New season brings food trucks, discounts to aquatic center

The Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center is preparing to open Saturday, May 26, for a season of events and a new feature – food truck vendors. Most important, according to a release from Apache Junction Parks and Recreation, is being safe around water. To help, the city is offering swim lessons for ages 6 months and […]

Free city parks and rec guide available online

Looking for a class or new activity? The city of Apache Junction Parks and Recreation catalog for the fall season is available at http://specialsections.newszap.com/SS/Tiles2.aspx?sortby=type&type=Arizona. The “Citizen” lists the parks and recreation class offerings along with library programs and upcoming special events.

More than 9,500 prize-filled eggs at city’s annual holiday event

The city of Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department invites the community to participate in its annual Easter egg hunt Saturday, March 26, on the softball fields at Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road. More than 9,500 prize-filled eggs will be hidden in the open for youngsters to find, according to a press release.

There will be an appearance by the Easter Bunny as well as game booths hosted by nonprofit organizations, a petting zoo, bounce houses, train rides and vendors.

The free egg hunt is open to all kids up to 17 years of age. The hunt is divided up into separate age groups: 2 and under, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-12 and 13-17. Special prizes will be given to those who find a token in the egg during the hunt. Participants should bring his or her own Easter basket to carry all the goodies.

There will be other activities and games sponsored by local nonprofit organizations available during and after the egg hunt. Most will cost a small fee to participate. Bring a camera to take a picture with the Easter Bunny.

Exit 40 to rock out free concert in Apache Junction

The free concert series presented by Apache Junction Parks and Recreation and Sonlite Productions will have its season finale Saturday, March 19, with the band Exit 40.

Exit 40 will perform old-time rock ‘n’ roll and country music from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park Gazebo, 1001 N. Idaho Road, on the northeast corner of Idaho and Superstition Boulevard.

Concert-goers are advised to bring a lawn chair, family and friends to enjoy the outdoor concert.

In the event of bad weather, the concert will be moved to the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road.

For more information on this or other programs and services, call the parks and recreation department at 480-983-2181 or visit its website.

City of Apache Junction names Langenbach new parks director

Liz Langenbach, a 20-year veteran of the Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department, has been named director of the department, only the second director in the city’s history.

Ms. Langenbach, who grew up in the city, graduated from Apache Junction High School and has been the department’s recreation superintendent since 2000. She was ratified as parks director by the city council at its meeting Tuesday, March 1.

“It is wonderful to see someone like Ms. Langenbach take over our parks and recreation department,” Apache Junction Mayor John Insalaco said in a press release. “She grew up here, taking part in parks programs and then working under the only parks director we have ever had. She has lived it and now will lead us in the next generation of the department.”

Ms. Langenbach takes over for Jeff Bell who is retiring March 4 after 35 years of service to the city. Mr. Bell was the Apache Junction’s first parks department employee and parks director since shortly after the city was incorporated in 1978.

As director, Mr. Bell has overseen the creation of the city’s parks and recreational facilities, including Prospector Park, Silly Mountain Park, the Rodeo Event Center, Superstition Shadows Park, Skatepark and Aquatic Center, the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center and numerous other park and open space facilities/amenities.

For those who would like to wish him well, Mr. Bell should be in his office at 1001 N. Idaho Road tomorrow morning, March 3. City offices are closed on Fridays. People may call the office at 480-983-2181 and press prompt 1.

The city council is planning to recognize Mr. Bell for his years of service during its April 5 regular meeting. City council meetings take place starting at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

Free city parks and rec guide available online

Looking for a class or new activity? The city of Apache Junction Parks and Recreation catalog for the winter/spring season is available. The “Citizen” lists the parks and recreation class offerings for the months of January through April, along with library programs and upcoming special events.

The publication also includes safety programs that the police department provides in their mission of protecting lives and property. The city plans to distribute the summer catalog in April – it will be full of fun things for kids to do during summer vacation and our popular swimming lessons.

The Citizen is a resource to find activities for all ages to do in the City of Apache Junction.

The publication is being distributed by the Apache Junction Independent and also is available at the AJ Parks and Recreation Office, 1001 N. Idaho Road, and the Apache Junction Public Library, 1177 N. Idaho Road.

It can also be viewed electronically by visiting the city’s website.

The Forresters to kick off free winter concert series Jan. 16 in AJ

Apache Junction Parks and Recreation has released its schedule of free Winter Series of Concerts in the Park. The three-concert schedule is: Jan. 16, The Forresters variety show; Feb. 20, The New Story Band playing a wide range of rock and alternative music; and March 19, Exit 40 performing old time rock ‘n’ roll and country music.

All concerts are 4-5:30 p.m. on selected Saturdays at the Veterans Memorial Park Gazebo, 1001 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction, on the northeast corner of Idaho and Superstition Boulevard. In the event of bad weather, the concert will be moved to the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road.

The concerts are brought to the public free by the parks and recreation department and Sonlite Productions.

For more information on this or other programs and services, call AJ Parks and Recreation at 480-983-2181 or visit its website.

AJ parks to offer youth ballet, jazz dance classes starting Jan. 8

Apache Junction Parks and Recreation will offer beginning ballet and jazz classes for kids ages 3-8 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays Jan. 8-April 29 at the AJ Multi-Gen Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. The cost is $60.

This class is for children who have never taken a dance class. They will learn beginning ballet and jazz techniques and develop their listening and motor skills.

For more information, visit the city’s website or call 480-983-2181.

Registration under way for parks and rec soccer leagues in AJ

Apache Junction Parks and Recreation is offering youth soccer leagues for boys and girls ages 4-11 divided into the following three age groups. Youth ages 4-5 will play 6-7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday while youth ages 6-8 and 8-11 will play 6-7 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and 10-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-noon Saturday, respectively. All leagues will be at Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction.

Registration fees are $40 for the league for 4-5-year-olds, $45 for the 6-8-year-olds and $50 for the 8-11-year-olds. There is a $5 per participant discount if registered by Jan. 14, according to a press release.

In addition, AJ Parks and Recreation is recruiting for volunteer coaches for all three leagues.
The leagues will kick off the season with a clinic the morning of Saturday, Jan. 16, at Prospector Park. The clinic for those registered in the league for ages 4-5 will take place 10-11 a.m.. The clinic for those playing in the leagues for ages 6-8 and 8-11 is 11 a.m.-noon. Players and coaches from the Apache Junction High School Girls Soccer team will be on hand to help run the clinics.

In addition, AJ Parks and Recreation is offering a parent/tot soccer program for youth ages 3-5. Participants must have turned 3 by Jan. 30. This program will take place 10-10:45 a.m. on Saturdays — Jan. 30, Feb. 6, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 — at Prospector Park. Parents work with their child under the direction of Coach Wes.

This program is designed to prepare youth for team sports and prepare parents to become volunteer coaches. Registration fee is $30.

Participants may register in person at in the AJ Parks and Recreation office, 1001 N. Idaho Road, and online.

For more information, call 480-983-2181.

Health and wellness expo returns Nov. 14 to Apache Junction

The 10th Annual Heal Yourself, Heal Your World Health and Wellness Expo will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road.
The is event is free; a donation of canned food is requested.

The Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with wellness advocates to produce the wellness event. There will be samples, classes, donation stations for e-waste, shoes, books, eye glasses and cell phones and other activities.

There will be a family 2-mile fun run/walk on the trail system adjacent to the MGC. It will be easy and fun enough for families to participate together. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the run/walk will begin at 10 a.m.

This year’s event will have free educational and fitness classes. Classes on nutrition, essential oils, yoga, financial fitness, reducing stress, raw chocolate making and many more. A complete list of classes is available at www.ajcity.net/wellness.

Jean Groen, local published author and desert plant extraordinaire, will teach two classes. One class will focus on mesquite cooking techniques, the other will be demonstrations on how to cook prickly pears. Sample fruit salad, and non-alcoholic prickly pear margaritas and other taste of the desert.