Amenities re-opening brings Memorial Day options to Surprise residents

Veterans Reflection Circle honors Brian Mancini

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Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and residents, perhaps more than ever, are anxious to observe the holiday with activity or simply to get out for a bit as businesses and amenities continue the process of re-opening after coronavirus shutdowns.

While the official first day of summer is June 20, traditionally residents use the three-day Memorial Day Weekend to jump-start the summer season.

Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 25, as a day to honor and mourn military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

The Veterans Reflection Circle sits just outside the library in the Surprise Community Park, 15930 N. Bullard Ave., next to the fishing lake. The Circle is an outdoor memorial in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing.

Mr. Mancini was a medically retired Sergeant First Class, combat wounded veteran who served as a combat medic with two tours in Baghdad, Iraq. He served more than 12 years in the Army, and was the recipient of two Purple Hearts, the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Air Assault Badge and Flight Medic Badge.

In 2007, he suffered life-threatening injuries from a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Following years of surgeries and rehabilitation, the Surprise resident founded Honor House, a place where wounded veterans could go for therapy and counseling.

Mr. Mancini passed away at the age of 38 in 2017.

In terms of Memorial Day Weekend plans, the city of Surprise has reopened select recreational amenities that allow for appropriate physical distancing, including tennis courts, pickleball courts and dog parks.

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, 14469 W. Paradise Lane, is open for open play only and by reservation only. Residents may call 48 hours in advance to reserve a court and non-residents 24 hours in advance. Call 623-222-2400. Hours are 7-11 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7-11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Retail and concession areas will remain closed. Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis.

Pickleball courts at Surprise Community Park reopened May 15. Park hours are 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/229/Parks-Facilities.

Dog parks reopened May 15. Park hours are 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Guests should follow posted signs, and continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing.

Surprise parks, walking paths and open space remain open to the public; and fishing is allowed at the Surprise Community Park Lake. Follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing.

Some park amenities remain closed until further notice, including playground equipment, splash pads, basketball courts and the skate park.

Aquatic Center & Hollyhock Pool, Countryside Recreation Center, Sierra Montana Recreation Center and the Villanueva Recreation Center remain closed to the public.

Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19.

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