The Green

News & Notes

Show Low Battle of the Bands and Food Vans Returns Labor Day Weekend

3 Min Read

Grab your blankets and camp chairs and get ready for a dynamic September day in the beautiful White Mountains! The annual Battle of the Bands and Food Vans is just around the corner. This popular event brings the city of Show Low to life in a unique way with a wide variety of music, food, vendors and visitors. This year’s battle is scheduled for Saturday, September 2, 2023, in the heart of downtown Show Low.

In its 5th year, the Battle of the Bands and Food Vans continues to grow. Coming off last year’s event of more than 2,600 attendees, organizers are preparing for an even bigger crowd this year. Denise Stow from the Show Low Main Street group said she thinks as many as 3,000 will come out to enjoy the fun. “Frontier Park is huge. This year I think we’ll get more people because we’ll have a tent to help those who can’t handle the heat. We think that will encourage more people to go.” After planning events for more than four decades, she has a clear understanding of what makes this event so well liked. “I think people just enjoy it. They have a good time, it’s a family event and every year we continue to get good bands, you get their groupies, and people just enjoy everything we have for kids and adults. I’ve been planning events for a long time with events up to 30,000 and I want people to enjoy themselves. Every year people come out and they can’t wait until the next year. That means we’ve done our job.”

The day is designed as two competitions wrapped into one event. The various bands compete as well as the wide variety of food trucks. The bands will each play a set of their music while visitors gather in the grass with family and friends. The crowd spends the day listening to music, enjoying cool beverages and indulging in some of the best food truck offerings in the White Mountains.

Stow said this year they are excited for families to enjoy the new Frontier Park Playground as well. Located just across the fence from the Frontier Park soccer fields, the park is designed with inclusivity in mind, offering kids of all ages and capabilities the chance to play. Kids can also cool off in the nearby splash pad. Food Van and vendor applications are still available on the Show Low Main Street website.

The cost to attend Battle of the Bands and Food Vans is $5 per person. Kids aged 12 and younger are free with a paying adult. Every paid entrant received five voting chips and can use them to vote for their favorite band or food van or a combination of the two. The event begins at noon when the first of nine bands will perform. Nine food vans will also be competing. Bands begin their sets on the hour starting at noon and running until 8 p.m. 

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