Tucson’s 2015 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair is right around the corner! Held twice a year — each March and December — the fair features art and craft vendors, good food and drink, entertainment including live music, and children’s activities. The 46th annual Winter Street Fair dates are December 11, 12, and 13. The fair runs each of those days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’ve been to the March version of the fair three times, and we’ve really enjoyed it each time. It’s a bit like a state fair without the rides and the animals.
The 400+ vendors sell everything from soup to nuts — literally. We saw photos and paintings, hats, knives, pillows, sinks, even little decorations you could put on your toilet bowl bolts to cover them up and make them look pretty (who knew you needed those?). As with most fairs, the quality of items for sale varied widely from top quality, hand-crafted items to mass-produced kitsch. There was also an area for kids to play and create in, sponsored by the Tucson Museum of Art.
Most of the food was pure state fair quality, which as you may know from our love of the Oregon state fair, we are all in favor of! There were curly fries, funnel cakes, Indian fry bread, and turkey legs, lots of turkey legs. We also noticed a few higher-end options, like crepes and chocolate-covered frozen cheesecake on a stick. Yum!
We were (pleasantly) surprised to learn that you can buy alcohol and walk around on the street with it; you aren’t confined to a beer garden. We were also surprised to find during our first fair there was nowhere to recycle cans and bottles. Everything went into the trash. We were thinking, “Come on Tucson, what is this, 1982?” Happily, we saw plenty of recycling bins in 2015!
We’ve enjoyed beautiful weather for the fair — temperatures in the low 80s — with lots of people out enjoying the spring weekends. December would be another lovely time to visit Tucson and get a little natural vitamin D. The fair draws more than 200,000 visitors, so if you don’t like crowds, this is definitely not an event for you. That being said, we never felt like it was overly crowded.
If you like to get out and enjoy the sun, support local artisans, eat some deep-fried food, hear some good music, and do some great people watching, check out the Tucson 4th Avenue Street Fair! Enjoy your next travel adventure, whether it’s for a week or a weekend!