CAVE CREEK RODEO DAYS 2018: March 17-25

It is one of the biggest events taking place in the Town each year, and the Cave Creek Rodeo Days celebration rides into town this month. Cave Creek Rodeo Days is celebrating 41 years of preserving western heritage and promoting the sport of professional rodeo this month, with events taking place March 17–25. Cave Creek Rodeo Days is comprised of an all-volunteer committee that is sponsored by Sanderson Ford in Glendale. The Kiwanis Marketplace in Cave Creek is a Platinum Sponsor for the 2018 Cave Creek Rodeo Days.

“We cherish our western lifestyle,” says Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch. “Our entire community is coming together for Cave Creek Rodeo Days. This event celebrates everything we love about our town.”

After the naming of the 2018 Rodeo Queen and Teen March 10, Rodeo festivities officially kick off Saturday, March 17, with the Cave Creek Rodeo Days Parade through the Town of Cave Creek. The parade begins at 9am, and several businesses will be serving breakfast along the way. Immediately after the parade, the Buffalo Chip Saloon & Steakhouse will host mutton bustin’ for the children, and the official kick-off dance beginning at 8pm.

The Cave Creek Rodeo Golf Tournament takes place Monday, March 19, at Tatum Ranch Golf Course, and the live rodeo action will thrill spectators with three performances, March 23–25.

Cervi Championship Rodeo is supplying championship stock for the Cave Creek Rodeo. The Cervi family oversees and participates in every aspect of the rodeo production.

Cave Creek Rodeo was voted first place for the 2017 Justin Boot Best Footing Award in the Turquoise Circuit. The award is given to the rodeo that had the safest, most consistent ground conditions throughout the entire rodeo. It ensures a safe and level playing field for the barrel racing contestants and their horses.

The three performances of the Cave Creek Rodeo (and two Slack performances) will take place March 23–25 at the Cave Creek Memorial Arena, 37201 North 28th Street in Cave Creek. In the middle of the action, join the Kiwanis Club of Carefree for a pancake breakfast Saturday, March 24, 7–11am, in Carefree’s Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion.

Those who would like to enjoy the 41st Cave Creek Rodeo Days VIP style need to be in the Stockman’s Club, a private area that offers catered food, complimentary beverages, preferred parking, and “up close to the action” seating for every PRCA performance. Friday night’s banquet will be served by Peaks & Valley Restaurant, Saturday night by Indigo Crow, and Sunday by Q-to-U-BBQ. Purchase tickets online at


See full Cave Creek Rodeo Days coverage here:

2018 Cave Creek Rodeo Days Issue

February In Phoenix Is A Foodie’s Delight

New Venue, More Vendors: Third Annual PHX Vegan Food Festival

Photo by Reg Madison Photography

In its third consecutive year, the PHX Vegan Food Festival returns to the Valley Saturday, February 24, from 11am to 5pm. To accommodate growing crowds and vendor demand, the event is moving from its original space to a much larger venue, Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North 3rd Street in Downtown Phoenix

The outdoor, family-friendly festival will showcase nearly 100 of the state’s most beloved vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, food trucks and vendors, as well as some out of town favorites. Restaurants, bakeries, food trucks and food and beverage artisans will be selling their delicious creations. In addition, area vendors will be showcasing and selling their vegan-friendly offerings, including household products, body care items, clothing and accessories. Highlights include Cafe Lalibela, Even Stevens, Freak Brothers Pizza, Hummus Express, Pho King Food Truck, Local Lunch Box, Simons Hot Dogs, Mi Vegana Madre, Southern Fried Vegan and Pomegranate Cafe, to name a few. There will also be cooking demonstrations and presentations by chefs and industry experts, including local chefs Jason Wyrick and Madelyn Pryor of The Vegan Taste.

Event activities include a kids’ zone spearheaded by Free Arts of Arizona, plus The Listening Room Phoenix will showcase a full day of live and local music on three stages. Several no-host bars will be located throughout the event.

General admission is $25 in advance and $30 at the door and includes access to the event vendors, entertainment and demos, as well as one alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverage token. VIP admission is $50. Additional food items, beverages and products are available for purchase. Kids 12 and under are free. The event is presented by Davisson Entertainment.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Celebration, Connection, Discovery: Fall Fest Celebrates All Things Arizona

The Arizona Fall Fest, a free and family-friendly celebration of all things uniquely Arizona, will be hosted at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, Saturday, November 4, from 10am–4pm. Formerly known as the Certified Local Fall Festival, this will be the 13th annual festival hosted by Local First Arizona.

While the name of this local festival is changing, the event will still offer the same great local offerings and entertainment but with an even broader statewide representation.

“We’re expecting a few dozen businesses and organizations from outside of the Phoenix area to join us for this year’s festival, more than what we’ve had in the past,” said Kimber Lanning, founder and executive director of Local First Arizona. “We realized that our annual festival has grown into a true representation of some of the best things that the entire state of Arizona has to offer, and so we wanted the name to reflect that evolution.”

The Arizona Fall Fest is the only large-scale festival to feature exclusively Arizona-owned businesses and organizations. The Arizona Fall Fest will highlight the best of Arizona:

  • More than 200 vendors representing Arizona’s favorite local businesses
  • Food samples from some of the best Arizona restaurants, local chefs and food trucks
  • The Hensley Beverage Garden featuring Arizona-produced wine, beer and spirits
  • Live entertainment on multiple stages showcasing exclusively Arizona talent including cultural groups from across the state
  • Games and entertainment in the Sports Zone with several of Arizona’s professional sports teams
  • The official ‘Kid Zone’ (new this year) made possible by Sprouts, featuring crafts, games and activities for kids and families

“The Arizona Fall Fest is all about celebration, connection, and discovery,” said Lanning. “We want localists of all ages to join us to connect with their favorite local businesses and find new favorites as well. We want Arizonans to feel connected to the local businesses in their communities, and we want local businesses to feel supported by their neighbors. Because when local businesses prosper, communities thrive.”

The 2017 Arizona Fall Fest is made possible through support from SRP and Pride Group. The event is both family-friendly and dog-friendly, and is free to attend. Tickets for food sampling and activities will be available for purchase. Vendors will be selling products and services.

To learn more about Local First Arizona, visit

Cave Creek Celebrates Its Western Heritage

It’s Time for Wild West Days 2017!

Cave Creek Wild West Days, one of Arizona’s largest western celebrations, and a Town of Cave Creek signature event, will celebrate its 15th year by welcoming over 10,000 people to the heart of one of America’s most authentic western towns.

Managed by the Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association (CCMEA), the 15th Annual Cave Creek Wild West Days is set for Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5. Festivities will include a Battle of the Bars Bull Riding Competition, Wild West Days Parade, Mutton Bustin’, Half-Pie Eating Contest, Pig Races, the Wild West Days Dance and a ton of family-friendly fun in between.

Wild West Days kicks off November 3 with the lovely Jan Marrou singing the national anthem and then Battle of the Bars Bull Riding officially gets the fun started at 7:30pm.

The Wild West Days Parade, sponsored by the Town of Cave Creek, starts the morning festivities Saturday, November 4, at 9am. Right after the parade, head on down to Buffalo Chip for the crazy antics of the junior rodeo riders in the Mutton Bustin’ competition, sponsored by Cowtown Boots and Cave Creek Dentistry.

After Mutton Bustin’, head on back to Frontier Town for an amazing afternoon and evening of true cowboy fun. At 11:30am, pick a favorite half pie and enter the Half-Pie Eating contest for some good, messy, sweet fun. Throughout the day, Frontier Town will be bustling with gunfighters, their “ladies” and cowboys of every kind; try not to cross these ornery critters or you may find yourself in the middle of a shootout. Visitors can pan for gold, courtesy of the Cave Creek Museum; have a picture taken with Prince Charming, the most adorable miniature horse around, and help hunt down those mangy varmints in the Quick Duck Draw, where every player is a winner. Attendees can also build a stick horse to enter in Triple R’s Winter Roundup Stick Horse Race later that evening. At 2:30pm is the Gold Nugget Hunt throughout Frontier Town.

Triple R Horse Rescue’s Annual Charity Winter Roundup dinner takes place at Frontier Town, beginning at 4pm. There will be music by Pick O’Litter, a BBQ brisket dinner and the Dirty Tequila girls will be running the bar. Stick horse racing takes place at 5pm, along with other family friendly events. For tickets and information on the Winter Roundup, visit

East of town, Harold’s Corral is hosting the pig races at 1pm and 3pm, cornhole tournament at 6pm, and the official Wild West Days Dance kicks off at 9pm with music by Mogollon. West Days wraps up the fun-filled weekend Sunday, November 5, with the Second Annual Motorcycle Poker Run sponsored by Buddy Stubbs Harley Davidson, Law Tigers and The Roadhouse.

Find details on all of the 2017 Wild West Days events in this issue of CITYSunTimes, and keep current with the latest information at and

Explore The McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Photos: Lynne Janney Russell; Courtesy of McDowell Sonoran

Free family Sundays kick off in September

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy works with the City of Scottsdale to champion and protect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for this and future generations. More than 650 Steward volunteers provide their time and talents to help residents and visitors experience, enjoy and learn from the Sonoran Desert on the 30,580-acre Preserve — one of the largest urban preserves in the nation.

Conservancy volunteers serve as trailhead hosts, patrol trails, perform trail maintenance projects, lead guided hikes, conduct educational programs and other activities in the Preserve. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Field Institute, the Conservancy’s research arm, conducts and coordinates scientific research focused on sustainability of the Preserve.

Beginning this month, the Conservancy invites area residents to join them for a free Sunday afternoon learning adventure with the family. Family Sonoran Sunday events offer the opportunity to hear expert speakers on various Sonoran Desert topics and interact with crawling, slithering, feathered or cuddly friends that speakers sometimes bring along. The talks take place in shaded amphitheaters with bench seating at the Gateway Trailhead Amphitheater and the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead Amphitheater. They occur at 3pm on most of the first and third Sundays during the cooler months, and last for 45 minutes to one hour. If time permits, guests can take a leisurely walk along the nearby accessible, interpretive trails before or after the talk.

Upcoming events include “Southwest Wildlife Mammals,” October 22; “Center for Native and Urban Wildlife Reptiles,” November 5; “Wild at Heart Birds,” November 19; and “Geology,” December 3. Check the Family Sonoran Sundays schedule on the Conservancy website at for updates. For additional information, call 480.998.7971.

Savor Local Flavor At The Taste of Cave Creek

The Town of Cave Creek will once again host its premier event, The Taste of Cave Creek. From Bryan’s Black Mountain BBQ to Z’s Asian Fusion, the two-day Taste of Cave Creek will represent the eclectic mix that Cave Creek is most known for. Marshal Adam Stein is once again heading up the Taste of Cave Creek, and Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln are the premiere sponsors of the event.

The Taste of Cave Creek is held at Stagecoach Village, 7100 East Cave Creek Road, in an outdoor, open-air setting that will feature two stages of live music nightly. Held October 18 and 19, this year’s event will offer two new experiences: The Craft Beer VIP experience and a Wine Tasting VIP experience. (Learn more about both VIP experiences on page 32 — see “Mayor Bunch Writes…”).

Some of the more than 35 restaurants attending the Taste include Bryan’s Black Mountain BBQ, Bourbon Cellar, Brugo’s Pizza & Bistro, Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine, Desirable Desserts, El Encanto Mexican Food, Harold’s Corral, Grilled Addiction & Wandering Donkey, Indigo Crow, It’s a Divine Bakery, Le Sans Soucie, Local Jonny’s, Grotto Café, Mountain View Pub, The Horny Toad, Small Cakes, Z’s Asian Fusion, the Village Coffee Shop, Tukees Tamales, Venues, The City Creamer, Q to U BBQ, The Meat Market, The Creek Patio Grill, Mike’s Chicago Dogs, Edible Arrangements, The Treatery and many more.

In addition to the food, there will be a craft beer garden featuring more than 18 craft beers, along with wine tastings, and tequila tastings sponsored by Tito’s Vodka. Two nights of entertainment, 5–9pm, include The Crown Kings (October 18); Fosterson (October 19); and Rock the District (both nights).

For additional information, call 480.488.6636 or visit .

First Light Viewing Party To Be Held

Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) at Black Mountain will unveil its 14-inch Cassegrain telescope for a first light viewing party September 14, from 7–9:45pm. “First light” refers to the first time that a telescope is used to take an astronomical image. The telescope, located on the PVCC at Black Mountain campus, collects 3,136 times more light than the human eye. It will allow viewers to see the colors of the Orion nebula, storms on Jupiter, and the structure of the Andromeda galaxy that is located 2.5 million light years away.

“This new telescope will allow PVCC students to conduct research on variable and binary stars from the observatory dome, in the classroom, and even remotely from the Union Hills Campus,” says Jenny Weitz, professor of Astronomy at PVCC.

Paradise Valley Community College partners with the Phoenix Astronomical Society to provide students, faculty, and members of the community with opportunities to explore the dark night skies of Cave Creek and Carefree. Before the first light viewing party, there will be a STEAM night from 6–7pm. Both events are free and open to the public. To RSVP, email For additional information, visit

Celebrating Arizona’s ‘Independents’

Independents Week is Arizona’s only weeklong celebration of local businesses that also lets residents save money while shopping local. Pick up a Golden Coupon from Local First Arizona and use it July 1–9 to receive a 20 percent discount at hundreds of independent Arizona businesses. Learn more at

Cave Creek Restaurants & Area Businesses To Host July Fireworks Extravaganza

Celebrate Independence Day early at one of the Valley’s biggest parties. Cave Creek’s spectacular “3rd of July Fireworks Extravaganza” takes place after sunset Monday, July 3, and is being hosted by Harold’s Corral, 6895 East Cave Creek Road; Roadhouse, 6900 East Cave Creek Road; and The Buffalo Chip Saloon, 6811 East Cave Creek Road, in Cave Creek.

The festive, family-friendly celebration starts at 5pm with live music, children’s activities, food and drink specials at all three restaurants and great seating to view the fireworks, which begin after sunset behind Harold’s. A free shuttle service will be available to transport people around town from 6pm to midnight.

With the help of Rural Metro, the fireworks are safely shot off from a hill behind Harold’s, making the largest display in Cave Creek one of the most exhilarating shows in the Valley. Admission is free at all three restaurants with open seating, first come first serve. At Harold’s Corral, reserved seats outside are available for $15 for a two-top, $20 for a four-top and $35 for a 10-top. Live music will be a highlight, with the Crown Kings playing inside from 8:30pm–1am, and Hillbilly Deluxe energizing the crowd outside from 7–11:30pm. While admission is free at Harold’s, it does not include game zone activities or food. The outside bar and BBQ will be cash only, and ATMs will be onsite. Guests to Harold’s also can help the Foothills Food Bank by donating canned goods or money. Those making a donation that night will be entered to win a prize.

Carefree Resort & Conference Center and the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce are also supporting the event as sponsors. Patrons are encouraged to take a staycation and spend the weekend exploring the many shops, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants in the area. Carefree Resort & Conference Center is offering discounted room rates for the holiday weekend. For more details, call 480.488.5300 or visit​

For more information about the “3rd of July Fireworks Extravaganza,” contact Harold’s Corral at 480.488.1906 or; the Roadhouse at 480.488.3300 or; or The Buffalo Chip Saloon at 480.488.9118 or


Treat Mom To A Taste Of The Vineyard

The Carlson family

In celebration of Mother’s Day Sunday, May 14, Arizona-based Carlson Creek Vineyard is offering all moms a complimentary wine tasting and cake bites at both its Scottsdale and Willcox tasting rooms. The tasting will also include its best-selling Sweet Adeline Riesling, named after the Carlson’s grandmother who enjoyed a sweeter wine. For additional information, call 520.766.3000 or visit

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