09 Dec 2010

McCormick Stillman Railroad park holiday lights picking up steam

Comments Off Local Upcoming Events, Nearby Things To Do

The McCormick Stillman Railroad is literally 500 yards or so from our Sunny Scottsdale Condo Vacation Rental. Families love riding the train as it meanders through the beautiful display.

This just in…

Peter Kaczmarowski considers the holiday-lights display at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park his annual labor of love.

Kaczmarowski has fond memories of the tradition that blossomed from a small lights display into a premier annual event at the Scottsdale park, with train rides and costumed characters.

When the event was still in its infancy, Kaczmarowski had just joined the city as a railroad engineer.

“My daughter, who turned 21 this year, said she didn’t remember a year that (I) didn’t do it,” said Kaczmarowski, a volunteer.

Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park kicks off Friday with a tree-lighting ceremony and related festivities. The annual affair runs nightly through Jan. 1, with the exception of Dec. 24, 25 and 31.

The event already was running in 1986 when Kaczmarowski came on board.”It’s a great event, and the opening night is crowded,” Kaczmarowski said. “We run two trains every night. We bring in entertainment and characters to give people something to watch.”

Fond memories

In its early days, the infrastructure could not always handle the electrical demands of the display, Kaczmarowski said. Blackouts occurred, and “one year, it was actually snowing,” he said.

In the early ’90s, Kaczmarowski decided to string lights over the park’s 1907 Baldwin steam engine.

“That’s the first thing people see when they get out of their cars,” Kaczmarowski said. “I thought, ‘Let’s just cover this thing completely with lights.’ ”

Park recreation supervisor Bob McNair said there are tens of thousands of holiday lights on display, along with kid-friendly exhibits and characters. Santa will be on hand through Dec. 23.

The cost to stage the event is about $90,000, covered by approximately $100,000 in revenue, he said. The city-sponsored event also is supported by the Scottsdale Charros and Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society.

This year’s event boasts a new Snoopy display and a 25-foot-tall inflatable sun with sunglasses. Organizers added costumed volunteers several years ago, he said.

Ann Achtziger, a volunteer and assistant principal of Mohave Middle School, said students and volunteers from the Scottsdale Unified School District dress up as Santa’s helpers and popular children’s characters. Families can take free photos with the characters, she said.

The cost for a train ride is $2 and $1 for a carousel ride.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/2010/12/08/20101208scottsdale-mccormick-railroad-park-holiday-lights.html#ixzz17a0X5INe

13 Oct 2010

Waste Management (Phoenix) Open Raises 4.4 Million for Charities – What About Next Year?

Comments Off Golf, Local Upcoming Events, Nearby Things To Do, Sight Seeing, Uncategorized

The Phoenix Open is one of  Scottsdale’s biggest annual events, drawing huge crowds and celebrities to enjoy “the greatest show on grass.” When in town for the Phoenix Open, many visitors prefer to stay on Scottsdale’s “resort row,”  the section of Scottsdale Road between Shea Blvd and Camelback Roads. Our sunny Scottsdale vacation rental condo is located in the middle of resort row!  Anyways, The Phoenix Open is a fantastic event, and it’s a fundraiser for the Thunderbirds’ charities. Recent news articles suggest that this past year they raised over $4.4 Million  for charities. The fundraising achievement is nothing to balk at, especially considering the major economic challenges and corporate pull backs in earlier 2010. Congrats to the Thunderbirds for another outstanding Phoenix Open, AKA Waste Management Open. We look forward to the 2011 Waste Management Open, and are going to be welcoming guests to our fantastic sunny Scottsdale vacation rental condo.

KPHO Channel 5 - Phoenix Open Raises $4.4M For Charities

Phoenix Business Journal – Thunderbirds donate $4.4M to charities

Azcentral.com –  Phoenix Open donates $4.4 million to local charities

Update 11/01/2010 – Official Waste Management Iphone Application is Launched.

This looks like it is super cool and highly useful.

Iphone App for the Waste Management Phoenix Open