By Nicole Underwood / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
(Casa Grande, AZ) - Rural communities in Arizona have had a big impact on the state’s overall appeal and history. While Phoenix continues to lead as the sixth largest city in the country, the 340,104 living in rural Arizona (according to the 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau) have proud and rich traditions connecting the history of Arizona to present-day residents and visitors.
One such place is the city of Casa Grande. With historic charm and modern amenities, the vibrant community of Casa Grande is family friendly and full of life. Founded in 1879 and incorporated in 1915, Casa Grande is the largest city in Pinal County and was named by Travelocity as a top 25 Most Giving Cities in the US.
They boast fun activities on their website to explore, such as their popular Dave White Municipal Golf Course, library programs and sport leagues, exciting Palm Island Family Aquatic Center, community centers, over 19 national parks and numerous annual events that bring folks together. They also are investing a considerable amount of energy into a Community Services Master Plan, with a 10-year planning horizon. You are able to view it online July 14 at 6:00 p.m. by registering online.
A Casa Grande family favorite which remains at the top of the list is the thriving historic downtown area: Casa Grande Main Street. If you are a newcomer, be prepared to enjoy the variety of locally owned businesses, restaurants, and community events this area has to offer.
The main street was a new project to the city of Casa Grande back in 2013, with the goal to bring more public art to the historic downtown area, led by arts and historic preservation advocate, Marge Jantz. Needless to say, they exceeded their goal and have established a creative haven for current and future generations to explore.
The list of what this downtown area offers is long; from featured members offering community services, dining and entertainment, arts and culture, professional services, retail and more (explore the map here); to events like “Art Explosion,” “Downtown After Dark,” and annual “Street Fair & Car Show.”
For the past 21 years, they have hosted a popular Car and Bike Show / street faire which has grown into one of the largest festivals in the region, with attendance estimated between 25,000 and 40,000 for a fun-filled, 2-day event, which includes a beer garden, live entertainment, and children’s area with games and activities. If you are interested in participating, registration begins mid-September for returning guests and mid-October for new applicants. Visit their website for updates.
Ready to take a trip to Casa Grande? The perfect time to visit is tomorrow evening, July 8, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. for their “Downtown After Dark” event, featuring a Burger & Beer fundraiser for $20, with $10 benefiting the Historic Downtown Main Street community fund.
Each ticket includes a burger and your choice of side, and two beers or a glass of wine, plus optional participation in their scavenger hunt. Tickets can be purchased in person at most of the available local Main Street businesses. Visit their Facebook or Instagram for more information.