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Downtown Phoenix is home to the 27th Annual Matsuri Festival this weekend

Arizona Matsuri 2011 Feb 26 27

The 27th Annual Matsuri Festival takes over Heritage & Science Park in downtown Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011.

This two-day celebration features colorful displays of authentic Japanese art, crafts, and entertainment.

Traditional Japanese food and merchandise will be on sale.

This year, the festival recognizes and celebrates Phoenix’ Sister City Himeji in Japan, making it the 2011 theme for Matsuri.

The second city to be formally recognized as a Phoenix Sister City, Himeji became a partner in 1976. The city is located along the Seto Inland Sea some 40 miles west of Kobe, which is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture.

While Phoenix is named for the mythological Phoenix bird, Himeji Castle, which is considered the best-preserved castle in Japan, is called Oshiro or “White Heron” and is designated as a United Nations World Treasure.

The Japanese Friendship Garden, Ro Ho En, located in Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, is the product and shared vision of the Sister Cities of Phoenix and Himeji and features 1,500 tons of handpicked rock, more than 50 varieties of plants, flowing streams, an authentic tea house, and a 12-foot waterfall and Koi pond.

New This Year!

  • A beer garden with extended hours on Saturday only from 12 noon to 9pm each day.
  • Karaoke contest and some dancing from 5pm-9pm each day.

2011 Taiko Entertainment

The following Japanese Taiko drumming groups and entertainers will be performing on the ASU Stage at Heritage Square and Science Center from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm:

  • Fushicho Daiko*Phoenix Drummers
  • All Arizona Taiko Team
  • Phoenix Taiko Kai
  • Saboten Taiko
  • Aozora
  • Kemushi
  • Ken Koshio, a native Japanese singer & song writer, Taiko player and Japanese folk artist.
  • Washington Elementray Taka Taiko Drummers
  • Faith North Montessori Taiko
  • Senators Taiko
  • SGI Taiko
  • Awa Odori Dancers from Los Angeles, CA
  • Hands On Taiko ~ you know you want to try it!

Monroe Street Stage Performers:

Stay posted to AZMatsuri.org for entertainment updates.

 

Details

Admission to attend the festival is free.  For more details, please call Heritage Square Office at 602.262.5071.  Recorded information is available at 602.262.5029. Or at the website:www.azmatsuri.org

What: 27th Annual Matsuri: A Festival of Japan!  Phoenix Sister City-Himeji Celebrating 35 Years

Who: Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Phoenix Sister Cities Commission / Himeji Committee, Japanese American Citizens League, ArizonaBuddhist Temple Desert Cross Community Church, and the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, along with many other individual benefactors and supporters.

Where: Heritage and Science Park, 115 North 6th Street Phoenix, AZ 85004-2328 (7th Street and Monroe, downtown Phoenix)

When: Saturday and Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Highlights: Japanese Exhibits, Demonstrations, Arts and Crafts, Children’s Activities,Bonsai Displays, Japanese Food and Entertainment.

Downtown Phoenix: Home of the Haute-Dog

[Source: Scoopfactory]

What the heck is a ‘mobile hotdog eatery’? Only the tastiest thing on four legs, er, wheels

Image via Norm Reyes

Seriously, are there two better words in the English language than ‘gourmet hotdogs’? We’re talking hand-crafted sausages and frankfurters from those ground meat gurus at Schreiner’s in Phoenix, who’ve been cranking out casings inside a family-run factory since 1955. And forget ketchup and mustard, these posh puppies are topped with exotic delights such as mango chutney, aged English cheddar and fresh cilantro, and then served on a warm Indian-style flatbread called naan.

Sounds a little froufrou and pricey, you say. Besides, aren’t the best hotdogs served out of the back of a roadside stand? Well, meet Short Leash Hot Dogs, the Valley’s first ‘mobile hot dog eatery.’ Operated by a charming local couple out of a retrofitted trailer, Short Leash has quickly become a star attraction at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market’s Food Truck Fridays. Here, if you brave the lines, you’ll be rewarded with doggie delights such as the Aiko (pictured), a specialty sausage known as a beer hot, topped with mango chutney, jalapenos, red onions, cilantro and mayonnaise. Even better, at $5 a pop you’ll have money left over for superb sides such as deep-fried pickles and a bottle of Mexican coke (i.e. the real-deal stuff made with cane sugar vs. corn syrup).

But why put off until Friday what you can scarf down today? Short Leash is at the Phoenix Public Market every Wednesday evening, and you can also catch them Thursdays at Shady’s, a hipster hangout on Indian School featuring one of Valley’s the best jukeboxes. Yes, a jukebox. Google it, youngin’s. Click here to get the 411 on Short Leash’s far-flung travels, including our fav entry: on Feb 26, Short Leash is scheduled to appear at a ‘private wedding.’ Now that’s a wedding we’d like to crash.

Image via Norm Reyes


 

 

Places, Spaces and Faces Community Dinner in Downtown Phoenix

Feasting on Phoenix: Creating Community over Food and Place

[Excerpts from a post originally published on BloomingRock.com]

There’s something special about sitting down over a meal and how it brings people together and forms a special bond between them. This is what happens at the Places, Spaces and Faces Community Dinner (PSF) every month. This event started about a year ago by some dedicated Phoenix residents who were craving community, Yuri Artibise, Kathleen Bartolomei, Jim McPherson, Marshall Shore and Taz Loomans.

PSF is not an exclusive club where you need some sort of membership to attend. It’s open to the public. It’s a way to get together with your fellow Valley residents and share some things with them: your time, your food, your stories, your presence, your self. It’s a way of saying, hello, how are you, my name is…to new people in a beloved setting in the city.

January’s Dinner

When: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Where: After Hours Gallery – 116 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ (between N. 3rd Ave. & 1st Ave.); West of Light Rail station: Central/McDowell

Organizers: Yuri Artibise, Joseph Cuevas and Julie Zagars

Theme: Come “C” What’s Cookin’!

Co-mingle with comrades and come celebrate our city over courses of communal cuisine! Cue the “Sesame Street” theme song: this month’s Places, Spaces, & Faces potluck event is brought to you by the letter “C.”

Feel free to interpret this concept creatively. “C” can stand for Casseroles, Carrots, Cookies, or Cucumbers. Think Cake, Corn, and Calamari. Serve your creation on a Cake Stand, in a Carafe, or atop a Chia Pet. Consider Chicken, Cheese and Cashews. And Chocolate (after all, January 22nd is National Blond Brownie Day). Oh, and definitely Cocktails!

As usual, there will be a people’s choice vote to determine three prize winners in the categories of “top savory dish,” “everyone’s favorite dessert,” and “the evening’s best beverage.” After Hours Gallery permits alcohol so feel free to play with booze in your shared dish or drink.

Last names A-I: a drink
Last names J-R: savory
Last names S-Z: sweet

*Plus appropriate serving spoons/forks/tongs.

Please bring your own plate, cup, napkin, and silverware. We’ll again utilize a buffet setup, like we did with December’s dinner. Please label your shared savory/sweet/liquid contribution to share and highlight any prospective allergens (particularly if you are working with alcohol).

Speakers: Our speakers will include gallery owners Mike and Russ, plus Scott Roeder, After Hours construction project manager. Photographer John Wagner will also speak about his exhibit “SALT,” featuring photographs from the Bonneville Salt Flats currently on display at the gallery

More information/RSVP HERE.

Cupcake Camp Coming to Downtown Phoenix!

A few weeks ago, we posted that Cupcake Camp Phoenix was looking for bakers.  Well,  plenty signed up, and now they are looking for eaters to come out tomorrow and sample their tasty treats!

CupcakeCamp Phoenix is a FREE event.  It’s about noshing and networking with others over cupcakes.

Details

Date: Saturday, November 13 · 2:00pm -5:00pm

Location: CO+HOOTS, 825 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Cost: FREE!

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Certified Local Fall Festival this Saturday, Nov. 13th

Free food • Live music • Fun for kids • Unique shopping • Live Music

Now in its 6th year, the Certified Local Fall Festival celebrates Arizona’s locally owned businesses with a bang this November!

This family-friendly street festival drew over 5,000 attendees last year with over 60 members participating. We hope you’ll count yourself as one of the attendees for this year’s festival!

Entertainment is provided by some of Arizona’s best musicians and bands. Many booths will also have fun activities!

Certified Local Fall FestivalLocal breweries and vineyards provide drinks in the Beer & Wine Garden; many local vendors will also be offering non-alcoholic drinks

A raffle and silent auction raise funds for Local First and the first 500 attendees receive gift bags!

A bouncing castle will keep the young ones entertained while kids of all ages can scale the rock climbing wall.

Details

Where? Duck and Decanter 1651 E Camelback, Phoenix 85016 (map)

When: Saturday, Nov. 13th, 10 am – 4 pm

Contact: (602) 274-5429 • duckanddecanter.com

More Info: http://www.localfirstaz.com/fall-festival/ or Facebook Page

 

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Mobile food-truck court launches in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Kellie Hwang, azcentral.com]

New Times/Brad Moore

It’s been confirmed: The Mobile Food Truck Court will launch on Nov. 5 at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market.

The court, organized by the newly formed Phoenix Street Food Coalition, has been green-lighted by the city. Food trucks will set up every Friday during lunchtime in the parking lot of the market.

Brad Moore, owner of Short Leash Hotdogs, is spearheading the effort. He hopes to draw downtown employees.

“We are ecstatic about this opportunity and so thankful to the Phoenix Public Market for allowing us to use their facilities,” Moore said. “This is going to grow into a great cultural event within downtown Phoenix, something that hopefully in the next few years will rival the street-food scenes in cities like Portland (Ore.) and LA.”

The trucks will be set up in the parking lot, with tables and chairs underneath the carports for shade. If all goes well, Phoenix Public Market owner Cindy Gentry said the hope is to renovate the parking lot with misters to make it more diner-friendly. She is looking forward to food court and thinks it will add to the foot traffic in the market.

“I love the energy of the trucks and the people,” she said. “The food is fabulous, and this will really create a good synergy with the public market. Nothing but positivity can come from this.”

Here are the confirmed food trucks for the opening:

Moore hopes to add more trucks and rotate them.

Details:

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays, starting Nov. 5.

Downtown Phoenix Public Market, 14 E. Pierce St., Phoenix.

Prices vary.

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Get Crafty in Central Phoenix

[Source: Scoopfactory]

Calling All Crafters

Wanna be one of 35 local artist selling handmade goods at Frances Vintage’s ‘Crafeteria’? Details ahead

If you’ve never been to the Central Phoenix boutique, Frances, and the neighboring candy store, Smeeks, you’re missing out on two of the Valley’s most charming, stylish spaces. No seriously, we dare you to walk inside Smeeks’ candy-colored space—brimming with old school sweets and retro delights such as ‘Twinkie the Kid‘ lunch pails—and not squeal like a school kid. And now Frances is inviting local crafters to join the fun as it hosts its fifth annual “Crafeteria” on December 3.

Voted “Best Indie Craft Fair” by the Phx New Times, this annual holiday open house will feature 35 of the Valley’s most talented independent artists. Working with paper goods, knitted items, sewn fabrics and more, the only requirement is that everything is 100 percent handmade, no exceptions. There will also be live music sponsored by the indie record shop, Stinkweeds, and handmade treats at the Smeeks “Sweets Alley.”

Most important, this Crafeteria is open to all local artists, with the 35 spots to be filled by a panel of judges. There’s no fee to enter, but all applicants must submit photos, a description and a bio, as well as agree to donate at least one item for a prize giveaway. Click here to get all the deets, and good luck. Meanwhile, to learn more about Frances and Smeeks, as well as see a full slideshow, click here to read a Q&A with owner, Georganne Bryant.

Crafty on Central: 10 W. Camelback Rd., 602-279-5463

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CityScape’s first-ever Oktoberfest Oct. 22 & 23 in downtown Phoenix

[Source: FleurComGroup Press Release]

Get your lederhosen out as Phoenix Sister Cities’ Munich style OKTOBERFEST comes to CityScape, Central and Washington, downtown Phoenix October 22 & 23.

Not just any beer festival, this one features the brews of ancient craftsmen, including several German breweries such as Weihenstephan Brewery, the oldest brewery in Bavaria founded in 768.  Breweries from Munich, Bitburg and Bavaria also will bring their old-world brews to the festival.

Paula West, Phoenix Sister Cities Executive Director said, “we are so excited to bring this authentic style Oktoberfest to downtown Phoenix in hopes of establishing a new tradition in downtown.  CityScape is the perfect location to host this event and we hope to partner with them for years to come.”

Mike Ebert, partner, RED Development which is the developer of CityScape, said, “We are delighted to host this for Phoenix Sister Cities.  This will be one of many high-profile events coming to CityScape.  Our vision is to make CityScape the destination for community events in the downtown district.”

Meanwhile, several “must-tastes” at this downtown Phoenix OKTOBERFEST include:

  • Spaten Oktoberfest Beer. Spaten Oktoberfest Beer, created in 1872, is the world’s first Oktoberfest beer, brewed for the greatest folk festival in the world. Every year, over and over again, countless Oktoberfest visitors share their enthusiasm for this beer.  Spaten Oktoberfest Beer is amber in color. This medium bodied beer has achieved its impeccable taste by balancing the roasted malt flavor with the perfect amount of hops. Having a rich textured palate with an underlying sweetness true to tradition makes it an annual favorite among Germans.
  • Erdinger Oktoberfest Beer.  “Like all ERDINGER beers,  Erdinger Oktoberfest-Weizen is also refermented in the bottle and keg – similar to the champagne method,” said Erdinger’s Brewmaster Peter Liebert. “Very few breweries still stick to this traditional, complex and expensive brewing method. It is this bottle and keg fermentation that gives Erdinger its unparalleled quality and freshness. And to protect this freshness Erdinger is never pasteurized. Festival goers can now enjoy exactly the same Erdinger Oktoberfest-Weizen as Europeans have been enjoying for decades.
  • Bitburger Premium Pils. Brewers of one of Germany’s finest beers for almost 200 years, Bitburger brewery is a large German brewery founded in 1817 and ranks number three among Germany’s best selling breweries.Bitburger Brewing Group adheres to the German Purity Law. Originally passed in 1516, this law stipulates that you can only use water, yeast, barley, hops and hop products. The company slogan is, “Bitte ein Bit.” This is literally, “Please, a Bit,” or “a Bit, please.” In the 1970s a second slogan was introduced, “Abends Bit, morgens fit” (“Bit in the evening, fit in the morning”) implying that the consumption wouldn’t lead to a hangover.

Other participating beers include Erdinger Hefe-Weizen, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, Weienstehpan Hefe-Wweissbier and Bayrischmid.

Aaron May, who will be opening up Vitamin T, at CityScape will be cooking up a storm providing festival goers with sauerkraut, sausages and giant pretzels.  “We will be creating a Munich style feast just like you would get if you traveled to Germany for Oktoberfest, only with a Southwest flair.”

Alliance Beverage Distributing Company’s beer baron, Tim Hughes, personally selected all the beers that will be featured at the two day festival.  “Our goal is to deliver beers that you would find at Oktoberfest in Germany to make this the most authentic experience this side of the Atlantic.”

Festival goers will find long rows of tables, steins of cold German beer, fabulous food from one of the top chefs in the state along with a major stage and dance floor featuring music that will surely get you up and dancing.

$10 & FREE in Advance. Admission to the festival is $10 dollars but you can obtain FREE tickets at the following CityScape business:  Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge, 5 Guys Burger, Gold’s Gym, CVS Pharmacy, Designer District and Par Exsalonce Salon .while supplies last.

The event is a fundraiser for the Phoenix Sister Cities’ programs whose mission is to create and nourish people-to-people relationships between Phoenix and its sister cities through a variety of educational, cultural, commercial, cooperative, and disabilities awareness programs.

Don’t Drink & Drive.

DVC and the Phoenix sister Cities Oktoberfest strongly encourages responsible drinking during this event. Guests are urged to ride the Light Rail to CityScape which is surrounded by three stops, arrange for designated drivers, taxis, walking, bicycling, and to dine nearby by patronizing many area restaurants.  Don’t drink and drive.

CONTACT:

Cynthia p Dunne

FleurComGroup 480.538.8292

Cynthia@FleurComGroup.com

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Downtown Phoenix’s Urban Wine Walk is Saturday

[Source: DowntownPhoenix.com]

Downtown’s popular wine, dine, and ride event is back.

Experience our urban core’s burgeoning wine scene by hopping on the METRO light rail for the second Urban Wine Walk, happening this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

8-16The Urban Wine Walk is a FREE event that encourages adventurous participants to try new or familiar restaurants located along the METRO light rail in Downtown Phoenix, the Camelback Corridor and Tempe. Each restaurant will offer three wine samples and a snack all at can’t-beat-it pricing reserved exclusively for Urban Wine Walkers.

Market_TastingWEBTo take part in the Urban Wine Walk, simply print out the official map and wine listand jump on the light rail (NOTE: participating restaurants are located between the Mill Avenue and Central/Camelback stations) between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. And when you visit great restaurants like Kincaid’s1130 The RestaurantICON Lounge, Steve’s Greenhouse Grill and Phoenix Public Market, not to mention new addition Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar, just let your server know you’re on the Urban Wine Walk to take full advantage of exclusive wine and food deals.

Other participating restaurants include Caffe Boa, Ghost Lounge, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Maizie’s Cafe and My Big Fat Greek Restaurant.

The weather is supposed to be optimal for Wine Walking (sunny skies, 100 percent chance of fun) so bring some friends Downtown. See you on Saturday!

This event kicks off [Downtown Phoenix Partnerships] 20 Years of Progress celebration going on Sept. 25 thru Nov. 16. Please visit [their] 20 Years of Progress site for full details.

** Participants will need to purchase a METRO day pass

*** Must be 21

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The Downtown Phoenix Warehouse District Gets a New Coffee Shop

[Source: DowntownPhoenix.com]

Upon walking into Gideon’s Coffee, Downtown Phoenix’s newest coffee bar located on the corner of Jackson Street and Second Avenue, it doesn’t take long to pick up on a theme.

Gidieon'sThe logo on the door features a Scales of Justice fashioned out of coffee cups. Upstairs you might overhear a woman speaking legalese on the phone. Even the name, Gideon’s Coffee, is taken from the 1963 landmark Supreme Court case of Gideon vs. Wainwright, which ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys.

“What can I say, I have a passion for coffee and the law,” said David Kephart, sole proprietor of Gideon’s Coffee and a personal injury lawyer who before starting his own practice spent three years with the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. ”This is a great way to combine those passions.”

During the process of getting Gideon’s off the ground, Kephart focused on imitating the finest qualities of his favorite coffee shops.

Gideon's_KayleeHe chose his roaster (Echo Espresso, which supplies beans to many of the top shops in Central Phoenix and Downtown), his syrups (1883, a French import that Kephart calls the “Cadillac of syrups”), his methodolgy (100 percent French Press) and his go-to barista (Kaylee, pictured, whom Kephart recruited from another shop).

And if the space looks familiar, well, it’s because 209 W. Jackson Street used to be the home of Royal Coffee Bar, now located at the Phoenix Public Market. When he relocated his law office and launched the coffee bar, Kephart says he benefited greatly from the move in-ready quality of the building, having been a coffee bar in its former life.

“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” said Kephart. “I bought my equipment used, added new counters and I was ready to go.”

Gideon’s is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves up a variety of hot and cold French pressed coffee drinks. Gideon’s also makes their own chai, a combination of aromatic spices that galvanize popular chai tea latte drinks.

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