Tag Archives: Surprise Party

January 2021 • Newsletter

Thank you for signing up for Mayor updates. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me at skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

The 10th Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, presented by Thunderbird Artists and City of Surprise, returns January 7-9, 2022. The event will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Admission is $3 and is cash only.

This world-class fine art event features the works of artist Kenneth Ferguson, along with other juried fine artists. The festival allows patrons to view artwork up close and discuss pieces firsthand with creators. Subject matters range from southwest and traditional to contemporary and abstract, including figurative, floral, wildlife, European, African, Native American and more.

Live music and a variety of food trucks will add to the atmosphere of the art arena. In addition to tasty meals, there will be plenty of goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth, including kettle corn, caramels and ice cream.

For more information about the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, please contact Thunderbird Artists at 480.837.5637 or visit thunderbirdartists.com.

Surprise Offers Christmas Tree Drop-off Sites

The City of Surprise offers four Christmas tree drop-off locations for residents’ convenience. The lots are open now through January 18, 2022, at the following locations:

Christmas tree disposal graphic
  • Bi-Centennial Park 16705 N. Nash St. (south end of the parking lot)
  • Surprise Recreation Campus / Youth Baseball Complex 15795 N. Parkview Pl. (across from Valley Vista High School)
  • Dick McComb Softball Park 17894 Westpark Blvd. (parking lot on corner of 180th Ave & Westpark Blvd.)
  • Asante Community Park 16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr. (parking lot at the north end of the park)

Please remove all decorations and place the trees in the designated areas only. There is a limit of two trees per household. For more information, please call 623.222.1900.

Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Events

The City of Surprise is excited to gather with the community to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at our 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 15.

The public is also invited to join us for an evening of MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections the Wednesday before, on January 12.

Event details:

MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections
Wednesday, January 12, 6 – 8 p.m.
Willow Canyon High School Auditorium – 17901 W. Lundberg St.

Enjoy community speakers, performing artists and groups like Canyon Ridge Elementary School and Gideon Church Choir. Reverend Powell of Gideon Church and others will share reflections on the impact Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on their lives and the inclusive work that is needed to continue his vision.

MLK Day of Celebration & Service
Saturday, January 15
8:30 a.m. Music & Breakfast, 9 a.m. Program
Surprise City Hall Courtyard – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Light breakfast will be served to the first 500 guests, starting at 8:30 a.m. The event, starting at 9 a.m., will include Keynote Speaker, Col. Wanda Wright, recognition of the art contest winners, and performances by American Idol Finalist LaKisha Jones, Valley Vista High School, Ashton Ranch Middle School, Gideon Baptist Choir, Arizona Redeemed Choir, Brooklyn Ball and more!

A to Z Polish Market has officially opened!

A-Z Polish Market store front

Located at 17221 N. Litchfield Rd., A to Z Polish market is now open. I want to thank the entire community and Economic Development team for the amazing support and top-notch communication guiding this business through the process at every step. They were so excited to open their doors, so I hope you’ll have the chance to stop by and enjoy a pierogi or two! More info: atozpolishmarket.com

Redistricting Update

The City has already contracted with a consultant for this process, however, due to state law, which does not allow the redistricting process to occur within 6 months of an election, the formal process is anticipated to begin in January of 2023. The IRC issued final state legislative and congressional district maps during the week of December 21. I encourage everyone to visit irc.az.gov to become familiar with the new districts.

2045 General Plan Timeline

The City’s General Plan serves as a comprehensive guide to our future growth and development, and state law requires that all municipalities update the General Plan every 10 years through a public vote of the people.

The City is actively going through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit a consultant to update the City’s General Plan, with an anticipated contract award in February 2022. The project is anticipated to start in April.

From April 2022 through the end of the year, there will be public outreach, various engagements, data gathering, and analysis. That will help to create a draft General Plan document, which is anticipated by December 2022. You can check out our current General Plan 2035 at surpriseaz.gov/generalplan.

Budget Kick-off

FY2023 Tentative Budget timeline graphic

The City of Surprise FY2023 budget building process has begun. The Finance Department will give a series of presentations to City Council over the next few months. The City Manager will release his Recommended Budget in April, which will be followed by public review and then final adoption of a balanced budget in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process.

Highlights

Fire Stations 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Fire Stations 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

December 14 was a great day to celebrate a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for two fire stations built in 2021 – Fire Station 304 in our northern area and Fire Station 308 in southeast Surprise! Thank you to everyone who came out for the event and to all Surprise voters who made these projects possible.

Surprise Party

Surprise Party Tree Lighting

Surprise Party brings smiles, laughs and joy every year, and this year was no exception! Residents enjoyed live music, food, crafts, hot air balloons and more. Thank you to the community for coming out to enjoy yet another successful holiday celebration and to our Parks and Recreation team for all they do to make this event so great every year.

5th Annual Deck the Hock

Thank you to all the residents and Senior Center staff for making Deck the Hock an enjoyable evening. This night brought residents to the Surprise Senior Center for hot cocoa, sweet treats, tree decorating, holiday crafts and even snow. I appreciate these community events and love bringing holiday cheer to Surprise families.

Senior Center Holiday Party
On December 17, I attended the annual City of Surprise Senior Center Holiday Party at The Colonnade, along with a few other council members. This annual event included a delicious lunch and raffles for all to enjoy. Thank you to the Surprise Senior Center and Human Service and Community Vitality Department staff for hosting such a terrific event!

Surprise Literacy Challenge

Mayor Hall and school students

Participation in the Surprise Literacy Challenge has continued to grow in our schools over the past few years. This year, I am pleased to recognize Mrs. Mitton’s 4th-grade class from Luke Elementary and Mrs. Fallon’s 1st-grade class from Countryside Elementary as our top performers! Reading is so important to our students, and I am proud to see the growth this program has brought to the community. Congratulations to the winning classrooms, and thank you to all who participated.

Coming Up

Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors
This year, the Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors is scheduled for Friday, January 28, 2022. The event is a great opportunity for local elected officials to meet with the pastors of the community and other local leaders.

2022 State of the City
Join me for a video premiere of 2022 State of the City, followed by an outdoor event with a variety of performances and a showcase of City programs and services.

March 31, 2022, 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall Outdoor Courtyard
16000 N. Civic Center Plz., Surprise, AZ
More details to come!
Watch the 2021 State of the City

Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic

2022 college baseball logo

The City of Surprise is excited to announce the College Baseball Classic will return to Surprise Stadium as a two-part series event on February 18 – 20 and 24 – 26.Dates, times, and opponents are subject to change. The game times listed are MST. Additional stadium policies, fan safety and health information and policies are available at SurpriseStadium.com.

Plan ahead and book your stay in Surprise! Trip planning is easy when all the resources are at your fingertips! Visit exploresurprise.com for a list of local hotel accommodations, travel itineraries and ideas for your visit! For more information on the tournament, tickets, and additional events, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or contact the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Spring Training Tickets
2022 Spring Training tickets are on sale now at SurpriseStadium.com!

Grab single-game tickets or bundle with season ticket and mini-plan packages for unique perks, savings over the individual game ticket price, choice of the best available seating locations and exclusive access to special season ticket plan holder events and pre-sale opportunities.

For questions or more information, visit surprisestadium.com or call 623.222.2222.

City Council Meetings
As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 18 and Tuesday, February 1. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

December 2020 • Newsletter

As 2020 draws to a close, I wanted to take this last opportunity of the year to publicly thank you – the residents of Surprise – for your patience and support this trying year. We have had some challenges that none of us could have ever predicted, but we’ve been able to accomplish so many great things despite those obstacles.

Surprise Party 2020 Coming to You!

While the 19th Annual Surprise Party may be going virtual or remote this year, our holiday spirit remains alive and well with a festive lineup of holiday themed programming that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home or car! From cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, to a video tree-lighting event and a Santa drive-thru, Surprise Party – At Home has something for everyone December 4 – 13!

Mark your calendars and tune in for the virtual tree lighting that will kick off these events on Friday, December 4 at 7 pm. The video events will be aired on Surprise TV online and the City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Facebook Page. On-demand video playback will be available for recorded events. Just visit surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty and view the video recording at your convenience.

City of Surprise Annual DECK THE HOCK Event

The city’s annual Deck the Hock on Hollyhock Street will be a drop-off / pick-up style celebration this year! You are invited to drop off ornaments for three holiday trees on display in front of the Surprise Senior Center and leave gifts under them for three local families in need. We will also have a drop-box for our Surprise Police Department’s annual toy drive available. While you are there, you can pick up a hot cocoa and cookie to-go!

Deck the Hock will be held Friday, December 11 from 12-5 p.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St. This is not a stay and gather event. Please stop by during that timeframe to drop-off gifts and ornaments and pick-up treats only. Masks are required, and social distancing measures will be in place.

Greenway Road Expansion Project Update

Construction of the voter-approved Greenway Road improvement project will begin December 3. The project will finish the south half of Greenway Road from 800 feet west of Loop 303 to 1600 feet east of Loop 303 (approximately Cotton Lane to Sarival Avenue), adding two travel lanes and eliminating areas of the roadway that have multiple lanes merging into one lane. In addition to more travel lanes, the project includes turn lanes, drainage infrastructure, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street lighting and landscaping.

There will be lane restrictions on Greenway Road east and westbound approaching the Loop 303. One lane in each direction will be maintained and turning movements will not be affected. From Monday, December 7 until Friday, April 2, 2021, left turns will be restricted from Greenway Road onto Northwest Ranch Parkway and from Northwest Ranch Parkway onto Greenway Road. During this time, the access point at Northwest Ranch Parkway and Greenway Road will be right-in/right-out only.

Drivers can expect roadway restrictions, traffic control changes and reduced speed limits throughout the duration of the project, which is scheduled to be complete in November 2021, weather permitting. Learn more about the Greenway Road project and view a complete list of voter-approved Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond Projects online at surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Surprise Police Department Awarded Reaccreditation

Congratulations to the Surprise Police Department for achieving accredited status with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) for the fifth consecutive time since 2007!

The purpose of the accreditation program is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by maintaining a body of standards developed by public safety practitioners. To receive accreditation, agencies participate in a four-year process during which there is a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the agency’s policies, procedures, management, operations, and support services.

City of Surprise Public Meetings have Reclosed to In-Person Attendance

In an effort to protect public health amidst rising COVID-19 case numbers, City of Surprise public meetings have reclosed to in-person public attendance until further notice. This includes meetings of City Council and all city boards and commissions. Virtual viewing and public comment options are available, and instructions can be found on the meetings agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

City Bond Projects Breaking Ground

Work to complete the 10 voter-approved Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond projects continues. Construction has recently begun on the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center at 134th and Foxfire drives, and the Police Training Facility is in for permit for the same site. Both are expected to be complete next fall. This week, the widening of Greenway Road near the Loop 303 begins, and next week Fire Station 308 at Litchfield and Cactus roads breaks ground. The fire station is estimated to be complete in late 2021, and the road project should be complete by November 2021. With the start of these projects, all building and road construction projects planned as part of the bond have been completed or are underway.

Spring Training 2021

Spring Training season is just a few months away and the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals have released their 2021 Spring Training schedule, revealing their game times and season opener featuring the Texas Rangers vs. the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, February 27.

At Surprise Stadium, we’re working hard to develop protocols to protect the health and safety of our fans—all while maintaining the fun and unforgettable experience of Spring Training. Your safety is important to us! We have been working to develop health and safety measures specific to the Spring Training experience after considering guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and international health authorities, Major League Baseball, and destination partners.

The next time you visit Surprise Stadium, you will notice that we have taken additional steps to protect your safety, including reduced touch points, contactless ticketing, new intensified cleaning protocols and reduced seating capacity for social distancing. We look forward to sharing additional details as they become available.

For questions or more information about Spring Training, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or call 623.222.2222.

May you enjoy all the simple gifts the holiday season brings to us – the gift of happiness, the gift of joy, the gift of gratitude and the gift of love. Wishing you the very best gifts this Christmas and many better tomorrows with the New Year.

November 2020 • Newsletter

Fall is here, and we finally get relief from the heat. With the holidays rapidly approaching, I hope we find time to reflect on the positives with so much negativity surrounding us. Last month, we celebrated Arizona League of Cities and Towns Week and focused our gratitude on essential workers in municipal departments. There are so many people, community heroes, who help our residents and those in need, whether it be our Public Safety departments, our Human Service and Community Vitality Department and so many others. I thank them for what they do every day to keep us functioning, especially in the times of uncertainty and fluidity.

Speaking of gratitude, I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank Councilman David Sanders for his service to District 5 and the residents and businesses in Surprise. Dave Sanders served the city in multiple capacities years before he was appointed to his seat, having been a five-year member of the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Advisory Board, as well as a volunteer member of the Capital Improvement Funding Exploration Committee. Dave has been instrumental with all of our successes since he has been on Council, including utilizing his professional experience and skills with banking and finance to help the city through this pandemic and to assist our businesses that needed help to continue their services for our residents. Thank you, Dave Sanders, for sharing your talents and intellect; for your sacrifices and commitment to Surprise!

Welcome to City Council, Councilman Jack Hastings! Councilman Hastings took the Oath of Office on Tuesday, November 3. Mr. Hastings teaches US Civics at Valley Vista High School. We look forward to working with you in this capacity.

APS is in the early stages of a public siting process to identify routes in the city of Surprise for new 230kV power lines to best meet current and future needs. With the arrival of high-tech companies, such as the new Microsoft facility in El Mirage, and their load demands, these lines are needed to address reliability and flexibility. The 230kV power lines will need to connect the new Conrail Substation (located in El Mirage near the southeast corner of Olive Avenue and Dysart Road) to existing 230kV facilities. The poles will be between 115-195 feet tall and placed in new or existing rights-of-way or easements up to 120 feet in width. If you would like a say in where the poles are located, please visit www.apswestvalleycentral.com. The Virtual Open House page allows you to leave comments. The comment period is open now through November 20. Additionally, another Live Virtual Town Hall meeting will be hosted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 from 6-7:30 p.m. You can register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/APSlivechat. For more information on the project, please visit www.aps.com/westvalleycentral.

City Council voted Monday night to disperse an additional $100,000 in Small Business Relief Grant funding, while expanding the scope of assistance to include small business retailers and non-profits with commercial space who were not restricted by the Governor’s executive orders. Council also approved an additional $25,000 for water utility payment relief.

Like the original grant program, which closed October 30, the Small Business Relief Grant 2.0 program seeks to distribute funding to businesses in Surprise who have been affected by COVID-19, have fewer than 25 employees and less than $2 million in revenues. The grant dollars are intended to assist with rent, utilities, payroll expenses and other necessary operating costs.

The grant categories are as follows:

  • Category 1 (up to $1,500): Hair salons, barber shops, massage therapy, nail salons
  • Category 2 (up to $2,500): Restaurants with no indoor or no fully enclosed dining
  • Category 3a (up to $5,000): Restaurants with indoor or fully enclosed dining; Small (less than 4,500 sf) fitness, dance, yoga, gymnastics studios/centers/facilities etc.
  • NEW! Category 3b (up to $5,000): Non-profits in commercial space
  • NEW! Category 3c (up to $5,000): Retail businesses in commercial space
  • Category 4 (up to $7,500): Bars / series 6 or 7 licenses
  • Category 5 (up to $10,000): Large (more than 4,500 sf) Gyms, Fitness clubs

Applications for the Small Business Relief Grant 2.0 program are expected to open the week of November 9 and close December 11, 2020 or until funds last. Applying for the grant does not guarantee that funding will be awarded, and each business entity may apply only once. Businesses who were awarded funding as part of the original grant program, are not eligible for additional funding through the 2.0 program. For eligibility requirements, the application and more, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant. (Please note this information may not be available until the application period opens).

City Council also approved $25,000 to help qualifying residents pay their water bills. This comes after $15,000 was approved by Council for this purpose in September and has since been depleted. For assistance, please call the Surprise Resource Center HOPE line at 623.222.4673.

Last month, Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ) received the Excellence in Innovation award at WESTMARC’s Annual Best of the West Awards. WESTMARC – the Western Maricopa Coalition – is a public-private partnership of 15 West Valley communities, the business community and the education sector. The Best of the West Awards recognizes outstanding contributions to the image, lifestyle and economy of the West Valley.

Veterans Day is around the corner. If you picked up a sign to decorate for our veterans, those decorated signs need to be dropped off at our Parks and Recreation Services department by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 6. The signs will be displayed on Bullard Avenue, near Surprise Stadium on Tuesday, November 10, Veterans Day – Wednesday, November 11; and Thursday, November 12 until 5 p.m.

To all American veterans who we owe a tremendous amount of debt, to ALL American veterans who chose to set aside their goals, ambitions and dreams, to all American veterans who have put their lives on the line for our freedom and who have sacrificed so very much – Surprise THANKS you!

While COVID may have canceled our traditional in-person Surprise Party Celebration this coming December, our Parks & Recreation Department is working with the Marketing & Communications Team to get us all in the holiday spirit with a week-long virtual Surprise Party experience! The City Council’s Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick things off at 7 p.m. on December 4. Musical performances will also be part of this programming. You can view it on Surprise TV and online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv at 7 p.m. Later in the week, Zoom calls with Santa, Holiday Bingo, Holiday & Crafts with WHAM, and Santa Drive Thru events are scheduled. There is even a Light Up the Night house-decorating contest planned. We’ll have all the details available soon at www.surpriseaz.gov.