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  • 👰 Tying Knots, Making Waves, Brewing Joys, Light Fantasies, and More!

👰 Tying Knots, Making Waves, Brewing Joys, Light Fantasies, and More!

Issue #70 - December 22, 2023

👰 Arizona Wedding Show: A Haven for Engaged Couples Planning Their Big Day

💦 Demand Rises for Aquatic Center in South Gilbert Despite Funding Hurdles

☕ New Scooter’s Coffee in Gilbert Offers Diverse Menu of Beverages and Breakfast Items

🎄 Enchanting Holiday Lights Transform the Valley into a Winter Wonderland

🎈 Discover Local Events Coming Soon

And more…

Arizona Wedding Show: A Haven for Engaged Couples Planning Their Big Day

The Arizona Wedding Show, set to occur on January 27-28 at the Phoenix Convention Center, is a beacon of hope for engaged couples in the Valley who are navigating the complexities of wedding planning. This event, spearheaded by Kim Horn, a Master Wedding Planner with 40 years of experience, is a comprehensive resource for everything wedding-related. The show promises to be an exhilarating experience, almost as exciting as the wedding day itself.

The pandemic severely impacted the wedding industry, limiting ceremonies to a handful of attendees and curtailing grand celebrations. With restrictions lifted, the industry is rebounding, and the Arizona Wedding Show reflects this resurgence.

Horn, along with her daughter Alexa, the show manager, has meticulously organized the event, streamlining registration processes and enhancing the overall experience with advanced audio-visual effects and fast-paced fashion shows featuring 2024 bridal and menswear trends from local boutiques.

The show offers more than just fashion; it is an opportunity for couples to connect with over 200 vendors, including caterers, venue operators, entertainment providers, photographers, and travel experts. The event is inclusive, catering to both heterosexual and LGBTQ couples.

It's not just about making immediate decisions; it’s about gaining insights into new trends, asking the right questions, and finding reliable service providers. For those who might be hesitant, Horn assures that the show will be an engaging and informative experience, complete with food tastings and potential bonus points for attending grooms.

Arizona Wedding Show @ Phoenix Convention Center

When: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.

South Building, southeast corner of Washington and 3rd Street, Phoenix.

Cost: Early registration is $12 per person for one day, $15 for both days; day-of cost is $15 for one day, $18 for both.

Demand Rises for Aquatic Center in South Gilbert Despite Funding Hurdles

In Gilbert, Arizona, residents have been vocal about their desire for an additional aquatics facility, particularly in the southern part of the town. This need emerged as the second highest priority in a recent survey conducted by the town for its new parks master plan. The survey highlighted the residents' interest in a south Gilbert recreation center and pool, following the completion of Gilbert Regional and Desert Sky parks.

However, the Gilbert Town Council, including Mayor Brigette Peterson, has expressed reservations about adding another pool to the town's parks portfolio due to the high costs associated with construction and maintenance. An estimated cost of $58.42 million has been projected for building a new pool to serve south Gilbert, not including ongoing expenses for maintenance, chemicals, and staffing. Currently, Gilbert operates aquatics programs at school pools under intergovernmental agreements with local school districts, but availability has become limited due to shortened school summer vacations.

Despite these challenges, the demand for aquatic facilities in Gilbert is on the rise, with Parks and Recreation Director Robert Carmona reporting a 63% increase in registration for aquatics programming over five years. With spaces at capacity, some council members are looking towards the private sector to help meet the community's needs. Council Member Yung Koprowski and others have noted nearby private and public aquatic facilities, including Golfland/Sunsplash in Mesa and the upcoming Cactus Surf Park in Gilbert, emphasizing the need for cost recovery in line with market conditions for any new public aquatic center.

Council Member Bobbi Buchli strongly advocates for a pool and recreation center in south Gilbert, citing frequent requests from parents seeking training facilities for their children aspiring to be Olympic swimmers. She believes that such a facility would not only serve south Gilbert residents but also attract visitors from other parts of the town.

Mayor Peterson, however, has raised concerns about equity, recalling past plans for a pool at Freestone Park in north Gilbert that never materialized. She emphasized the importance of balancing the needs and expectations of residents across different parts of Gilbert.

New Scooter’s Coffee in Gilbert Offers Diverse Menu of Beverages and Breakfast Items

Scooter’s Coffee has opened its seventh Arizona location at 3038 E. Queen Creek Road in Gilbert, as part of its expansion in the Valley. This Omaha-based coffee chain offers a wide range of beverages and food, including coffee, smoothies, teas, breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and bakery items, catering to the increasing demand for quality coffee and quick-service meals in the area.

The establishment is known for its commitment to providing high-quality beverages and a diverse menu, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts and those looking for quick and delicious meal options.

Peacock Wine & Book Bar

Schnepf Farms

Archer’s Bikes

Pixie Sticks Boutique

Romeo’s Euro Café

Sip & Shop

Enchanting Holiday Lights Transform the Valley into a Winter Wonderland

The holiday season in the Valley brings a dazzling array of light displays and festive activities, transforming various locations into enchanting landscapes of twinkling lights and holiday cheer. Residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the festive spirit by exploring numerous holiday-themed attractions across the region.

One notable residential display is by John Nelson of Queen Creek, who adorns his home at 23467 S. 223rd Court with approximately 70,000 lights, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. His setup includes 13,000 lights forming a twinkling curtain along the side of the house and 25,000 lights on trees and bushes, synchronized to music. Occasionally, visitors might also spot the Grinch distributing candy canes. Nelson encourages the public to visit and enjoy the display, and has even shared a video of it on TikTok.

For those concerned about the cost of such grand displays, SRP spokesperson Jennifer Schuricht explains that while extravagant lighting can increase electric bills, the impact is minimal, especially with energy-efficient LED lights.

Beyond residential displays, the Valley offers a wide array of commercial and municipal holiday experiences:

  • Vertuccio Farms in Mesa hosts "Lights at the Farm," boasting 10 acres of lights synchronized to Christmas music. The farm features a synthetic ice-skating rink and is located at 4011 S. Power Road, running the event through December 30.

  • Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek provides Christmas-themed activities, including an Illumination Express Train, showcasing light displays around the farm. Located at 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, the event continues through December 24.

  • The Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights is a long-standing tradition, featuring over 4 million lights, wildlife lanterns, and a 50-foot floating tree. This event is held at 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, until January 14.

  • Glendale Glitters celebrates its 30th anniversary with a light display in Downtown Glendale near 59th and Glendale avenues, running through January 1.

  • Desert Botanical Garden presents Las Noches de las Luminarias, a tranquil experience with luminaria-lit trails, at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, until December 30.

  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess's "Christmas at The Princess" offers a winter wonderland at 7575 E. Princess Drive, including an ice-skating rink and Princess Express trains, running through January 6.

  • Enchant Christmas at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, features an ice skating rink and a claimed world's largest Christmas light maze, open through December 31.

  • Old Town Scottsdale's Scottsdazzle Holiday Extravaganza includes free events and a stunning Christmas tree at the Scottsdale Waterfront, continuing through December 31.

  • World of Illumination presents two drive-thru light shows: "Reindeer Road" in Glendale and "Cosmic Sleighride" in Tempe, both available through December 31.

These holiday light experiences offer a variety of festive activities for all ages, making the Valley a vibrant destination for celebrating the holiday season.

Spotlight Your Business!

Would you like us to spotlight your local business in front of thousands of Gilbert area residents in an upcoming issue of Gilbert Thrive?

We ❤️ Local Businesses!
We know our community is brimming with businesses that have fascinating stories and big hearts. If you're a local business owner making waves, crafting unique experiences, or simply putting a smile on our faces, we want to chat with you! Gilbert Thrive is eager to shine a light on the unsung heroes of our town. Let's collaborate and let the community know what makes your business special. Send us a message, and let's celebrate the spirit of Gilbert together!

👇 Select an option below:

Ongoing Events

Upcoming Events

Know of an upcoming event we should know about?  Let us know!

We could use your help

We’ve got big plans as we get up to speed! But we need your help!

One huge way that you can help us is to spread the word for us.

Know somebody who lives in the Gilbert Area and would benefit from being kept in the know?

Please share Gilbert Thrive with them! It’s simple! 👇👇👇

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