The Upper Westsider, March 2024

Page 1

PRST STD ECRWSS US POSTAGE PAID PHOENIX, AZ PERMIT NO.2194 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** POSTAL CUSTOMER In This Issue City News.....................................................4-9 Kids’ Corner.................................................11-13 Neighbors.......................................................14 Real Estate.....................................................15 Good Deeds Guide...................................18-20 Happenings..............................................22-23 Entertainment................................................24 Business Directory.....................................28-29 Getaway......................................................... 30 March 2024 Vol. 5 • No. 2 FREE YOUR HYPERLOCAL NEWS SOURCE UPPER WESTSIDER Bravo Dance Family Sisters bring the joy of dance to two popular West Valley dance studios READ STORY ON PAGE 16 PHOTO BY LISA SOROKO PHOTOGRAPHY
2 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER



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UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 3
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City News

PEORIA 411: The Latest Local News You Need to Know



The city of Peoria is accepting applications for the 2024-25 Arts and Culture Grant Program. This is an opportunity for nonprofit arts organizations and Peoria-based creative sector businesses to apply for financial support for programs, performances, and events that inspire, enhance, and support the pursuit of creative endeavors in Peoria.

There are new categories this year including Peoriabased arts organizations and emerging entrepreneurs in the creative sector. The “theatre” category has expanded to include spoken word and performance art.

For the first time, community events and HOAs can also apply during this new funding cycle. Unlike previous years when funding was awarded on a rolling cycle, this year’s event and HOA applications must be submitted within the grant cycle. No additional applications will be accepted after the cycle closes on May 6.

First-time applicants for the grant program are required to attend an in-person or online training session between Monday, March 11 and Friday, April 6. Returning applicants are encouraged to also attend a training session. One-on-one appointments to answer questions are available on a limited basis between April 1 and 22.

The application period closes Monday, May 6. Applicants can apply at https://cityofpeoriaaz.

The Peoria City Council recently voted unanimously to authorize a Water Infrastructure Financing Authority of Arizona (WIFA) loan not to exceed $13.5 million for the new Sunset Vista Reservoir & Booster Pump Station. This station will store and distribute water from the five new wells drilled with the CAP/LPP Wellfield project. The site will include a new reservoir, and a booster pump station, to be located next to the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal and Lake Pleasant Parkway.

Peoria has been storing renewable water underground for many years. The new wells will be able to recover that stored water if needed during a worst case scenario where Peoria’s water allocation from the Colorado River is cut to zero. This additional infrastructure is needed to ensure Peoria has sufficient backup capacity for existing residents and businesses.

The combined project sites are partly located on private land. The Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) owns the rest of the land. Once Peoria signs an agreement with the private landowner and the council approves it, drilling for two of the wells could begin as soon as this month. Peoria expects to acquire the rights to the land for the other three well sites and easements from the state by November.

This project is projected to cost $63.5 million. In addition to the WIFA loan, the project will be paid for by grants, including a COVID-19 Stimulus grant. Completion for this project is scheduled for spring 2026.


The Peoria Chamber of Commerce is holding the Health & Wellness Business Showcase on March 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Arizona State University West Valley Campus, located at 4701 W. Thunderbird Rd., in Glendale.

This event is designed to foster B2B networking, workforce development, and educational growth within the health and wellness industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore a vendor hall featuring a wide range of businesses and services dedicated to health and wellness.

A highlight of the showcase will be three educational sessions aimed at enriching participants' knowledge and skills in the field. Among the speakers, Dr. Jenna Ross, CMPC, LAC, owner of Renew Performance, LLC, will deliver a session on goal setting as part of her "Mental Fitness" series. Dr. Ross's insights are anticipated to be a cornerstone of the educational offerings, providing valuable strategies for personal and professional development.

Admission to the Health & Wellness Business Showcase is free, as is parking for the event, underscoring the chamber's commitment to accessible community engagement and professional development. For more information, visit

4 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER

City News Foodstock 2024

Get Local Arizona Events and Peoria Diamond Club bring food trucks back to the West Valley for charitable event.

Photo courtesy of Get Local Arizona

FOODSTOCK, HOSTED BY GET LOCAL ARIZONA EVENTS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PEORIA DIAMOND CLUB, IS RETURNING FOR ITS SIXTH YEAR, PROMISING AN IMPRESSIVE LINEUP OF OVER 50 FOOD VENDORS. This culinary celebration is set to delight the West Valley community on April 13, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Ave.

The event will showcase a diverse array of food trucks, offering both new and familiar flavors from across the Valley. Attendees are invited to indulge in a variety of cuisines, contributing to a cause that supports local businesses and aids hungry children in the West Valley. The Peoria Diamond Club, a notable nonprofit organization, will receive all gate proceeds to further its mission in partnership with affiliated charities.

“We are thrilled to feature some of Arizona’s greatest culinary minds in a variety of cuisines at Foodstock,” says Christa Esquibel, organizer and owner of Get Local Arizona Events. “And we are proud to create an event that supports local businesses and helps those who need it most.”

The festival is a family affair with an array of activities designed to entertain guests of all ages. From splash pads and playgrounds to face painting and bounce houses, there's something for everyone. A

modest admission fee of $5 grants access to the festivities, with children 12 and under admitted free of charge.

Food fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite food truck, adding a competitive edge to the culinary showcase. Each food truck will offer a special $5 sample alongside their full menu, ensuring that guests can taste the breadth of flavors on offer. For those over 21, a full bar will be available within the stadium.

In alignment with the event's communityfocused ethos, parking is complimentary, and service animals are welcome. Guests are invited to bring a blanket and picnic on the field.

For more information, visit

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 5
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City News

Music in March Concerts Hit High Note in Peoria

Photos courtesy of city of Peoria

MUSIC LOVERS IN PEORIA HAVE A REASON TO CELEBRATE AS THE MUSIC IN MARCH CONCERT SERIES RETURNS TO PALOMA COMMUNITY PARK, OFFERING A FREE MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA IN AN IDYLLIC OUTDOOR SETTING. Residents are invited to bring their blankets and chairs to enjoy the sounds of local musicians. The concert series kicks off on March 3 and continues every Sunday through March 24, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Music in March series has become a staple in the community, known for its diverse musical offerings that cater to all tastes. This year's lineup is no exception, featuring a range of genres from pop and country to jazz and R&B.

The series opens with Velvet Road, a Phoenix band renowned for their captivating blend of pop, country, and rock 'n' roll. Their performance on March 3 is set to be a lively start to the series, sure to draw in audiences from across the Valley.

On March 10, Lisa Hightower will take the stage, bringing her high-energy performance to the park. Her pow-

erful blend of jazz, blues, R&B, and soul is expected to transport audiences and have them grooving to the beat.

Mid-month, on March 17, Pete Pancrazi will grace the event with his talented vocals and guitar playing. Pancrazi is praised for his original compositions and his renditions of straight-ahead and Latin jazz classics, providing a soothing soundtrack to what promises to be a serene Sunday afternoon.

The series will close on March 24 with the vibrant sounds of Desert Dixie. This five-piece band, led by Arizona natives JT Hubbell and Cody Lynn, will showcase their range with hot new country tunes, country classics, original blues and rock pieces, and top 40 hits.

Music in March will feature an array of local food trucks, offering delicious eats and drinks for purchase during each concert. This combination of great music and great food creates the perfect family-friendly atmosphere for a Sunday outing.

Paloma Community Park, located at 29799 N. Lake Pleasant Parkway, serves as the perfect backdrop for these concerts. For more information, visit events.

6 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
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City News

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Makes its Regional Debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre


“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” makes its regional debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre, March 8 through April 14.

The musical will take audiences on a wild ride as Charlie and his newfound friends meet a world full of surprises, innovation, and of course, OompaLoompas. Adapted from Roald Dahl’s iconic children’s novel, the stage show includes music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s production is also directed by Anthony C. Daniel, the

associate director for the national tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“From the moment you walk in the doors, you will be transported into a candy land dream,” says Arizona Broadway Theatre CEO Kiel Klaphake. “The set, handmade by local artisans, the costumes, the performances, are all a feast for the eyes. We even worked with beloved local chocolatiers at Cerreta’s Candy Company to design a special “Charlie Chocolate Bar.” The customized milk chocolate candy bar is not only delicious but also a tasty souvenir from a magical night at the theatre!”

Unlike any other theatre in the Valley, Arizona Broadway Theatre provides an all-encompassing experience combining world-class dining and entertainment. For each show, a

team of award-winning chefs create a customized menu. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” audiences will enjoy a meal inspired by the show, including Violet Beauregarde’s chewing gum debacle.

“We are thrilled to be the first theatre in the Valley to produce this show, which helps further our mission to bring new and exciting programming to residents across the West Valley,” says Kurtis Overby, artistic director at Arizona Broadway Theatre. “The cast for 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' is remarkable and Jamie Parnell will wow audiences as Willy Wonka. He is a multifaceted individual and incredibly gifted performer who embodies the lead character like no one else could.”

In addition to Parnell, the colorful and heartwarming show features 24 cast

members including many local favorites like AJ Riddle and Lucas Moran as Charlie Bucket, Hannah Bentley as Mrs. Bucket, Alyssa Armstrong as Cherry, Josey Terry as Grandma Georgina and Charlie Hall and Christopher Arellano in the ensemble.

To round out the delicious performance, Arizona Broadway Theatre mailed 400,000 prizes to select households. Many lucky winners will get a chance to live out their chocolate factory dreams with prizes like tickets to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” free WhippleScrumptious Fudgemallow Delight dessert treats and more. All prizes must be redeemed at the Arizona Broadway Theatre box office.

Arizona Broadway Theatre is located at 7701 W. Paradise Ln., in Peoria. For more information, visit

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 7
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City News

100 Years of Peoria Fire-Medical Department Captured in New Documentary

Photo courtesy of city of Peoria

THE CITY OF PEORIA HAS RELEASED “FLASH POINT: THE HISTORY OF PEORIA FIRE-MEDICAL DEPARTMENT,” AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY THAT IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC VIEWING ONLINE. This 45-minute film, crafted by the city of Peoria’s Office of Communications, chronicles the extensive history of the Peoria Fire-Medical Department.

Featuring interviews with eight retired firefighters and current Peoria Fire-Medical Department Chief Gary Bernard, the documentary details the department's transformation from a volunteer squad to a professional, full-scale public safety organization. The film includes a poignant testimony from Jim Kosier, the last volunteer fire chief, detailing the origins and evolution of the department.

“During the Volunteer Fire Pension Board meeting last year, it was revealed that Jim Kosier, the last volunteer fire chief, whose family operated the hardware store in downtown Peoria is the last remaining original

firefighter,” says Bernard. “We knew we had to preserve this important story for our city and are grateful to Chief Kosier for sharing his memories in this documentary.”

Significant developments in the department's history, such as the transition to paid firefighters, advancements in firefighting technology, and the formation of the department’s union, are explored. Additionally, the documentary addresses critical topics like mental health and outlines recruitment initiatives, including the Fire Science Program at Sunrise Mountain High School.

Through "Flash Point," viewers will gain an in-depth understanding of the Peoria Fire-Medical Department's history, its growth in tandem with the city, and the advancements that have shaped its current state. The documentary is a tribute to the department's unwavering service and commitment to the community it protects.

“Flash Point” not only serves to inform and entertain

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but also plays a crucial role in preserving the Peoria Fire-Medical Department’s legacy through the digitization of historical photos and documents.

The documentary can be accessed on the city of Peoria’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page. It is also scheduled for daily broadcast on Peoria Channel 11. For more information, visit peoriaaz. gov/government/departments/communications/ channel-11

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City News

Peoria's Osuna Park to Transform into an Interactive Art Wonderland

Photos courtesy of city of Peoria

THIS MONTH, DOWNTOWN PEORIA WILL SHINE WITH THE ARRIVAL OF "LIGHT AT PLAY: AN INTERACTIVE ART EXPERIENCE." Scheduled from March 8 to 17 at Osuna Park, located at 10510 N. 83rd Ave., this free public exhibit promises an enchanting blend of art, light, and technology.

The event features six large-scale, interactive, and illuminated artworks designed by the acclaimed artist team at Pneuhaus, a studio renowned for its vibrant and transformative public space installations. These installations invite visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in a world where art meets innovation.

"Light at Play" aims to engage the community by offering an array of sensory experiences through its dynamic and interactive art pieces. From the physics-inspired Fabric Prism that casts a rainbow of colors to the ethereal Cloud Lights mimicking

floating clouds, each piece is designed to inspire wonder and curiosity.

Among the installations, visitors can interact with Street Seats, a creative seating arrangement that encourages participants to shape their environment. The Grove installation, with its towering columns of light, offers an exploratory space within the park. Meanwhile, the Helix Seats not only provide a place to rest but also change animations based on touch, thanks to embedded LEDs and pressure sensors.

The exhibit will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., allowing the community ample opportunity to explore and interact with the artworks. Pneuhaus's dedication to merging natural inspirations with artistic expression is evident in each piece, promising a memorable experience for Peoria residents and visitors alike.

For more information, visit government/departments/arts-culture/arts.

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 9
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Kids' Corner

The 48th Dolly Sanchez Easter Celebration Returns to Peoria

The Peoria Sports Complex will host the 48th Annual Dolly Sanchez Easter Celebration on Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to noon. This beloved event, held annually the Saturday before Easter, promises a day of fun.


• A chance to meet and greet Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny

• Cottontail Lane, a path of table stations where kids can collect goodies, toys, trinkets, and crafts

• Performances and workshops by the Tucson Twist-Its, showcasing their jump rope skills

• A Family Chalk Art Zone, where live chalk artists will captivate attendees with their creations

• A Build-Your-Own Flower Pot Station and appearances by the Dino Crew

• Obstacle courses and slide inflatables for adventurous attendees

• Specialty breakfast food and beverage vendors

• Green Screen Entertainment and Photos

• A display of the Peoria Police Department SWAT Car

• A Sensory Room equipped with noise-canceling headphones, weighted blankets, and more for those with sensory processing needs

• The Teal Egg initiative, ensuring that children and families managing food allergies can safely participate in the festivities

The Peoria Sports Complex is located at 16101 N. 83rd Ave. For more information, visit departments/arts-culture/specialevents/dolly-sanchez-easter-event.

Bunny Fest Hops into Park West

Park West shopping center is buzzing with excitement as it gears up for its much-anticipated Bunny Fest, scheduled for Saturday, March 23. This event offers an afternoon filled with fun, laughter, and family-friendly activities from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Park West Splash Pad.

“We love being the family event destination of the West Valley and providing our community with fun activities that all ages can enjoy,” says Kelly Price, director of business development for CIRE Equity, which manages Park West. “We look forward to presenting additional events that bring residents together and that give back to the community.”

Bunny Fest is set to feature a slate of activities that

will delight attendees of all ages. Highlights include complimentary photos with the Easter Bunny, ensuring that families can take home a memory of the day. Adding to the entertainment, Funergy will present a live interactive show sure to captivate the audience with its energy and excitement.

For those with a creative flair, an egg decorating craft station will be available, alongside balloon twisting. There will also be a store-to-store egg hunt. Participants will have the opportunity to visit participating retailers within Park West, collecting eggs filled with surprises and prizes.

Park West is located at 9744 W. Northern Ave., in Peoria. For more information, visit

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 11
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Kids’ Corner

Bravo Peoria Annual family event marks the grand opening of the new Music Garden at Sunrise Mountain Library.

The city of Peoria, in partnership with the Friends of the Peoria Public Library, is delighted to invite families to the annual Bravo Peoria event. This year's celebration is themed Groovin'

in the Garden and will mark the grand opening of the new Music Garden on the Children's Patio. The festivities are scheduled for Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sunrise Mountain Library, 21109 N. 98th Ave.

The Bravo Peoria event is known for offering an array of engaging and free family activities. It's an opportunity for residents to discover the vast services and collections available through the Peoria Public Libraries. This year, the event takes a melodious twist with the introduction of the Music Garden, an interactive outdoor space designed to enrich the sensory learning experience for children.

The day is packed with a variety of performances and activities that cater to all ages. The Dino Crew will

be making a special appearance, alongside a mystical unicorn, and a medley of entertainers set to captivate the crowd. Meanwhile, a climbing wall and inflatables will provide an adrenaline rush.

Book lovers will revel in the gigantic Friends of the Peoria Public Library book sale, a perfect opportunity to find your next great read while supporting the library. To add to the festive atmosphere, local food trucks will be on hand.

Stop by a little early at 9:50 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Music Garden.

For more information, visit government/departments/arts-culture/specialevents/bravo-peoria.

12 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
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Grow your own shamrock crystals.

Get ready to channel the luck of the Irish with a dazzling science project perfect for kids aged 8 to 14! This experiment combines creativity, basic chemistry, and the festive spirit of St. Patrick's Day.


• Borax (found in the laundry aisle; remember, it's natural but not safe to ingest or inhale, so handle with care)

• Boiling water

• A wide-mouth glass mason jar

• Green and white pipe cleaners

• String

• A pencil

• Food coloring (optional)


1. Shape Your Shamrock:

Twist your pipe cleaners into a shamrock shape. You can find shamrock templates online for guidance.

2. Prepare Your Solution:

For each mason jar, mix three cups of boiling water with ½ cup of Borax. The more saturated your solution, the larger your crystals will grow. Stir until the Borax is completely dissolved, and the solution is clear. Add a few drops of food coloring if you wish.

3. Suspend Your Shamrock:

Tie a string around the stem of your pipe cleaner shamrock, then tie the other end to a pencil. Gently lower the shamrock into the solution, ensuring it doesn't touch the sides or bottom of the jar. Place the jar in a spot where it won't be disturbed.

4. Wait for the Magic:

Let the jar sit undisturbed overnight. By morning, your pipe cleaner shamrock will be

transformed into a sparkling, crystal-encrusted decoration.

5. Display Your Creation:

Carefully remove the shamrock from the solution, cut off the string, and display it in your window to catch the light.


This fun project is not only a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but also offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the science behind crystal formation.

Discuss how a supersaturated solution allows for crystal growth on the pipe cleaner's surface, illustrating the principles of solubility, saturation, and crystallization. It's a magical blend of learning and festive crafting!

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 13 24737 N. Lake Pleasant Pkwy, Ste. 101, Peoria AZ 85383 623-230-3790 | @bossladyhairstudio Taking New Clients $10 OFF FULL COLOR SERVICE WITH CUT AND STYLE First time clients. Appointment recommended. Must mention ad. Expires 3/31/24. Additional discounts available for our junior stylists. Call for details. Our mission is to enrich the lives of our students using dance as a tool to bring children with di erent abilities, backgrounds and personalities into a positive, accepting, and non-judgmental environment. PEORIA LOCATION 9800 N 91st Ave, Ste. 120, Peoria Olive & 91st Ave (Between Olive & Peoria) LITCHFIELD PARK LOCATION 5110 N Dysart Rd, Ste. B150, Litchfield Park Dysart & Camelback (Next to II Primo, Tailgaters) | @bravo__dance_family CLASS OFFERINGS Starting at age 18 months -Adult Toddlers, Preschool, Elementary, Teens, and Adults Hip Hop • Jazz • Acro Tumble • Ballet • Lyrical Musical Theater

Neighbors Hello Neighbor!

HI, MY NAME IS… Maria R. Brunner.

I’VE LIVED IN ARIZONA FOR 27 YEARS AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE… of the weather. I also love it because I’ve built a great career and relationship with my community here.

A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE INCLUDES… a morning walk with my 1-year-old goldendoodle Rory. I love my job with CUWest and the impact that we make on a daily basis in the community.

MY FAMILY IS… my rock. I am blessed with my son David and my husband Jeff.



fantasy of a young woman that had it all, got lost in the world, and found her dream by not losing her hope in love.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WANTED TO BE… a teacher, so I can teach my Spanish speaking community English.



THE LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD WAS… my husband with his dry dad jokes.

THE PERFECT DAY IS… with my Rory, family, and friends


MY LIFE IS… blessed.



THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… have fun, love, and let it go.

14 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
KNOW A NEIGHBOR YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE FEATURED? To nominate your neighbor, or yourself, email!

Real Estate

Strategic Rate cuts Spark Market Optimism and Surge in Buyer Activity

The onset of 2024 has ushered in a wave of optimism in the real estate sector, largely attributable to the strategic reduction of interest rates towards the end of the previous year. This financial maneuver has started to reveal its positive impacts, revitalizing a market that had been somewhat stagnant due to previously high interest rates.

Our housing inventory, which had been notably sparse, is finally seeing a gradual increase as more homeowners decide to list their properties for sale. This uptick in listings is a welcome change, especially since this period traditionally marks the start of a busier season for us. However, the shadow of the high interest rates from the past loomed large, casting doubts on whether we would witness a robust start to the year. Thankfully, the reduction in interest rates has played a pivotal role not only in boosting market activity but also in increasing our inventory by an impressive 12% since

the beginning of the year. Despite this increase, it is important to note that our inventory levels are still considerably lower than what would be considered normal, indicating a persistent shortage in supply.

Moreover, the lower interest rates have had a significant and positive impact on potential homebuyers. One of the most remarkable outcomes has been the substantial increase in the number of homes going under contract—a staggering 60% rise in the same timeframe. This surge in buyer activity is a clear indicator of growing demand in the housing market.

As is customary in economics, when supply remains constrained and demand escalates, price inflation follows suit. This principle holds true in our current market scenario, where we have observed a consistent 2.5% month-over-month increase in average home prices. To give you a clearer picture, maintaining this rate of price inflation could potentially lead to

a 30% hike in average home prices over the span of a year. In my recent video communications, I have emphasized this point, suggesting that we are currently in a phase where future homeowners might look back and wish they had seized the opportunity to purchase property. The rapid price escalation we are witnessing, coupled with the anticipation of further interest rate cuts within the year, is likely to fuel even more demand, setting the stage for a highly competitive market characterized by multiple offer scenarios.

Reflecting on the past few years, we have seen a steady influx of people moving to our area. However, the spike in interest rates around mid-2022 had a cooling effect on buyer enthusiasm, leading many potential buyers to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, resulting in a temporary shift towards renting. Now, with more favorable financial conditions emerging, we are observing these same individuals taking decisive steps towards homeownership. This shift is corroborated by the data I have been analyzing, which

aligns perfectly with the trends we are currently observing in the market.

In summary, the early part of this year has marked a significant turning point for the real estate market, driven by strategic economic policies and changing consumer behaviors. As we move forward, the interplay of supply and demand dynamics will continue to shape the market landscape, with all signs pointing towards a robust and competitive market in the months to come.

Frank May grew up in the Valley, graduating from Northwest Christian School and Northern Arizona University. He is a real estate agent with RE/ MAX Fine Properties and has been helping both buyers and sellers for over 20 years. He has been a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) since 2003. Learn more at

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 15
Call us for a Free consultation 480.361.9301 36600 N Pima Rd Suite 402, Carefree, AZ ArtisticDwellingsAZ We make your home a work of art. B rand Ne w Int er io r D e si g n Ce nt e r ArtisticDwellingsINCDDI We Make Your Home a Work of Art artisticdwellingsddi Spring into a Simply Elegant Interior Design refresh Call us for a Free Consultation 480.361.9301 36600 N Pima Rd Suite 402, Carefree AZ Serving The North Valley

Cover Story

Sisters Anastacia, Leticia, Alicia started Bravo Dance Family.


Dance Famil�

Sisters bring the joy of dance to two popular West Valley dance studios.

16 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER

In the heart of the West Valley, Bravo Dance Family thrives, steeped in family values and a shared passion for the art of movement. Founded by three sisters who grew up in the area, this family-owned and operated business has established itself as a place for creativity and community spirit in Litchfield Park and Peoria. It has become a second home to many, offering a diverse array of classes that cater to all ages and skill levels.

The Dream of Dance

The story of the dance company begins with three sisters, Alicia Bravo, Leticia Bravo-Clamor, and Anastacia Bravo-Robb. Their names have become synonymous with dance education in the West Valley. From a young age, dance was more than a hobby to the Bravo sisters, it was a shared language, a form of expression that bound them together.

"Dance has always been our shared passion. It's a way for us to express our creativity, emotions, and love for each other," says Alicia, who along with Leticia serves as Bravo Dance Family’s co-director. The decision to start a dance company was born from a desire to share this passion with their community. "We wanted to create a space where everyone, regardless of age or skill level, could discover the joy of dance," says Leticia. Their vision was clear: to build a welcoming, inclusive environment that fostered talent and creativity.

Alicia has over 20 years of dance training and attended Arizona School for the Arts for four years, where she trained at Ballet Arizona focusing on ballet, pointe, and modern classics. In addition to winning numerous dance awards and scholarships, she’s traveled the country taking classes at professional companies including The Edge in Los Angeles and Broadway Dance Center in New York.

Meanwhile, Leticia has studied at different studios in the Valley from a young age. She’s had serious roles of leadership in both her performance lines and pom squad. During college, she was a member of the Moving Company at Scottsdale Community College, Glendale Community College Dance Company, as well as Grand Canyon University’s dance company.

Anastacia also has an extensive background in dance and graduated high school with a full ride scholarship for ROTC to attend Arizona State University. In addition to handling office management and helping all Bravo’s dance families with registration, she works for the Arizona Department of Education.

A Diverse Offering

The company's offerings are as varied as the backgrounds of its students. From ballet to hip-hop, contemporary to jazz and tap, and even specialized classes for toddlers and seniors, there's something for everyone. "Our aim is to make dance accessible to all," says Anastacia. "We believe in nurturing the individual journey of each student, helping them to find their own rhythm and style."

Their commitment to the community extends beyond dance classes. The company frequently hosts workshops, guest performances, and community events, making dance a communal experience. "We see dance as a way to bring people together, to create a sense of belonging and community," says Leticia.

Parents agree, with many echoing the community ethos surrounding the studios.

“My daughter started at Bravo Dance Family at only 2 years old,” says parent Ivonne Vasquez. “We did the Mommy and Me class. She moved to creative dancing and now she is part of the company at 9 years old. Dancing is more than just the ability to move and perform on stage. What is more important to me is the relationships she has built, the friendships she has made, and the understanding of what teamwork is all about.”

The Essence of Dance

For the sisters, dance is a form of communication, an outlet for expression, and a path to personal growth. "What we love about dance is its ability to tell stories, to convey emotions without words," says Alicia. "It's incredibly rewarding to see our students grow not just as dancers, but as individuals."

Their philosophy centers on the holistic development of their students. They believe in the power of dance to instill confidence, discipline, and a sense of achievement. "Watching a student master a new move or perform on stage for the first time is an indescribable feeling," says Leticia. "It's a testament to their hard work and our collective journey."

Parent Lydia Bowls, whose daughters have been a part of Bravo Dance Family for several years, agrees. “Not only have they grown in their skills as dancers, but they have grown a sense of self confidence, determination, and drive that is unmatched. Seeing them light up on stage at competitions as well as recitals is something that I never expected. BDF is not just a dance studio, it truly feels like family, and we cannot see ourselves anywhere else. The teachers are phenomenal, and our girls are thriving,” she says.

Looking to the Future

As the dance company looks to the future, the sisters are committed to expanding their reach, offering more opportunities for their students, and continuing to play an active role in their community. "Our dream is to see our dance family grow, to reach more people and spread the joy of dance further," they collectively express.

Through their efforts, the Bravo sisters have created not just a dance studio; they've built a vibrant community united by the love of dance.

With locations at 5110 N. Dysart Rd. in Litchfield Park and 9800 N. 91st Ave. in Peoria, there’s a Bravo Dance Family studio near you. For more information, visit

This content is sponsored by Bravo Dance Family.

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 17

Good Deeds Guide

Giving in the Grand Canyon State Arizona Gives Day takes place April 2.

On April 2, Arizona will witness an extraordinary surge of generosity as the annual Arizona Gives Day unfolds. This 24-hour online giving extravaganza, initiated by AZ Impact for Good in 2013, is not just a day but a movement that has galvanized the spirit of giving across the state.

With nearly $42 million raised since its inception, Arizona Gives Day illustrates the power of collective philanthropy and its transformative impact on the nonprofit sector.

Arizona is home to more than 20,000 nonprofits, from small grassroots organizations to large charities, all dedicated to making the Grand Canyon State a better place to live. These organizations touch every aspect of life, providing essential services that range

from healthcare and education to environmental conservation and the arts. The economic footprint of these nonprofits is substantial, with an annual impact of $23.5 billion, accounting for nearly 8% of the state's gross product and making the sector the fifth largest non-government employer.

The urgency to support these vital organizations has never been greater. Arizona Gives Day is a lifeline for many nonprofits that rely on donations to sustain their operations and expand their reach. The initiative not only raises funds but also increases awareness about the critical role nonprofits play in our communities and the state at large.

The unique online platform provided by facilitates a direct connection between donors and causes they care about. It's a place where stories of

hope and resilience are shared, where the community can learn about the diverse needs across Arizona, and where every donation, big or small, contributes to the greater good. The platform is accessible year-round, allowing for ongoing support through scheduled or recurring donations, but it's on Arizona Gives Day that the state comes together in a remarkable display of generosity.

The benefits of participating in Arizona Gives Day extend beyond the immediate financial boost to nonprofits. It's an investment in the future of Arizona, creating a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Donations not only support the delivery of critical services but also contribute to the state's economy, strengthening it from within.

As Arizona Gives Day 2024 approaches, the call to action is clear: let's unite to support the heart of our state—the nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly to improve our lives. Whether you're a lifelong Arizonan or new to the state, your gift on April 2 will help ensure that these essential organizations can continue their important work.

Together, we can make a lasting impact and demonstrate the true power of collective giving. Your contribution, no matter the size, will help strengthen and sustain the dynamic tapestry of nonprofits that make Arizona a place we're proud to call home.

Let's show the world the generous spirit of Arizona on this day of giving.

To learn more and donate, visit

18 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER

Your Guide To Informed Giving in the Valley

Advance Community (formerly Esperanca)

Advance Community is creating new possibilities and promising futures by building optimal health in under-resourced communities in Arizona. Through our Stove to Table Program, Advance delivers healthy meals and important information about food and nutrition to lowincome seniors, helping them achieve the healthiest, most independent lives possible. Thanks to your support we deliver over 200 home cooked meals every Tuesday and over 10,000 meals each year.

Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK)

For 35 years, we have served kids and teens in Arizona’s foster care system by matching them with supportive, caring adults through foster care, adoption and mentoring.

Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children

Our mission is to provide social, emotional and financial support directly to families managing the health and wellbeing of a loved one with pediatric cancer.

Arizona Hands and Voices

Arizona Hands & Voices is a parent-driven organization that supports families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology.


The Arizona Adverse Childhood Experiences Consortium is the state’s leading authority on childhood trauma, and more importantly, what we can do to treat and prevent it by deploying system-wide solutions that create safe, stable communities across the state of Arizona.

Brophy Community Foundation

At the Brophy Community Foundation, we make the dream of attending a private school a reality by removing financial barriers. Since 1998, we have been leading the way in providing transformative private education for K-12 students

and their families in Arizona. It is a NO COST way for businesses and individuals to benefit our community by redirecting their Arizona tax liability to the Brophy Community Foundation.

Camp Grace

Our non-profit summer camp is dedicated to enriching kids' lives through transformative adventures such as horseback riding, ninja warrior, and ropes course. This adventure environment helps all youth learn grit and grace as they explore, learn, and grow, fostering creativity, confidence, and community. Committed to inclusivity and empowerment, we offer scholarships to foster/low-income children, ensuring access to life-changing opportunities for all.

Cave Creek Unified School District

CCUSD is a caring community of people focused on what is best for it’s students. Receive a tax credit for up to $400 when filing your Arizona State Income Tax return and support your local schools with this dollar-for-dollar tax credit.

Child Crisis Arizona

For 47 years, Child Crisis Arizona has worked to provide children and youth in Arizona a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect, by creating strong and successful families. Our vision is “Safe Kids. Strong Families." donate

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network supports children and families throughout their cancer journey with programs and services designed to provide financial assistance, promote education, encourage healthy lifestyles, and create an awareness of issues they face related to childhood cancer.

Creighton Community Foundation

Creighton Community Foundation champions nutrition security, family support, and poverty

eradication in Phoenix. Since 2013, we've cultivated community and youth empowerment, tackling hunger through robust community programs.

Extended Hands Food Bank

Extended Hands Food Bank is celebrating 20 years of serving the communities of Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, and more. Their location in Fountain Hills has provided not just food but kindness and hope for the future! Please extend your hands to those in need.

The Godspeed Project

The Godspeed Project is dedicated to supporting grieving children and families during the toughest journey of their lives. They are the first grief support program in Arizona that offers one on one, equine assisted, somatic based programs, all free of charge to families who have lost a parent, sibling or caregiver.

Homeless Engagement Lift Partnership

H.E.L.P. is focused on helping families with school-age children that are experiencing homelessness. H.E.L.P.’s mission is to change the cycle of homelessness through our children by providing immediate aid and comfort, advancing education, promoting awareness, and creating action in our community.

Hope & A Future

Hope & A Future supports Arizona’s 15,000 foster children through relationship-based programs, including summer camps, life-skills training, mentoring, tutoring and educational scholarships. They make a difference one foster child at a time.

Hope Women’s Center

Hope Women’s Center is a faith-based, trauma informed care center serving women and teen girls facing any difficult life situation. Whatever the adversity, Hope’s holistic approach helps encourage and equip women at any stage.

UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 19

Your Guide To Informed Giving in the Valley

Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS)

When you donate to Jewish Family & Children’s Service through the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, you’re changing lives by providing behavioral health, healthcare and social services to people right here in Maricopa County.

Lost Our Home

Lost Our Home’s mission is to help people and pets in crisis, bridging the gap between them. Their programs include rescue, a pet food bank, partnerships with domestic violence shelters and 90 days of pet care for people in crisis such as homelessness.

Love House Kids Program

The Love House Kids Program has been supporting at-risk youth in AZ for 20 years. Our mission is to help end child abuse by providing them with education, support and healthy outlets to channel their energy. We help children in group homes understand their value and provide them with resources to help them be successful in life.

Maggie’s Place

Using a trauma-informed care approach, Maggie’s Place provides safe, secure housing for pregnant women experiencing homelessness and a continuum of after-care including workforce development, classes, counseling, housing support, and community events. This model of wrap-around services empowers families to thrive throughout their lifetime.

Midwest Food Bank Arizona

As a faith-based organization, it is the mission of Midwest Food Bank to share the love of Christ by alleviating hunger and malnutrition locally and throughout the world, as well as providing disaster relief. This is all done without discrimination.

Military Assistance Mission

Military Assistance Mission, aka MAM, provides essential aid to active-duty, guard, and reserve service members. From financial assistance to morale support, we're dedicated to easing their burdens. Join us in honoring their sacrifice and ensuring they receive the care they deserve.

Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH)

With a mission to provide affordable, highquality healthcare to all, NOAH serves over 50,000 patients at our health centers throughout the Valley. NOAH's whole person approach to care includes prioritizing physical and mental health in addition to addressing social factors that affect overall wellness.

New Pathways for Youth

At New Pathways for Youth, we’re transforming the lives of youth through 1:1 mentoring and a proven program for personal growth, including tailored goal-setting and connection to vital resources, all within a supportive peer group.

OCJ Kids

OCJ Kids' mission is to provide Opportunity, create Community, and fight for Justice for foster and at risk kids. Since 2006, OCJ Kids has created opportunities for our communities to positively impact the lives of Arizona foster children.

Peer Solutions

Did you know there was only one funding source in Arizona to prevent child abuse yet we have some of the highest rates of harms to children in the country? Invest in Peer Solutions and you will permanently prevent child abuse and protect families.

Pregnancy Care Center

Pregnancy Care Center provides free

pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, life-affirming options counseling and community resources. Being pregnant while unemployed, uninsured, or undocumented can be scary, and the need for PCC services in an unplanned pregnancy has never been greater. Clients at PCC are provided with prenatal services, life skills education, fatherhood programs, ICU mobile services, and diapers and other essentials.

Ridgeline Academy

Ridgeline Academy provides families with a community school culture and small class sizes. Ridgeline fosters an enriched core knowledge curriculum and high academic expectations in a respect-based learning environment supported by character-based education.

Survivors RISE

Survivors RISE is dedicated to serving survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones with peer-led, peer-driven programing that creates community and fosters holistic healing. We are committed to supporting survivors at every stage of their journey towards recovery, to minimize the devastating results of sexual violence.

Tempe Union High School

Tempe Union High School District serves approximately 11,000 students. Donations help pay for fees associated with extracurricular activities including sports, student clubs, arts, and more. At Tempe Union, students come first, and your tax credit donation helps to make a world of difference to our students.

YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Through direct service, empowerment opportunities, and listening sessions, we are making Phoenix a better place for all to thrive. projects/105035-everyday-giving-page

20 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 21 Now You See It... Now You Don’t! *Our hearing tests are always free. Hearing test is an audiometric test to determine proper amplification needs only. If you are not completely satisfied, the aids may be returned in satisfactory condition within 30 days for a full refund. ©2022 Miracle-Ear VISIT WWW.MIRACLE-EAR.COM/PHOENIX-METRO EAST PHOENIX 4727 E Bell Rd 602.910.6269 SCOTTSDALE 7904 E Chaparral 480.719.3211 FOUNTAIN HILLS 16605 E Palisades Blvd 480.660.6798 AR-GCI1035548-01 30-Day Risk Free Trial* Miracle-EarMINI™, small BUT MIGHTY. EXCLUSIVE Tiny Micro-Chip now Available! • One of the smallest custom hearing aids ever made • Up to 48 channel digital signal processing • Digital engineering allows 1,000’s of custom settings! • Controlled by state-of-the-art software! Tiny micro-processor No one will see them, but you will notice the difference! Call for Your Free Hearing Evaluation* Space is Limited! One of our smallest custom digital hearing aids. $ 995 • Ultra discrete, wear them with confidence • Custom fit for comfort • Use the phone like you always have • Natural clear sound quality Offer valid on MEMINI™ 1 CIC only. Price is per hearing aid. Not valid on ME-MINI Levels 2-5, with any other discounts or offers or on prior sales. See store for details. Cash value 1/20 cent. Expires 5/31/2023. Miracle-EarMINI™ 1 CIC Offer valid on MEMINI™ 1 CIC only. Price is per hearing aid. Not valid on ME-MINI Levels 2-5, with any other discounts or offers or on prior sales. See store for details. Cash value 1/20 cent. Expires 3/31.2024. Now You See It... Now You Don’t! *Our hearing tests are always free. Hearing test is an audiometric test to determine proper amplification needs only. If you are not completely satisfied, the aids may be returned in satisfactory condition within 30 days for a full refund. ©2022 Miracle-Ear VISIT WWW.MIRACLE-EAR.COM/PHOENIX-METRO EAST PHOENIX 4727 E Bell Rd 602.910.6269 SCOTTSDALE 7904 E Chaparral 480.719.3211 FOUNTAIN HILLS 16605 E Palisades Blvd 480.660.6798 AR-GCI1035548-01 30-Day Risk Free Trial* Miracle-EarMINI™, small BUT MIGHTY. EXCLUSIVE Tiny Micro-Chip now Available! • One of the smallest custom hearing aids ever made • Up to 48 channel digital signal processing • Digital engineering allows 1,000’s of custom settings! • Controlled by state-of-the-art software! Tiny micro-processor No one will see them, but you will notice the difference! Call for Your Free Hearing Evaluation* Space is Limited! One of our smallest custom digital hearing aids. $ 995 • Ultra discrete, wear them with confidence • Custom fit for comfort • Use the phone like you always have • Natural clear sound quality Offer valid on MEMINI™ 1 CIC only. Price is per hearing aid. Not valid on ME-MINI Levels 2-5, with any other discounts or offers or on prior sales. See store for details. Cash value 1/20 cent. Expires 5/31/2023. Miracle-EarMINI™ 1 CIC *Our hearing tests are always free. Hearing test is an audiometric test to determine proper amplification needs only. If you are not completely satisfied, the aids may be returned in satisfactory condition within 30 days for a full refund. ©2022 Miracle-Ear SUN CITY 10001 W Bell Rd, Suite 144 Sun City, AZ 85351 (623) 270-7579 SURPRISE 14545 West Grand Ave, Suite 105 Surprise, AZ 85374 (623) 270-7404



When: Through March 31

Where: 12601 E. Highway 60, Gold Canyon

What: The festival transports you to a bygone era, serving as a combination of a medieval amusement park, a 16-stage theater, and a sprawling 50-acre circus. It’s not only an entertainment hub, but also an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament, and a feast—all fused into one continuous, day-long escapade. With every turn, whether on stage or off, surprises await! This distinctive outdoor event fuses elements of entertainment and shopping reminiscent of a 16th Century European village market, celebrating the royal visit of the king and queen to their domain. Step through our gates and journey back in time. Info:


When: March 5 – 9

Where: State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Dr., Glendale

What: Around 1,200 classic and collector vehicles, including Corvettes, exotics, trucks, hot rods, restomods, and muscle cars, make their way to the auction stage at this dynamic and spirited event.



When: March 6 – April 28

Where: The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

What: Before Carole King became one of the most successful solo artists in popular music, she was Carol Klein, a Brooklyn teenager striving to make it in the record business. With classics like “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Up on the Roof,” and “Natural Woman,” audiences will feel nostalgic, inspired, and some kind of wonderful with this production chronicling King’s life.



When: March 8

Where: Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix

What: “SHREK the Musical” heralds the return of everyone’s beloved ogre! Witness the magic at Arizona Financial Theatre with just three exclusive shows. Arizona’s very own Nicholas Hambruch takes the stage as SHREK, with performances on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss out



When: March 12 – 17

Where: ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe What: The music. The moves. The icon. Now, the unparalleled artistry of the greatest entertainer of all time comes to Tempe as “MJ,” the Tony Awardwinning new musical centered around the making of the 1992 “Dangerous World Tour,” begins a tour of its own. Created by Tony Award-winning Director/ Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and twotime Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, “MJ” goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.



When: March 13

Where: Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix

What: Nicki Minaj hits Phoenix for her “Pink Friday 2 World Tour” with special guest Monica. Nicki Minaj has set the tone in music, fashion, and beauty for more than a decade – making history and building her superstar personal brand along the way. You won’t want to miss this show.



When: March 15 – 17

Where: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale

What: Experience over 2,500 rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, imports, and trucks. Enjoy the All American Sunday, Goodguys AutoCross, Nitro Thunderfest, swap meet, and cars for sale. There’s live music by The Vintage, fun activities for kids, and a model make-and-take. It’s a thrilling weekend of automotive excellence and family fun.!



When: March 16

Where: Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix

What: Madonna, the best-selling female solo touring artist of all time, rises to the challenge with “The Celebration Tour” which will be highlighting her unmatched catalog of music from the past 40-plus years.



When: March 16

Where: Desert Diamond Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale

What: MercyMe presents their “Always Only Jesus Tour” withy special guests Newsboys and David Leonard.



When: March 16

Where: Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

What: Dubbed the “Greenest Day in the Desert,” this yearly celebration honors Arizona’s Irish heritage. Participants can revel in classic Irish tunes and dances, savor traditional fare such as corned beef and cabbage, among other cultural delights. Info:

22 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER


When: March 16 – 17

Where: Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe

What: Browse through a selection of plumeria-scented candles and authentic Polynesian leis, indulge in delicious SPAM musubi, and settle down in your lawn chair to enjoy the graceful movements of hula dancers on the main stage.



When: March 19

Where: Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix

What: Musical icon Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band land in the Valley to perform classics from a legendary career. Info:


When: March 21

Where: Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St., Mesa

What: Following last year’s fan-frenzy that led to a spectacular run of sold-out shows, “Dancing with the Stars” is back on tour to heat up the Valley with a dazzling, sexy, high energy, brand-new live production!



When: March 23

Where: Desert Diamond Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale

What: Blake Shelton is bringing the Back to the Honky Tonk Tour to Desert Diamond Arena with special guests Dustin Lynch and Emily Ann Roberts. Info:


When: March 23 – 24

Where: Historic Heritage Square, 113 N. Sixth St., Phoenix

What: Phoenix Pride hosts the yearly Rainbows Festival and Street Fair, a two-day event that’s free to the public, showcasing the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. With over 150 exhibitors and entertainment across two stages, this festival stands as one of Arizona’s largest LGBTQ+ gatherings. Info:


When: March 23 -24

Where: Luke Air Force Base, 14185 Falcon St., Glendale

What: Luke Days offers an airshow and open house at Luke Air Force Base, where attendees can marvel at the aerial prowess of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the F-35 Demo

Team. Ground displays highlight the latest in Air Force technology and missions, providing a comprehensive look into the world of aerial defense. Info:


When: March 23 & 24

Where: Centennial Plaza Park, 9875 N. 85th Ave., Peoria

What: The Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival is returning for its 5th year but the first time as a two day festival. This year will also be a double header event. If you love rice dishes over 15 local businesses will showcase their creativity in the first ever Arizona Rice Fest. Explore all the different varieties of baos and dumplings from traditional to creative interpretations.



When: March 24

Where: Pioneer Park, 8755 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria

What: Hang out for a fun day with pugs and classic VW car lovers. What’s better than pugs and bugs? This event is hosted by Edgefinder VW.



UPPER WESTSIDER • March 2024 • 23
CROSSWORD ANSWER from page 26. SUDOKU ANSWER from page 27.

Entertainment Movie Reviews and Upcoming Release Dates


“How To Have Sex”

Three British girls set out on a holiday, anticipating the best summer of their lives filled with new experiences and unforgettable adventures.

This was one of the most upsetting experiences I've had watching a movie in quite some time. Molly Manning Walker's debut captures the intensity of what should be fun and how quickly it becomes terrifying. The big parties feel isolating, and everything that is supposed to be enjoyable ends up turning sour. Mia McKenna-Bruce's performance encapsulates the feeling of uncertainty in what should be incredible moments, allowing you to feel the terror alongside her. An astonishing work, even though it is a tough one to experience.

“Out of Darkness”

A group of stone-age humans find themselves hunted by a terrifying force.

Simplicity is the best descriptor for “Out of Darkness,” a film that, ironically, is a meat-and-potatoes picture under an hour and a half. Throughout the film, it toys with audience expectations and violently pushes back against them. Desperation and fear drive characters towards their own destruction, yet the film is cleverly patient with its developments. Violence is administered in small doses, making its impact and the resulting hurt felt more acutely when it occurs. By the end, your heart is racing, begging for a moment to breathe.

"Lisa Frankenstein"

An outcast girl decides to create the man of her dreams, encountering some destruction along the way.

This film's reception will largely depend on the viewer's appreciation for its camp tone and style. "Lisa Frankenstein" possesses the elements of an over-the-top romantic comedy

yet fails to fully realize its potential. The direction and editing, for lack of a better term, feel lifeless, failing to align with the feverish tone and style it aims for, and rendering the film slower than intended. Additionally, its PG-13 rating constrains the film from achieving the level of zaniness it aspires to, leaving the cast to exert their utmost efforts to compensate. A disappointing venture, considering the talent and potential involved.


"Orion and the Dark"

The embodiment of darkness assists a young boy in confronting his fears.

"Orion and the Dark" may not reach the heights of Charlie Kaufman’s most acclaimed works, including "Being John Malkovich," but it still demonstrates considerable thoughtfulness and emotional maturity, making it suitable for children. The film's appeal is

significantly bolstered by the likability of the voice cast and a well-balanced mix of humor and thematic depth. So compelling are these elements that viewers may find themselves wishing for more time with the characters beyond the film’s 90-minute duration. While the animation is commendably executed, there’s an inescapable sense that its potential is somewhat constrained by budgetary limitations. Overall, it presents a delightful treat, offering families a distinct alternative to the usual fare.


March 1

“Dune: Part Two”

“Spaceman” (Netflix)

March 7

“Ricky Stanicky” (Amazon Prime Video)

March 8

“Kung Fu Panda 4” “Imaginary” “Cabrini”

“Love Lies Bleeding” (Limited) “Damsel” (Netflix)

March 15

“One Life”

“Arthur the King”

March 21

“Road House” (Amazon Prime Video)

March 22

“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” “Immaculate”

“Late Night with the Devil” (Limited) “Femme” (Limited) “Shirley” (Netflix)

March 29

“Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire” “In the Land of Saints and Sinners” “La Chimera” (Limited)

24 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
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1. Anti-seniors sentiment

6. ____ Pérignon, Champagne

9. Big Bang's original matter

13. Prefix for earliest

14. Call to Maria

15. Bob and ____

16. "Peter, Peter Pumpkin ____"

17. "Le ____ des cygnes"

18. Like yesteryear

19. *Greta Gerwig's Oscar nominated movie

21. *He's nominated for playing Leonard Bernstein

23. Nothing

24. White ____ shopping event

25. Federal food safety agency, acr.

28. It ran away with the spoon

30. ROTC happenings

35. Figure skating jump

37. Grad

39. Arrogant one

40. Archaic preposition

41. Passé

43. Scrubbed

44. Sugarcoating

46. Money in Mexico City

47. What DJs do

48. Trickery

50. Swerves

52. Sigma Alpha Epsilon

53. *Typical number of nominations in one Oscar category

55. Emergency responder, acr.

57. *"Nyad" nominee

60. *What kind of moon?

63. "Finnegan's Wake" author

64. Mother load offering

66. Java cotton tree

68. Artemis' companion

69. Fat of olives

70. *What actors do

71. Spinner's product

72. Wisecrack

73. Like Phoenix


1. Cornelius of the movies

2. Snap up

3. 'I' in Greek alphabet

4. Howard of radio fame

5. Death-related

6. One of the Earnhardts

7. Spermatozoa counterparts

8. Muhammad's birthplace

9. Review service, with .com

10. Use a ladle

11. At any time

12. *"No Country for Old ____" multi Oscar winner

15. Suitors

20. Trojan War story

22. "Just an ____-fashioned love song"

24. Slumber

25. Fl., as in fl. oz.

26. "A Confederacy of ____," sing.

27. Place above a ceiling

29. Dueler's strike

31. Overnight lodgings

32. Shoelace bunny ears

33. Divine saying

34. *Producer and star of "Poor Things"

36. *"The ____ of Interest"

38. Table hill

42. Wooden pin

45. *Like nominated ones

49. Love-love, e.g.

51. Meat-cooking contraption

54. Roaring of an engine

56. Hindu religious teacher

57. Forum, pl.

58. Deed hearing

59. Medical diagnostic test

60. Abe Lincoln's hat material

61. #20 Down, e.g.

62. Traditional learning method

63. *Da'Vine ____ Randolph

65. Orinoco or Grande

67. *Ryan Gosling's character


26 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
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Getaway Experience history, luxury, and vibrant entertainment at the Hotel Valley Ho. Modern Marvel

Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho is a local treasure waiting to be rediscovered.

For those who call Arizona home, this iconic hotel offers more than just a peek into its Hollywood past; it provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the elegance of a bygone era.

With its clean lines, bright colors, and seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces, Hotel Valley Ho embraces the timeless appeal of minimalist design.

Whether you're a history buff eager to explore the architectural genius of Edward L. Varney or looking for a chic spot to unwind, this hotel invites locals to experience the luxury of travel without leaving town.

This season, embark on the magical

history tour, led by Ace Bailey, for a journey through the hotel's storied history and architectural significance. Priced at a nod to its opening year, $19.56, this tour is an educational experience and a chance to connect with the interesting cultural history of Scottsdale. This tour is an absolute must for architecture buffs and history lovers alike.

The hotel's OH Pool is the heart of the property's social scene, especially during the vibrant OH Pool events. The have bands on Fridays and DJs on Saturday and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. With resident DJs spinning tracks and themed weekends ranging from "Everything Orange" to "Yacht Rock," the atmosphere is electric, making it the perfect spot to lounge in a cabana or daybed. The poolside service is impeccable, ensuring your every need is met, whether you're

sipping on a Ho-J frozen cocktail or enjoying a Coco-Jito.

ZuZu, the hotel's onsite restaurant, offers a contemporary take on 1950s American dining, setting the stage for unforgettable live music nights on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The smooth sounds of local musicians fill the air, complementing the craft cocktails and delicious bites, and creating an ambiance that's both relaxed and exhilarating.

For those seeking a rejuvenating escape, the VH Spa presents a selection of spring specials that promise to pamper and refresh. Treat yourself to a mid-week mood booster with delightful deals on some of their most popular spa services every Wednesday and Thursday or indulge in special treatments including the Orange + Jasmine Massage and the ProScript Facial. Each treatment

is designed to invigorate the senses and enhance wellbeing. All specials include pool and fitness center access and valet parking. The inclusion of a glass of bubbly with midweek deals adds a touch of luxury, making the spa experience even more delightful.

Hotel Valley Ho's commitment to providing a memorable visit is evident in every detail, from the carefully curated events at the OH Pool to the soothing spa specials and the enriching historical tours. The property's iconic design, combined with its Hollywood legacy, makes it a destination. Whether you're lounging by the pool, exploring the architectural marvels, or enjoying the live music at ZuZu, Hotel Valley Ho offers an experience that celebrates the past while embracing the vibrancy of the present.

For more information, visit hotelvalleyho. com.

30 • March 2024 • UPPER WESTSIDER
Photos courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho
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