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Best Performance Venue--Outdoors
Reid Park DeMeester Performance Center
READERS' PICK: Normally, this grassy, hilled enclave makes a relaxing place to play Frisbee, run with your dog, or lie down and watch the clouds go by. But every so often the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center transforms into one of the finest outdoor entertainment spaces in all of Tucson. And it's all free!
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Located on Campbell Avenue and River Road in the center of a labyrinth of tasteful upscale shops and restaurants, St. Philip's Plaza exudes the Old World charm of a Mediterranean courtyard. Tile, stone, fountains, flowers and staired balconies accentuate the plaza's central open space, a place perfectly suited for dance and music on soft summer evenings. The plucking of guitars, mellow lowing of saxophones and brassy peal of a horn section echo here throughout the year. Filtering seductively through the night air Sundays through October 25, the Plaza Suite Series offers some of the finest local and touring jazz talents to plaza visitors. And if you left your dancing shoes at home, choose from three of Tucson's finest dining experiences (Café Terra Cotta, Daniel's, and the slightly more casual Ovens).
A REAL SCREAM: It may not be Yasgur's Farm, but Kennedy
Park, 3700 S. Mission Road, continues to host the craziest,
funkiest outdoor concerts in Southern Arizona. Whether it's the
Bob Marley fest or Cinco de Mayo, Kennedy Park is all Frisbees,
beer-drinking dogs, and blankets on the grass. The park sits just
inside the lap of the Tucson Mountains, a fabulous sunset background
as music reverberates over the crowd, drifting back east into
town and west out into the silence of the drive out to Ajo. And
the sheer volume of food vendors, usually lined up in tiny booths
on the hill behind the audience, fills the air with the aromas
of roasted corn, carne asada, onion and chile peppers. Always
a stay-all-day, family-friendly affair, the vast majority of concerts
at Kennedy Park are free or of minimal cost.