FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: December 19, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
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
Palmcroft Elementary School, for their portrayal of elves who wished to be Elvis, complete with dark hair, white jumpsuits, guitars and Elvis music.
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.
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, VisitYuma.com, 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 VisitYuma.com'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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 25, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
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 VisitYuma.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 24, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
Yuma, Ariz. — A fresh twist on a farmers market is sprouting up in Yuma County on Nov. 3. Visit Yuma is creating six markets that blend fresh farm foods with local art and artists. Called the Ag to Art Market: Feeding the Body and Soul, this new market will be held on the first Sunday of the month, November through April, and it is free to the public.
"This was the year to start our new market, because this year Visit Yuma has a special focus on the arts in Yuma," said Executive Director Linda Morgan. "Yuma is becoming known as a regional center for the arts in the Southwest. Our new market brings together the freshest foods from the farm alongside artists selling what they have created. Traditionally, Yuma has been known for its agriculture and winter vegetables; now we're showcasing both ag and art." She continued, "Our vision is to bring the market to different parts of Yuma County to showcase our neighbors and their unique art, entertainment and culinary offerings."
The first market will take place on Nov. 3 at Tractor Supply Company in the Foothills, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Among the farm foods and products, Brockett Farms is bringing many of their fresh offerings including Medjool dates, local honey and locally crafted chocolates, and caramel apples. Mama Bella Hot Sauce will have locally made jars of hot sauces and pepper jellies, among other delicious treats. Fresh eggs, homemade bread, herbs, and homemade soap will also be on hand. Naked Dates will be on site with their modified Volkswagen which serves to display their dates and products. Gypsy Girl Henna by Drea will blend both ag and art at the market, with henna tattoos as well as organic lemons and home-grown succulent plants for sale. Local artists include Lynnette Weise who works in pen and ink or alcohol and ink, Judy Phillips who makes fused glass creations and Sun Dust Minerals, that solder minerals into necklace pendants as well as making other forms of jewelry. Weld Like a Girl will bring unique items, too.
There will be music and entertainment provided by BMC Productions. Each market may feature cooking demonstrations, taste-tests, interactive displays, or other lively and fun activities. The market could offer short classes or sessions for yoga or musical lessons, for example, during the hours it is open. Mr. G's food truck will be on hand to sell tasty Mexican food, and there will be a children's area as well. At each market, there will be children's activities that are ag-related and art-related. At the Nov. 3 market, the "ag" project is a Pot-A-Plant, where each child can pot up their own plant to take home and care for. The Yuma Art Center will be on hand with a fun art project for the kids.
Next markets will take place on Dec. 1 at Butterfield Park in Wellton, Jan. 5 at Colorado River State Historic Park, Feb. 2 at Sanguinetti Park in Somerton, Mar. 1 at the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex, and Apr. 5 at Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens. In each location, the Ag to Art Market: Feeding the Body and Soul, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lots to do. Each market will be unique, educational and fun.
Interested vendors can call 928-376-0100 or email Communications@VisitYuma.com for more information.
Yuma, Ariz. — The Colorado Riverfront revitalization was recognized by Sunset magazine in its September/October issue, featuring their 2019 Travel Awards. The riverfront revitalization and parks made the list of Additional Finalists in the magazine's annual travel awards, for the category of Ultimate Experiences. Visit Yuma submitted the award application in May and the awards were announced recently.
The Colorado Riverfront revitalization stands in good company on Sunset magazine's list. Other Additional Finalists they chose include Denali National Park, Alaska; Yosemite National Park, Calif.; and Spirit of the West Adventures Whales & Wilderness Glamping, in British Columbia, as well as several more.
“The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is honored to be recognized as a finalist in the Ultimate Experiences category for our revitalization and conservation efforts along the Colorado Riverfront," said Executive Director Lowell Perry. “We appreciate Visit Yuma submitting us for this prestigious award, and are thrilled to even be mentioned, given the heavyweights we were up against in the category!” he finished.
For most of the twentieth century, the Colorado River running through the city of Yuma had been neglected and derelict. The banks lined with thickets of invasive salt cedar brush were home to native species like burrowing desert owls, but also dumped appliances and trash, and dozens of homeless camps. Now the riverfront is the Gateway to Yuma, as well as honoring its past as the location of The Crossing. The restoration points to the future of next generations reviving not only the riparian zone of the river, but also the community’s sense of pride in this special place.
“The revitalization has allowed Yumans the ability to reconnect with the river and for visitors to explore Yuma in a way that was impossible previously. It allows us a better opportunity to link visitors with the exciting fun and cultural signficance of the Colorado Riverfront in Yuma,” said Linda Morgan, Executive Director of Visit Yuma.
More than a dozen years, millions of dollars brought in through grants, fundraisers and city dollars, and thousands of volunteer hours led to reclaiming the river as it flows through Yuma. In 2000, seven square miles of the riverfront was designated as one of just three National Heritage Areas in the west, now called Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.
Sunset has a readership of more than 1.2 million people each issue. In 1898, Sunset began as a promotional magazine for the Southern Pacific Railroad, designed to combat negative "Wild West" stereotypes. It encouraged travel to the west on its train line, the Sunset Limited. This Route is still operated by Amtrak, crossing the southwest from New Orleans to Los Angeles with regular service which includes a stop in Yuma.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 9, 2019
CONTACT: Karen Harris
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 email@example.com. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.