Guest Commentary

Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — March 2023


I’d like to invite you to attend the 2023 State of the City event, including a video presentation sharing the story of Surprise. From the chapters already written to the ones yet to be penned, this plot is worth turning the page for! Stay afterwards for a celebration that includes a showcase of the City’s programs and services, including police and fire vehicle displays!

We will also have entertainment from some of our Dysart Unified Schools and City-run specialty classes, as well as complimentary refreshments.

Here are the event details:

Thursday, March 30
Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
Parking Map
6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. State of the City Video Premiere, Council Chambers*
6:30 - 8 p.m. City Showcase, City Hall First Floor & Outside Courtyard

*The State of the City video premiere will also be carried live and rebroadcast on Surprise TV and online at It will also be live streamed on the City of Surprise Facebook page. Get more information at

2023 State of the City event

Care & Share Expo

The third annual Care & Share Expo will be held this Saturday, March 4. This year’s all-ages event will be from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center Parking Lot, 15831 N. Bullard Ave. This free community event helps create connections to human service organizations, health resources and medical checks. Here’s a look at some of the services and activities you can expect:

  • Health screenings
  • Pet wellness services and supplies provided by Chance Shelter (dogs & cats only)
  • Dental screenings provided by First Teeth First and Midwestern Dental
  • Utility assistance for Surprise, El Mirage, Sun City, Sun City West, Waddell and Wittman residents (must qualify; funds are limited)
  • Veteran & Disability Services Info
  • Kids’ Zone with activities
  • Free lunch (while supplies last)
  • Raffle prizes and more!

This event is hosted by the City of Surprise Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission.

For more information, please visit

Bases and Brews Music Fest

Who’s ready to enjoy billboard hits live in Surprise?! Check out Bases and Brews Fest, March 24-26. This family-friendly festival is at Mark Coronado Park next to Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave., and will be featuring national and local award-winning entertainment, thrilling performers, exhilarating midway rides and games, classic festival food and interactive activities for all ages.

Bases and Brews Music Fest hours are as follows:
Friday, March 24: 4 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Saturday, March 25: 10 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Sunday, March 26: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Saturday, March 25: Andy Grammer co-headlining with Chris Lane
Sunday, March 26: WALK THE MOON with special guest lovelytheband

For more information on ticket sales, sponsorship opportunities and the festival schedule, please visit

Bases and Brews Music Festival

Surprise Stadium special events & promos

  • Resident Appreciation Days courtesy of Fat Cats: now through March 11
  • College Days – college student discount during Spring Break! March 5 - 19
  • Pup Nights at Surprise Stadium: March 8 & 23 Purchase here 
  • Sunday Funday Family Four Pack for $44 (Every Sunday) 
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by Uptown Alley (Every Sunday) 
  • Military & First Responder Appreciation Days (Every Sunday) 

For Spring Training tickets and more information on the events listed above, head to

Library card design contest

With the launch of a new Surprise Public Library System, Surprise is asking residents of all ages to help design the new library cards! Submit a design in one of three age categories: Youth (10 and under), Teen (11-17) and Adult (18 and over). One winner will be chosen from each category. 

Beginning, July 1, library patrons will be able to choose from one of the winning card designs, or a standard logo card, for use at the three City of Surprise libraries – Asante, Hollyhock and Northwest/Surprise Regional. Download the design template and submission form at and then submit your card design in one of the following ways:

  • In person: Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plz., Surprise, AZ 85374; Attention: Kelsey Lamphier 
  • By email: (If selected, winner will be asked to provide original artwork.)

For questions about the library card design contest, please email or call 623.222.2900

Surprise Youth Council recruitment

The City is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of trailblazing teens who are making a difference in their community! SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including Mayor and City Council, to give a voice on City issues and help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects and community-building events. Students who are currently in grades 7-11 may apply, as long as they reside in or are attending a middle school or high school within Surprise city limits; or are attending a Dysart Unified School District high school.

Applications are being accepted through April 14 and consist of a video submission, no longer than 90 seconds, and a Parent Acknowledgement Form. Applicants can submit the Parent Acknowledgement Form and completed video at  For questions or more information, please contact Teen Programs at 623.222.8336 or visit

Tax Assistance

Tax season is right around the corner, and the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department, in partnership with A New Leaf, offers free tax preparation services to individuals and families with qualifying incomes. 

Tax preparation assistance will be available January 30 - April 18 at the Surprise Resource Center and at Riverboat Bingo from February 1 - April 12. See the press release for more information.

Surprise restaurant list

Are you looking to discover new places to dine in Surprise? In a community growing as quickly as ours, there are frequent updates to the ever-expanding list of restaurants, so we've compiled a list to help you spot your new favorite joint! Check out the latest list here.


The Grand renaming ribbon cutting

On Thursday, February 2, Vice Mayor Judd, Councilmember Aly Cline and I joined Bob Aiken, President, and Rene Mitchell, Vice President, of The Grand for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the new branding of their community, formerly known as Sun City Grand. Congratulations!

Vice Mayor Judd, Councilmember Cline, Bob Aiken and Rene Mitchell standing in front of the new sign for The Grand.

Sprouts ribbon cutting

Friday, February 3, Vice Mayor Judd, Councilmember Patrick Duffy and I joined Store Manager Michael Kidd, in celebrating the grand opening of the new Sprouts Farmers Market near Waddell Road and Loop 303 in Surprise! We are so excited to welcome this wonderful addition to our community!

Surprise City Council joins Sprouts Farmers Market in front of their Prasada store for a ribbon cutting.

HealthyU Clinics ribbon cutting

On Thursday, February 9, Vice Mayor Judd, Councilmember Aly Cline and I joined Trase Barney, CEO, for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of a new HealthyU Clinics location in Surprise. We are excited to welcome them to our community!

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Judd and Councilmember Cline join HealthyU Clinic for a ribbon cutting outside their Surprise location.

Top 25 Champion School

Vice Mayor Judd, Councilmember Haney, Councilmember Cline, Councilmember Hastings and I had a great time on Monday, February 6, supporting the Valley Vista High School Special Olympics Unified Team at an event held by the NFL and ESPN. This team was named a Top 25 Champion School in the nation. Congratulations!

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Judd and Councilmembers Cline, Haney and Hastings pose for a picture on the track at Valley Vista High School.

Partnership Day

Thursday, February 16, the City of Surprise and Ottawa University celebrated Partnership Day, the annual commemoration of the wonderful, ongoing friendship between our two great organizations! OUAZ President Dennis Tyner led the ceremony, and it was an honor to read alongside Chancellor Tsutsui, Rick West of Surprise Center Development Company, and Jordyn Van Metre, President of the OUAZ Student Body. Additionally, Chancellor Tsutsui and Mayor, rang the new campus bell, donated by the Surprise Center Development Company.

Mayor Hall, OUAZ President Dennis Tyner, Chancellor Tsutsui, Rick West and Jordyn Van Metre take a photo around the new Ottawa campus bell.

Surprise Galentine’s Celebration

On Thursday, February 16, Surprise Economic Development welcomed Councilmember Aly Cline, Winnie Fritz, the Spring 2023 graduating AZ TechCelerator Dream Builder class and me to the first-ever Surprise Galentine’s celebration. The event was filled with Surprise women business leaders coming together to network and celebrate friendship, community and waffles!

Mayor Hall poses for a photo with Surprise Economic Development, Councilmember Aly Cline, Winnie Fritz and others.

Black History Month

At the City Council meeting on February 21, I proclaimed the entire month of February 2023 as Black History Month in Surprise! The proclamation was accepted by Tim Williams, one of the three residents Surprise's Three Star Park is dedicated to in honor of their track & field legacy. 

Residents are encouraged to learn more about Black history, celebrate the many accomplishments of Black Americans and recommit to the values of tolerance and equality.

Tim Williams holding the proclamation and standing next to Mayor Hall.

Fry’s Food Store ribbon cutting

On Wednesday, February 22, Councilmember Haney and I joined Fry's Food Stores General Manager, Jeremy Valdez, and President, Monica Garnes, in celebrating the grand opening of the new Fry's in North Surprise where the grocery chain donated $5,000 to St. Mary's Food Bank in support of their effort to end hunger in local communities through Kroger's Zero Hunger Zero Waste social impact plan! We are so excited to welcome this wonderful addition to our community!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Haney standing in front of a produce display and Fry's grocery store employees.

Marshalls ribbon cutting

On Thursday, February 9, Councilmember Patrick Duffy, Councilmember Nick Haney and I joined Marshalls District Manager, Scott Doepke, and General Manager, Phillip Anderson, at a grand opening ribbon cutting event in celebration of the brand new Surprise Marshalls at the Village at Prasada. As part of the ceremony, a $10,000 check was donated by Marshalls to St. Mary's Food Bank in support of the local community. We are so excited to welcome this Top Ten Most Desired Retailer based on resident surveys to our community!

Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Duffy and Haney take a photo with Marshalls' upper management staff.


Parks and Recreation events

  • Cookies and Crafts with Mrs. Bunny – April 1 
  • Eggstravaganza – April 8

To register, head to and click on “Special Events & Programs” or contact 623.222.2000.

Eggstravaganza vendors wanted

The City of Surprise invites interested outreach organizations, promotional vendors and local businesses to participate in our Eggstravaganza event this spring! The event is free and features fun for the whole family. Residents will enjoy inflatables, face painting, a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Bunny and a series of egg hunts filled with fun toys and treats.

Eggstravaganza is Saturday, April 8, from 7:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus located at 15850 N. Bullard Ave. The promotional booth fee is $500 for business vendors and $150 for non-profits. This includes a 10x10 vendor tent, one table and two chairs. Please note space is limited!

To reserve your spot, go to where you can create an account for your organization if you haven’t already, then click the ‘Special Events’ tab where you can register. You can also call 623.222.2000.

We’re hiring

The City of Surprise has some exciting career opportunities available!

We're now hiring for:

  • Information Technology Project Manager
  • Procurement Technician 
  • Assistant City Prosecutor 
  • Traffic Civil Engineer 
  • Land Survey Party Chief
  • Utility Mechanic - Senior
  • Emergency Medical Technician (Fire-Medical)
  • Paramedic
  • And MORE! 

See all of our career opportunities and apply at

It's budget building season!

The City of Surprise FY2024 budget building process, has begun. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2024 budget in June. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at Additionally, each of the staff budget presentations will be linked at the day following the talks. Learn more here.

Redistricting 2023

It's time to update the City Council district boundaries in Surprise, and we're asking for resident participation in the process! Redistricting is an effort to ensure all voices are represented equally and fairly by creating districts with nearly the same number of people in them. You can give input on where the boundary lines for our six City Council districts should be through online tools or at one of our public meetings. Get the details here.

Poetry, art and more!

Are you ready to discover arts and culture events in Surprise? From theater performances, gallery tours, poetry readings and more, make sure to mark your calendar to attend!

March Events

  • March 9 • 10 - 11 a.m.
    Public Art Tour of City Hall
  • March 16 • Noon
    Lunchtime Theater – West Valley Symphony Jam Session | Arts HQ, $15

April Events

  • April 6 • 12 - 1 p.m.
    Lunchtime Theater – Salty Dawgs Calypso and Folk Music
  • April 11 • 11 - 12 p.m.
    AZ Speaks - “Growing in the Desert: The History & Culture of the Tohono O’odham”
  • April 15 • 11 - 3 p.m.
    Public Art Bus Tour to "Cowgirl Up!" exhibit
  • April 21 • 6 - 8 p.m.
    Poetry Slam at WHAM

All dates and times are subject to change. All events are free unless otherwise stated. To register for Public Art Tours and AZ Speaks presented by Arizona Humanities, head to For Lunchtime Theater, contact Arts HQ at 623.584.2626 or visit To learn more about Poetry Slam, contact WHAM at 623.584.8311 or visit Want to see what else is on the 2022-2023 arts & culture calendar? All events are listed online at

City Council Meetings

The next City Council Meetings will be held on March 7 and 21. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. You can also watch live on, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at, or on Cox channel 11. We hope to see you there.