I Love Mesa Day festival returns with bands, rides, free museums, more

Feb 23, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 7:52 am

PHOENIX — I Love Mesa Day is returning to downtown Mesa on Saturday for a party full of free, family-friendly activities.

The celebration features a night of national musical acts, including The Smithereens with special guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw.

I Love Mesa Day started in September 2021 to support local businesses and introduce valley residents to the uniquely local offerings in downtown Mesa.

“Downtown Mesa is a rapidly changing part of our city, full of new and legacy businesses, great community events and several award-winning destinations for arts and culture,” Mayor John Giles said in a press release.

“I Love Mesa Day will be another great opportunity for people to visit, return to or discover Mesa for the first time.”

The festivities starts with a farmer’s market from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Center Street side of the Mesa Arts Center.

The i.d.e.a. Museum (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Arizona Museum of Natural History (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) will offer free admision during the day.

Main Street will become the hub of activities at 11 a.m. with a petting zoo, carnival games and rides, community performances, roaming princess characters, a speed painter and a variety of food trucks.

Additionally, there will be a roller skating demonstration, open skating, a D.J. skating party and the screening of “Luca” (11:30 a.m.) and “An Extremely Goofy Movie” (2:30 p.m.) at The Plaza at Mesa City Center.

Bands will take the stage at Main Street and Macdonald starting at 5 p.m., and the night will be capped by a 9 p.m. fireworks show.

Here is the concert lineup:

  • 4:30-5 p.m.: Benches
  • 5:30-6:15 p.m.: Dishwalla
  • 6:45-7:45 p.m.: The Smithereens including special guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw
  • 8:15-9 p.m.: Dreamers

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I Love Mesa Day festival returns with bands, rides, free museums, more