The sun was shining and local love was in the air at this year's Certified Local Fall Festival. Thousands of attendees meandered through the intimate park at Portland Parkway in the heart of Central Phoenix, visiting with over one hundred local vendors, sampling bites from local restaurants, and enjoying the all-Arizona Hensley Beverage Garden.
This year's Certified Local Festival, now in its 11th year, was the biggest yet with an expanded beverage garden, many more vendors, and an estimated 12,000 attendees. Families enjoyed various activities brought by local business vendors, including face painting, a bounce house, lawn games, a musical instrument petting zoo, and much more. Keep It Cut even offered on site hair cuts, and later contributed the proceeds back to the LFA Foundation!
There were quite a few local food producers and restaurants dishing out samples at this year's Fall Festival. From jalapeño macaroni and cheese from Bruce Brown Catering to rabbit meatballs from The Parlor to lamb bolognese from Federal Pizza, there were many unique flavors to try. The tamales from Los Compadres were a favorite among attendees as well. There were also plenty of sweets to go around, including red velvet cake from Southern Rail, ice cream from Churn, and fresh cookies from the Duck and Decanter. The Phoenix New Times even picked their top five things they ate at this year's Festival.
To wash down Inside the Hensley Beverage Garden, there were more than 25 local brands of beer, wine, and spirits pouring samples and an all local lineup of musical acts that entertained throughout the day. Hensley Beverage Company was there pouring local favorites from across the state including Four Peaks Brewing Company, Mother Road Brewing Company, Oak Creek Brewing Company, Sleepy Dog Brewery, Prescott Brewing Company, and Mudshark Brewing Company. Pikfly was also there reminding local beer fans about their beer delivery service - no more need for the beer run just call Pikfly!
It was a beautiful day to bring the community out to connect with each other and with local business owners from around the state. Studies show that when citizens feel more connected to their community, home, and place, those communities see higher incidents of civic engagement and philanthropy. Furthermore, a recent Knight Foundation study which shows “connection to place” as the single-most leading indicator in places that have prosperity. With the Certified Local Fall Festival, we hope to continue to help Arizonans feel more connected to this state and inspire them to be proud to call Arizona home.
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