From peaches in Willcox to Tucson tequila, from south of the border salsa to Sonoita wines, August is chock full of fun food fests for the whole family. So beat the heat and the crowded city and head out of town for that last bit of summer vacation. Here is the tasty lowdown.
August 4-5: Annual Harvest Fest – Sonoita Vineyards, (290 Elgin-Canelo Road, Elgin) – Includes wine tasting with souvenir glass, wine and food pairings, winery tours, vineyard tours and grape stomping each day at 1:30pm, lunch available for purchase; 10am – 4pm. Call 520.455.5893 or visit www.sonoitavineyards.com.
August 4-19: 15th Annual Peach Mania Festival – Apple Annie’s Orchard, Wilcox – Weekends in August, u-pick tree ripened peaches and apples, all-you-can eat pancake breakfast 7-10am; peach ice cream, peach pie; 7am-5:30pm. Enjoy a craft festival weekend of August 4-5. Call 520.384.2084 or visit www.appleannies.com.
August 4-25: Show Low Main Street Farmers’ Market & Art Walk – Festival Marketplace, (1041 East Deuce of Clubs) – Features local produce growers, food product producers, artisans and craftspeople, entertainment, Saturdays, 9am-1pm. Call 928.521.9284 or visit www.showlowfarmersmarket.com.
August 18: Alpine Chili Cook-Off – The Rodeo Grounds play host to chili competition, including people’s choice; 11am. Call 928.245.5166 or www.alpinearizona.com.
August 18: Starlight Ride/Grape Train Escapes /Tequila Train – Verde Canyon Railroad, Clarkdale – Wine or tequila tasting trains with unique beverages and food from around the world. Also takes place on September 1. Call 928.639.0010 or visit www.verdecanyonrr.com.
August 19: 16th Annual NAU Wine & Dine in the Pines – Enjoy the finest wines from around the world and culinary delights from the best restaurants in Northern Arizona at Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff; 2-5pm. Hosted by the Northern Arizona University Lumberjack Athletic Association, all proceeds go towards NAU athletic scholarships. Call 928.523.5353 or visit www.nauathletics.com.
August 25: Tequila Challenge – La Encantada Shopping Center, Tucson, hosts local chefs creating unique interpretations of original tequila-based mixed drinks for tequila tastings, $40 per person, includes salsa tastings and chips as well as unique tequila drinks, Mexican food dinner, private concerts and flamenco dancing; 6-9 pm. Call 520.797.3959 or visit
August 25: 2012 Southern Arizona Salsa Culinary Challenge – Celebrate Tucson’s Hispanic heritage with music, dancing, artwork and food, salsa features professional chefs and amateur competitions, also a fiesta featuring live mariachi music, art sales, Latin and flamenco dancing, beer and children’s activities; $15 includes chips and sampling; 4-7 pm. Call 520.797.3959 or visit
August 26: Edible & Medicinal Plants – Boyce Thompson Arboretum, one-hour walk up the Curandero Trail to learn about Sonoran Desert plants, a few moderately steep sections, guided by Choctaw nation member and ethno botanist David Morris and Foods of the Superstitions cookbook author Jean Groen; $3-7.50; 8am. Call 520.689.2811 or visit