We went last year. Had so much fun we went back this year. The venue has a great festival feeling, people in costume and masks (some are really way out), a short parade, food from tents, loud music, dogs on leashes, lots of laughter and this year . . . great weather.
I mentioned people, very interesting people! There is a costume contest so that certainly explains a lot of the diverse dress, plus, many ladies like to dress up in kimonos, carry a dainty parasol, and wear makeup that respects a Japanese culture. But, some just dress differently. Or maybe it is not different for them!! Either way, it is all colorful and no one minds having their photo taken.
I am pretty sure that the festival promoters have to get permission to FAR exceed city noise limits for this festival. You could feel the drums blocks away and I could still hear the drums as I went to bed!! They are awesome! More than just standing in front of a drum, however, they entertain and have so much fun you almost want to take classes. There are opportunities for members of the public to go up and try drumming in a group, following instructions given to the group. It is mainly follow the leader. Debra and Anden went up and both were smiling pretty much the whole time.
Besides the food tents, there are many other ways to spend some cash. Trinkets of all kinds! Just the ones that grab your attention and when you get home you wonder why you spent any money on it!!
The Phoenix Bonsai Society had a nice space to show off their bonsai as well as give some demonstrations on how to start a bonsai plant and care for it. The specimens were indeed lovely and the best part was that a gentleman went around with a large black fabric sheet that he would hold in back of a plant for photographers!!! They will have a major show in May. If you would like more information you can visit their website at www.phoenixbonsai.com.
Finally, no proper festival is without appropriately dressed 'in theme' dogs.
We will probably return again next year!