Press Releases


YUMA, Ariz. — For anyone who can't wait to wed, Visit Yuma is offering a contest to help sweethearts tie the knot in Yuma during February. Now that it is the year 2020, there are many throwbacks to the 20s, a century ago. In the 1920s and 1930s, Yuma was an elopement magnet for Hollywood stars who wanted a quick ceremony with less paparazzi. Also, there was a waiting period to get married in California, but there were no such restrictions in Arizona. That meant a lot of impatient couples crossed the state line into Yuma, the closest spot to get hitched. It was the "in" place. Big name stars who married in Yuma include Mary Astor, Errol Flynn, Jean Harlow, Tony Martin, and Gloria Swanson.

In the spirit of throwbacks and hearkening back to Yuma's history as the Wedding Capital of the United States, Visit Yuma is holding a love-based contest during the month of February.  Visit Yuma's "Can't Wait to Wed," contest asks participants to go to Visit Yuma's Facebook page, like and share the post, then comment about why they can't wait to wed. Contestants must be willing to come to Yuma before the end of February for their nuptials. Visit Yuma will set up the wedding ceremony at historic Lutes' Gretna Green Wedding Chapel with an officiant, flowers, photographer and celebratory champagne, followed by a candlelight dinner and wedding night accommodations. See the Visit Yuma Facebook post for more information and contest rules.

The winning couple will be chosen on Wednesday, February 12, and announced publicly on Thursday, February 13, just ahead of Valentine's Day. Then the winning couple must wed in Yuma before the end of February, as part of the contest. Couples are invited to dress in 1920s style, but that is not required. 

To enter the contest, follow Visit Yuma's Official Facebook Page

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DATE:  December 27, 2019
CONTACT: Jennifer McDonald
PHONE: 602.317.2080

YUMA, Ariz. — The “Iceberg Drop” placed second on the USA Today’s list of “the five of the most surprising drops scheduled for New Year's Eve 2019.”  


The USA Today mention reads “(the drop) is a natural fit for this agricultural city, – About 90% of the winter lettuce and greens consumed in the U.S. are grown in the Yuma area.”  The second annual event takes place in historic downtown Yuma and is hosted by Visit Yuma

The 8-foot-by-8-foot, lighted, stylized head of lettuce was created by Penn Signs to go along with the theme “Lettuce Celebrate.” The embellished Iceberg head will be lowered from a crane at 10 p.m., to sync up with the ball drop in Times Square in New York City, and again at midnight. 

The Iceberg Drop was among a list of unique drops to include a bug, other eats and a pinecone too.  The other featured events are the Flea Drop in Eastover, North Carolina, Sartori Big Cheese Drop in Plymouth, Wisconsin, PEEPS Chick Drop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and The Great Pinecone Drop in nearby Flagstaff, Arizona

The public is encouraged to attend the Iceberg Drop to ring in 2020.  The event features DJ Bobby McClendon of BMC Productions and Entertainment starting at 8 p.m. and Radical Rewind leads up to the drop times, making a festive celebration on Main Street in Historic Downtown Yuma. Many restaurants and bars in the downtown area will be open late, and Visit Yuma will have beer and wine available for sale in the street, and complimentary party favors as long as supplies last.

Read the USA Today story in full here. Check out the Facebook event link here. For more information contact Visit Yuma at  


Happy New Year! 

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DATE:  December 19, 2019

CONTACT: Karen Harris

PHONE: 928-376-0100


YUMA, Ariz. — The 17th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Light Parade took place on Saturday, December 14th. A favorite tradition for nearly a generation, the parade draws more than 40,000 Yuma residents and visitors to the Historic North End each year to celebrate the holiday season. This year the memorable event included nearly one hundred lighted, festive entries.


With 18 schools and 12 youth groups, it's easy to see why the parade draws such a crowd and involves so many families and organizations in the Yuma area. The Electric Light Parade is the largest parade in Yuma each year. Spectators were more than five people deep on some parts of the parade route, and the entire route was filled with enthusiastic spectators. Many people had set out their folding chairs or blankets by noon along Main Street and 4th Avenue. "We had a really, really good night," said manager Maria Ozuna, at the 4th Avenue Little Cesars pizza shop. With parade-watchers filling the sidewalks and parking lots around 4th Avenue, "we were barricaded in by so many people," she said, "but we kept up and kept making pizzas!" she shared.


Award winners for the 2019 Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade have been announced by Visit Yuma, which organizes the popular annual event. The parade's theme was “Light Up Yuma With the Arts." This year, all but one category have a winner who hasn't won previously, and some parade entries were from new organizations or groups who hadn't previously taken part in the parade.


"People love this parade. I mean, really love this parade," said Linda Morgan, Visit Yuma's Executive Director. "This year the high energy and high quality was evident--groups put so much work into making their entries elaborate and dazzling. You can't help but get into the holiday spirit and be joyful; the energy and excitement is evident as the parade comes through," she said.


The following entrants won top honors in the 17th annual presentation of the festive, well-attended holiday parade:


Mary Jane Allen Award for Best Depiction of Parade Theme:  

Southwestern Palliative Care and Hospice, for The Art of Nursing


Best Float:  

Palmcroft Elementary School, for their portrayal of elves who wished to be Elvis, complete with dark hair, white jumpsuits, guitars and Elvis music.


Best Vehicle:

Solo Riders


Best Animal:

Big Red Barn Preschool


Best Walking/ Performing:

Gadsden Folkloric Group


Dorothy Young Memorial Trophy Best Performing Band:

San Luis School Marching Band


Visit Yuma thanks parade sponsors APS, Southwest Gas, Lockheed Martin, and Yuma International Airport.


The parade is named in honor of its creator, Dorothy Young, a much-loved event coordinator with City of Yuma Heritage Festivals, who had often indicated that the Electric Light Parade was her favorite event. Mary Jane Allen, whose name is attached to the Best  Depiction of Parade Theme, was involved with the parade from its beginning when Dorothy Young asked her and Lenore Stuart to be judges. "She was well known for her love of Christmas and enjoyed wearing a colorful Christmas Santa hat with loads of decorations. I looked forward to working with her every year," said Lenore Stuart.

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Yuma, Ariz. — The new 2019-2020 official Yuma Visitors Guide has been released and is now available at the Visitor Information Center. Every year, the Visitors Guide provides more than 50,000 visitors, locals and newcomers to Yuma with up to date information on what to see and do around town. The Visitors Guide is published by Visit Yuma and this year, it celebrates the arts in Yuma.

Featuring a cover photo of the Flor de Desierto mural on the side of the Del Sol grocery store at 4th Avenue and 3rd Street, the Visitors Guide highlights some of the many murals around town. Visual art groups, art classes, the local jazz scene, youth ballet and the Yuma Orchestra Association all enjoy write-ups about their events and offerings. The performing arts and entertainment venues join the lists of choices for visitors and residents to go to. And of course, buying unique or artisan gifts and enjoying fine food and drink go hand in hand with getting into the arts in Yuma. 

The 96-page visitors guide covers everything visitors need to know about Yuma, from military tours, to outdoor adventure, to farm tours and dinners. Restaurants, lodging and shopping are important sections in the guide, as are the events and calendar sections, and the entertainment, activities and attractions pages. Beautiful photography, maps and contact information accompany listings of Visit Yuma members' businesses and organizations. Information is included, too, on Visit Yuma's new Ag to Art Market, specialty tours and specialty dinners.

Look for the 2019-2020 Visitors Guide at many locations around Yuma and at the Visitor Information Center, 201 N. 4th Ave. in Yuma. For bulk orders of the Visitors Guide to be displayed at your business or location, call 928-376-0100.

The Visitors Guide works in tandem with Visit Yuma's website,, and the Visit App. All three tools assist in trip planning, way-finding and creating personalized itineraries that can make a trip to Yuma extra special and memorable. This year, the Art Trail has been added to the Visit App and's Visit Widget on the website. It is a customizable list of over 100 murals and pieces of public art around Yuma which can be shaped into a route suitable for driving or biking. 


DATE:  October 25, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
PHONE: 928-376-0100

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Yuma, Ariz. — A new farm-to-table style of dinner debuts Nov. 21, called Sunset on the Ranch. Presented by Visit Yuma, this new specialty dinner will be offered five times during the winter season: Nov. 21, Jan. 9 and 23, Feb. 13, and March 5. The dinner experience takes guests "out to the ranch," to enjoy a gourmet dinner al fresco at a shared table with lively conversation.

Each dinner will feature a local farm family who will share about their lives and what it's like to farm around Yuma. The first dinner, which takes place on Nov. 21, will be hosted by John and Alicia Boelts, who own and operate Desert Premium Farms.

The delicious dinners, prepared by Executive Chef Alex Trujillo, will incorporate locally grown winter vegetables and produce. Guests can choose from a wine or beer pairing chosen by Old Towne Wine Cellar. BMC Productions will provide music, and there will be tractor-pulled wagon rides and a firepit as well. 

The dinners will take place at the University of Arizona Yuma Agriculture Center, showcasing several types of crops growing in their fields, near the dinner tables. The evening will be a full experience for the senses, out under the stars, with the smell of fresh-tilled soil and plants growing, as well as the aromas of the dinner cooking to perfection in an outdoor kitchen.

"We couldn't be more pleased to bring this new dinner experience to Yuma," said Linda Morgan, Executive Director of Visit Yuma. "Yuma-area farms provide 93% of all the winter vegetables to North America, so it's a great chance for visitors and residents alike to learn more about the importance of agriculture in Yuma, from one of our local farm families."

Visit Yuma also puts on the popular Date Night dinners nine times this winter. The Date Night dinners sell out quickly, and tickets remain for only three of the dinners this season. "Sunset on the Ranch gives us another opportunity to share with our guests about Yuma's role in feeding our nation, all during an enchanting evening with a down home dinner," said Morgan. "Visit Yuma works hard to showcase Yuma and help guests at Sunset on the Ranch see why our local ag is central to our sense of place," she said.

Tickets for Sunset on the Ranch are available at


DATE:  October 24, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
PHONE: 928-376-0100

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The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.

Visit Yuma team can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment.  We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."

You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.

YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.

For more information, contact Linda Morgan at 928-376-0100 (office), email Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.

'Anytime' releases:

Around & about - a quick Yuma overview

Brilliant! Yuma wears 'sunniest' label with pride

Last link in river restoration under way


Background info:

Fast Facts About YVB

 Fast Facts About Yuma 

Yuma history - narrative

Yuma historic timeline


Research and statistics

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018 Executive Summary

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