It was a beautiful, sunny day in Phoenix at the Duck and Decanter, where nearly 1,800 attendees perused the local vendors, enjoyed food samples from local restaurants, and visited with the community.
Local First Arizona, then known as Arizona Chain Reaction, was a brand new organization on the scene but had already garnered attention from local business leaders. At the time, Director Kimber Lanning was the owner of an independent record store and an art gallery, and had grown frustrated with the lack of awareness from consumers about the effects of their spending habits. She also noticed a "brain drain" in Phoenix, where young people were leaving for other cities like Austin and Portland, and that local governments were handing out tax dollars to lure big box corporations rather than invest in the local community. Kimber founded Local First Arizona to combat these issues and to build community prosperity and pride across Arizona.
Ten years later, the Certified Local Fall Festival has grown into a beloved community event that is expected to attract 10,000 attendees to downtown Phoenix.
Over 100 local businesses will participate in this year's festival and will provide a variety of kids activities, food samples, and unique wares for sale. There will be live music all day from some great local bands, and a beverage garden filled with exclusively Arizona-produced beer, wine, and spirits.