Chandler Ostrich Festival

The Parade Kicks off this weekend in Downtown!  We are excited as this will be right outside of new Gangplank 3.0 building.

The Thorobred Chevrolet Ostrich Festival Parade will kick-off the Ostrich Festival on Saturday morning, March 6th, 2010 at 10:00 am.

The parade route starts at Ray Road and Arizona Avenue, proceeds south on Arizona Avenue to Chicago St.

Parade watchers are encouraged to bring their chairs and blankets to enjoy the parade. Some of the attractions that were featured in the past include Ollie the Trolley, antique cars, horses, high school marching bands and creative floats. More than 100 various entries are expected for the parade.

As the parade sponsor, the Thorobred Chevrolet name has been associated with supporting the Ostrich Festival from the beginning.

Don’t forget to get out and enjoy the rest of Festival the following weekend!

Chandler Mardi Gras Event

Downtown Chandler will be transformed into the “Big Easy” for one magical night on Saturday Feb. 6, as the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation hosts its first Mardi Gras Festival.

The event will include a parade, street festival, strolling musicians, costume contest and the crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen. The reception and registration will kick off at 6 p.m. at di Sciacca. The parade will go from di Sciacca to the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The resort is the site for the dinner, music and casino.  VIP tickets are $100 and general admission tickets are $75.  All proceeds from the event will go to the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits in the downtown area that meet critical community needs.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to

Live Music in Downtown Chandler

One of the things we were hoping would happen in moving Gangplank to downtown Chandler and getting the recording studio setup was more live music.  The great news is that the process is already well under way.   Every weekend you can find live music at the following locations. Looking forward to expanding the offering in the near future!

Murphy’s Law
Tues. Wed. Fri. Sat (480) 812-1588

Urban Tea Loft
Saturdays (480) 786-9600

El Zocalo’s
Fridays, Saturdays (480) 722-0303

San Tan Brewery
Wed.,Sat., Sun. (480) 917-8700

Kokopelli Winery
Fridays, Saturdays (480) 792-6927

Art in Unlikely Places / Downtown Revitalization

Revitalizing an area and encouraging urban infill is about more than attracting new business to a location.  It really is about building community and getting people involved.  One thing I love about downtown Chandler’s effort is that they understand that details matter.  They are far from perfect but they are attempting to get the little things right.  The business owners and residents really are a tight knit family.

Look around downtown and you will see bursts of color everywhere, thanks to the “Downtown Chandler Wrap Project, Making Art out of the Ordinary.”  These photographic and digital paintings, which cover trash receptacles and bollards, are now anything but ordinary. A public jury selected the work of four local artists–  Maynard Breese, Sue Cullumber, Dale Kesel and George Lenz— whose images were then transferred to vinyl with laminate. The images were then wrapped around the objects to produce one of the first exhibits of its kind in Chandler.

“We were able to use art to enhance regular objects and create a visually pleasing environment,” says Eric Faulhaber, Visual Arts Coordinator for the City of Chandler and the Chandler Arts Commission.  The exhibit is sponsored by the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, the City of Chandler’s Downtown Redevelopment Office and the Chandler Arts Commission.

Downtown Chandler Events for January

Stupid Monday Movies
Every Monday @ San Tan Brewery (9pm)
Mutants, Freaks, and Nerds tend to inhabit the SanTan Brewery, and that’s just the Staff! Watching bad movies is generally a guilty secret for most people. Anyone who has seen Point Break more than once has probably seen it 74 times. The same goes for a host of other lousy titles that were given the green light to infect celluloid with their utter “unwatchableness” (not sure if that’s a word). Truthfully, this category can be divided and sub-divide many, many times depending on your passion or aversion to the genre. However, we will try to keep it a little more mainstream and common. The television screens will be painted with Low-Def cinema centerpieces.

Chandler Art Walk
First Wednesday @ Downtown Chandler (5-9pm)

Farmer’s Market
Every Thursday @ Downtown Chandler (3-7pm)
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park is filled with vendors selling everything from local, organic produce to jams, salsas, honey, tamales and a wide variety of craft items. On the second Thursday of each month, join us for live music

Around the World/Multicultural Festival
Saturday Jan 16th @ Downtown Chandler (1-5pm)
Celebrate the wonderful diversity of Historic Downtown Chandler–and enter a raffle for great prizes–by joining us on Saturday, Jan. 16, for “Around the World in Downtown Chandler.” The event, which will be held in conjunction with the City of Chandler’s Multicultural Festival, runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Downtown merchants will feature the sights, sounds and tastes of destinations around the globe. Travelers can pick up their passports from a booth at the Multicultural Festival on the east side of Arizona Avenue. Those that get all the destinations stamped will be entered into a raffle for a Grand Prize–an overnight stay at the beautiful Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort and a gift certificate that can be used at any business.

Images Fashion Show
Saturday Jan 16th @ Guedos (1-5pm)

Valley Fever Improv
Saturday Jan 16th & 30th @ Art on Boston (7pm)
Adults $10 and Kids, Seniors, or Students $8
Valley Fever Improv is Chandler/Gilbert’s answer to ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ Be ready for a 90 minute fast paced, all ages appropriate show based on audience suggestions. Dave and Colleen Specht are proud to produce improv in beautiful downtown Chandler.

Tea 101 Class
Sunday Jan 17th @ Urban Tea Loft (2-5pm)
Discover the world of tea by exploring tea types, health benefits, resources and countries of origin. Learn how to conduct a proper tea tasting using correct terminology, tasting logs and notes. Will taste the 5 major tea types. Includes professional cupping set. $35 per person. Because space is limited to 13 participants reservations must be secured with pre-payment by calling the Loft.

Italian-American Festival
Friday-Sunday Jan 29th-31st @ Kokopelli Winery (1-5pm)
Enjoy homemade Italian food, Kokopelli Wine, live Italian Music, Italian autos, Karoke Rat Pack Singng contest and a bocce ball tournament.

We Take Open Space for Granted

One of the best things about living in metro Phoenix is that we can be in the center of a seemingly never ending city, but still be surrounded by the beauty of the desert at every turn.  There is a plethora of open space and people that care about preserving it.  One of the hidden gems that the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation department has been fighting to implement despite continued reduction in funding is the Maricopa Trail.  The trail runs throughout Maricopa County and connects nine of the counties parks.  The pathway will be over 240 miles and larger than Loops 101, 202 and 303 combined.  How about that for perspective?

Helping Find the Money To Make It

I read the Phoenix Business Journal every week as part of keeping up with business here in Metro Phoenix. I was floored when I read “Finding the money to make it“.  What was incredible to me were the connections back to Gangplank. Eleanor’s Garden is friends with StealthMode Partners who referred Eleanor’s Garden to Integrum.  Integrum brought Eleanor’s first e-commerce site online. Funding Universe did their last Crowd Pitch at Gangplank last month and is getting ready to do another Crowd Pitch at Gangplank this Friday. Funding Universe will be opening an office at Gangplank this month. It is absolutely awesome to see the community rising up in midst of a horrid economy to continue to see success! Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Chandler!

Restaurants Are Not a Zero Sum Game

I had the pleasure of participating in a Chandler‘s Local Bites meet up last week.  Local Bites allows local Chandler restaurants to get together and solve problems they face and increase awareness for their businesses.  They had a panel with @jessharter, @skinnyjeans, @hdellc and Randy Walters (Pittsburgh Willy‘s).  The best part was watching them as they worked together for the greater good of all restaurants in Chandler.

These guys get that it is not a zero sum game.   They understand that someone will not eat at the same restaurant for every single meal.  Furthermore, they understand the more awareness of restaurants in close proximity a diner has, that the more likely they will go to that destination to seek food on a regular basis.  I wish that other zero sum game communities would recognize this and collaborate more often.  I look forward to more good stuff to come from this group and was glad to participate.

It was nice to see @santanbrewing, @corkchandler and @florindino‘s all there and joining the discussion.  I think this group has a lot of potential to get the word out on great eats in Chandler.

See Dave.. I’m talking about stuff I’m doing now.  Thanks for calling me on carpet to do it more!

Best Orchestra Deal in Town?

Recently I had gone looking to step out of my norm.  I had seen a commercial while watching TV with my wife announcing that the Trans Siberian Orchestra was on tour.  We both lit up and were interested in going.  They will be at Arena on December 6th, but a nose bleed is $50 and a quality ticket is $70.  While we still might end up going, we wondered what other options were closer to home.

I found the Chandler Symphony Orchestra and it just so happens that they have a performance coming up Sunday November 15th at 3:00pm located at Desert Vista High School (16440 S 32nd St – Phoenix, Arizona).   The Chandler Center for the Arts is undergoing a $6.7 million dollar renovation and that is their normal home.  The thing that floors me.  The price of admission is FREE.  That’s right, FREE.  Of course, it’s only polite to give them a donation, but it’s not mandatory.  I’m considering taking the entire family down at that price and checking it out.  Would love to have some others join.  Interested in music and looking for a way to spend your Sunday afternoon?

It is great to see a community committed to investing in the future of the arts even in an economically challenging time.  In fact, the Chandler Chamber even is supporting the effort.

Chamber Music Concert Series

The Chandler Symphony Orchestra begins an annual series of Chamber Music Concerts at the Chandler Center for the Arts this season. This series is built around themes and is designed to reach out to new audiences and to share types of music that do not ordinarily get experienced in a full symphony orchestra concert. Chamber music has a smaller, more intimate and, frequently, more “personal” sound. The first season’s “theme” recognizes the diversity we value in Chandler, in all of Arizona and in the world of classical music. We are hoping that this series will attract new listeners who will come back for more and who take an active interest in the work of the Chandler Symphony and in the work of classical artists everywhere. The music will feature winds, strings, percussion, voice and piano; all the sound sources that make up the beauty -and the diversity that classical music and its creators rely upon.

• October 2,2009 – 7:30PM “Hebrew Themes and Variations”
• January 8, 2010 – 7:30PM “Black Voices -African American Classical Connections”
• February 5,2010 – 7:30PM “Eastern Perspectives -The Music of Chinese and Asian Composers”
• April 9, 2010 – 7:30PM “Her Story -The Emergence of Women Composers”
• May 7, 2010 – 7:30PM “Sounds from the Southwest-Mexican and latin American Composers”

Like all of our full symphonic concerts, the Chamber Music Concert Series is offered free of admission.