Annual Balloon Festival Celebrates The Red, White And Blue

The Eighth Annual Cave Creek Balloon Festival, presented by Tonto Bar and Grill and Aerial Solutions, is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, form 5:30-10pm, at Rancho Mañana Golf Course’s driving range.

The event includes great live bands, massive glowing balloons, everyone’s favorite fireworks show and a celebration of a red, white and blue Memorial Day weekend. Gone are the days of purchasing food, beverage script tickets and waiting in double long lines. Head straight for tasty eats and enjoy. Want to see the timeline or surf the food truck menus? Just hop online and find the information on a new, user-friendly website.
The balloons start to inflate and glow around 7:30pm, but guests will want to be there way before then to see the Civil Air Patrol color guard presentation, a flyover by Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302, and to hear the National Anthem performed by Madison Holmes. Later, the powerhouse vocals of The Anglim Sisters will perform from 6:45-8pm and don’t miss a beat as the entertainment flows right into, Native Arizona headliner, Harry Luge and his Country band. Relax and lay back to cap off the evening with fireworks in an explosive array of red, white and blue. Also, there’s plenty for the little ones to see and do. Featured at the event are free face painting and free balloon twisting, or let kids burn energy in fun thrilled kids’ zone.

Adults can enjoy great beverages, cocktails and wine, as well as craft beer flowing from the taps of Four Peaks Brewery. Splurge on scrumptious food from local food trucks and vendors including Grilled Addiction, Wandering Donkey, Fry Bread Inc., Doughlicious Pizza, Cheese Love and Happiness, The Buffalo Chip, Firehouse Kettle Corn and Cotton Candy, Firehouse Shaved Ice, Affogato Coffee and Frosted Frenzy Cupcakes.

Gates open at 5:30pm. Discounted pre-paid tickets are available online for $12, adults and $7 children 12 and under; children 2 and under free. Online ticket prices increase the day of the event. VIP tickets are also available. Visit for complete event details.

Show Some Love For Your ‘Mother’

Celebrate Earth Day at family-friendly event

Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Republic Services present the Eighth Annual Earth Day celebration Saturday, April 22, from 11am-4pm, at Steele Indian School Park.

Enjoy a day at the park while learning from various exhibitors on how to live a greener lifestyle and better take care of “Mother Earth.” In addition to exhibitors, this family-friendly event will include eco-classes (such as Composting 101), activities for children, live music and food trucks (including Boca Taco TruckBurger Passion and Pho King Kitchen).

Since it is Earth Day, organizers highly recommend taking alternative modes of transportation. Grid Bikes and the Metro Light Rail have a stop right at the entrance. This is a zero-waste event – composting and recycling bins will be available throughout the event.

Keep Phoenix Beautiful ( is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. They have been active in Phoenix since 1982 to involve and educate residents about recycling management and beautification practices.

For more information about Phoenix Earth Day 2017 events, visit

Celebrate Forty Years Of Rodeo and Western Heritage


2017 Cave Creek Rodeo Days

Cave Creek Rodeo Days is slated to take place Saturday, March 25, through Sunday, April 2, celebrating the town’s Western heritage, and the 40-year anniversary of continuous Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association events in Cave Creek.

The all-volunteer community celebration is sponsored by Sanderson Ford, and supported by the Town of Cave Creek. Get the full scoop here!

“Don’t Give Up Hope”

Carefree discovers New Year’s inspiration

hope-floats2The Town of Carefree welcomed in the New Year with a heartfelt art installment by actor/director/artist Jack Millard of his “Little Boat of Hope,” which was found by town staff along the reflecting pool in the Desert Gardens underneath the iconic Carefree Sundial on the morning of January 4, 2017.

hope-floats3“Town staff discovered the little boats along the edge of the reflecting pool at the Carefree Sundial and weren’t sure what the mini intricately handcrafted boats meant and who left them in the garden. Upon a closer look we noticed a message in a bottle tied to the sail of the boat that says, “don’t give up hope.” “One of our staff members recently lost her mother expectantly and was instantly drawn to the boats and considered them to be an inspiration and symbol of hope,” explained Director of Marketing Gina Kaegi. “After posting the display on Facebook, we have been getting requests from locals who say they know someone who could use a little boat and hope that Jack leaves more in the garden.”


Carefree Town staff Kandace French and Vicki Zimmerman discover the Little Boats of Hope in the reflecting pool at the Carefree Sundial.

Found all over the world by unsuspecting onlookers, the art installment titled “Little Boats of Hope – a Voyage Through Grief” is a dedication from Millard who lost his wife to a tragic drunk driving accident on New Year’s Day, 2013, while also battling stage IV breast cancer. Her death has taught Jack the power of joy, laughter, faith and hope inspiring him to launch whole fleets of the boats in Paris, New York and other parts of the world.  He recently finished a series of three videos on You Tube that explains his journey and the power of hope. His journey can be found at

Making The Holidays Brighter For Families In Need

fcf2The Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center and its team of donors and volunteers will brighten the holiday season for children, families and seniors in the North Valley foothills community. The food bank is working with more than a dozen local organizations and churches to provide gifts, holiday meals and hope for those in crisis in the community. The 14th annual Adopt-a-Family program will be held on Saturday, December 10, in Black Canyon City at High Desert Park from 9am-12pm and on Sunday, December 11, at Holland Community Center in North Scottsdale from 1-4pm.

According to Pam DiPietro, executive director of Foothills Food Bank, all families must be signed up by December 7. Individual donors as well as donor groups such as businesses, HOAs, churches and schools, are encouraged to participate in this year’s Adopt-a-Family program. Interested donors determine the size of the family they are willing to adopt then a family wish list is provided as a shopping guide. Monetary donations also are accepted to support the program. All gifts must be wrapped and delivered in December either directly to the family or dropped off at the event site. Checks are payable to Foothills Food Bank. All gifts and donations are tax deductible according to tax laws.fcf1

For information about the 2016 Adopt-a-Family program or to request a donor sign-up form, email or pick up a form at the food bank. Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center is located at 6038 East Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek. Residents can learn more about helping area families year-round by calling 480.488.1145 or visiting

Phoenix Metro Chamber Gives Away “Ton of Toys”

tonoftoysPhoenix Metro Chamber of Commerce, LLC (PMCC) donated a “Ton of Toys” to three of its member charities at its annual trade show, held November 9.

PMCC has made a significant, positive impact on the Metro Phoenix community by partnering with Member charities throughout the year – an important focal point for the Chamber. On November 9, the Chamber distributed the Ton of Toys it has been collecting all year long to several member charities — OCJ Kids (, Helping Hands For Freedom ( and the American Academy of Pediatrics-Arizona Chapter ( Throughout the year, members donated toys or participated in the raffle held at various events. Proceeds from the raffle were used to purchase even more toys and members had a lot of fun filling five shopping carts to the brim with games, puzzles, gift cards, electronics and more.

“What an honor to be a member of the Phoenix Metro Chamber of Commerce,” says Darin Fishburn, CEO of Helping Hands for Freedom. “They helped three charities including ours for their tons of toys campaign. They collected so many toys that every kid from our fallen military families will get one this year for Christmas. Our holiday angel program concludes December 18 as we sweep the state to help our fallen heroes and their families.”

Established in 2014, PMCC is a collection of for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations from all over the Phoenix Metro area. For more information, visit

Desert Discovery Day At Jewel of the Creek

discoveryChildren of all ages are invited to explore Jewel of the Creek Preserve, learn about the diversity of life in the desert and to examine the geology and archaeology underlying this magnificent landscape at Desert Discovery Day. Hosted by Desert Foothills Land Trust (DFLT), the free event will be held Saturday, November 19, from 10am-2pm.

“At Desert Foothills Land Trust, we work to connect people in our communities to the special Sonoran land that is our home,” says Patrick McWhortor, newly-appointed executive director of the Trust. “All year, we share these places with visitors and encourage their participation directly in land conservation. Desert Discovery Day is a time for families to join us in celebrating our desert home, and enjoying opportunities for a healthy, active lifestyle through outdoor activities.”

Children will receive a stamp at each station along the Harry Dalton Trail, and a goody bag for collecting stamps. Stations include live animals, crafts, information and activities from DFLT and partners and free refreshments.

The focus for the day is to share the Sonoran Desert and the Jewel with the community in order to encourage support for conservation efforts and participation in hiking and other healthy outdoor activities. Other participating organizations include AZ Archaeological Society, Desert Foothills Chapter; Cave Creek Museum; Desert Awareness Committee of Foothills Community Foundation; Rural/Metro Fire Department; Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center; Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and Wild At Heart.

For more information, visit

Fine Art And Wine Festival Returns To Carefree November 4-6

Artwork by Darrell Thomas

Artwork by Darrell Thomas

Thunderbird Artists kicks off its 35th season with the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 4-6 along Ho Hum and Easy Streets in Downtown Carefree. Now in its 23rd year, the Carefree show features 140 renowned, juried artists who will showcase and sell their original work from 10am-5pm each day.

Denise Dale, vice president of Thunderbird Artists, says this year’s season of shows will include new entertainers, new emerging artists and an expanded selection of wine, microbrews and more.

“The ambiance of our shows can’t be beat, and patrons appreciate the fact that artists are juried into each festival,” Dale says.

The 35th season of festivals includes new entertainers as well. One of the highlights of the Carefree festival will be the steel drum musical stylings of Paul McDermand.

The artisans in the Carefree show will come from all over the country and abroad to display paintings in oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic and ink, impressive small, medium and life-sized sculptures, hand blown glass, baskets, clay, metal, stone, handcrafted jewelry, photography and more. This year’s featured artist is Darrell Thomas of North Phoenix.

“Darrell is well known for his vibrant oil paintings that draw you into the painting and make you feel like you are there,” Dale says.

The festival combines fine art with an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines and micro-brews for tasting. For $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass with six tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1.

Admission to the Festival is $3 for adults, and free for children 17 years or younger. For more information, call 480.837.5637 or visit

Explore A Wonderland Of Reading

readingPVCC to host Festival of Tales

Valley families will enjoy a fun day of reading, literacy and cultural activities for children that includes storytelling, arts and crafts, games, face painting, live music, food trucks and more, as Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) hosts Festival of Tales. The seventh annual event will bring books to life through the art of storytelling and provide thousands of free books to children who participate. Presented by students, staff and volunteers from PVCC and Southwest Human Development, the free Festival of Tales event will be held Saturday, December 3, from 9:30am-2pm, in the Kranitz Student Center at PVCC (18401 North 32nd Street, Phoenix).

For additional information, call 602.787.7862 or visit

Summer Celebration For Craft Beer Enthusiasts

Real Wild and Woody logoThe Real, Wild & Woody beer festival returns to the Valley this month, and it is sure to capture the hearts of serious craft brew lovers.

Presented by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild (, this year’s toast to the state and region’s rare, unique and unconventional brews and brew processes is slated for 2-6pm Saturday, July 23. The Phoenix Convention Center will once again welcome fresh flavors and seasonal specialties poured by more than 50 of the Southwest’s best craft brewers, and the festival will again prove a great spot for sampling specialty casks, rich and unique flavor combinations and other never-before-sipped brews from some of the industry’s best. Real, Wild & Woody will also partner with some of the region’s top restaurants to provide complementing snacks for festival-goers, and the event’s limited ticket sales will ensure an intimate, up-close-and-personal craft beer-drinking experience.AZ Craft Brewers Guild logo

Leading up to Real, Wild & Woody is AZBrewCon, a one-day industry conference at the Sheraton Hotel. Other consumer events are planned in the days before Real, Wild and Woody. Stay up-to-date at

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