The show is about to go on in Goodyear.
Thanks to some creative planning and partnerships, the city has a full lineup of virtual and in-person entertainment and community events in the works beginning at the end of September, Special Event Coordinator Brenna Hosey and Arts and Culture Administrator Guylene Ozlanski said when they briefed the City Council during its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 31.
For updates and more information on events, visit the city’s special events page at goodyearaz.gov.
A free, summer-camp-style event that Ms. Hosey said was recognized after its debut last year as being the top event in the state for cities with a population of 10,000 to 100,000, Camp Go Back is going virtual this year.
Goodyear residents who sign up for the two-week camp can log into the Happy Camper Live portal at their leisure Monday, Sept. 28 to Friday, Oct. 9 for daily camp-counselor-led activities. A live campfire grand finale will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 will feature with music, magic, a storyteller and s’mores.
Registration information will be available on the city website before camp kicks off, and participants can pick up a free take-home kit Oct. 5 to 9 at the Goodyear Recreation office, 3075 N. Litchfield Road.
The city’s free annual Fall Festival scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23-24 will feature a Halloween theme. Participants will drive through an illuminated route through Goodyear Ballpark’s parking lots, where they can trick-or-treat from their vehicles, and pick up pumpkins and other goodies. The event’s costume contest will be held virtually before the festival so winners can pick up their prizes without leaving their vehicles.
Veterans Day is Wednesday, Nov. 11, but Goodyear will celebrate those who served in three ways beginning in October.
“We want to do something that will really paint the town with pride,” Ms. Hosey said.
The city will have 1,000 custom “thank you” signs available for pick up at various city buildings at a date to be announced.
A contact-free gift drop-off will be scheduled for veterans’ organizations, centers and residences “so that they know that we’re thinking of them but want to keep them safe,” she said.
Finally, the city will ask the public to submit short videos thanking veterans that staff will compile and share on social media.
The city’s annual tree-lighting celebration, Goodyear Glows, will still feature holiday lights, music and Santa, but this year the festivities at Goodyear Ballpark on Saturday, Dec. 5 will be live-streamed, with no in-person attendance.
The two-hour event will include live rock Christmas covers, with Santa reading letters from local children between sets, the tree-lighting and a fireworks finale.
“One things kids love to do at Goodyear Glows is to visit Santa,” Ms. Hosey said. “This year, we’re bringing him to the neighborhoods with help from Goodyear Fire.” Beginning Monday, Nov. 30, the jolly old elf with hitch a nightly, three-hour ride on a GFD truck and wave to residents as he cruises neighborhood streets.
The city and Estrella by Newland’s annual free Ballet Under the Stars performance by Ballet Arizona usually draws about 4,000 people to Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater every September, Ms. Ozlanski said. This season, it has been moved to Saturday, Jan. 23 with no in-person attendance.
“Ballet Under the Virtual Stars will try to bring all of what you expect from the traditional ballet, but it will be a streamed program,” Ms. Ozlanski “It’s still going to have the professional dancers, the beautiful costuming and music that you expect.”
Ballet Arizona dancers will teach students dance via Zoom, and the students’ performance will be included in the streamed content, she said.
The city’s Recreation Office will have goodie bags with glow sticks, a craft kit and autographed photos of the dancers for residents to pick up before the event, and when the virtual stream concludes, dancers will go live on Facebook to answer questions and engage with attendees, Ms. Ozlanski said.
Three new events are on the schedule this year.
“The Arts and Culture Commission is just so excited and just so appreciative of the support that council has shown them to be able to provide this opportunity to bring three new performing arts events this fiscal year,” Ms. Ozlanski said.
The city has partnered with Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation to present Goodyear Rocks, a free concert Saturday, Nov. 21 at Goodyear Community Park.
“It is going to be a high-energy rock concert” featuring six bands, including Goodyear locals, Ms. Ozlanski said.
The city and Ghostlight Theatre of Sun City West have teamed up to present Holiday Variety Concert at Estrella Foothills Performing Arts Center, the first indoor-seated event the city will host since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13, admission will be $5 per person. Both shows will feature six holiday-themed variety acts, a master of ceremonies and surprise guests.
The city’s new Shakespeare in the Park event presented Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21 in partnership with the West Valley Arts Council, promises to be a unique, community theater experience, Ms. Ozlanski said.
“This is actually going to be Goodyear residents that are going to be onstage performing alongside professional actors” at Goodyear Community Park, she said.
In addition to performances, the park will take on a Renaissance feel, with artisans, food and strolling minstrels.
“We are really excited about these three new performing arts events,” Ms. Ozlanski said. “I’ve shared you how they can be put on traditionally, but we are prepared and understand that depending on where we’re at in our phase of reopening ... we can do hybrid events with very limited, social-distanced in-person audiences and stream the content so that we have both, or if we aren’t allowed to have a live audience, we can stream all three of these events.”
Council members thanked both women and the commission for their hard work.
“This isn’t an idea situation for the arts ... but you guys have been very creative,” Councilwoman Sherry Lauritano said. “I love the new events. We’ll be there if we can. If not, streaming.”
“I just want to thank you for being so forward-thinking,” Councilwoman Laura Kaino said, noting that Goodyear’s pre-COVID events drew people from across the valley. “However it turns out, I know that it’s going to be done well and Goodyear will be very proud of it.”
Mayor Georgia Lord echoed those sentiments.
“With so many places canceling everything, I think we can look to this with great pride that our staff said, ‘no, we’re going to find a way,’” Ms. Lord said. “I know there will be some high spots and some disappointment in this and it’s all due to the COVID, but I think you’ve pretty much thought this through. Thanks so much, we look forward to it.”
Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-963-1697.