At first glance, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival seems like it’s more about the glitz than the food, but don’t let the swank fool you. Sure, there’s the Eat, Drink and Be Pretty party where it may be more about stilettos than spices, but this is a foodie event at its core. The weeklong event includes luxurious dinners and themed cocktail parties, yes, but also the Great Arizona Picnic with 50 restaurants, chef demonstrations, live local bands and special tastings.
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Scottsdale’s Public Art Program
In 1985, residents passed a 1 percent tax on capital-improvement projects to help fund the Scottsdale Public Art Program, which now encompasses more than 50 permanent works. Two of its most prominent pieces – Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture and James Turrell’s Knight Rise “skyspace” – can be seen downtown near Civic Center Park. Nearby Scottsdale Waterfront has a large concentration, too, with the Soleri Bridge & Plaza and Donald Lipski’s The Doors. But you’ll spot creativity all over Scottsdale; even the freeways, where overpasses and sidewalls are decorated with large installations.