Press Coverage

“It’s not just really about artists, It’s kind of about just your average person having a public space to parade their idea about creativity in front of fellow citizens… I think it’s a really neat way for people to just get out and experience their city, not just the space, but the people in it.”

– Stephen Strange, organizer and member of the Strange Family Circus

“The Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts is so exciting. It’s like the biggest First Friday (art walk), but everyone is participating, not just looking. Any event that gets people out of their houses is a good thing in Phoenix.”
– Michael Red, band member of Sonorous, who have participated with PAPA 2006 and 2007

“I think with the Parade of the Arts, we actually finally created something that’s unique to Phoenix and really stands out and can grow. It’s a home-grown thing and can really grow into something big for this city, something that will really attract people and show people what we have going on here creatively.”
– Jimmy Cerracchio, former organizer and Marketing Coordinator of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership

“It helps contribute to positive economic and cultural growth of a city I feel to have a thriving artistic presence. Life is art and art is life. A city without a great art community is dead in my opinion.”
– Kara Kay, PAPA 2006 and 2007 participant, local artist and community member

As quoted in The Arizona Republic


The Pantone Pen
Art Reviews by
Dann Dykas

PAPA Likes it Hot
Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts pulls out all the stops

Fire, freaks and fanfare will be filling the streets of downtown Phoenix Nov. 1 as the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts enters its third and most anticipated year.
Voted “Best Parade” by the Phoenix New Times, the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts (or PAPA) is far more than just a parade, its like an art fair mixed with a circus sideshow and then propped up on stilts, wheels and dog sleds.

This year, PAPA moves its center stage to Roosevelt Row, the energetic, colorful and independent heart of the exploding downtown art scene. Located literally on Fifth Street, between Roosevelt and Garfield, the festivities begin with some “pre-parade excitement” including live music on the main stage, street performers, costume and float displays and even some inflatable jumpers, face painting and balloon art for the kids (or the kids in all of us).

The pre-parade entertainment includes local musicians Mosey Horse, Sonorous, Fuscio Taiko, and special guests include Axe Capoeira and The Taylor Circus Stars. Also expect magic acts and street performances by buskers, clowns and freaks.

But the real fun begins when the masses of this macabre menagerie are rallied and take to the streets at 7:30 p.m. According to the PAPA’s MySpace page, the parade this year will be asking for even more participation from its attendees (and resident miscreants and marchers) by introducing its first theme: Out of This World.

And who better to lead the “world’s only parading art fair” than the eccentric Dr. Rev. Stephen Strange?

Dr. Rev. Strange — not to be confused with the colorful ’80s pop singer Steven Strange, or the comic book superhero Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange — is the ringmaster of the Strange Family Circus ( and one of the hosts of Phoenix’s growing cult phenomenon Television Noir on Phoenix’s AZTV (

But the fun doesn’t end after the parade. After following the good Dr. Reverend Strange and the fantastic March 4th Marching Band through the dark and empty streets of downtown, be sure to return to Fifth Street for the headline performance and parade competition award ceremony.

The third Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts is run in conjunction with The Happening in Downtown Phoenix and falls between the Downtown Phoenix Loft and Home Tour and the Downtown Phoenix Pub Crawl (now that’s something I can get into).

To find out more about the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts, visit (what else) For more information on the home tour or the pub crawl, be sure to visit And be sure to check out Television Noir Saturday nights (technically Sunday morning) at 12:30 a.m. on AZTV (cable channel 13).
Street fair, parade on tap for weekend
Events set for Saturday in downtown Phoenix also include pub crawl

by Jahna Berry – Oct. 31, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

It’s the downtown Phoenix parade that few have ever heard of.

But when night falls on Saturday, hundreds – perhaps as many as 1,000 – will strut through the streets of the city.

And the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts, known as PAPA, isn’t a spectator sport. When the procession of samba performers, stilt walkers and musicians goes by, revelers usually join in the fun, said one organizer, Stephen Strange.

“The whole idea is that this is not your usual stand-on-the-sidelines parade,” said Strange, who among others things is a magician and ringmaster for his family’s small circus act.

Aside from a few dozen performers, the parade is made up of the people who show up that day, often costumed performers or people pulling small, manually powered floats.

Since the parade was started at the mayor’s suggestion in 2006, it has grown from a couple of hundred people to a crowd of an estimated 500 revelers who took part last year, said Jimmy Cerracchio, marketing coordinator of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

PAPA is just one of four Saturday downtown events. During the afternoon, a pre-parade street fair, will take over Fifth Street between Garfield and Roosevelt streets. Bands, children’s crafts, artists and vendors stalls will line the road, Cerracchio said. There are also plans for a home and loft tour.

On Saturday night, night owls will kick off the second annual Downtown Phoenix Pub Crawl. It will take ticket holders to seventeen central Phoenix bars.

The events are part of an effort to build interest in downtown Phoenix and to showcase attractions, organizers say.


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