Tangerine Road traffic update


Beginning at 6 am on Monday, October 23 through 4 pm Tuesday, October 31st, the median (inside) lanes, both eastbound and westbound, on Tangerine Road at Twin Peaks Rd./Dove Mountain Blvd. will be closed.

Traffic will be one-lane in each direction and dedicated turn lanes will be open in all directions.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Kathy or Nanette at (520) 623-3073 or by email at info@tangerineroad.info. We look forward to working with you throughout the project, and encourage any feedback to ensure the Project Team can deliver a beneficial project for the whole community. 

For more information on this project, please visit www.tangerineroad.info. For more detailed schedule information please click here.

Please be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians in the area and ensure that dogs, horses and other animals are not in the construction zone to ensure the safety of all.

Tucson Local Media: Marana Chamber News


Each month Marana Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Ed Stolmaker provides a column for Tucson Local Media. This month he wrote about positive economic news in Marana, as well as the Chamber's Earth Festival and Pinal County's economic boom. 

Marana continues to enjoy rapid growth. Curt Woody, director of economic development and tourism, told business leaders attending our recent community and regional update that 77 single family housing permits were issued in August. The town is on pace to see construction of 800 to 840 single family homes in 2017. Woody told the audience it’s  “the highest we’ve ever had in the five years I’ve been with the town.” 

Most of the growth continues to be in northern Marana in the area around Gladden Farms and neighboring developments. There is also growth in eastern Marana, around Dove Mountain. The Saguaro Bloom addition of southern Marana also is benefitting from strong growth.

Woody also reported strong interest from potential developers in building retail establishments and restaurants in the area east of the Twin Peaks interchange with Interstate 10, in the area of Tucson Premium Outlets.

Interest in building in Marana is understandable, considering the town’s proximity to Pinal County. Pinal is poised to receive billions of dollars worth of planned, and potential, commercial and manufacturing development.

Read the rest of the article at TucsonLocalMedia.com.

Cotton Festival Blog #6: Busy Weekend in Marana


Every month the Town of Marana provides a column from one of our Town Staffers to the Marana News and Explorer News. This month Special Events Coordinator Monique Hagberg wrote about the Cotton Festival she is working to put on, as well as Parks and Rec's Wild Burron Trail Dirt Dash.

This weekend will be a busy one in Marana, with two different events that both touch on some of the very things that make the town so special. The Cotton Festival celebrates Marana’s history, and the Wild Burro Dirt Dash is a great way to explore our great trails. 

The Marana Cotton Festival celebrates the Town’s agrarian and rodeo heritage by providing a day of fun for the whole family. The event will be held at the Marana River Heritage Park from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15, and is free to the public.

We want our signature events to appeal to the whole family, so we have made sure there is plenty to do for everyone. For the kids there is the giant cotton pile, free carnival rides, petting zoos, mutton busting and plenty of games. 

Best of all, most of the kids events (save for the mutton busting) are free. Our events are designed to be a fun, inexpensive night out for the families in Marana. 

For the grown-ups there are two beer gardens, the Chili Bowl chili cook-off and the steak fry. 

The whole family will enjoy the rodeo activities and all of the great food vendors. Music will be provided by the Marana Community Theater: Community Choir and “Nu Country” band Blue Monsoon. 

The emcee for the event is KIIM 99.5 DJ Buzz Jackson. Not only does he represent KIIM-FM, but Jackson is a resident of Marana and has enjoyed our signature events in the past.

The town’s parks and recreation department loves trying out new events, and one of the newest is the Wild Burro Dirt Dash on Sunday, Oct. 22. The sport of trail running is gaining popularity, and we are hosting our first trail running race. Not only does the event celebrate the town’s commitment to health and fitness, but it provides a unique way for us to show off our great trails and the beautiful Tortolita Mountains. 

Trail running is not unlike cross country, but cranked up a notch. The dirt dash is a grueling 18.1K on a one-of-a-kind single-track course. If you can handle it, this race will force you through massive elevation gains, extreme downhills and many technical sections. 

This is not for the inexperienced runner, as endurance levels are guaranteed to be pushed while immersing you in beautiful desert views that are sure not to disappoint. 

Whether you are an experienced runner or hiker, or have partaken in trail running, this is a great way to experience Marana’s Tortolita Trail system like never before.

Just like Marana’s road races, there is electronic timing, a race bib and finish line snacks, but new to this event is a custom participation metal featuring our Wild Burro mascot.

Space is limited as this event is exclusively for the first 250 registered participants. 

Marana has so many things to offer our families, and these two events are fantastic showcases for some of the best aspects of our town. Whether you want to celebrate history, hear some great music, eat some great food, or just watch the kids have fun, then the Cotton Festival is for you. If you want some great exercise, some great views, or to push yourself as an athlete, then the Dirt Dash is the event you are looking for. 

Governor Announces Marana Town Manager as New COO For State Of Arizona

Governor Doug Ducey: Gilbert Davidson will “lead continued efforts to reduce bureaucracy and maximize efficiency within state agencies — ensuring state government is working for all Arizonans”

Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson

Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson

PHOENIX/MARANA — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Gilbert Davidson to serve as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the State of Arizona.  Davidson, a dedicated and effective public administrator, currently serves as the Town Manager of the Town of Marana — a position he was appointed to in 2008. He began his tenure at Marana as deputy town manager in June 2005.

As COO, Davidson will serve as a member of Governor Ducey’s senior staff and oversee operations of all state agencies. He replaces Henry Darwin, who left the administration in July to serve as COO for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

“Gilbert has earned a reputation as a consummate professional, who has driven results and led Marana through growth and expansion,” said Governor Ducey. “As we work to make government more effective and accountable, Gilbert will lead continued efforts to reduce bureaucracy and maximize efficiency within state agencies — ensuring state government is working for all Arizonans.”

“I’m honored to join Governor Ducey’s team with the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of people across our state,” said Davidson. “During Governor Ducey’s tenure, state government has a renewed focus on efficiency, accountability, and ensuring that Arizonans get the most out of their investments in state agencies. I look forward to working with our agency directors and state employees to continue this important work.”

During Davidson's tenure as town manager, Marana experienced a rapid population increase of over 10,000 people in a 12-year timespan. As one of the fastest growing communities in the state, Davidson has laid the groundwork for continued strategic development by securing water and wastewater infrastructure, and establishing future development zones including promoting the future Downtown Marana district and the redevelopment of north Marana.

Davidson’s ability to solve complex issues by bringing together teams and transforming government operations has led Marana to improve its overall government performance even during the economic recession by focusing on the foundational elements and essential services of local government. Davidson’s creation of the Marana Strategic Plan transformed the organization to think critically about community impacts, while improving citizen engagement, personnel management and customer service.

“Gilbert’s impact on Marana has been essential to creating an organization that responds quickly and efficiently to its residents,” said Town of Marana Mayor Ed Honea. “He has set this organization on a path for continued success even after his time here at the Town, which is a credit to his management style and passion for public service."

Davidson is a 1998 graduate of the University of Arizona with bachelor’s degrees in business administration and public administration.  He earned a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the UA in 2004. 

In 2009, Davidson completed a certificate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.  In addition, he is a credentialed city manager recognized by the International City/County Management Association. 

Davidson is also actively engaged in community and civic organizations.  He served on the executive board for Arizona Town Hall, as past president of the Arizona City/County Management Association, the advisory board for the Joan & David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona Public Administration Advisory Board, and is currently the Vice Chair for the University of Arizona Alumni Association.

Marana News: Cotton Festival preview


The Marana News previewed this weekend's Cotton Festival:

Monique Hagberg walks through a dry patch of ground nestled between a large swath of cotton and the constant hum of a housing development. 

This sleepy patch of agrarian land, known as Marana Heritage River Park—with its bountiful Arizona cottonwoods and lush green grass, will soon transform into the entertainment epicenter of the town. Thousands of spectators are expected to pour through the park’s dirt-crusted entrance this Saturday for the town’s third annual Cotton Festival. 

Hagberg, who is tasked with organizing the event for the town, estimates that upwards of 4,000 people will be there for this year’s event—up from last year’s 3,000. 

Attendees will have the chance to participate in a number of events, from a chili cook-off under the park’s ramada benefitting the Marana Food Bank to carnival rides and a rodeo exhibition hosted by the University of Arizona rodeo team. 

The best part, according to Hagberg, is the event’s price tag, or lack thereof. 

“The reason we do our events in the town is really to give our residents something that they can invest in, and something they can come out and enjoy,” she said. “We really make a point of making our events as free as possible. For instance, for this event, the only thing that you pay for is the food, and the beer if you want to participate in that.” 

Read the rest of the story at the Marana News. 

Green Valley News: MPD helps shorthanded Sahuarita


The Green Valley News wrote a story about the Marana Police Department lending a hand to the Sahuarita Police Department as they go through some job turnover. 

The recent departure of two of the Sahuarita Police Department’s three records clerks has prompted Chief John Noland to reach out to the Marana Police Department for assistance. Seven police officers have also left the department this year; the department has 46 sworn positions.

Starting this weekend, four Marana records clerks will work remotely to help the police department process reports, traffic citations and warnings, Noland said. The departments use the same records management system.

One records clerk resigned and another retired at the end of September. Since then, Noland said he has promoted a third clerk to a supervisory position within the records department and received permission to add a position.

The Marana clerks and an administrative service officer will continue to help out until the open positions are filled, Noland said. Background checks are underway for three potential hires.

Read the full story at the Green Valley News

Spotlight on Schools: Ironwood teacher recognized as MVP


Maria Fallon, an Ironwood Elementary teacher, was selected as an Arizona Cardinals MVP in the Classroom Presented by University of Phoenix.

Fallon was recognized and awarded prizes at the October 15 AZ Cardinal Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale.

The MVP’s in the Classroom program recognizes outstanding educators in the state of Arizona.

Police recruitment orientation meeting


The Marana Police Department will be holding an Applicant Orientation for individuals that might be interested in the Police Recruit process. All candidates will have the opportunity to meet with Town of Marana Police Officers to obtain further information and ask questions about the position and the process.

The orientation is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town of Marana Municipal Complex located at 11555 W Civic Center Drive, Marana, AZ 85653. The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers. This is an optional orientation. Registration or RSVP is not required.

The Town will be hiring a number of new police officers over the next year and are working on building an eligibility list for the future vacancies. MPD is looking for both current officers looking to make a lateral move, as well as police officer recruits who are new to the profession. 

If you are interested in working for an agency that strives to be the most well respected and highly regarded police department in Arizona, then you should apply to become a Police Officer with the Town of Marana. The Marana Police team is proud and honored to serve the community and maintain an unwavering dedication to ensure the safety and security of every person who lives or visits our Town.

The Marana Police Department is comprised of 118 full time team members (87 commissioned officers and 31 civilians) and nearly 50 volunteers, providing safety and security to more than 40,000 residents over 127 square miles. These dedicated men and women work together as a team to ensure our residents and visitors receive unparalleled police services.


Traffic Update: Arizona Pavilions Dr.

Arizona Pavilions Dr. to close between EB I-10 Frontage Road & Continental Links

As part of the Town of Marana’s Cracker Barrel Roadway Restoration Project, beginning Monday, October 16 at 6:00 am and continuing through Tuesday, October 17 at 4:00 pm, Arizona Pavilions Drive will be closed to all through traffic between the eastbound I-10 frontage road and just east of Continental Links Drive so workers can install new storm drain pipe across Arizona Pavilions Drive.  Every effort will be made to shorten the duration of this closure where possible.

During this work, the following restrictions will be in place:

  • Cracker Barrel Road remains one way only northbound.
  • Motorists can turn left only onto Arizona Pavilions Drive from northbound Cracker Barrel Road.  No right turns will be allowed during this closure.
  •  Motorists exiting Continental Links Drive must turn right onto Arizona Pavilions Drive.  No left turns will be allowed during this closure.
  • Arizona Pavilions Drive will be closed just west of the EB I-10 frontage road leaving access only to the New Town Buffet restaurant parking area.  Motorists must exit back onto the EB I-10 frontage road.  In order to access other businesses on Cracker Barrel Road or Arizona Pavilions Drive, motorists will be detoured along EB I-10 frontage road to Cortaro Road.

Directional signs will be set up to guide motorists along the detour route for access to businesses situated along Cracker Barrel Road and Hospitality Drive as well as the business and residential areas situated along Arizona Pavilions Drive south of Cracker Barrel Road.

For your safety and that of the contractor’s personnel, please comply with all traffic control devices, flagging personnel, and/or detour signs. Travel time through the project area may increase during construction so please adjust your schedule accordingly. Construction may restrict traffic lanes and create congestion. Taking alternate routes is suggested. 

If inclement weather or other events cause delays, the work may be rescheduled without further notice.

Stay up-to-date on Town of Marana news, projects, and events. Visit MaranaAZ.gov, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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Marana in the Media: Jump training at Marana Regional Airport


The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's website had a story on the Marana Regional Airport being used for jump training. 

The 68th Rescue Squadron held jump upgrade training at the Marana Regional Airport in Marana, Ariz., this week.

Jump phase is important to get pararescuemen comfortable and competent on a canopy enabling them to land in a given drop zone with precision.

“Jumping is one of the more difficult things we do and the more that we can practice our canopy work the better we will be in high stress situations,” said SSgt Derek, 68th RQS pararescue instructor. “This course helps students get to a point where they can go to a team and continue to progress as a group.”

It is imperative that training, qualifications and capabilities of pararescuemen are extensive because they are the only Department of Defense forces specifically postured to conduct full spectrum personnel recovery.

“This is a main way for us to get to injured personnel or isolated personnel in a timely manner and provide treatment in the quickest time possible,” Said TSgt Dustin, 68th RQS pararescue instructor.

The jump training spans over several weeks and is in conducted in multiple regions across the U.S.

See the story, including a photo gallery, on the Davis-Monthan website. 

Spotlight on Schools: MUSD's Castro wins Liasion of the Year


Marana Unified School District's Marisa Castro, Students in Transition Specialist,  was awarded Liaison of the Year by the Arizona Housing Coalition for her "exemplary efforts in assisting our District’s homeless students."

Castro was recognized at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon, at the Annual Statewide Conference on Ending Homelessness, on October 3rd, 2017.

Castro goes above and beyond for each of her students and their families, and her community. In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities as a Homeless School Liaison, Marisa has worked collaboratively with outside partners throughout Pima County to bring resources directly to families within Marana Unified School District boundaries. Castro also held a leadership role on the local host committee for the 2015 National Homeless Education Conference, which was held in Phoenix.

Announcement from MUSD's Facebook Page

Marana in the Media: Marana budget in good shape


Danyelle Khmara of the Marana News re-capped the Town's 2017 fiscal year budget.

While larger and older Pima County municipalities struggle to stay afloat, Marana’s preliminary year-end budget shows the town is riding high, with $2.04 million in the black. The town even did slightly better than its neighbors in Oro Valley, who ended the year with a $1.9 million surplus in their general budget.

Marana ended fiscal year 2017 collecting $42.8 million in revenue, 104 percent of the budgeted amount. The $1.6 million surplus was largely due to revenue from licenses, fees and permits, one of the town’s big three revenue sources.

That revenue stream continued its upward trend of 8.3 percent yearly, and finished at 120 percent of the anticipated budget, or $4.8 million in revenue. Single-family residential permits are a large part of that fund. Marana budgeted for 550 permits but ended the year with 687—23 percent higher than the previous fiscal year. 

The first quarter of fiscal year 2018 has already seen 188 single-family residential permits, exceeding the upward yearly trend.

Read the rest of the story in the Marana News.

Test yourself at the Wild Burro Dirt Dash

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The sport of trail running is gaining popularity. The sport is not unlike cross country, but cranked up a notch. Marana Parks and Rec will be hosting their first trail run when they put on the Wild Burro Dirt Dash on Sunday, October 22.

The race is a a grueling 18.1 K on a one-of-a-kind single-track course. If you can handle it, this race will force you through massive elevation gains, extreme downhills, and many technical sections. Endurance levels are guaranteed to be pushed while immersing you in beautiful desert views that do not disappoint. 

Whether you are an experienced runner or hiker, or have partaken in trail running, this is a great way to experience Marana's Tortolita Trail system like never before.

Why is trail running becoming so popular? For one thing there are fewer injuries. Although the terrain can change, and there are elevation changes, the running surfaces are actually softer than asphalt or concrete.

Many runners find trail running to be more mentally relaxing. Being out in nature and away from civilization can be a great way to reduce stress. This is one reason these hiking trails have become so popular. The concept is the same, though you’ll be running these trails and trying to win a race. Many trail runners also love the fact that they are getting off the road ans away from all of that car exhaust and pollution.

Just like Marana’s road races, there is electronic timing, a race big, and finish line snacks, but new to this event is a custom participation metal featuring our Wild Burro mascot.

Space is limited as this event is exclusively for the first 250 registered participants. Register. Gear Up. Lets Go!


Check-in: 7:30 AM
Race Time: 9 AM
Early Reg: $40 (expires Oct. 1) / Late Reg: $45

Town of Marana introduces Marana Pets App

Town of Marana unveiled the Marana Pets app at a press conference Tuesday, October 10. Members of the media and Town staff learned more about Marana Animal Services and what the new app can do to for the Marana community. 


The Town of Marana established the Marana Animal Services Division in July to bring increased customer service to the Marana pet owners. The creation of the Marana Pets App is the latest way the Town is serving both our two-legged and four-legged residents.

"The Marana Pets is not the first original app created by Town of Marana staff," said Vickie Hathaway, Town of Marana Communications Director. "Our Technology Services department has also worked with our special events team to create the Marana Events app, and with Engineering and Development Services to created the Project Ina app. Both of those apps provide innovative ways for our residents to engage with our staff, and the new Marana Pets app is no different. But it does provide one additional opportunity, and that is to leverage the power of our community to reunite pets with their families."

"The primary objective of the app is to reunite Marana's pets with their owners should they wind up lost," said Marana Technology Manager Brian Stein, who headed up the team that designed the app. "The app is designed to harness the powers of community, to allow citizens to engage with one another to help with the reunification process."


The app is designed to reunite pet owners with their lost pets and will allow people who lose or find animals to post pictures and information, facilitating a quick reunification. Marana Animal Services Animal Control Officers will also be using the app to share any found animals. The app along with the Town's website and social media, are all tools to help lost pets in the Town limits find their way back home. 

"Social Media has been a great avenue for us," said the Town of Marana's Community Development and Neighborhood Services Director Lisa Shafer. "So this is that one next step that we are going to take."

Shafer noted that in the first three months of Marana's Animal Services division in operation, nearly 40 percent of strays picked up by the Town's animal control officers have been reunified with their families immediately, without having to be taken to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the Town's partner for sheltering.

Social media and microchips have both been effective ways for the the unification process and the Town offers free microchip clinics.

"With the microchip clinics, as well as this app we are going to see this high rate of return with our animals just skyrocket," Shafer said.

National Night out a success


The Marana Police Department made an effort to expand their National Night Out event, and the decision was a success. On Friday, October 6, MPD and their community partners took over a good portion of the parking lot of the Target at Ina and Thornydale to put on the event which allowed the public and law enforcement officers to interact.

At one point during a Police Explorers exhibition it appeared as if there were at least 300 people in attendance and Marana Police Department representatives reported that there were steady crowd throughout the entire event.

“The turnout was great,” said Officer David Danielson of the Marana Police Department’s Community Resource Unit. “We did not know what to expect, but people just kept coming.”

Many of those in attendance were families, and it proved to be a great opportunity to not only meet many of the men and women who serve with the Marana Police Department, but to see many of the vehicles and equipment that they use to keep Marana safe.

On display from the Marana Police Department were several squad cars, the SUV used by K9, and the Crime Scene Unit Van. Pima County SWAT had an armored vehicle open to view, while Northwest Fire had a few vehicles on hand to look at.


The Marana Police Department performed three demonstrations. The department’s motor officers showed off their motorcycle driving skills, while the K9 unit showed off the great training that one of the department’s police dog has undergone, including the apprehension of a well-padded mock suspect. One of the spectators had a service dog, who barked encouragement to his fellow German Shepherd during the demonstration.

The Town of Marana’s Parks and Rec Department and the Animal Services Division were on hand to promote events and hand out goodies to the kids, while community and business partners also had plenty of giveaways for the kids and their parents.

Last year’s event drew about 35 people with less activities, so the Marana Police Department took a creative approach and decided to expand the event in hopes of making it more enticing to the community. The move paid off as a full parking lot and long lines at neighboring restaurants showed just popular the evening was.

Marana named one of the most successful cities in Arizona


Marana was named the sixth most successful city in Arizona by career planning website Zippia. The website formulated their findings based upon criteria used by the U.S. Census Bureau in their American Community Survey.

The criteria used in Zippia’s poll was Poverty Level, Median Household Income, and Unemployment Rate.

The company admits that success is a subjective term, they felt set criteria could help define what makes a successful city.

“Here at Zippia, we like things that we can neatly measure and then expound upon,” they explained in a press release. “So yes, with the Power of Math, we have determined the unarguable, totally objective 10 most successful cities in Arizona.”

Zippia looked at all 59 communities with 5,000 or more residents and then ranked each city in the three categories on a scale of 1 to 59. The community with the lowest overall score was deemed the most successful.

Marana was bolstered by the second lowest poverty rate in the state. At 4.2 percent they trailed only Litchfield Park. The Town was also sixth in median income at $74,817 and 14th out of 59 in unemployment rate at 7.3 percent.

Of the communities ranked in the top-10, Marana had the third highest population, trailing only Chandler and Gilbert.

The full list and article can be found here.

Cotton Festival Blog #5: Community Choir/Blue Monsoon set to entertain


The Marana Cotton Festival will feature two distinct musical performers at the October 21 event.

Taking the stage at 6:00 p.m. will be the Marana Community Music Theater’s Community Choir.  This choir consists of residents from around Marana ages 13 and up. He goal of the choir is to bring the arts to the community in a tangible and fun way. They will be performing several pieces to kick start our live music.

At 6:45 Blue Monsoon brings their version of modern country with rock influences that they dub “Nu-Country” to the Cotton Festival. While the band admits they are fans of pop influenced country music, they also come from a rock and heavy metal background and feels that gives them a unique take on country music.

The name Nu-Country comes from the Nu-Metal scene of the late 1990’s where bands added disparate styles like hip-hop, electronica, and pop and combined them with more traditional heavy metal music. In much the same way Blue Monsoon hope to take styles of music that does not typically get associated with country music and meld them into their sound. Lead vocalist Celeste cites current country artists adding DJ’s and drum machines to their sound as an inspiration for Blue Monsoon to play around with traditional country tropes.

Celeste grew up listening to punk and the Grunge bands of the early 90’s and that was the gateway to Nu Metal and Heavy Metal bands like Korn and Tool. She played in rock bands for years but was also influenced by family members who loved country music.

She DJ’s and hosted a karaoke night at the now defunct Toby Keith’s All-American Grill and was encouraged to start playing country music by those who heard her sing. In 2013 she formed Blue Monsoon.

Although the music is country, their influences are all over the musical map. While traditional country artists like George Strait, Alan Jackson, Marty Robbins and Garth Brooks are cited, so are hard rockers like Ronnie James Dio, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. The band posted a video of the band covering pop/punk band the Offspring’s “Gone Away”, transforming the epic rocker into a slow, almost sultry country jam. 

“Blue Monsoon performs the music that everyone will want to dance to,” said the band’s guitarist Jason Curtis.

Celeste also cites a number of female artists as inspirations including Sarah Evans, Deanna Carter, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Stevie Nicks. One of her goals with the band is to highlight more of the female voices that she feels are under-represented in contemporary country music.

The band plays a set of mostly modern country hits though they like to bill themselves as a dynamic high energy band that fuses rock into pop country hits” and like to create new songs out of old favorites, fusing a variety of genres into country tinged hits.  Celeste admits that she is a big fan of the modern, slick sounding production values of new country music, even though she says that band may “not be for purists” and reiterated that most of the band “did not grow up on country.”

The band is thrilled to be making their return to Marana. They played a one of the Town’s Free Music In Marana concerts and the Star Spangled Spectacular and  love taking their music to a new audience.

“We absolutely love seeing the kids and adults interacting and dancing,” said Curtis.

Celeste added that playing in front of an all ages audience is a nice change. She said some bar crowds are great, but others see the band as background music to the evening’s activities. All ages show also bring out younger fans of modern country music who know the words and will often sing along.

“When they sing along with me I can pretend I almost wrote the song,” Celeste explained. “I get a great feeling that the band and the audience are on the same page.”

Blue Monsoon will take the stage at 6:45 and play several sets until the event ends at 9 p.m.

The Marana Cotton Festival is on Saturday, October 21 from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Marana Heritage River Park (12375 North Heritage Park Drive).

School Spotlight: MUSD awarded school safety grant


The Marana News had a nice write-up on the Marana School District receiving a $278,000 safety grant. 

The Marana Unified School District recently received a little more than $278,000 in grant funding from The Arizona Department of Education for the School Safety Program, which provides additional school resource officers and juvenile probation officers to schools in the district. The grant period is from this August to June 2020.

The district received the competitive, three-year grant for the second time, the first time being in the 2014/2015 school year, when $177,000 was awarded to provide SROs for Marana Middle School and Marana High School. The new grant will continue to provide for an SRO at Marana Middle School. In addition, it will also provide for one Pima County JPO at Tortolita Middle School, one Pima County JPO to serve both Quail Run Elementary and Thornydale Elementary and one JPO to serve both Roadrunner Elementary and Picture Rocks Elementary. 

Through continued partnerships with Pima County Sheriff’s and the Marana Police Department, full-time SROs are provided for Mountain View High School, Tortolita Middle School and Marana High School.

“Schools highly appreciate working hand in hand with local law enforcement,” said Tamara Crawley, director of public relations for the district. “It enhances the safety message occurring on campus, and allows students to build relationships with officers.”

To read the rest of the story go to the Marana News website. 

Marana News: Citizens’ Forum to embark on public art program


The Marana News' Danyelle Khmara profiled the Marana Citizen's Forum.

The Marana Citizen’s Forum chose a Public Art Program as its fall project during its first meeting last Thursday, and will develop recommendations for council on implementing a town-wide program.

The forum overwhelming agreed on public art, winning out over three other topics: The Gateway to Marana Main Street, Creating a Healthy Community and Tourism in Marana.

Twice a year, Marana holds citizens’ forums at which interested residents chose one project, from three to four ideas chosen by the Town Council, and come up with concrete steps towards implementation. The forum will present its recommendations to the Town Council on Nov. 21, addressing locations for artwork, criteria to evaluate art proposals and ways to incorporate art in private developments.

For the full story go to see the Marana News's website

Ancient holes contain the secret to early civilization in Marana

Tourists study ancient mortar holes used by the Hohokam civilization to grind mesquite beans during 500-1450 A.D.

Tourists study ancient mortar holes used by the Hohokam civilization to grind mesquite beans during 500-1450 A.D.

Intrepid adventurers needn't travel far to take a peek at the remains of an ancient kitchen. They only need to travel a few miles from Interstate 10 as part of a new attraction created by the Town of Marana’s tourism program, Discover Marana, that will be offered by Gray Line Tours Tucson.

Ancient foodways, artisanal flavors, and Sonoran haute cuisine set the stage for the Marana Gastronomy Tour set to debut this fall. Tourists can expect to travel back thousands of years with University of Arizona professor emerita and Arizona State Museum Curator Dr. Suzanne Fish as they explore ancient archaeological sites of the Hohokam civilization, before returning to the present for a modern cuisine tasting infused with with ancient wild foods, ancient domesticated native foods, and post-1687 European foods. BKW Farm, Bean Tree Farm, Catalina Brewing Company, and Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain all take center stage during the epicurean showcase.

Left to right: Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain; Barrio Bread; Catalina Brewing Company

“Marana is situated on one of three places along the Santa Cruz River watershed that has supported the oldest agriculture systems in North America for more than four thousand years,” said Town of Marana Tourism Manager Laura Cortelyou. The gastronomy tour was designed to explore that rich history in the context of contemporary foods that use ancient flavors. 

Marana’s rich concentration of archaeological sites are relatively undisturbed, and are still yielding surprising discoveries such as the oldest agricultural irrigation canal system in North America found in 2009. Marana plays a significant role in the southern Arizona culinary networks through its own noteworthy restaurants and as a supplier to regional restaurants, farmer’s markets, and dining room tables.

The Marana Gastronomy Tour is the first tour approved by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network member, Tucson City of Gastronomy, the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S. The designation recognizes 13,000 years of habitation, 4,000 years of formal agriculture, the longest agricultural history of any city in North America, and 300 years of orchards and livestock ranching – a history shared by Marana and Tucson. More information can be found at www.townofgastronomy.org/ .

Oh, and those ancient holes that contain a Hohokom secret? Consider them the Sonoran great-grandmother of the portable mortar and pestles (also known as mano y metate). The people of Marana more than one thousand years ago created these smooth bowls in the rock to grind their mesquite beans into fine powder for delicious patties. 

Click here for more information on Marana: Town of Gastronomy and the Marana Gastronomy Tours.

Left to right: Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain; Catalina Brewing Company