Arizona's Christmas City

2014-12-18 | ImagesAZ | Community

Writer Tom Scanlon     Is Christmas in the city — or a modern suburb — getting you down? Feeling like it’s all become just too commercialized, too contemporary? Then you may want to wander up to “Arizona’s Christmas City.” Prescott may be 99.9 road miles north of Phoenix, but thematically, it’s 99.9 million miles away.   The Prescott area is a great getaway pretty much any month of the year. Visitors from the Valley can breathe cool mountain air in the summer, be dazzled by the colors of fall and in general be charmed by the small town feeling. The population is just over 40,000, as it has been for years, and downtown Prescott is pretty much as it was in the 1980s; maybe even the 1950s.   In December, Prescott ramps up the charm, with a string of Christmas-themed events that invite visitors to soak up nostalgia. In turn, the town merchants are more than happy to soak up visitors’ dollars, as the events were masterminded to stimulate the local economy. But it’s a... More

Ringing in a New Era, New Year's Signature Event

2014-12-18 | ImagesAZ | Community

Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque     New Year’s Eve in New Jersey during my childhood meant getting into footed sleeper pajamas and waiting until the ball dropped in Times Square. At the stroke of midnight, I would run outside with my sisters and cousins and put dents in my mother’s cookware, giving the pots and pans a beating they wouldn’t forget until the following New Year’s Eve.   This New Year’s Eve, save your cookware and bring the family to a wonderful one-time-only event planned to celebrate not only the arrival of 2015, but also the 15th anniversary of the Anthem community. It is planned for the evening of December 31, from 6 to 10 p.m.   This event officially closes out a year filled with special anniversary events in Anthem, starting with the opening of the Anthem Civic Building on January 25.   “We want this to be a memorable event for everyone,” said Kristi Northcutt, director of public affairs and communications for Anthem Community Council. “It’s... More

MIM Presents “Hear Them Ring”

2014-12-17 | ImagesAZ | Community

Chimes and jingles will fill the halls as the Musical Instrument Museum gets into the holiday spirit by showcasing instruments that ring, with performances featuring hand bells, steel pans and marimbas. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., 480-478-6000, More

SWCC Hosts “Beary” Merry Christmas

2014-12-16 | ImagesAZ | Community

Celebrate Christmas with animals in the intimate and unique setting of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center’s sanctuary. 5-8 p.m. Adults, $20; children 3-11, $10; children under 2, free. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, 27026 N. 156th St., 480-471-3621, ... More

Desert Mission UMC Holiday Concert

2014-12-14 | ImagesAZ | Community

Enjoy a variety of holiday music that will put you in the mood to finish your baking and holiday greetings, featuring Brazilian guitar and violin. Food or free will donation to Foothills Food Bank serves as price of admission. 2:30 p.m. Desert Mission United Methodist Church, 7373 E. Dixileta Dr., ... More

Upscale Singers Award Scholarships to Area Youth

2014-12-14 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Pinnacle High School junior Mason Reeves and Gavilan Peak seventh grader Sophia Humbert were the top winners of the Upscale Singers eighth annual Vocal Scholarship auditions. Reeves took first place in the Senior High division, winning a $500 scholarship; Humbert won the Junior High division and secured a $400 vocal scholarship. Both winners will be featured soloists in the Upscale Singers’ annual Christmas show on December 14. Seven other students placed in the auditions and six honorable mentions were named, with a total of $3,200 awarded. For more information, visit ... More

DAR Presents “Freedom: What It Means To Me”

2014-12-13 | ImagesAZ | Community

Daughters of the American Revolution, Ocotillo Chapter, welcomes speaker Thomas H. Kirk, Jr., a retired United States Air Force Colonel and 28-year highly decorated fighter pilot of an F-105. 9:30 a.m. Free. Outlets of Anthem Community Room #435, 4250 W. Anthem Way, 623-551-3764, ... More

Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix

2014-12-13 | ImagesAZ | Community

Kick off the holiday season with this concert featuring Arizona’s longest continually performing choral organization. Proceeds benefit the Foothills Food Bank. 4 p.m. $20 per person. Desert Foothills Lutheran Church, 29305 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480-585-8007, ... More

Foothills Food Bank Seeks Donors for Adopt-a-Family Program

2014-12-13 | ImagesAZ | Community

The Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center seeks donors to provide gifts, holiday meals and hope for families in crisis for this year’s Adopt-a-Family program. Interested donors determine the size of family they are willing to adopt and donate gifts according to the family’s shopping guide. The gifts will be given to the families on Saturday, December 13 at High Desert Park in Black Canyon City and Sunday, December 14 at the Holland Community Center in North Scottsdale. Individuals and groups such as businesses, HOAs, churches and schools are encouraged to participate. All gifts and donations are tax deductible. For more information or to request a donor sign-up form, contact or visit the food bank at 6038 E. Hidden Valley Dr., Cave Creek.... More

A Love of Antique Automobiles Spans Three Generations

2014-12-13 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Barb Evans     Arizona will soon become heaven on earth for thousands of classic car collectors and antique automobile aficionados when collector car week converges upon the Valley next month. Numerous car auctions, sales and events, most notably Barrett-Jackson’s auction at WestWorld, will take place in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Among the crowd will be my husband, son and father-in-law, who have had the week circled on their calendars since last year.   When Steve and I married 17 years ago, I knew he was passionate about antique cars. After all, he had picked me up in a 1963 Buick Riviera on our first date, and one of the requirements for when we were planning our wedding was to not schedule it for the first weekend in October, the standing date for the Antique Automobile Club of America’s annual Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to which he had gone with his father every year since he was 7 years old. But not until a few years ago did I realize that I should have added... More

Taste of Preschool

2014-12-12 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Children ages 2½ to 5 will have a fun morning meeting the teachers of Our Lady of Joy Catholic Preschool and making gingerbread houses during this open house event. 10 a.m. Free. Our Lady of Joy Catholic Preschool, 36811 N. Pima Rd., 480-595-6409, ... More

7th Annual Carefree Christmas Festival

2014-12-12 | ImagesAZ | Community

The holidays are illuminated with this three-day festival featuring an electric light parade, fireworks display, live music, dance performances, real snow, gift market, food court and more. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy St., 480-488-2051, ... More

Hanukkah Celebration

2014-12-12 | ImagesAZ | Community

Join the North Valley Jewish Community Association in celebrating Hanukkah with a candle lighting ceremony and traditional buffet dinner. RSVP by December 13. 5:30 p.m. Adults, $25 per person; children 5-12, $13. Anthem Country Club’s Ironwood Grille, 41551 N. Anthem Hills Dr., 623-551-0310, ... More

Andrew Z's Gift Giveaway

2014-12-12 | ImagesAZ | Community

Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque     There is perhaps never more hoopla surrounding the holiday season in Anthem than when Andrew Zychowski of Andrew Z Diamonds and Fine Jewelry begins his annual gift giveaway. This season, he will be doing it for the seventh year in a row, to the delight of residents all over the Anthem area.   The festivities kick off on Thanksgiving night and extend through Christmas Eve. Each gift-wrapped treasure is worth between $25 and $100. It might be a watch one day, a bracelet another or any number of items that are sold in Andrew Z’s store in Anthem. Instead of gift giving during the traditional “12 Days of Christmas,” Andrew extends the gift giving to a gift on each of the 30 days preceding Christmas and, to keep everyone on their toes, he may even throw in a bonus gift on certain days. The gift of the day is then hidden somewhere in Anthem and the hints are posted on Andrew Z’s Facebook page. The hint might be a picture, a map or even a... More

Boulder Creek Fall Sports: Splashes & Touchdowns

2014-12-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon   November was championship time for fall high school sports, with one sport after another coming crashing to its conclusion after months of competition. If there was a combination score (as in the Olympics), Boulder Creek High School might have won the title, as the Anthem high school finished near the top in several events.   The swimmers, who put in thousands of laps at the Anthem Community Center, were some of the top performers. You could say Krista Kolkebeck finished her BC swimming career with a splash. Led by her fourth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, the BC girls’ swim team finished sixth in the state.   Participating in perhaps the most competitive race in swimming, Kolkebeck faced the top water athletes in the state. The 100-yard freestyle is her strongest race and was her best chance to be one of the four who received medals on the podium.   “I set a goal to make it to the podium and after I touched the wall, I looked up at the scoreboard... More