Donate a toy and get a free fire engine ride to enjoy
Children can get free fire engine rides with toy donations at the Scottsdale Fire Department’s annual Ride for Toys. It runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Target store, Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. Please do not wrap donations. There are a number of ways you can help neighbors in need during the holidays. Visit the Scottsdale Shares website for ideas.
New Channel 11 series showcases local cuisine and culture
The stories of Scottsdale’s chefs and restaurateurs reveal the diverse mix of cultures and experiences that underpin Scottsdale’s thriving culinary community. Watch the first two episodes of “Flavors of Scottsdale” on YouTube:
The city’s Office of Communications produces the videos with sponsorships provided by Downtown Scottsdale and the Office of Diversity.
Scottsdale among safest cities in U.S., according to real estate site
Real estate listings company Movoto.com rated Scottsdale the ninth safest city in America in its fall 2014 edition. The company looked at the 100 most populous American cities and formed rankings on per capita statistics relating to property crime, violent crime, and the chance of being a victim of crime using the FBI's most recent crime report. According to the report, Scottsdale “had the sixth lowest violent crime and the 17th lowest property crime. That all helped give locals a mere 1 in 37 chance of being the victim of a crime.” Scottsdale traditionally ranks high in studies that rate public safety and quality of life.
Holiday Lights event kicks off Friday night
All aboard for one of Arizona’s most unique holiday events – Holiday Lights! Take a train ride through festive holiday lights and displays that turn the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park into a winter wonderland. Opening night festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, and include a tree lighting ceremony, entertainment and a visit from Santa. Adding to the delight is Jeff Keane who will be giving away personalized 2015 Family Circus calendars that night. Train rides are $3 and carousel rides are $2 with children younger than three riding free with a paying adult. Holiday Lights runs 6:30 to 9 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Jan. 3 (excluding Dec. 24, 25 and 31). The park is at 7301 E. Indian Bend Road.
Cowboy Christmas lights up downtown this weekend
You’re invited to a “Cowboy Christmas” this weekend in Old Town Scottsdale. Highlights include a holiday tree-lighting party at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at Main Street and Brown Avenue. Cowboy Christmas is Old Town’s version of winter wonderland – a sleigh-full of activities featuring live music, children activities, Western characters and free horse drawn hayrides. The fun takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14, in and around the Main Street and Brown Avenue area. Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane will be on hand about 5:15 p.m. Saturday to meet attendees, say a few words and light the downtown holiday tree at 5:30 p.m. Free hot chocolate and cookies will be available while supplies last. Cowboy Christmas continues Dec. 20-21 in the same location.
Check out these ongoing activities and events:
- Artisan Markets – Mini-festivals feature live music and locally-sold products, Thursdays, 5 to 10 p.m. and Sundays, 10 to 4 p.m. through May, Downtown Scottsdale Waterfront.
- Old Town Farmers Market – local growers and specialty food producers, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, 3806 N. Brown Ave., 602-290-5093.
- Free Downtown Trolley – Runs daily, every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Thursdays until 9 p.m. for ArtWalk.
- ArtWalk – Visit many of the more than 100 art galleries in Downtown Scottsdale, 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, year ‘round, Scottsdale Arts District.
- Food Truck Caravan – Eight gourmet food trucks, live music and comfortable seating under the stars, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Saturdays, Fifth Avenue and Goldwater Boulevard. 480-251-1769.
- Downtown Cultural Trolley Tours – 10:30 a.m. second Saturday of the month, Old Adobe Mission, Downtown Scottsdale. 480-634-6850.
- McDowell Sonoran Preserve hikes and educational programs – ongoing.
- WestWorld hosts various horse shows and other events.
- Downtown Update – Get details on all the goings-on in Downtown by subscribing to the Downtown Update eNewsletter.
- See more on the city's event calendar.
Public invited to learn about McDowell Sonoran Preserve land rezoning
You’re invited to learn about city efforts to align zoning in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to reflect the land’s status as protected open space. The city will host an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park, 8950 E. Pinnacle Peak Road. Scottsdale has protected more than 30,000 acres in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The acquired properties carry a variety of outdated land use and zoning designations. The city is proposing to rezone all of these lands as Conservation Open Space – a designation that further assures these lands are part of the preserve and are protected from development. The proposed rezoning includes about 22,300 acres, located south of Stagecoach Pass Road, north of Cactus Road area east of Pima Road and west of the 144th Street alignment. Learn more.
Get the latest City Council meeting agenda
Get City Council meeting and agenda information.
Tickets available for Jan. 14 Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration
Tickets are available for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration Wednesday, Jan. 14. Class of 2001 Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills Head Coach Marv Levy will be the keynote speaker. A motivational speaker and coach who earned a master’s from Harvard University, Levy is best known for his intelligent and analytical football coaching. He will share his experiences coaching during the civil rights movement and his appreciation for Dr. King’s ideals. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Chaparral Suites, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased online or by calling 480-312-3030. Other MLK Jr. commemorations include:
- Scottsdale Community Collaborative Youth Scholarships
- “Voices” program for high school students
- Peace & Community Day, noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Amphitheater
- Regional Unity Walk: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, starts and ends at Tempe Town Lake. Entertainment, food, inflatables and a festival.
Dispose of your brush and bulk
The city provides monthly brush and bulk item collection, offering residents a convenient way to dispose of items too large for refuse containers. Place brush and bulk items out for pickup by 5 a.m. Monday the week of scheduled service. Here’s when we’ll be in your neighborhood:
- Service Area #2 – Bell Road to Indian Bend Road, west of the 101 Freeway; and Dynamite Boulevard to Happy Valley Road: Week of Dec. 15.
- Service Area #3 – Indian Bend Road to Thomas Road; and Happy Valley Road to Pinnacle Peak Road: Week of Dec. 22.
- Service Area #4 – Thomas Road to McKellips Road; and Pinnacle Peak Road to Thunderbird Road (including McDowell Mountain Ranch): Week of Dec. 29.
- Service Area #1 – Thunderbird Road to Indian Bend Road, east of the 101 Freeway; and Dynamite Boulevard to northern city limits: Week of Jan. 12.