Photo courtesy Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Weekends are made for moving a little slower, taking time to enjoy oneself and reconnect with whatever’s been put on the back burner during a hectic work week.

That’s why rolling out of bed and doing nothing in particular sounds so appealing. Doing it at the Great Arizona Picnic sounds even better.

The signature event of the annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival, the picnic is an event made for a lazy day. Simply slip into your flip flops and shamble through the shady green space of Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, stopping here and there to savor little plates put out by about 50 local eateries.

Among the restaurants cranking out food at the picnic are Dos Gringos, Pita Jungle, Roka Akor and the Salty Señorita. On the sweet end of the spectrum, you’ll find San Tan Village dessert shop Caketini and downtown Chandler’s Mexican popsicle maker Paletas Betty.

Food isn’t the only attraction. Numerous bands — including Walt Richardson & The Peaceful Warriors, Mogollon and the Groove Merchants — will supply live entertainment all day, and an Epicurean Expo shows off the latest in cookware and kitchen gadgetry and features cooking demonstrations by local chefs.

If you’re feeling boozy, access to a Festival of Beers, tequila deck and vodka bar is available at additional cost.

Chairs, blankets and umbrellas are welcome, but leave pets at home.

DETAILS >> Noon 9 p.m. Saturday, April 13, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 14. Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. $10 general admission, plus the cost of food and drink. (480) 945-7193 or

Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

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