Singers just can’t wait for the one of the nation’s best food festivals. Actors can’t wait either. Dancers, artists, history aficionados, music teachers, and many other culturally advanced people are also enthusiastic.


Why are so many artsy people eating food cooked by the best chefs in the Scottsdale, Ariz., area? Maybe they are, but maybe they aren’t. The singers, actors, dancers, and artists probably enjoy great food as much as anyone, but there’s a different reason for their enthusiasm — EVERY penny in profits from the Scottsdale Culinary Festival goes to the Scottsdale League for the Arts.


Last year, the Scottsdale League for the Arts distributed the money to 42 local arts organizations, including a community theatre, a children’s theatre, an art museum, a historical society, and a music school. The average Scottsdale-area resident might not get as many benefits from the festival as local artists, but the foodies sure enjoy themselves — and there are a lot of them. About 30,000 people attend each year.

The Scottsdale Culinary Festival, which is usually on Saturday and Sunday in mid-April, includes food from about 100 restaurants, a beer festival with more than 200 beers, cooking demonstrations by some of Arizona’s best chefs, cooking contests, entertainment by more than 20 bands, a beer and wine garden, four- and five-course dinners, the awarding of scholarships for young prospective chefs, and children’s activities such as carnival games, arts and crafts, and magic shows.

The culinary festival in Scottsdale, a city of about 230,000 people, is just outside Phoenix.