Downtown Mesa is experiencing an infusion of activity and nightlife through a collaboration involving local artists and businesses, the City of Mesa, Neighborhood Economic Development Corp, Mesa’s Department of Arts and Culture, and Downtown Mesa Association (DMA). Numerous community-focused events and free activities are being offered toward the shared goal of enlivening the walkable Main Street area.
With established events like Motorcycles on Main and 2nd Friday — and new activities such as Mesa Up @ Nite, an initiative that matches local artists with area businesses — Mesa’s energized downtown is celebrating the local characteristics and vitality of its Main Street.
“We are so excited to bring a wide variety of new and varied experiences into downtown Mesa. The featured events and activities are introducing the public to artists and performers, and putting art into unexpected places, like beauty salons and pizza parlors. We hope new visitors will explore downtown and stay awhile, discovering the charm of this delightful and authentic urban center,” says Cindy Ornstein, the city’s Director of Arts and Culture.
A comprehensive list of events can be found at MesaAZ.gov/ToDo/Downtown.aspx. Highlights include:
Mesa Up @ Nite - Downtown businesses extend their hours on ten selected nights this spring, and host local visual and performing artists as they perform, demonstrate or offer hands-on activities, all for free.
Alliance Pavilion performances - Mesa Arts Center’s newest performance space and outdoor seating area, the Alliance Pavilion, presents a curated series of free performances by local artists.
Mesa Live - DMA presents live acoustic musicians every Thursday at downtown restaurants.
Motorcycles on Main - The Sturgis-style motorcycle event on Main Street offers live music, beer gardens and bike vendors 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every first Friday of the month.
2nd Friday Night Out - This block party occurs every second Friday of the month, with live bands, more than 70 booths, gallery openings, entertainers, shopping and food.
3rd Friday Live and Local - From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every third Friday of the month, live, local music, local beer and local vendors line Macdonald Street at the intersection of Main.
Food trucks - Food trucks complement the existing downtown restaurants and offer additional dining options on the campus of Mesa Arts Center. Dates and times are posted on the website.
Target 3 for Free: The Arizona Museum of Natural History, i.d.e.a. Museum and the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (all located downtown) are free the first Sunday of each month, and the arts museum hosts special performances and/or hands-on activities for children.
EATS + ARTS - Select restaurants offer discounts and special offers to patrons with ticket stubs from Mesa Arts Center and admission receipts from Arizona Museum of Natural History or the i.d.e.a. Museum.