10am-noon, a free contemporary oil materials workshop will be given by Scott Gellatly.
In the evening of the 18th, from 7-8pm, paint outside the box with a free workshop compliments or Carl Judson, “Guerilla Painter.” Ask your Best Western Sedona staff for directions, recommendations on galleries, and for more information on this eclectic event.
by: Editor on 10/11/2015
Sedona is a hotspot for live performances, and there are many coming up in autumn and early winter. See Young Thug on October 16, All That Remains and We Came as Romans on October 22, and Greensky Bluegrass on October 28. Blues Traveler will be in town on October 23, with Los Lobos planning for a January 29 visit. The featured event, Tribal Seeds, will be taking the stage on January 30.
The Coconino High performance of Closer than Ever takes place October 12-17. Plan your holiday travels early, with the Nutcracker beginning on December 4. The Texas Tenors will be in town for a December 19 performance at Yavapai Performance Hall. At Flying Nest Studio, establish a new Halloween tradition and check out Fayettenam.
Guests can always ask their friendly front desk staff about recommendations, last minute additions to a lineup, or for help getting tickets or a reservation. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is playing on October 30 for a “late-late” showing. You’ll find Bold Brush Plein Air at the Gallery Building throughout October, with Perspective and Illusion beginning in November.
Whether you prefer concerts, plays, or something a little more eclectic, Sedona is the perfect place to take in a show and get up close and personal with the local arts scene.