Holiday events dominate calendar for Dec. 6-10

Breakfast with Santa, HD South
Breakfast with Santa at HD South is one of the popular holiday events of the season. (Courtesy HD South)

Breakfast with Santa at HD South is one of the popular holiday events of the season. (Courtesy HD South)

It's still early in December, but the holidays dominate the calendar in Gilbert with a charity softball game, holiday lights, breakfast with Santa and a holiday festival. You can help pets or learn about international business, too.

Dec. 6

Support holiday drives and watch police, fire square off

The public is invited to the inaugural Bases & Badges softball game to support the departments’ toy and clothing drives. After an hour of play, kids in the stands will be invited to come down and join the firefighters and officers in a kickball game. Spectators are asked to wear red (for Team Fire) or blue (for Team Police) to support their team. Vehicles will also be onsite for families to view. Free, but toy donations are appreciated. 5:30-8 p.m. Cactus Yards, 4536 E. Elliot Road, Gilbert. 480-503-6300 (fire), 480-503-6500 (police). www.gilbertaz.gov

Dec. 6-7


Holiday displays, performers light up Riparian After Dark

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch trails are lit with luminarias and holiday light displays, and holiday entertainers perform. The town partners with a local nonprofit agency each evening to collect items for those in need. On Dec. 6, it will be Gilbert Promotional Corporation and Galloping Soles collecting youth sneakers and shoes. On Dec. 7, AZcend will take in non-perishable food. Free. 5:30-9 p.m. Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch Park, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert. 480-503-6200. www.gilbertaz.gov

Dec. 7

Eat breakfast with Santa


Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their third annual visit to HD South. Children will have the opportunity to decorate cookies, help decorate a gingerbread house, listen to stories, make an ornament and get a picture with Santa. Breakfast is included in ticket costs. The event is likely to sell out so tickets must be purchased beforehand. $15. 8:30-11 a.m. HD South, 10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. 480-926-1577. https://hdsouth.org

Dec. 7

Crawl along for pets


Eight local animal welfare organizations are organizing Relay for Rescue, a charity bar crawl, relay race and scavenger hunt that raises money for the organizations. The event will see participants visit eight venues and do a relay and scavenger hunt as they compete for a grand prize. Tasks in the relay include a balloon hop, locked elbows, newspaper press and more. $35. 11 a.m. (event start), 1 p.m. (relay start). O.H.S.O. Brewery, 335 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 102, Gilbert. http://relayforrescue.com/phoenix

Dec. 7

Take in the glow from giant balloons


SanTan Village puts together the Holiday Balloon Glow and Gift Bazaar as a family event. It features kids activities, 80 vendor booths, 18 hot air balloons, balloon rides, night skydivers, a Santa Claus appearance, carriage rides and music. Free (admission), $1 (per kids zone attraction), $20 (25 kids zone attractions). 1-9 p.m. SanTan Village, 2218 E. Williams Field Road. 480-282-9500. www.shopsantanvillage.com/Events/Details/530166

Dec. 10

Learn about international trade opportunities

The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, Town of Gilbert Office of Economic Development and Gilbert Sister Cities are hosting this event for local businesses to explore foreign direct investment opportunities in Gilbert’s sister cities of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, and beyond. Free (registration requested). 8:30-10:30 a.m. University Building, 92 W. Vaughn Ave., Gilbert. 480-892-0056. https://business.gilbertaz.com/events/details/international-trade-seminar-5308
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By Tom Blodgett

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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