Harold’s Corral Donates Nearly 4,000 Meals During Pandemic

—By Sue Kern-Fleischer

Franny Pachuca makes brisket at Harold’s for meals that will be donated to the Foothills Food Bank and Cave Creek Unified School District.

It’s been just a few weeks since Arizona reopened, lifting the “Stay at Home” restrictions put in place to help flatten the curve from COVID-19. And while Harold’s Cave Creek Corral’s dining room is open to patrons, the iconic restaurant is continuing a unique take-out program it started with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Carefree more than two months ago to help feed families in need.

In its nearly 85 years of business, Harold’s had never experienced operating during a global pandemic. But when it became clear that the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID-19) could endanger the lives of customers and staff, Harold’s shifted into crisis mode, with the goal of helping the community the popular restaurant serves.

Like restaurants across the country, Harold’s temporarily closed its dining room and began to offer curbside and take-out service. But the popular western bar and restaurant took matters a step further, soliciting the help of the Kiwanis Club of Carefree to help fund a unique program to help the Foothills Food Bank and families of the Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD).

Harold’s designed its take-out menu to include a unique commitment to the community: For every family-style meal ordered, which feeds four to five people, Harold’s will donate a family-style meal to a family in need through the District’s meal assistance program. Additionally, Harold’s is donating individual meals to the Foothills Food Bank.

Both Harold’s Corral and the Kiwanis Club of Carefree provided funding to start the program. Harold’s prepares the meals and the District and the Foothills Food Bank pick up the meals and distribute them.

Margaret Carver and Danny Piacquadio package meals for the Foothills Food Bank and Cave Creek Unified School District.

From March to May, Harold’s donated more than 3,500 meals, and the unique program will continue this month.

“If you would like to help with this program, you can make direct donations to the Kiwanis Club of Carefree or the Foothills Food Bank and note the donation is for Harold’s meal assistance program. Our goal is to continue to support both the food bank and CCUSD through this time of crisis. Thanks to Kiwanis Club of Carefree, Harold’s Corral and our customers, plus Shamrock Foods, we are able to provide these meals to those in need,” owner Danny Piacquadio said.

Take-out service through Harold’s is available seven days per week, with orders taken from 8am to 2:30pm. Since reopening its dining room in mid-May, Harold’s has been following CDC guidelines regarding sanitization efforts and social distancing. The dining room and outdoor patio is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 8am to 10pm and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to midnight.

Harold’s Cave Creek Corral is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd. For more information, call 480.488.1906 or visit www.haroldscorral.com.

To learn more about Cave Creek Unified School District, visit www.ccusd93.org. To learn more about the Foothills Food Bank, visit www.foothillsfoodbank.com. For details about the Kiwanis Club of Carefree, visit www.kiwaniscarefree.org.

Recognize World Hunger Day at Foothills Empty Bowls — Event proceeds to assist area families in need

Friday, Oct. 18, the annual Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch & Art Auction to honor World Hunger Day will be held at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, from 11am to 1pm. Sonoran Arts League of Cave Creek sponsors the event. All proceeds from the event benefit the Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center.

The popular art auction began Sept. 3 and runs through the October event. Art lovers and food bank supporters and can bid on the artwork, which includes a wide variety of items including paintings, sculpture, glass, wire, copper, gourds, mixed media, engraving, ceramic, jewelry and more, all custom created by local artists. Individuals can bid online at www.foothillsfoodbank.com. The artwork will be present for viewing during lunch with the auction closing at 1pm.

“We are excited to offer the auction online so people who support this worthy cause can spend the quality time they need to research the bid items,” says Pam DiPietro, executive director of Foothills Food Bank. “This has always been an amazing event with a great turnout.”

Lunch will be served in handmade ceramic or glass bowls. Individuals are encouraged to donate $15 to the cause and select their own unique bowl made by Arizona artists, and keep it as a lasting reminder of world hunger.

The Sonoran Arts League, Harold’s Corral and Tech4Life sponsor the Foothills Empty Bowls & Art Auction 2019. Other donors include Saguaro and Cactus Shadows High School students, Arizona Clay, Sonoran Trails Middle School and Paradise Valley Community College ceramics students and local potters and artists who make and donate the bowls and auction items.

Harold’s Corral is located at 6895 East Cave Creek Road. For more information, call 480.488.6070 or visit www.foothillsfoodbank.com. Learn more about Sonoran Arts League at www.sonoranartsleague.org.

Caring Corps Set To Host Annual Fundraiser

Proceeds will support elderly independence services

Area residents are invited to an evening of epicurean delights for a good cause, as the Foothills Caring Corps presents its 14th Annual Taste of Foothills Fundraiser, March 15.

The Taste of Foothills Fundraiser helps support the Caring Corps’ mission to promote elderly independence and is a vital contributor to the nonprofit’s diverse selection of programs and services.

“We are so grateful for the community’s generosity at the Taste of Foothills Fundraiser. With each admission ticket purchase, you make a generous contribution to support services promoting elderly independence and help the Caring Corps to meet the growing need for these services,” said Debbra Determan executive director of Foothills Caring Corps.

Terri Ouellette

TV personality and native Phoenician Terri Ouellette, host of “Sonoran Living” on ABC15, will serve as MC for the event. “Terri O” has entertained and educated viewers for more than 20 years on the morning news, hosting several lifestyle shows and in her book, Easy Embellishing with Terri O. Besides sharing her passion for creativity, Ouellette also has a passion for helping people learn how to live life to the fullest.

Guests will enjoy a festive evening filled with sweet and savory tastings from local restaurants. Participating restaurants include Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue, Carvalho’s Brazilian Kitchen, Civana Carefree, It’s a Divine Bakery, Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, The Herb Box, Liberty Station and Venues Café.

Kilted Spirit

Auctioneer Jonathan Blair will offer a chance at prizes, as well as local and travel experiences. Attendees will hear musical entertainment by Kilted Spirit. Since 2010 Kilted Spirit has charmed Phoenix with a unique blend of Celtic sound, bringing an Irish flair to popular and classic dance. Their eclectic mix of instruments and boundless enthusiasm bring fun and excitement to every show.

The popular wine table is back offering guests the opportunity to win an entire table filled with wine bottles and accessories.

The social event and fundraiser will take place 5–8:30pm Thursday, March 15, at Stagecoach Village, 7100 East Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek. General admission is $50 per person. The $1,000 VIP admission provides tickets for 10 and a reserved group table. All proceeds benefit the volunteer-based nonprofit. Purchase tickets by calling Foothills Caring Corps at 480.488.1105 or visit www.foothillscaringcorps.com/events.

Powering The Community

Chamber honors standout business leaders

Chamber Business of the Year: Tech 4 Life, Carefree

Working together as a community is vital for the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce to continue strengthening the local business environment with resources, networking, educational opportunities and advocacy. The power of the Chamber comes from the strength and support of its members, ambassadors and sponsors who work together toward a common goal – a thriving business community in Carefree and Cave Creek.

To recognize the standout businesses and ambassadors who make a difference in the community marketplace, the Chamber holds its annual Celebration of Excellence Awards. This year, the awards ceremony was held on March 30, at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral.

“It is such a pleasure to shine a spotlight on our esteemed business and ambassador of the year at the Celebration of Excellence Awards,” said Patty Villeneuve, executive director of the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce. “Each of the nominees is a shining example of giving back to the community that supports their business and helping the Chamber enhance the local business environment.”

Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Paul Cocuzza

This year’s “Business of the Year” is Tech 4 Life, Carefree, and the “Ambassador of the Year” is Paul Cocuzza.

Steve Woods founded Tech 4 Life in 2003 with the sole purpose of helping people with their computer support. Their mission is to provide country doctor service for technology.

Woods and his crew have been invaluable to the Chamber and many other non-profits in this community by donating untold hours and dollars in volunteer services to keep everyone’s technology running smoothly, always with a smile on his face.

Paul Cocuzza serves as the co-chair of the Chamber Ambassador Committee. He attends every Chamber event acting as a greeter, a host and emcee at Chamber events and functions. Paul champions the Chamber’s mission and vision and is actively involved with member recruitment and retention. He has volunteered countless hours with the Chamber and many other community organizations. Paul is also a top-performing sales and business development manager at UCP of Central Arizona.

Business of the Year Nominees for 2016:

  • Animal Health Services
  • Bartlett Lake
  • Brix Wines
  • Bryan’s Black Mountain BBQ
  • Cave Creek Candles & Gifts
  • Sonoran Arts League
  • Tech 4 Life
  • Watson’s Hat Shop

Ambassador of the Year Nominees for 2016:

  • Paul Cocuzza
  • Liz Castenada


Wild West Days 2016 Aims To Entertain

Jam-packed schedule kicks off November 2

Mark your calendar for the 13th Annual Cave Creek Wild West Days event set for Wednesday through Sunday, November 2 through November 6 to experience rousing fun with family and friends.

The popular event kicks off with a bull riding event and dance at 7:30pm on Wednesday, November 2, at The Buffalo Chip. On Thursday, November 3, Harold’s Cave Creek Corral will host a fun Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction. The bidding starts at 7:30pm with live music at 9pm. Registration will be online at http://www.haroldscorral.com for entries for the bachelor and bachelorette participants, along with information regarding bidding.

Friday night, November 4, features a new, lively Battle of the Bars bull riding competition at The Buffalo Chip and a Ms. Wild West Days contest. The fun starts at 6pm and the friendly competition challenges local restaurants, bars and other merchants to put together a team comprised of up to five professional bull riders and also enter one woman to compete in the Ms. Wild West Days contest that evening. Single and married ladies 21 and over who are passionate about Cave Creek are also encouraged to enter the Ms. Wild West Days contest.

Another new activity this year is a separate motorcycle run that will take riders out of town at 8:30am on Saturday, November 5.

The event’s lively parade starts at 9am on Saturday on the west side of town by Cave Creek Town Hall and travels east to Harold’s Corral ending at 11am. Merchants throughout town will host a number of mini-events and activities after the parade on Saturday including a half-pie eating contest, and special performances from award-winning re-enactment group, The Prescott Regulators & Their Shady Ladies at Frontier Town; pig races, Cow Pie Bingo and a cornhole tournament at Harold’s Corral; and mutton bustin’ (kids riding sheep) and a special performance by Jan Marrou, “Legends of the West” at The Buffalo Chip.

On Sunday, November 6, a Poker Trail Ride will start at Harold’s Corral with a continental breakfast and take horseback riders along a trail to collect five cards making up a poker hand. The ride will end at The Buffalo Chip where prizes will be given for Best Hand and Worst Hand and participants will also enjoy a barbecue lunch. The Prescott Regulators & Their Shady Ladies will also perform again on Sunday at Frontier Town.

Before and during the Wild West Days event, the Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association (CCMEA) will sell tickets to eligible adults for a special gun raffle. Cave Creek Armory is providing a variety of pistols and shotguns ranging in value from $450 to $1,000, and raffle winners will receive a gift certificate to pick up the guns from there. Tickets will be sold for $20 with proceeds benefiting CCMEA. The winners will be announced on Sunday after the Poker Trail Ride.

Admission to Cave Creek Wild West Days is free. The Town will close one lane of Cave Creek Road for the parade on Saturday and a shuttle will provide service from the east to the west side of town.

For more information about the 13th Annual Cave Creek Wild West Days, email wildwestdays2016@gmail.com, call 480.437.1110, or visit www.wildwestdayscavecreek.com.

Harold’s Corral Celebrates 80th Anniversary

HaroldsAnniversaryFor those who have never been to Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, now is a great time to learn about the iconic restaurant’s colorful, rich history. A man named Johnny Walker built the original structure of Harold’s Corral in 1935. Back then it was known as The Corral Bar, and it became popular with patrons who spent their days building Bartlett and Horseshoe Dams. Somewhere around 1950, Harold and Ruth Gavagan purchased the building, changing the name to Harold’s Cave Creek Corral.

Today, the restaurant and bar are co-owned by Danny and Meri Piacquadio and Bill and Marie Vale, who take pride in the longevity and lore of Harold’s.

“People come to Harold’s as strangers and they leave as friends,” Bill Vale says. “Many of our patrons are like family to us.”

Danny Piacquadio, a Pittsburgh native, is credited with making Harold’s one of the largest Steelers bars in the country, affectionately known as Heinz Field West. Past Steelers Super Bowl parties have attracted more than 4,000 fans.

“We’re proud of growing our base of Steelers fans, but we also take pride in the fact that we’re one of Arizona’s oldest restaurants – where several Western movies were filmed and Dick Van Dyke played the drums,” Piacquadio says. “And, of course, our menu, drink specials and live music are a big draw.”

Several 80th Anniversary events are being planned including an Employee Reunion on Wednesday, September 9, a Love Corral night on Saturday, September 12, for couples who met there, a Cave Creek Elementary School Reunion on Thursday, September 17, and a Steelers Party Sunday, September 20.

Bigger events include:

  • A History Dinner with emcee Dolan Ellis at Harold’s Tues., September 15, from 4:30-9pm that will benefit Cave Creek Museum. Tickets are $50 prior to September 11 and $55 after. RSVP to 480.488.2764 or purchase tickets online at www.cavecreekmuseum.org.
  • The big Harold’s 80th Birthday Bash featuring live music, kid’s activities, fireworks and more is set for Saturday and Sunday September 26-27. The weekend blowout party will feature current and former bands and musicians who have performed at Harold’s.

During the month of September, those who dine at Harold’s can enter to win a gift certificate for $19.35 (drawn daily) and anyone 80 years or older can dine for free on Monday, September 14, September 21 and September 28.

Harold’s Corral is located at 6895 East Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek. Call 480.488.1906 or visit www.haroldscorral.com.

Harold’s Goes Hawaiian

haroldshawaiianHarold’s Cave Creek Corral is throwing its 16th annual festive Hawaiian Luau on Sunday, September 1 to celebrate Labor Day weekend. Festivities feature a pig roast luau buffet, Ka’ea Mauna Lani Hawaiian Luau Dancers, Rob Mehl’s Beach Ballads, a reggae performance by Grantman & the Island Beat, a limbo and hula contest, face painting, lei making, Hawaiian vendors, drink specials and more.

“We have a ton of fun transforming our Western bar into a Hawaiian setting,” says Danny “Maui Dan”  Piacquadio, Harold’s Cave Creek Corral’s co-owner.

Last year’s event sold out, so purchase tickets early. Gates open at 6pm. Tickets are $25 per adult and $12 for children 12 and under. Larger parties can purchase a 10-top VIP table for $275, which includes a front row table, cocktail service and complimentary Hawaiian gift. Harold’s Cave Creek Corral is located at 6895 East Cave Creek Road. Call  480.488.1906 or visit www.haroldscorral.com.

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