Guest Commentary

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — April 2023


At the City Council meeting on March 7, we recognized the winners of the Dysart Unified School District essay contest.

In partnership with DUSD, students across the district were invited to participate. Tied for first place in the 3rd-4th grade category are Cadence Fumia and Rose Vasquez; first place in the 5th-8th grade category is Tatianna Pellegrino; and first place in the high school category is Kaleb Delgado. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Cadence Fumia, Rose Vasquez, Tatianna Pellegrino and Kaleb Delgado hold their awards in front of the council dias.

Bases and Brews Fest

Thank you to Steve LeVine Entertainment for putting on the City’s first music festival and to our incredible Sports and Tourism Department for their support. The three-day event featured national headlining music acts like Andy Grammar, Chris Lane, WALK THE MOON and lovelytheband; live entertainment; a carnival; artisan booths and so much more! What a great way to bring the community together and celebrate the end of the Spring Training season.

a large crowd of people at a concert an aerial view of the Bases and Brews Festival carnival grounds

State of the City

Thursday, March 30 was an incredible evening! Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us at the 2023 Surprise State of the City. And a HUGE thank you to our performers who put on a stellar show! Did you miss the video? Watch it now! 

Surprise Housing Study

Give your opinion on housing needs in Surprise at a community meeting on April 10!

Residents can choose to attend a 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. session. 

Both are inside the Community Room in Surprise City Hall at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz.

Learn more:

Arts & Culture Grant Program Accepting Applications

The City is accepting applications for an Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission-led grant program to assist community organizations pursuing arts and cultural events or activities that benefit City of Surprise residents. To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. 

Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 21. It is preferred that completed applications be emailed to If an email is not possible, you can mail the application to:

Human Service & Community Vitality Attention: Danielle Osborne City of Surprise 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. Surprise, AZ 85374

The application, program details and eligibility requirements are available online at

Valley Vista High School Basketball Champs!

Tuesday, March 21, City Council recognized the Valley Vista High School girls basketball team for winning the 2023 Arizona Interscholastic Association 6A State Championship. This is the Monsoon’s fourth consecutive 6A girls basketball state title and sixth championship in the last seven years. Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes!

The Valley Vista High School girls basketball team holding their trophy and posing for a picture in the council chambers.

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 in the community, so we’ve compiled a list to help you spot your new favorite joint! 

Check out the latest list here.

Library Card Design Contest 

Surprise is asking residents of all ages to help design the new library cards! Submit a design before May 1, 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. For questions about the library card design contest, please email or call 623.222.2900.


Egg hunters are invited to join the search for candy and toy-filled plastic eggs as part of the City’s Eggstravaganza event on April 8 at the Surprise Recreation Campus - Kansas City Practice fields, located at 15850 N. Bullard Ave. The event is free, but canned foods are being collected at the gate for Valley View Community Food Bank. This family event will feature face painters, balloon artists, inflatables and of course Mr. & Mrs. Bunny! Food and drink will be available for purchase.  

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. Hunts are separated by age group and continue approximately every 30 minutes, with an open hunt at the end for those who have missed their age group. 

Approximate hunt times:

8:20 a.m.: 2 and under* 8:50 a.m.: 3 - 4 year olds* 9:20 a.m.: 5 - 6 year olds** 9:40 a.m.: 7 - 8 year olds** 10 a.m.: 9 - 10 year olds**  10:20 a.m.: All ages**

*1 parent allowed on field  **Age group may be combined or split based on participation numbers. Times subject to change.

Children participating in the hunt should bring baskets or bags to hold treats and eggs. The event will conclude at 11:30 a.m.

Please visit or call 623.222.2000 for more information.


FatCats Grand Opening

On Friday, March 24, Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Chris Judd, Councilmember Patrick Duffy, Councilmember Nick Haney, Councilmember Aly Cline, Councilmember Remley and I joined owners Sean Collins and Dave Rutter; CEO Paul Brockbank; and GM Thomas Wilson to celebrate the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of FatCats All Out Fun in Surprise! We are all excited to have this wonderful new addition to our community!

Surprise City Council joined FatCats owners Sean Collins and Dave Rutter; CEO Paul Brockbank; and GM Thomas Wilson for a photo

Surprise Day of Service

Please join us at our next Surprise Day of Service on April 22 from 8 a.m. - noon at Freedom Traditional Academy. We will be bagging beans to support the Valley View Community Food Bank. This event is made possible thanks to the Surprise Community Outreach Program grant, Seeds of Hope International, Dysart Unified School District, Valley View Community Food Bank and Surprise Human Service Community Vitality Department. This is a kid-friendly volunteer opportunity, open to all ages. Registration is required. Please contact Larry Garcia at or 623.222.1522.

Free Course: When Disaster Strikes

The City of Surprise is encouraging community members to take advantage of a FREE course hosted at City Hall on April 20 and 21 called “When Disaster Strikes: Prepare, Act, Survive.” This two-day FEMA class helps prepare residents for when a disaster happens to be able to help themselves, their families and other community members. Registration is required through the state’s online registration system. For more information, click here.

When disaster strikes: Prepare, Act, Survive

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!

April Events

  • 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 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

Community Meeting

Please join me for my next Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. at State 48 Brewery, 13823 W. Bell Rd. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are on April 4 and 18 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance, or you may tune in on, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live.