The hummingbird festival is one of Sedona's most popular annual events

A Review of Sedona’s Most Popular Annual Events

Dan Turner

Sedona, Arizona is not just a picturesque landscape of red rocks and soaring peaks, it also hosts a variety of annual events. Here’s a detailed review of some of the top events Sedona has to offer, along with their unique pros and cons.

1. Sedona International Film Festival (February)

One of Sedona’s most popular annual events. This nine-day extravaganza brings together movie buffs from all over the globe to celebrate independent and foreign films. Screenings are held at the historic Mary D. Fisher Theatre and other local venues, with special events and guest appearances peppered throughout the week.

Pros: The festival provides an excellent opportunity for networking with film industry insiders, making it a must-attend for cinephiles and budding filmmakers. The films are diverse, spanning multiple genres and countries. Plus, there’s the allure of the breathtaking Sedona backdrop.

Cons: Tickets can be pricey, and the festival attracts a considerable crowd, making it less appealing for those seeking a tranquil getaway. Also, February weather can be chilly, so bundle up.

2. Sedona Mountain Bike Festival (March)

This three-day event in March is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts and cycling lovers. Visitors can enjoy Sedona’s stunning trails, test out the latest bike gear, and join various skills clinics and group rides.

Pros: The festival provides an enjoyable blend of outdoor entertainment and local participation. It is efficiently arranged, with a bicycle demonstration area, nearby businesses selling their products, food trucks providing delicious snacks, and live music playing for visitors to enjoy. All of these features combined together create an unforgettable atmosphere that will leave guests feeling fulfilled and content.

Cons: Not all trails are beginner-friendly, which could limit participation for less-experienced bikers. Also, this event is likely not of interest to those indifferent to mountain biking.

3. Sedona Arts Festival (October)

A non-profit event, the Sedona Arts Festival showcases the work of artists from across the country in a wide variety of mediums. Proceeds support local arts education.

Pros: This event offers a great opportunity to discover and purchase unique artwork. It’s also family-friendly with activities for children. Plus, the mild fall weather enhances the outdoor festival experience.

Cons: Those not particularly interested in arts and crafts may find the festival less appealing. Also, while it supports a good cause, entry fees may seem high for some visitors.

4. Sedona Winefest (September)

Sedona Winefest celebrates Arizona’s burgeoning wine industry, featuring wines from across the state. It includes wine tasting, educational presentations, and local food.

Pros: Attending this unique event gives you the opportunity to savor some of Arizona’s finest wines, carefully selected and expertly matched with delectable cuisine in a convivial and laid-back setting. It promises to be an enjoyable experience for both wine aficionados as well as those who are just starting out on their journey of discovering the world of wine.

Cons: Those who don’t drink alcohol will find the festival less enticing. Tickets, particularly for tastings, can also be expensive.

5. Sedona Yoga Festival (March)

The Sedona Yoga Festival is a premier yoga event that typically happens in March, providing a unique opportunity to embrace spirituality and wellness against the backdrop of Sedona’s stunning red rocks. It’s easy to understand why this is another of Sedona’s most popular annual events.

Pros: This festival offers a multitude of yoga workshops, classes, and presentations suitable for all experience levels. The spiritual nature of Sedona adds to the overall experience, making it a haven for individuals seeking personal transformation, healing, or peace. The festival also brings in renowned yoga instructors from around the globe, providing excellent learning opportunities.

Cons: While the variety of workshops is a plus, it can be overwhelming to newcomers. Also, those not particularly interested in yoga or spirituality may find this event less appealing. Early booking of accommodations is highly recommended for visitors planning to travel to Sedona, as the area can become quite crowded during peak season.

6. Sedona Plein Air Festival (October)

The Sedona Plein Air Festival is a week-long celebration of outdoor painting that takes place each October. The festival features nationally invited artists who capture the stunning landscapes of Sedona on canvas, right in front of spectators.

Pros: The Plein Air Festival is an excellent event for art lovers and those interested in the creative process. Watching artists interpret the natural beauty of Sedona in real-time is truly mesmerizing. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to engage with artists, understand their techniques, and even purchase the artworks. The autumn weather in October also adds to the charm of this outdoor event.

Cons: The Sedona Plein Air Festival is certainly an event for enthusiasts of fine art, but for those not interested in painting or art in general, it may not be as captivating. Even if the elements cooperate, unfavorable weather could still potentially disrupt the festival, as it takes place outdoors.

The Sedona Plein Air Festival, like all of Sedona’s annual events, offers a unique facet of cultural immersion.

7. Sedona Hummingbird Festival (July-August)

The Sedona Hummingbird Festival is an annual three-day event held from late July to early August when the greatest number of hummingbirds migrate to Sedona. Hosted by the Sedona Hummingbird Society, the festival provides visitors with expert presentations, garden tours, bird-watching, and more.

Pros: Attending this festival is a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers, bird watchers, and photography enthusiasts. It provides them with the remarkable experience of being able to observe and appreciate these incredible birds in their natural habitat. Furthermore, they gain valuable insight into the behavior and life of these creatures, making it an educational as well as a truly inspiring event. The educational presentations provide valuable insights into the life of hummingbirds, and the garden tours offer a beautiful experience of Sedona’s flora.

Cons: The festival might be less appealing to those not particularly interested in birds or nature.Summer in Sedona is a beautiful and intriguing time to visit, however preparation for the heat is essential. Temperatures can reach high, making sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water a must for any activity outdoors.

When deciding what Sedona’s annual events to attend, there are several factors to keep in mind.

  • Do you have a certain interest that you are particularly passionate about? Are you seeking out an exciting cultural experience, looking to attend a thrilling sporting event, or do your interests lie elsewhere?
  • What is your budget? How much are you willing to spend on events? Some of them may be free, but some can be quite costly.
  • How much time do you have available? Some events are one-day affairs, while others take place over multiple days.

Regardless of your choice, this area’s enchanting beauty serves as an unforgettable backdrop to Sedona’s most popular annual events.

Each event encapsulates a unique aspect of Sedona’s culture. However, it’s essential to consider personal interests, budget, and the timing of your visit when deciding which events to attend.

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