Find the Holiday Spirit in Florence
Holidays can be hectic, so take some time to unwind in Florence. The pace is relaxing in downtown Florence where visitors can stroll Main Street and shop quaint mom-and-pop businesses. The shopping becomes especially festive in December, when merchants vie for bragging rights of the best holiday decorations. Once the gifts have been purchased and the presents are wrapped, take time out for a self-guided tour of the historic district, or sprint up the trail on Poston Butte. The Florence Visitor Center, located at McFarland State Historic Park, provides information on these activities and many other attractions in the area. Contact them at (520) 868-4496 or visit www.florenceaz.gov.
Coming Soon: Neon Sign Park
Casa Grande is about to get a little bit brighter. The city is proud to announce that it has officially won the $144,000 grant from Partners in Preservation to fund its future Neon Sign Park. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018, with completion by the end of the year. Stay tuned for updates on the park’s progress, unveiling and more by following the Casa Grande Facebook page or visiting www.cgmainstreet.org.
Discover the Superstition Wilderness
The best things in life certainly are free when you look around Pinal County. Why pay an expensive entrance fee and wait in long lines when you could find as much fun in the Superstition wilderness? A visit here can transport you back to the 1800s as you walk the same trails as Jacob Waltz did in his quest for gold. Celebrate the county’s natural beauty along such scenic hikes as Prospector’s View Trail, Treasure Loop Trail and Dutchman’s Trail. Recreational opportunity guides are available from the Mesa Ranger Station and the Tonto Forest Supervisor’s Office. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov.
Retro Rides in Casa Grande
It’s time once again for Casa Grande’s 18th Annual Historic Downtown Street Fair and Car Show. The all-ages event features art, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and food vendors, plus live entertainment and vintage autos on display. The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 20, 2018, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 21, 2018, along Casa Grande’s Main Street. For more information, visit www.cgmainstreet.org or call (520) 836-8744.
Explore the Casa Grande Ruins
The original Casa Grande was abandoned around 1450 C.E. Since the ancient Sonoran Desert people who built it left no written language behind, written historic accounts of the Casa Grande structure begin with the journal entries of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino when he visited the ruins in 1694. In his description of the large ancient structure before him, he wrote the words “casa grande” (or “grand house”), which are still used today. From the 1860s through the 1880s more people began to visit the ruins with the arrival of a railroad and a connecting stagecoach route that ran right by the Casa Grande. Today the park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/cagr.
(Brought to you by the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, (520) 836-2125, casagrandechamber.org.)