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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tucson’s Fourth Ave winter street fair returns

The+crowd+at+the+annual+Fourth+Avenue+Spring+Street+Fair+navigates+through+a+sea+of+stands+on+March+24%2C+2023.+People+of+the+Tucson+community+enjoyed+the+event+which+ran+Friday-Sunday.
Gracie Kayko
The crowd at the annual Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair navigates through a sea of stands on March 24, 2023. People of the Tucson community enjoyed the event which ran Friday-Sunday.

The end of the year is almost here, and with it comes the 54th Annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair during the second weekend of December in Tucson.

Since 1970, both the winter and spring street fairs have been staple events in the Fourth Avenue area, with local shops and vendors coming to sell their products. Casey Anderson, chief operating officer of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, talked about what preparation looks like.

“It definitely takes a lot of manpower and a lot of time to coordinate and put everything together. We begin planning the winter street fair in March of that same year,” Anderson said.

Along with planning in the summertime, the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association starts to accept shopping vendor applications as well as reach out to sponsors and food vendors. Once that’s all ready to go, Anderson said they start to plan the spring street fair.

For Anderson, the biggest challenge is always going to be parking, construction or even permitting. This year’s challenge is the new spaces that will be offered at the fair and how they’ll be used. But Anderson thinks they’re “fun challenges,” as the reward is very big.

Two women stop and look at windchimes at the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair on March 24, 2023. The street fair ran for three days straight, closing off Fourth Avenue to all but pedestrians. (Gracie Kayko)

Her favorite of the fair is watching the community come together.

“When I say community it’s much more than just Tucson at large, it’s really Southern Arizona and our surrounding states,” Anderson said. “Watching all these people come to our community of Tucson, Arizona, where we get to put our best foot forward and really kind of demonstrate what our community is all about. All the different variety and diversity of things we have to offer, I would say that’s probably my favorite part.”

There are also new activities available at the street fair this year, as well as a wellness tent for vaccinations, mammograms and more.

Located at 210 N. 4th Ave., a local beverage shop named BetterBevs is getting ready to serve at its first-ever street fair. Genesis Zazueta, one of the owners, is getting ready to be on her A-game when the street fair comes around.

“[We’re] getting our crew ready and our inventory all done now, set and ready to go. We want to over-prepare for what’s to come,” Zazueta said.

BetterBevs was established recently in April of this year. While Zazueta has lived in Tucson her whole life and has attended multiple Fourth Avenue street fairs, this will be the first time she’s actually selling at one.

The shop specializes in different kinds of cold drinks and Hawaiian shaved ice. From milk teas to slushies, it even offers add-ins to the drinks as well as a small selection of sandwiches.

Zazueta takes pride in her work and her shop, especially with the opportunity to be a part of the Downtown Tucson community. And the fair will help more people find the shop.

“We want to establish ourselves a little more,” Zazueta said.

BetterBevs is open Monday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight, and every other weekday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

The 54th Annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair will take place Dec. 8-10. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It is a free public event for anyone to attend.


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