Prepare to be Dazzled!

Celebrate the Season in Scottsdale

The City of Scottsdale’s annual month-long holiday extravaganza, Scottsdazzle, kicked off in late November with a holiday tree lighting, and continues through Dec. 22 with multiple signature events.

The inaugural Feliz Navidad Fiesta event in Historic Old Town Saturday, Dec. 1, noon– 4pm, is free and will feature poinsettias for sale, unique piñatas, tamale tasting and sales as well as live entertainment (mariachis, Las Posadas, ballet folklorico and an hourly piñata bash), children’s activities and more.

Scottsdale’s 5th Avenue will be transformed into Sugar Plum Avenue Saturday, Dec. 8. This fairytale village includes sugar plum fairies, princesses, a Snow King and Snow Queen, aerial performances, carriage rides, candy land bounce houses, Nutcracker ballet performances each hour and a brand-new tea party in the street. Events runs 3–7pm. Also on Dec. 8, from 4–6pm, the Miracle of Roses Pageant takes place at the Old Adobe Mission.

Art lovers can peruse the quaint streets of Old Town while mingling with local artists in their own studios/galleries and shopping for the perfect gift during the Gold Palette Artwalk Thursday, Dec. 13, from 6:30–9pm. (Read more about this event on page 7.)

Wine and beer aficionados will want to check out the Santa Wine Around and Ale Trail Saturday, Dec. 15, 6–9pm. Those who attend dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus or even an elf will enjoy special discounts and a commemorative wine glass or beer mug.

If wine and beer are not your speed, check out the Java Jingle Crawl, featuring tastings and more at six local coffee shops. The coffee crawl takes place Saturday, Dec. 22, 8–11am.

In addition to the special signature events, Scottsdazzle includes weekly events such as the Old Town Farmers Market every Saturday from 8am–1pm featuring handcrafted gifts, fresh locally grown produce and artisan products that will make for one-of-a-kind holiday gift giving. On Saturday evenings, 7–8:30pm, the Canal Concert Series at Soleri Bridge showcases the festive holiday sounds of local talent including Marachi Corazon (Dec. 1) Phoenix Boys Choir and Pete Pancrazi Quartet (Dec. 8), Campanillas del Sol Handbell Ensemble (Dec. 15) and MusicaNova Brass Quintet (Dec. 22).

Of course, many Old Town merchants and restaurants will be in the holiday spirit during Scottsdazzle, with special offers, discounts, crafted cocktails and much more. Find complete details at

Scottsdale Library Launches Wright Design Exhibit

2017 Taliesin West, front evening; Photo: Andrew Pielage

Opening reception slated for Sept. 21

© 2018 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottdale, AZ. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York). All rights reserved.

Valley residents are invited to learn more about the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright’s impact on Arizona architecture through Footprints on the Desert: Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona from Sept. 15 – Dec. 31 at the Gallery @ the Library, Scottsdale Civic Center, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard.

“Frank Lloyd Wright believed the United States needed an architecture of its own, but also believed that the dramatically different geographic areas of the country called for designs that were appropriate to their character,” said Margo Stipe, director and curator of collections for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “He was enchanted by Arizona and said it ‘seems to cry out for a space-loving architecture of its own.’”

The American Institute of Architects has called Wright the “greatest American architect of all time.” Celebrate his work with this exhibition, which features images and artifacts connected to notable Wright-designed buildings in the Grand Canyon State, including Taliesin West in Scottsdale, the David & Gladys Wright House in Phoenix and the Harold Price Sr. House in Paradise Valley.

Footprints on the Desert offers a brief introduction to Wright’s ideas about how to build in the Southwest,” Stipe said. “Centered around Taliesin West, the architect’s iconic winter home here, the exhibit features designs, built and unbuilt, of what both public and private spaces could be when designed with an appreciation for the brutal power and incredible beauty of the desert. The takeaway, we hope, will be inspiration and the understanding that our living spaces matter — and that so much more is possible than most of what is being built today.”

An opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 21, from 6:30–8pm. The keynote speaker will be Scottsdale architect Vernon Swaback, a Wright apprentice and former director of planning for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In addition to the reception four free workshops will be offered at the library throughout the exhibitions run, the first of which is scheduled for October 8.

This project was made possible, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in cooperation with Scottsdale Public Art, the City of Scottsdale, the Arizona Heritage Center and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

For information about the exhibition, visit and click on the “Temporary Art/Exhibitions” link or call 480.874.4645.

Explore The McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Photos: Lynne Janney Russell; Courtesy of McDowell Sonoran

Free family Sundays kick off in September

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy works with the City of Scottsdale to champion and protect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for this and future generations. More than 650 Steward volunteers provide their time and talents to help residents and visitors experience, enjoy and learn from the Sonoran Desert on the 30,580-acre Preserve — one of the largest urban preserves in the nation.

Conservancy volunteers serve as trailhead hosts, patrol trails, perform trail maintenance projects, lead guided hikes, conduct educational programs and other activities in the Preserve. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Field Institute, the Conservancy’s research arm, conducts and coordinates scientific research focused on sustainability of the Preserve.

Beginning this month, the Conservancy invites area residents to join them for a free Sunday afternoon learning adventure with the family. Family Sonoran Sunday events offer the opportunity to hear expert speakers on various Sonoran Desert topics and interact with crawling, slithering, feathered or cuddly friends that speakers sometimes bring along. The talks take place in shaded amphitheaters with bench seating at the Gateway Trailhead Amphitheater and the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead Amphitheater. They occur at 3pm on most of the first and third Sundays during the cooler months, and last for 45 minutes to one hour. If time permits, guests can take a leisurely walk along the nearby accessible, interpretive trails before or after the talk.

Upcoming events include “Southwest Wildlife Mammals,” October 22; “Center for Native and Urban Wildlife Reptiles,” November 5; “Wild at Heart Birds,” November 19; and “Geology,” December 3. Check the Family Sonoran Sundays schedule on the Conservancy website at for updates. For additional information, call 480.998.7971.

Mayor Proclaims March 10 ‘Junior Citizen Science Day’ In Scottsdale

At a City Council meeting March 7, Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane proclaimed March 10, 2017 “Junior Citizen Science Day” in Scottsdale. The proclamation cited the many benefits of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and the impact of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s Junior Citizen Science Festival. The Festival will be held from 9am-2pm Friday, March 10 at the Lost Dog Trailhead, 12601 North 124th Street, Scottsdale.

“The City of Scottsdale is proud to declare Friday, March 10 as Junior Citizen Science Day in cooperation with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy,” says Mayor Jim Lane.  Elementary school children and families will study 16 interactive, fun-filled activities about Sonoran Desert ecology, history and conservation.

Mayor Lane continues, “We’re thrilled to collaborate on such an inspiring event that helps young students become more curious about science and our local ecology in the heart of the McDowell Mountains. Thank you to U-Haul, Cox Communications and Scottsdale Charros for their generous support and underwriting that allows more children to become Junior Citizen Scientists.”

In the Proclamation, Mayor Lane encouraged all citizens to support the efforts of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and the City of Scottsdale to provide opportunities for STEM education for children in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Executive Director Mike Nolan agreed.

“This free event provides fun, hands-on activities for children that engage them in learning about Sonoran Desert natural history and how junior and adult citizen scientists study the environment,” he said. “It’s been named an Arizona Scitech Signature Event and is one few STEM festivals in the state that are held entirely outdoors.”  Nolan continues, “We’re so grateful to U-Haul, Cox Communications and Scottsdale Charros for sponsoring this annual event to enable growth of educational elements that really appeal to young scientists.  Many of the children have never even experienced a natural science adventure in our local Preserve.”

Premier Corporate Sponsor, U-Haul, is pleased to join the Festival to share their sustainability message. 

“As a responsible corporate citizen, we give back to the communities where we operate by supporting important educational efforts like this,” says Whitney Beall, U-Haul Company of Metro Phoenix and the East Valley president. “From our green products and technologies to our sustainable business model, protecting the environment for future generations is a top priority at U-Haul. We are excited to be part of Scottsdale and the Junior Citizen Science Festival.”

Children and youth must be accompanied by an adult. Participants can visit as many of the activities as they wish, or visit all the activities to collect special give-aways. Pre-registered participants will get a special Junior Citizen Scientist tote bag loaded with fun, educational items (while supplies last).

For more information, visit

Help Scottsdale Seniors Beat The Heat

Signature Flight Support, Go Rentals and other airport/airpark tenants are joining efforts to help seniors in the Scottsdale community. The Beat the Heat program serves low-income, home-bound, isolated seniors in Scottsdale by delivering care packages in late June.

Residents’ generous donations, no matter how large or small it may be, will bring relief to a senior this summer. Items needed include healthy snacks, nutritional drinks, books of forever stamps, chapstick, deodorant, bottled water and unused personal hygiene items.

Donations can be dropped off at Signature Flight Support or at the Airport Administration Offices, 2nd floor, through Friday, May 13. Get more information on Beat the Heat.

Alternatively, monetary donations are also accepted. All monetary donations go through the non-profit organization, Concerned Citizens for Community Health, that partners with the City of Scottsdale in multiple capacities. Make checks payable to Concerned Citizens for Community Health with “VLSC” written in the memo section. Cash or check donations can be mailed to CCCH at 7700 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85257. Include a CCCH Donor Record with donation. Credit card donations can be made online.

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