Chandler, Arizona is a sprawling, mid-sized city about thirty miles from Phoenix. It dates back to the 1920’s, but has grown expansively over the last ten years. The city of today used to be the farms and dairies of yesterday. There are not very many farms and dairies left, as home developments have filled in the land. Chandler is very family-oriented, but many single people enjoy living here as well.
Downtown Chandler has been historically preserved. Many of the old buildings have been renovated, but still have the same aged appearance. The cobblestone street in the square speaks of a time long ago. The stores have been refurbished, but keep their old time flavor. There is a local winery and bistro, western wear and antique stores, a deli, a small bank and other shops. In back of the square stands an old renovated hotel that still looks the same on the outside as it did years ago when Hollywood stars came to the desert to vacation in the 1920’s. All the original pictures and decor remain the same, although they have been refurbished.
The farther out you go from the historic downtown area in Chandler, the more modern it becomes. Home developments, malls and strip malls occupy each sector of the city. Even though Chandler has grown, there is still a small town feeling, especially when it comes to traditions.
In the downtown park, a Christmas tree made of tumbleweeds is erected each holiday season. It’s amazing to see the tall tree with all the little lights on it. With all the development, the workers must go farther out in the desert to find the tumbleweeds each year. This is a tradition that has been around for many years and will continue. There is an Ostrich Festival each spring. Lots of vendors sell souvenirs and ethnic food. An ostrich race is held on one of the weekend days and everyone comes to see the large birds run around the ring. It’s quite a sight to see! There are country western concerts on two evenings for which there is no charge. The Fourth of July fireworks as well as the Hot Air Balloon Festival are held in Tumbleweed Park each year. The Arizona State Fair is held at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix each fall. Thousands of people attend these events. Desert Botanical Garden presents the Night of the Luminarias at the holiday season. Thousands of luminarias are placed along the paths in the garden and people enjoy music, food and ambiance. Throughout the fall, winter and spring, you will see hot air balloons over the valley. When you are soaring over the towns and farms, the feeling is exhilarating.
Chandler, Arizona has excellent school systems. Education is a high priority for the city. Chandler boasts the Chandler Center for the Arts, several theaters, Symphony Hall, the Arizona Children’s’ Science Center, the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Ballet Company, the Heard Museum (for Native American arts) and other cultural venues. Many residents have moved here from Midwest and Eastern states and brought their unique history and traditions with them, blending them with native Arizona culture. US Airways Center is home to the Phoenix Suns basketball team and also hosts the circus and many large concerts. The Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team plays at Chase Ball Park and the Coyotes hockey team plays at Glendale Arena. A giant football stadium recently opened in Glendale for the Arizona Cardinals. It is so new; it doesn’t have a name yet. There are several large water parks for cooling off in the hot summers in the desert. Some of the nearby farms host pumpkin patches and fall activities for family fun. The Phoenix Zoo is the largest non tax-supported zoo in the United States.
There is something for everyone in Chandler, Arizona. New freeways have been built to link Chandler to other parts of the Valley of the Sun, so residents can attend events outside the Chandler area, but there is plenty to do in the city locally. You should visit Chandler, Arizona where the past meets the present in a amazing blend of activities and cultures.