Well, here we are at the end of October -- does it feel like fall yet? Absolutely not! Other than the pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin ciders and all things pumpkin being shoved down our throats, we're off to a slow start in terms of fall here in Downtown Tempe. However, we all know that with a blink of an eye, holiday decorations will go up and we'll be sipping peppermint lattes on our 70 and sunny "winter" days. But before that happens, I wanted to highlight some events to look forward to this fall, and by fall, I mean November. As you break out the unnecessary Uggs and begin to let your beards flourish, be sure to check out some of these events in Downtown Tempe!
ASU Football vs. Utah | November 10th
We’ve been through this…remember the October FOMO blog? If you haven’t noticed the Sun Devils are undefeated on their home turf and have only lost 1 game this season, so if you didn’t get a chance to check out either home game in October, THIS is the game you don’t want to miss. With just one loss and a ranking in the Top 25, the Utes are definitely coming to the desert expecting a W. I have a feeling Sun Devil Stadium’s going to be on one on November 10th though – a televised Thursday night game against a Top 25 team the night before a major holiday (which means A LOT of people don’t work the next day). Not to mention, this is the ONLY home game in November and your last chance to support the Sun Devils in Downtown Tempe this season. If you’re looking for some cool pregame activities, check out our ASU Tailgating blog. Hope to see y’all out there – FORKS UP! (Image Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)
Veterans Day Parade | November 11th
On Veteran’s Day, it’s very common for parades to take place in cities and towns across the country with the sole purpose of honoring the service of our veterans and salute those who are currently serving in our military. Tempe’s Veterans Day Parade will occur on Friday, November 11 (Veterans Day), rain or shine. It will start around 9am and conclude around 12pm, with the parade route going North on Mill Avenue from ASU Gammage to Tempe Beach Park. This is a great opportunity to gather as a community and show our support for the men and women who have served and are currently serving in our armed forces. So, Thursday night at Sun Devil Stadium and Friday morning along Mill Avenue – you with me? (Image Credit: The State Press)
IRONMAN | November 20th
It’s almost that time, when athletes descend upon Downtown Tempe for the annual IRONMAN triathlon. If you aren’t a participating athlete or a supporting friend/family member, this event is still an experience, even for the average spectator…especially if you’re a photographer! Things to expect on race day from non-participants – some crazy outfits, homemade t-shirts and signs, and whatever creative methods of encouragement people come up with. Grab a spot along the route or near the finish line (it will be crowded there) and prepare to experience ALL the feels. There is something about seeing people achieve such a monumental goal…it really gets you down to the core and is nothing short of absolutely inspiring. You will find yourself cheering for total strangers as they fight through the pain with sheer determination. And perhaps the best part is seeing the look on each and every athletes face as they finally cross the finish line and hear those words loud and clear that they’ve been working so hard to hear – “You are an IRONMAN!” (Image Credit: IRONMAN)
Shop Small Saturday “Night Out” | November 26th
I can’t stress the importance of this often overlooked “shopping holiday”. It nestled right in between two giants – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but is certainly one of the most important days to shop during the holiday season. This is a great opportunity for you to support your small and local businesses, even if you don’t typically make it a point to do so. Small businesses in Downtown Tempe have participated in Shop Small Saturday for the past 2 years and will do so again on November 26th by hosting a “Night Out” in Downtown Tempe. Since this shopping holiday coincides with the Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade, a “Night Out” is the perfect way to keep the Shop Small vibe going into the night, after the parade concludes. Some businesses will be hosting mini after-hours events that will make the night exciting for shoppers of all ages. Stay tuned for more updated info as we get closer to November 26th! I sincerely hope you decide to support a small business on this special day. (Image Credit: Shop Small)
Fantasy of Light Opening Night Parade | November 26th
Call me corny, but I actually like parades. They’re a combination of some of my favorite things – community, spirit, family, belonging and festive entertainment. We didn’t have a holiday parade in the small Ohio town where I grew up, so I feel very fortunate to be so closely connected to the Fantasy of Lights Parade and think this event is extremely important for the local community. This will be my third year working on the parade, and I can tell you that seeing the excitement on thousands of kids’ faces as marching bands, dance groups and fire trucks drive past them is extremely heart-warming. They stare in awe and wonder at the twinkling lights, cheer on their favorite units and occasionally get a little treat from a local community group or elected official. This parade embodies tradition and I hope that the folks who have historically participated in the parade and attended as spectators continue to do so, and encourage you folks who haven’t attended or participated in the past to give it a try. It’s the perfect event for families and Downtown Tempe is the perfect place to make a day of holiday cheer and create new and long-lasting memories.
ASU Men’s/Women’s Basketball
From Midnight Madness to March Madness and all the madness in between, I LOVE college basketball – hands down my favorite season in sports. Even though I’m totally justified in not supporting the Sun Devil Hoops men’s team (I have been a diehard Kentucky fan since birth – I’ll let you do the math), I try to go to as many games as possible because I like to support the now home team. Similar to what I highlighted when describing the college football game experience in the October FOMO blog, college basketball games are no different, except they’re more intimate…unless you’re in Rupp Arena ; ) I love game days in Downtown Tempe because I can just walk over to Wells Fargo Arena right after work, stopping for a beer on the way of course, people-watch in the arena as I wait for the games to start and enjoy an evening of what I absolutely love – college basketball! With the winningest coach in Sun Devil women’s basketball history and national headlining antics like the “Curtain of Distraction”, we’re in for a treat this basketball season with both our men’s and women’s Sun Devil Hoops’ teams. I hope you make it to a game or two this month as they begin their journey to the Big Dance.
Beyond the Bricks | Every Thursday
With four weeks of free live performances under our belts, this family-friendly event continues to grow with each week that passes. With the addition of string lights to Hayden Square Amphitheatre, Tempe’s first outdoor beer garden and to-go orders offered by nearby restaurants, Thursday evenings in Downtown Tempe are starting to be redefined as this public space continues to transform and be established as an active venue for local musicians. The best part…it’s FREE (thanks to State Farm) and people have even been bringing their own chairs, blankets and picnics to make the evening a comfortable and cozy experience for themselves and their peeps. The lineup for November includes ZONA ROAD, Walt Richardson (a Tempe legend) and Good Boy Daisy. Come check it out!
6th Street Market | Every Sunday
Not only does this market provide artists with an opportunity to showcase and sell their work, but it also helps create and encourage a thriving and diverse community of artists and makers in Downtown Tempe and the surrounding areas. Similar to the Beyond the Bricks music series, this weekly occurrence continues to grow as each week passes. Purchasing local goods is an experience that promotes a sense of place and is important in helping individuals feel tied to the community – something I am extremely proud to be a part of. 6th Street Park couldn’t be a more perfect venue for this market, as it’s nestled just off of Mill Avenue and surrounded by greenery and public art. I encourage you to add this market to your regular Sunday plans. Even if you don’t purchase anything, it makes for a nice morning and/or afternoon activity. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always purchase something at the farmers market, but I go every single Saturday…if nothing else, it’s a chance for me to take a joy ride on my cruiser and get my morning coffee and a fresh croissant. #DontJudgeMe
As always, don't forget to take some fun pics all month long and include the hashtag #DowntownTempe in your social posts so we can keep up with all the fall fun you're having!
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