Luminous chandeliers float like paper lanterns above the lobby of Chandler Center for the Arts, welcoming guests entering through the towering glass facade. Inside, they find three halls—one larger auditorium, and two more intimate performance spaces—hosting a variety of musical and theatrical performances. Each theater is designed for optimal acoustics, ensuring audiences can hear every tuneful note, stage-whispered line, and breaking of the fourth wall. And the center showcases non-performing arts as well—the Exhibition Hall displays regularly rotating collections of sculptures and paintings.
Although their ballet company has the word "youth" in its name, Georgi and Tara Rusafov are all about the classics. Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Les Sylphides have all been performed by their dancers, thus introducing the iconic music and choreography to a new generation. The performers are as young as 6, and each one receives pre-professional training that can help them pursue a career on stage and in tights.
On New Year's Eve, quaint downtown Chandler turns into Downtown Countdown, an outdoor party with live music from Desert Dixie and DJ Solomon. The event has something for everyone. To keep warm, guests can dance to the beats, sip pours from the wine bar, or bask in the party's variety of heated warming zones. Youngsters, meanwhile, play in the kids' zone, and everyone unites to cheer for the spectacle at the stroke of midnight: a ball drop and a fireworks display.
Normally, if you'd want to eat cuisines from more than 50 different restaurants, you'd be in for a day of some serious traveling. Happily, the Best Food Truck of Arizona contest takes care of the leg work. The two-day culinary competition pits area food trucks against each other to see whose cuisine comes out on top. VIP guests sample all the food they desire, from grilled cheese sandwiches and fry bread to BBQ and soft-serve ice cream. They then cast their votes for their favorite based on presentation, taste, appearance, and friendliness. In between bites, they can take in live music and entertainment from local musicians and performers.
Coach Mitch started Beginners Edge Sports Training in 2005 as a soccer program for kids. Now, he operates a variety of sports classes including basketball, football, golf, and karate for kids as young as 18 months. These age-appropriate programs introduce the skills of the sport gradually, challenging kids at first to gain coordination and eventually to strategize, scrimmage, and switch agents mid-season. In addition to its regular sessions, Beginners Edge Sports Training runs summer camps, sports parties, and parent's night out events.