With so many local events and festivals to choose from each year, it can be hard to keep track.

So, to ensure you make it to all of your faves, we created this list of Tucson's best and biggest celebrations throughout the year.

You know the ones — Tucson Meet Yourself, All Souls Procession, Return of the Mermaids, etc., etc.

Put them in your calendar. Then plan your yearly vacay.

Tucson Fringe Festival

“Meet Your Realtor” will be performed by the playwright, Sherrie Martin.

A three-day, non-juried and uncensored performing arts festival that takes place at multiple venues. Buy tickets to see as many shows as you want. The festival gives you the chance to see nontraditional performing arts on the cheap. 

When: Jan. 9-12, 2020

Info: Go here

Zoppé Family Circus

Catherine Poema Rios holds on to the Lyra trapeze with one hand as she swings over the ring at the Zoppe Family Circus at the corner of Avenida del Convento and Congress in the Mercado District, Saturday, January 12, 2019, Tucson, Ariz.

This is an old-world, one-ring circus that features acrobatics, equestrian showmanship, clowns, audience participation and more. The current show "La Nonna" premiers all-women troupes. 

When: Jan. 10-26, 2020

Info: Go here

Tucson Jazz Festival

Jeffery Sandberg plucks the strings of his bass during rehearsal on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at the Tucson Jazz Institute in Tucson, Ariz. 

Featuring well-known jazz acts from around the country, this is a two-week festival. The main event is a daylong Downtown Jazz Fiesta on MLK day with two outdoor stages and other venues downtown. 

When: Jan. 10-20, 2020

Info: Go here

Dillinger Days

Celebrate the January 1934 capture by Tucson law enforcement of notorious gangster John Dillinger and his gang with re-enactments, a vintage car show, artifact displays, a speakeasy, historical downtown walking tours and more. 

When: Jan. 18-19, 2020

Info: Go here

Zoom...Zoom

This annual event held at the Children's Museum Tucson celebrates the many modes of transportation. The event includes free admission to the museum all day. 

When: Jan. 18, 2020

Info: Go here

Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase

Jim Cresawn, who traveled from Virginia, looks at a table of crystals at the 22nd Street show during the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

For a little more than two weeks in February, vendors from around the world converge in Tucson at more than 40 venues to sell gems, minerals, fossils and other items. 

When: Feb. 1-16, 2020

Info: Go here

Family Sci-Fest

Experience hands-on science activities at this annual event at the Children's Museum Tucson. You'll see robots, space stuff and much more. Plus, free admission all day.

When: Feb. 15, 2020

Info: Go here

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo

Blythe Beshears and her horse hop over one of the barrels after knocking it over during their run at barrel racing for the fourth session of the La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo, Friday, February 23, 2018, Tucson, Ariz.

Watch bull riders, barrel riders, mutton bustin' and more. The yearly event includes the Tucson Rodeo Parade, which is said to be the longest non-motorized parade. 

When: Feb. 15-23, 2020

Info: Go here 

Tucson Festival of Books

A Madagascar Hissing Cockroach catches the attention of Danica Rivera, 7, under the Natural World Tent during the Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona on March 12, 2017.

You'll find everything for the book lover and knowledge seeker here, from Science City, to author tents and workshops to a kid's pavilion and entertainment. There's something for everyone at this annual two-day event.

When: March 14-15, 2020

Info: Go here

Fourth Avenue Street Fair

Wire and papier mache figurinnes from Sarena Mann Studios add an air of fantasy and lightness to the 4th Ave. Street Fair in Tucson, AZ. Photo taken Friday, March 20, 2015. Photo by Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star.

The street fair features artists from around the world, crafters, entertainers and food vendors twice annually, in spring and winter. 

When: March 20-22, 2020 and again in the winter

Info: Go here

Spring Festival of the Arts

The Spring Festival of the Arts features about 150 artists and exhibitors, food trucks and live entertainment. 

This two-day festival hosted by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance features up to 150 artists, live performances, food vendors and arts activities.

When: March 28-29, 2020

Info: Go here

Tucson Folk Festival

Janelle Loes wraps up her set on the Plaza Stage in El Presidio Park during the 30th Annual Tucson Folk Festival, held downtown, Saturday, May 2, 2015, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

Celebrate Americana and folk music traditions in this annual family friendly event. The festival features multiple stages showcasing traditional, contemporary and ethnic folk and acoustic music.

When: April 3-5, 2020

Info: Go here

UA Spring Fling

Riders' faces adjust to the Mega Drop's release during Spring Fling 2017. Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

This student-run carnival features rides, games, food booths and entertainment on the University of Arizona Mall. 

When: April 3-5, 2020

Info: Go here

Cyclovia

Robbie Clark, 9, gives a hula hoop a try while on North Church Avenue and East Congress Street during Cyclovia in downtown Tucson. Clark helped his mother, who was a volunteer for Target, to make sure people were crossing the intersection safely during the event. Cyclovia, meaning the temporary closure of several streets to cars, allows for bicylists, skateboarders, runners, walkers and others to enjoy the day exploring fun activities throughout the route.

Select streets are closed off to cars so you can play, bike and walk in the road. It's a way to have people-powered fun in the streets without worrying about traffic. Plus, there are lots of fun activities along the route.

When: April 5, 2020 and Nov. 1, 2020

Info: Go here

Arizona International Film Festival

Watch independent films at The Screening Room and other venues around Tucson during this festival. In its roughly 30-year history, the festival has exhibited almost 3,000 films from 100 countries.  

When: April 15-26, 2020

Info: Go here

Pima County Fair

The Endeavour spins in the night among the other rides lighting up the fairgrounds in the carnival at the Pima County Fair, Friday, April 20, 2018, Tucson, Ariz.

Carnival rides, food, shows, concerts, animals and more.

When: April 16-26, 2020

Info: Go here

Agave Heritage Festival

This week-long festival for those 21 and over celebrates the cultural, commercial and culinary significance of the agave plant. There will be talks, tours, tastings, dinners and more.

When: April 23-May 5, 2020

Info: Go here

Music Under the Stars

Tucson Pops Orchestra and its sister ensemble, Arizona Symphonic Winds, have called off their fall parks series in response to COVID-19. The two groups’ free concerts attracts thousands to Reid and Udall parks.

Listen to music by the Tucson Pops Orchestra during these weekly concerts in the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park.

When: Concert series begins May 10, 2020

Info: Go here

Return of the Mermaids

A dozen girls/mermaids crash the stage to dance to the music of the band the Surfbroads, performing at Haggerty Plaza for the Return of the Mermaids, Saturday, August 12, 2016, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

Believe it or not, Tucson is full of landlocked mermaids and they all come out in costume to celebrate the monsoons every August. There's live music, a DJ, art vendors, kids activities and a costume contest. The event spans North Fourth Avenue and downtown. 

When: Likely early August

Info: Go here

HOCO Fest

Fans hang out in the lobby of Hotel Congress at HOCO Fest 2009.

A three-day event featuring musical acts, guest lecturers, workshops, flea markets, after parties and more.

When: Sept. 4-6, 2020

Info: Go here

Tucson Greek Festival

Michael Lauria and Kirstie O’Hagin kick up their heels with the Pan-Athenian Dancers. 

Fill up on gyros, spanakopita and dolmades at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church's annual festival. Every year, the church transforms its property into a lively party, complete with festive music and performances. 

When: Likely Sept. 24-27, 2020

Info: Go here 

Tucson Meet Yourself

Seven-month-old Freya Pennebaker tries to get her own sampling of fry bread from mom Maggie Chen's plate.

This three-day festival happens every October to celebrate the diverse culture, food and art of the people that live here. It's also known as "Tucson Eat Yourself" because of all of the delicious foods. 

When: Oct. 9-11, 2020

Info: Go here

Arizona Insect Festival

Kids with insects at the Arizona Insect Festival.

Learn about, touch and eat bugs at this one-day festival at the University of Arizona. 

When: Oct. 18, 2020

Info: Go here

The Loft Film Fest

Loft film fest

This annual film festival gives Tucson audiences a chance to see some of the best independent, foreign and classic movies. 

When: Likely November

More info: Go here

Dusk Music Festival

Singer Luna Aura opens the day during the Dusk Music Festival at Rillito Park, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

This two-day music festival in the fall features nationally recognized acts, as well as Arizona artists and local foods. 

When: Traditionally October or November

Info: Go here

All Souls Procession

There were cameras aplenty and many patient, happy souls at the All Souls Procession in Tucson on Nov. 4, 2018.

This event is huge. More than 150,000 people gather downtown, some in costume, some carrying memorials or altars to celebrate, mourn and reflect on those who have died. There's music, dancers and a ton of creative energy. The group walks together to watch a finale that includes the burning of the urn.  

When: Nov. 8, 2020

Info: Go here

El Tour de Tucson

Cyclists ride down S. Freeman Rd. during the 37th annual El Tour de Tucson in Tucson Ariz., on November 23rd, 2019. More than 5,900 riders rode in Arizona's largest participatory sporting event on Saturday. 

Bicyclists of all ages and abilities can ride one of the routes, ranging in distance from 1 mile to 100 miles.

When: Nov. 21, 2020

Info: Go here

Tucson Museum of Art Holiday Artisans Market

 

Every year, tons of artists converge on the museum to sell their creations. Shop for pottery, jewelry, fine art, sculptures and more. 

When: Nov. 20-22, 2020

Info: Go here

Parade of Lights and Festival

Santa Claus, atop a Tucson Fire Department ladder truck, waves to the crowd during the 23rd Annual Parade of Lights.

The festival begins with live music, food and other family activities and is followed by Tucson's annual parade of all things bright. You'll see dancers with illuminated dresses, Santa, cars with holiday lights and more.

When: Likely Thanksgiving weekend

Info: Go here

Zoo Lights

Entrants pass under an arch of zoological themed decorations for Members-Only Night at Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo, Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Tucson, Ariz.

The Reid Park Zoo transforms into a wild wonderland of twinkling lights with live music, falling snow and hot chocolate. 

When: Traditionally December

Info: Go here

Winterhaven Festival of Lights

A young girl lights up at the fake snowfall and decorations during opening night of the 2017 Winterhaven Festival of Lights.

This is your go-to holiday light viewing destination. The whole neighborhood is transformed into a lit up wonderland. Plus there are food trucks and hot chocolates.  

When: Traditionally begins mid December

Info: Go here

Editor's note: A version of this story by Angela Pittenger originally ran with a list of 2019 events. We have updated this story to reflect the dates for 2020 or the traditional time frame an event typically occurs. 


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Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson