Each year when autumn arrives in Tucson, the seasonal shift signals the return of three long-running, highly anticipated events that showcase the city’s pride in its multicultural heritage, food traditions and love of the outdoors.

Timing a meeting or an event to coincide with one of these signature celebrations invites attendees into a passionate community eager to connect with neighbors, peers and guests. What better example for groups to apply to their own corporate culture?

Tucson Meet Yourself


This year marks the 45th anniversary of Tucson Meet Yourself (TMY), a folklife festival celebrating the artists and communities that carry on the living traditions of the multinational desert borderlands. The premier annual event of the Tucson-based nonprofit Southwest Folklife Alliance, TMY features more than 100 music and dance performances, cuisine running the gamut (from Native American to Asian and Pacific), as well as traditional and contemporary folk artists offering items for sale, demonstrations and children’s activities.

All Souls Procession Weekend


The All Souls Procession, now in its 30th year, serves as an outlet for the public need to mourn, reflect and celebrate the universal experience of death. Far from funereal, the event invites participants to express their grief by celebrating the creative spirit via altars, performances and installation art. More than 150,000 people march 2 miles through the streets of downtown Tucson in what has been hailed as one of the most inclusive, important and authentic public ceremonies in modern-day North America.

El Tour de Tucson


Each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the largest and longest-running cycling event in the state draws more than 9,000 riders of all ages and abilities to Tucson. The city consistently ranks as one of the nation’s best places to bike due to its sunny skies and variety of terrain. Participants pedaling in El Tour de Tucson, founded in 1983, can choose among main-event distances of 25, 50 or 100 miles, or opt for a Fun Ride of one, four or 10 miles.

Read more about Tucson’s attractive offerings for groups in Courtney Peters’ story, “A Paradise for Lovers of the Outdoors: Experience Tucson’s Sonoran Desert Splendor,” in the upcoming September issue of Smart Meetings.