Tag Archives: glendale glitters

Night Flight

The Ultimate Valley Light Tour: Arizona Helicopter Adventures

Last holiday season, I took a limo ride around the Valley to look at Christmas lights. This year, I decided to step up my game and took in the holiday lights of the valley by helicopter.

Arizona Helicopter Adventures is offering a Holiday Lights Tour this season, and after experiencing it for myself it is definitely a must-do! There is no doubt we live in a beautiful place, but taking in the desert from a different perspective really makes you appreciate where we live. Seeing it decorated in holiday lights from way up high will take your breath away. There is nothing quite like seeing all the decorations in the Valley at once to really put you in the holiday mood. It inspired me to rush home and decorate my own home.

Ari and I.

Ari and I.

My good friend, Ari, joined me on the Holiday Lights Tour. After watching a quick safety video, we were then escorted to the helicopter where we met our trusty pilot, Chris. I was a little nervous at first for the take-off, but within seconds we were 500 feet in the air and gazing down at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess. The resort was decked out in Christmas lights and we could even see the ice rink in the middle. Our next stop was headed west toward Glendale where we saw everything from beautiful homes in the Arrowhead area decorated in lights to all the festivities happening at Westgate City Center. Being born and raised in the West Valley, I have attended Glendale Glitters every single year, and let me just say that you have not experienced anything until you are flying in a helicopter with an aerial view of Glendale to make you truly appreciate it. It was beyond breathtaking. Ari described her view of the Valley as “a blanket of stars.” After we made our loop around Camelback Mountain, it was back to the landing pad. We graciously thanked our pilot and wrote a nice note in the guest book.

The Holiday Lights Tour with Arizona Helicopter Adventures definitely was an experience like none other. I highly recommend this if you’re trying to impress your date this holiday season or if you’re looking for a great gift to give someone special. Flights started over Thanksgiving weekend and will continue through New Year’s Day. The flight lasts for 30 minutes, take off between 5:30 and 9 p.m. and will run you $450, but seeing that smile on your significant other’s face will be priceless and well worth the expense.

Make sure you book your flight soon because spots will fill up fast! Call 480-247-8508 to make your reservation. Get a cup of hot cocoa, cuddle up in a blanket and enjoy the scene below!

Josh Welp

Josh Welp Joins Kitchell as Safety Director

Josh Welp has been appointed Kitchell’s new Safety Director.

Welp has more than 15 years of safety engineering experience, including six years as Safety Manager and then Site Safety and Health Officer at Sundt Construction.

Recent projects include safety oversight of a new $21M hangar and aircraft wash facility for B-52 aircraft at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and construction of a $20M dormitory renovation project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lackland AFB in Texas.

Welp received a B.S. in Safety Engineering from Kennedy Western University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Business from the University of Iowa.

Currently working on a M.S. in Safety and Environmental Management at Columbia Southern University, Welp holds various safety and risk certifications. He has received numerous awards including Projects of the Year from the American Public Works Association APWA (safety in the environmental category (Gilbert Water Treatment Plant), safety in the transportation category and safety in structures, among others).

In addition he was given the Project Safety Manager award of the year by Valley Metro Rail in Phoenix.

Welp will oversee safety programs for all Kitchell construction projects, bringing his extensive experience refined working on safety initiatives for highly regimented Federal projects to Kitchell’s diverse portfolio of projects.

 

Holiday traveling tips

Holiday Traveling Survival Guide: The Do’s and Don’ts

Traveling over the holidays? Millions of people will hit the roads, rails and sky this holiday season to join family and friends for thanks and celebration. With tons of sunshine and cool nights, Arizona has become a prime destination for not just vacations, but also activities and entertainment during the holiday season. While some stress is unavoidable when planning around the holidays, you can avoid other headaches and stay in good spirits with a little advanced planning.

To ensure you don’t get caught in the hustle and bustle this year, here is a list of dos and don’ts for the in-state or out-of-state traveler.

Holiday Traveling Dos & Don’ts:

DO plan ahead

If you haven’t booked your holiday travel yet, it’s time to stop waiting and start booking! Check hotel and travel websites for holiday discounts and specials. At Harrah’s Ak-Chin Resort and Casino, seasonal promotions are routinely offered for those guests who may need somewhere to stay over the holidays. Some sites like Expedia and Hotels.com also offer discounts and specials to travelers based on destination.

DON’T overpack

For some, the holidays mean cold temperatures and snow. Here in the Valley, it means lots of sunshine and shorts. With the 70-plus-degree days this holiday season, it has many Arizonan’s dressing down instead of buttoning up. Try to plan out your outfits ahead of time, and figure out  exactly what you’ll need. Using lists when packing will come in handy to ensure you pack the right wardrobe and don’t over pack.

DO see holiday shows

This holiday season, travelers can enjoy shows of all kinds from festive light shows to holiday concert series. At Harrah’s Ak-Chin Resort and Casino, enjoy an array of performances this holiday season as country stars Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan perform to celebrate the holidays and bring in the New Year. Have kids? Enjoy several holiday light displays around the Valley. From Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo to Glendale Glitters, the Valley has a little something for everyone.

DON’T forget Northern Arizona

With Prescott, Flagstaff and Sedona just a few hours away, travelers can experience what the other parts of Arizona have to offer for the holidays. Visit Downtown Prescott, and see historic landmarks and shops, or venture to Sedona to enjoy the red-rock scenery and the outdoors. For those looking for some snow this holiday season, a short drive will get you to Snowbowl in Flagstaff where you can test the slopes.

DO make a budget

Of course you want to shower all your friends and family with all the items on their wish lists, but keep in mind that money doesn’t grow on trees (including Christmas trees). Between shopping, holiday parties and decorating, it can pile on the stress by racking up huge bills. Stick to a realistic budget instead, so you don’t spend the New Year scrambling to pay off your holidays.

DON’T forget about yourself

Between shopping for gifts, holiday happenings and other schedule demands, it can be very easy to forget about yourself during the holidays. Avoid stress during the holidays by scheduling some time for yourself. Yoga and other exercise are great ways to wind down. Taking the time to eat right and get enough sleep can also help keep your mind and bodies refreshed and avoid any added stress through the holidays and into the New Year.

The holidays are a festive time of year, but can also prove stressful for those who host friends and family, travel or go on vacation. By adhering to a few dos and don’ts, you can survive yet another year of stress and demands, and ensure a joyous holiday season and New Year.

Glendale's Jingle Bell Rockin' Nights

Glendale's Jingle Bell Rockin' Nights

Do you hear what I hear? There’s Christmas cheer on Jingle Bell Rockin’ Nights.

The City of Glendale hosts the annual Glendale Glitters in Historic Downtown Glendale. It opened on November 25, 2011, and it is notably one of the main attractions in the area. However, the celebration has many other events involved. Downtown Glendale is decorated in a million festive lights, attracting both children and adults alike. Aside from Glendale Glitters, there are many other events, including Jingle Bell Rockin’ Nights.

Jingle Bell Rockin’ Nights, held on December 16 and 17, 2011,  is a free, two-night event that features music, dance and other entertainment. In addition, the event features a variety of food and beverages, arts and crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa Claus, and toys, hats and gifts to purchase.

On the first night, the performers included Legend Springs Elementary, Sounds of the Southwest Singers and Glendale Union High School District Vocal Ensembles. On the second night, the performers included The Phoenix Conservatory Sound, Arizona Sunrays, Spotlight Entertainment and Prestige Dance.

The first night of performers sang various old, holiday songs such as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Last Christmas,” “All I Want for Christmas is You” and many more favorites. Along with the Christmas songs were popular rock songs. The audience gathered around the lawns overlooking the stage below decorated with different sets involving Christmas presents, reindeer ears, a Christmas tree, etc. Even the mean, old Grinch made an appearance! Legend Springs Elementary, Sounds of the Southwest Singers, and the Vocal Ensembles of Glendale Union High School District, had decorative, flashy costumes that reflected in the light, which literally made the young girls and boys shine on stage.

The dance routines and twirls made for quite an enjoyable performance. You can’t help but to swing along to the beat and mouth the words of the song. You could see the kids clearly having fun on stage with their full smiles in-between breaths and singing. The performers grew even more exuberant when their family and friends in the audience cheered and applauded for them after every song.

Armed with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, the excitement of Jingle Bell Rockin’ Nights never ends.

For more information about City of Glendale events, visit glendaleaz.com/events.

Photo Credit: Sweet Evie

Glendale Glitters and Glow Block Party

During the holiday season, one area of Arizona outshines all others. The small, historic town of Glendale is lit up by more than one million Christmas lights that are strung throughout the trees and shine brightly on the small, antique homes and shops that compose the 12-blocks from Old Towne and Catlin Court Districts.



Photo Credit: Sweet Evie



However, one of the more popular events of the Glendale Glitter festivities takes place on Jan. 8, when the city hosts their traditional Glendale Glitters and Glow Block Party to finish their annual celebrations. From 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. friends and families will make up an attendance of more than 75,000 people who stroll the sidewalks of the district for one last chance to witness the twinkling, colorful lights.

Adults have the chance to enjoy looking through each of the antique shops, which are decorated for the holidays, for fine crafts and historic relics. The kids will be entertained by large, tethered hot air balloons as they are blown up to reveal fantastic designs and patterns from the glow of their flame. Together, families can feel the festive spirit from the multiple live bands and performers throughout the evening. Other kid-friendly and family-fun activities will be available, as well as an assortment of food vendors.



Photo Credit: Sweet Evie



Parking for the event is limited but if you can find a spot in the neighborhood, it is free. Otherwise, you can use the Glendale Community College parking lot where a free shuttle, which runs all night from 3:30 until 11:30 p.m., will take you to-and-from the night’s event. This event, like all of Glendale Glitters festivities, has no admission charge.