Monthly Archives: December 2013

Gingerbread House Contest

Whether or not you can hear the bells, you’ll still be able to appreciate the extravagant gingerbread houses showcased at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix hotel. This year’s whimsical creations will be inspired by The Polar Express, the movie and book about how one boy learns what it means to believe during his journey on a magical train to the North Pole.

This is the hotel’s fifth annual Gingerbread House Contest and for the second time, the event will feature the talented students of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Students have the chance to win scholarships for their gingerbread houses, which will be judged on appearance, originality, creativity, difficulty, precision, and consistency of theme.

Feast your eyes on the edible exhibit from Friday, November 29, through Tuesday, December 31 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. 3rd Street, inside the Park Longue. For more information, visit Admission is free.

— By Lauren Saria

Price: Free

Phoenix Festival of the Arts


Downtown becomes a destination art haven for the second annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts, a weekend of creatives and culture sponsored by the Phoenix Center for the Arts and Arizona Humanities. The three-day festival includes the Mayor’s Arts Awards, presented by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to the Valley’s prominent and influential artists and cultural organizations.

Booths include Admir Tetaric with Artisan Cutting & Serving Boards, artist Audrey Tate, Gordon Searle of Hidden Valley Farms Soap, Kath Zimmerman of Kathy Zimmerman Photography, and Julie Pallissard with Bejuled.

Live entertainment from the likes of Almost Famous Theater Company, City Jazz, Great Arizona Puppet Theatre, and artist Sean Deckert add another dimension to the festivities, extending hours beyond the booths’ 5 p.m. curtain call. Food trucks are in on the fun, too, and though the line-up varies daily, staples like Paletas Betty and DGP Gourmet Fry Bread will be on hand to satisfy munchies.

Festivities start at 10 a.m. daily Friday, December 13, through Sunday, December 15, at Margaret T. Hance Deck Park, 1202 North Third Street. Admission is free. Visit

— By Janessa Hilliard

Price: Free