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Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — February 2024


I hope your year is off to a great start. Here in Surprise, February is a month of excitement as the Spring Training season begins with the crack of the bat and cheers from the stands – it's a time when our city truly comes alive with the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie. While fans are enjoying these games and events, the City of Surprise is still working for you behind the scenes. Our City staff and council have been enmeshed in budget discussions, ensuring fiscal responsibility remains a top priority for Surprise. This diligence and commitment will persist in our upcoming City Council meetings pertaining to our Fiscal Year 2025 Budget. Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement in the future of our city.


2024 Mayor's Welcome Back Reception

Surprise is excited to announce the annual Mayor's Welcome Back Reception is at Surprise Stadium on Wednesday, February 21, from 4 - 6 p.m.; tickets are on sale now for only $30. The event is just two days before Spring Training Opening Day and features reps from the Kansas City Royals and the 2023 World Series champion Texas Rangers. Plus, you'll get to enjoy catering from Barrio Queen and a special Surprise Stadium gift! Head to SurpriseStadium.com for more info and to grab your tickets.

a large crowd of people at a baseball game

Mayor's Literacy Challenge

Readers of all ages are invited to track minutes read to earn fun prizes. 

Mayor's Literacy Challenge runs through March 2. Participants can register as an individual or family. There's also an option for teachers to register their classroom for a chance to win a pizza party.

During the challenge, readers will be awarded fun badges and prizes, based on minutes read. The goal is to read 700 minutes. Prizes include Spring Training tickets, books courtesy of Friends of the Surprise Libraries and raffle prizes including a Kindle Paperwhite and a Nintendo Switch!

Visit the Mayor's Literacy Challenge webpage to register and learn more about the challenge.

a man and a child sitting on a couch reading a book

Inaugural Vet Fest

Surprise is excited to announce the inaugural Vet Fest event is happening Saturday, February 10, from 5 - 8 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. This new event, hosted by the City of Surprise Veterans, Disability & Human Services Commission, is a part of Surprise's ongoing mission to be a veteran-friendly city, offering support services and building community connections. This event will feature music, food, vendor booths, information from different veteran service providers and more for the whole family! 

If you would like to learn more, visit surpriseaz.gov/VetFest.

A patch with text reading Surprise Vet Fest Bringing Our Community and Veterans Together, Save the Date Saturday February 10, 5 - 8 pm Mark Coronado Park

Sunday in the Park

Come enjoy this fun family event on Sunday, February 18, from 3 - 7 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park with live music from N-the-Mix and delicious food. Event admission is free; food and drink are available for purchase. Also, support local vendors by shopping at the outdoor market! The next event is March 3 with live music from 8 Tracks. This was rescheduled from the rained-out January date. For our other Sunday in the Parks, head to surpriseaz.gov/SpecialEvents.

Spring Training Ticket Information

Opening day is Friday, February 23, with the Kansas City Royals taking on the 2023 World Series Champions, the Texas Rangers, at Surprise Stadium.

Tickets can be purchased online at SurpriseStadium.com or by phone at 623.222.2222. Ticket prices start at just $8! The Surprise Stadium Box Office will open for in-person ticket sales on Saturday, February 3, beginning at 8 a.m. AZ time. The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave.

Residents of Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage and Waddell can score two baseline tickets for $20 total to any Classic or Standard Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium. The promo runs from February 23 to March 15. Buying online? Make sure to use the promo code RESIDENT at checkout.

Stadium Tailgate Party – A World Series Celebration

The excitement of the World Series championship continues at Surprise Stadium on Sunday, February 25.

During the game, there will be a special World Series trophy appearance and Hall of Fame induction. To purchase Spring Training Tickets, go to SurpriseStadium.com.

Then, outside the ballpark from 3 - 7 p.m., enjoy a free post-game Stadium Tailgate Party with activities for all ages! It’s an all-star celebration you won’t want to miss! Food trucks and craft vendors available for purchase of food and drink. (No ticket necessary.)

World Series Celebration logo

Surprise City Academy

The 2024 Surprise City Academy offers residents, business leaders and students the opportunity to interact with City leaders while learning about the structure of city government and getting updates on local issues. During this nine-session academy, participants will learn about the City of Surprise directly from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager and upper-level City staff. Surprise City Academy begins Monday, February 26, in the Surprise Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plz. For more information or to register, please visit surpriseaz.gov/CityAcademy.

an image of City Hall with the City Academy logo

Arts & Culture Events

Are you ready to discover arts and culture events in Surprise? From theater performances, gallery tours, poetry readings and more, the City offers a number of events throughout the year. Here's what's coming up:

Lunchtime Theater* | We3: Jazz and Blues Trio
February 22 • Noon - 1 p.m.

Family Gallery Tour*
February 24 • 9 a.m. - noon

*Registration required. Find details and sign-up information at surpriseaz.gov/ArtEvents.


Governor's State of the State Luncheon

Along with Councilmembers Chris Judd, Patrick Duffy, Aly Cline and Vice-Mayor Haney, I joined Governor Katie Hobbs at the West Valley State of the State luncheon. She reported on the progress Arizona has had over the past year and shared her legislative agenda for 2024. Thank you to WESTMARC for hosting this event.

Dentist of Asante Ribbon Cutting

I had the pleasure of joining Dr. Keeley Le, Dentist DMD, at her ribbon cutting celebration announcing the grand opening of Dentists of Asante on Thursday, January 11. On behalf of the Council, we welcome this newest dental office in Surprise with a BIG smile!

Staff from Dentists of Asante join Mayor Hall who cuts a red ribbon in front of the new business.

MLK Day of Celebration & Service

The 8th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service was a success, and our community made a huge impact. From service projects helping thousands of local families to the celebration filled with performances and inspiring speakers, thank you all for honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to everyone who participated in and organized this fantastic event. 

MLK art contest winners and Mayor Hall pose for a photo on a stage

2024 MLK Day of Celebration and Service art contest winners: Paisley F., Katie E., Liam M. and Lilleana J.

See a recap of the event.

Future Business Leaders of America Event

The City of Surprise and Ottawa University – Arizona, collaborated with the Arizona Department of Education to host a Future Business Leaders of America Regional Competition. I was extremely honored to provide closing remarks to 500 West Valley High School Students who demonstrated their business knowledge, leadership capabilities and teamwork skills.

Mayor Hall, Jeanine Jerkovic, OUAZ President OUAZ President Dennis Tyner, and FBLA members pose for a photo

A New Vice Mayor

At our meeting on Tuesday, January 16, Surprise City Council voted District 1 Councilmember Nick Haney to serve as Vice Mayor for a one-year term. Congratulations, Vice Mayor Haney!

Kristi Passarelli administers the oath of office to Nick Haney

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Ribbon Cutting

We are thrilled to announce the grand opening of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill at Village at Prasada. I joined Jason Kording, Firebirds' Surprise General Manager, along with Vice Mayor Nick Haney; Councilmembers Cline, Duffy and Judd; Surprise Police Department Chief Pina; and Surprise Economic Development Assistant Director Mike Hoover for the ribbon-cutting celebration and lunch. The beautiful Surprise location features a large patio and signature Firebar. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Haney, Police Chief Benny Pina, and Councilmembers Cline, Duffy, and Judd phose for a phot with Firebirds Wood Fired Grill staff.

Arizona Charter Academy in Surprise Named a Top Company to Work for in AZ

For the eighth straight year, Arizona’s Charter Academy (ACA) in Surprise has made the top companies to work for in Arizona. Congratulations ACA! View the list of the Top Companies

A teacher sitting at a desk watching a student complete a math problem.

UMC Design Ribbon Cutting

I joined owners Mason and Christian Phillips of UMC Design and Vice Mayor Haney, Councilmember Judd, and Councilmember Cline for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. UMC Design is a distinguished interior design studio, catering to both residential and commercial clientele. We are excited to welcome UMC Design to Surprise.

a group of people posing for a photo behind a red ribbon

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Haney, and Councilmembers Cline and Judd pose for a photo with UMC design in their showroom.


Spring Training 5K & 1K

Surprise is excited to run home at Surprise Stadium on Friday, March 3, with the 5th Annual Surprise Spring Training 5K and 1K Fun Run presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. This 5K & 1K fun run will begin at 7 p.m. at Surprise Stadium and take you on a scenic evening run through the City of Surprise before heading back to the ballpark to cross the finish line at the field! 

Register now to take advantage of the discounted rates - 5K: $30 and 1K: $15. Early registration ends on March 2, then prices increase to 5K: $40 and 1K: $20. Registration is now open at SurpriseStadium.com/Events.

Curbside Recycling is Returning to Surprise

The City of Surprise, in partnership with Waste Management, is preparing to reintroduce a curbside recycling program. Starting Monday, March 4, recycling trucks will begin picking up blue curbside recycle bins and taking approved items to a recycling center for processing.

You can find more information on Surprise's curbside recycling program and tips on how to "Recycle Wise" at surpriseaz.gov/Recycle.

a person pulling a blue recycle bin and posing with a thumbs up. Curbside recycling returns March 4. Recycle Wise in Surprise.

Out of the Park Music Festival

The City of Surprise is hosting a mixed-genre music festival the last weekend of Spring Training on Saturday, March 23. It's a one-day event at Mark Coronado Park, from 2 - 10 p.m. More details will be available soon at OutoftheParkMusicFest.com.

Out of the Park Music Festival logo

2024 State of the City

I'm looking forward to presenting the 2024 State of the City alongside City Council on March 28, from 6 - 8 p.m. at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plz. We're sharing the legacy of Surprise – from what's already built to what we strive to leave generations to come! The event includes a video presentation sharing the story of Surprise and a celebration with refreshments, entertainment and a showcase of the City's programs and services.

Want to look back at 2023?
Click to watch the 2023 State of the City video
Click to view 2023 event photos

Vendor Opportunities Available at Eggstravaganza

The City of Surprise invites interested outreach organizations, promotional vendors and local businesses to participate in our Eggstravaganza event this spring! Eggstravaganza takes place Saturday, March 30, from 7:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. 

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. The annual event is expected to draw 12,000 - 15,000 participants.

To reserve your spot, go to surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseRec and create an account for your organization, if you haven't already, then click the 'Special Events' tab to register. You can also register by calling 623.222.2000.

City Council Meeting

The next City Council Meetings will be held on February 6 and 20. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. You can also watch live on surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/CityOfSurprise, or on Cox channel 11. We hope to see you there. 

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, February 19, in observance of Presidents’ Day.

Thank you to all residents who have enthusiastically signed up to receive my monthly newsletter. Your engagement is essential, and I'm excited to keep you informed about community updates, events and items that may be of interest to you. Please do not hesitate to contact me at skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov, 623.222.1313. Also, feel free to visit my webpage at surpriseaz.gov/Mayor. Follow me on Facebook facebook.com/SurpriseMayor and X @SkipHall2.