Monthly Archives: December 2009

Fiesta Bowl Events

Ah, the TCU Horned Frogs versus the Boise State Broncos. Their impressive undefeated seasons have led them to each other in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and it’s sure to be a great rematch of the Poinsettia Bowl last year, where TCU beat the Broncos 17-16. This year’s game is on January 4, but there are events starting on Dec. 31. (And in case you can’t make it to the game, watch it on Fox at 6 p.m. MST.)

The tickets to the big game are sold out, but here are the best events leading up to the big game:

Fiesta Bowl Block Party
Tempe has the biggest NYE bash, all on Tempe Town Lake and through the streets around Mill Avenue. The Doobie Brothers are headlining this year’s events, but the full lineup starts playing at 5pm. There are also stages throughout the area with all sorts of entertainment. The parking is better the early you go, of course, so if you’re going to go, get there early.

Mill Avenue District – Tempe, AZ
Thursday, December 31, 2009
5:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Tickets: Discount Tickets at Fry’s Food Stores – $15.00 (and buy three discount tickets and you will receive a fourth ticket for FREE. General Admission & Gate Tickets – $20.00

See more details.

21st Annual Insight Bowl

Minnesota and Iowa State will play to win the 21st Annual Insight Bowl on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. EST.  It’s the perfect warm-up to the Fiesta Bowl, and will be broadcast on NFL Network in case you can’t make it to the game. If you go, stick around afterwards on the streets of Tempe for the Fiesta Bowl Block Party.

See more details.

39th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade


11:00 a.m.,  Saturday, January 2

The Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade is one of the most anticipated events by Phoenix locals and the visiting fans. Tons of bands, vibrant floats, huge helium balloons,  equestrian units and all the makings of an amazing parade.  Spectators line the two-mile parade route in central Phoenix to see the parade, so get there early to get a good parking (and standing) spot, but it’s worth it.

See more details and a parade map.

College Football’s Biggest Party

Noon, Monday, January 4, Glendale Youth Sports Complex

Thousands of fans tailgate together for the “ultimate tailgating experience.” It’s like a huge pep-rally, with bands, cheer squads, games, and food booths.

See more details.

32nd Annual Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship

Preliminaries
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium
City: Glendale, AZ
Date: Friday, January 1, 2010

Finals
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium
City: Glendale, AZ
Date: Friday, January 1, 2010

One of the longest Fiesta Bowl traditions, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship presented by University of Phoenix, is one of the most prestigious high school marching band competitions in the USA. The country’s best bands each give a 10-minute show, for the judges as well as the crowd.   The top bands from the preliminary competition are invited to compete for the coveted Grand Master’s Trophy in the event finals.

See more details and which bands are competing.


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New Year’s Eve Events

So New Year’s Eve is only a couple weeks away, and with the distractions of the holidays, you’ve completely forgotten to make plans.

Not to worry.

Here are our top pics for the best events around town:

Noon Year’s Eve at the Phoenix Zoo
Start off the day in the sun – and snow – at the 10th annual event at the zoo. Families will love the tons of snow (including special area just for toddlers), snowball target areas, music, games and prizes with Radio Disney, and a special cider toast at noon.

9 a.m. – noon on December 31.  See more details.

Fiesta Bowl Block Party
Tempe has the biggest NYE bash, all on Tempe Town Lake and through the streets around Mill Avenue. The Doobie Brothers are headlining this year’s events, but the full lineup starts playing at 5pm. There are also stages throughout the area with all sorts of entertainment. The parking is better the early you go, of course, so if you’re going to go, get there early.

Mill Avenue District – Tempe, AZ
Thursday, December 31, 2009
5:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Tickets: Discount Tickets at Fry’s Food Stores – $15.00 (and buy three discount tickets and you will receive a fourth ticket for FREE. General Admission & Gate Tickets – $20.00

See more details.

4th Annual Westgate Rocks New Year’s Eve
This might be the most diverse event in town, because it includes two of our most entertaining bands, Rock Lobster and Metalhead, the mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch, the bars, restaurants, and dueling pianos (at The Shout! House), and get this – a midnight wedding. The couple met at this event last year, and now you can crash their wedding.  To really get the party going right, start the night off at the Coyotes game adjacent to the plaza.

WaterDance Plaza, 7pm – 2 am . Thursday, December 31

Ticket prices: $10 in advance, $20 at the door, $30 package includes ticket to the Coyotes game. See more details.

Scottsdale’s Ultimate Block Party

Reel Big Fish headlines this event with live music, DJs, and partying through the streets of Old Town Scottsdale. The bars, nightclubs, lounges and restaurants will all be bustling. Other bands Metal Elvis, Letters to Lovers and Hairforce are the will be playing, but the best tip is to get a spot in one of the nearby clubs like Martini Ranch or the swanky W Hotel for a really good time.

See more details.

Downtown Hyatt Atrium Party
This has become a classic annual event in Phoenix – the Groove Merchants playing above all of downtown Phoenix at the Hyatt’s Atrium. The Cielo Jazz Lounge and the Compass Room are all in on the deal too – and an assortment of packages are available to come to party or stay the night too.

See more details.

NYE with the Phoenix Symphony
Talk about a sophisticated night out. You can get all gussied up and have a melodic intro to your New Year, in case all the rock bands and partying isn’t your thing. They’ll play favorites and some holiday tunes to start off 2010. As an added bonus, your ticket includes a complimentary glass of champagne.

See more details.

The Main Ingredient

It’s a changing of the guard of Phoenix proportions.

A good sign this morning

Lisa G’s Cafe and Wine Bar closed abruptly on Halloween, with owner Lisa Giungo citing a surprise offer on the place, and a much needed break, as the reason she closed the quaint, clean place so many of us loved. But that’s not to take away from the excitement of Matt Diamond starting his own place, simply called “The Main Ingredient,” he plans to focus on the craft-beer crowd and have approachable – but delicious – eats.

Matt’s track record is quite successful around town, with experience from Cowboy Ciao and Postino, but this is something entirely new. We’re excited to see his changes to the interior, which I suspect will be a little more cozy, and to taste his hand-picked brews.

The sign going up this morning is hope that it will open soon. We’ll be one of the first people in line, so check back for details.