Planning a year-long celebration during a pandemic is no easy feat.
The Fountain at 50 committee knows as well as anyone the challenges, but the group has adapted to the trials posed by the novel coronavirus.
Many of the activities have been canceled or postponed, but plans continue to be made with adjustments, according to Sandy Ursini, project administrator.
The Fountain at 50 Photography Contest is ongoing. The deadline to enter was Friday, Oct. 16. Winners will be announced in November, and all entries, including the winning photographs, will be displayed from Nov. 3-18 at the Community Center.
The committee has moved the anniversary celebration from the Dec. 5 Stroll in the Glow to a Balloon Glow scheduled for Jan. 30, 2021. Committee members will have made a presentation to the Town Council Oct. 20 about the new date, as well as plans for the time capsule commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fountain being turned on for the first time.
The Jan. 30 event will feature the balloon glow as well as other celebratory events. The activities will be held in Fountain Park.
Following the Jan. 30 celebration, a time will be announced for the time capsule to be buried. The committee wants to have photos from the celebration included in the time capsule, which will be opened in 25 years.
The Stroll in the Glow event, sponsored by Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce, will go on as planned Saturday, Dec. 6, but without the Fountain at 50 activities.
Betsy LaVoie, president and CEO of the chamber said while the chamber is disappointed that the Fountain at 50 committee decided to forgo their participation from the Stroll in the Glow, the chamber will support the new celebratory plan Jan. 30.
“The Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce strives to support and collaborate with all local entities and will continue to look for opportunities to expand our offerings,” LaVoie said. “Although we will be without the Fountain at 50’s inclusions of fireworks, Balloon Glow and entertainment from Kern Entertainment, the chamber staff is researching alternative offerings that will fit within the event’s safety plan to include new and unique entertainment, photo opportunities and holiday displays.
“This year, we hope to provide support for our local Gingerbread House Contest with Fountain View Village, as well. We will have a full line-up of safe events that encourage Fountain Hills residents to ‘stroll’ the Avenue of the Fountains on Dec. 5.
“I look forward to sharing all the details and plans in the coming weeks.”
The Fountain of Light sculpture will be dedicated at a date in 2021. The sculpture, by local artist Brian Schader, will be located across from Town Hall on the Avenue of the Fountains. Fundraising continues, and organizers hope to hold the dedication in February.
“We have tried hard to hold events to celebrate the Fountain’s anniversary,” said Ursini. “Unfortunately, we have had to change many of our plans. But we still have events in the works, and we look forward to commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fountain with the whole community.”