Tag Archives: Yuma

Happy 100th Birthday, Yuma!

Yuma, circa 1929 | Courtesy of www.yuma100.com

Yuma, circa 1929 | Courtesy of http://www.yuma100.com

One hundred years ago today, Yuma was chartered as a city under the laws of the newly formed State of Arizona. There had been a town named Yuma at that location before that, of course, and even earlier than that, the settlement was called Arizona City. But today is Yuma’s official 100th birthday. To celebrate, the city is holding centennial events all week. They include:

  • Monday, April 7: Main Street Centennial Celebration, 6-8 p.m., downtown
  • Tuesday, April 8: Barbecue and Community Western Wear Day, 6-8 p.m., Quartermaster Depot
  • Wednesday, April 9: 100 Year Photo Display, 6-9 p.m., Yuma Art Center
  • Thursday, April 10: Community Photo and Fireworks, 6-8 p.m., West Wetlands Park
  • Friday, April 11: Centennial Block Party, 5-11 p.m., downtown
  • Saturday, April 12: Music Fest and Taco Festival, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Desert Sun Stadium

For more information on any of these events, or to learn more about Yuma’s history and view some more historical photos, visit www.yuma100.com. The weather’s beautiful in Yuma this time of year; we hope you’ll visit for these cool events!

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So What Makes A Good Photograph? We Ask Dawn Kish…

Arizona Highways is known for our photography … so, from time to time, I like to chat up our photographers about their work … you know, get the inside scoop from them about a particular photo shoot or subject. In this case, I hit up Dawn Kish and talked to her about her March 2012 shoot involving Fred Phillips. Phillips helped transform some 400 acres of riverfront land in Yuma from an invasive tangle of non-native vegetation to a vibrant wetlands area.

So what makes Dawn’s eye so unique? According to our photo editor Jeff Kida, “It’s her unique way of seeing and compositionally putting things together within a scene. Sometimes it’s a different angle of view and sometimes it’s what she chooses to include or exclude.”

Below, Dawn spills the beans about her watery photo shoot and shares some behind-the-scenes photos from her trip to Yuma and the Colorado River:

This looks like a fun shoot… How did the concept evolve?
When I received the assignment, the first thing I do is read the article. I like to get as much information about my subject before the shoot as possible. I like to get ideas flowing and I even went on Fred’s website and Googled him for hours. Sort of like a like a stalker … Fred Phillips has been working on wetland projects along the Colorado River for over 15 years. He must like to get his hands and feet wet. My first gut feeling was a portrait IN the water. So, I proposed the idea and emailed him a photo I did of a woman in the Colorado River, fully clothed and soaked to the bone.

Dawn at work

How did you get your subject to play ball in the water… Was he expecting this?
Fred was game from the start. He emails me back with a list of clothing options and possible places to shoot. Obviously, he can see the fun and creative shot that can happen. I think it helps when your are in the river too.

What challenges did you run into and how did you over come them?
I never know what the location looks like until I get there, so it is always a challenge. I like to scout the place first. I want to know where the light is going. You can set up a time and place, but on the hour of the shoot, the light might be drab or the weather might be cold. A freezing subject is not a happy one.

Fred is soaked, I can see his body shiver and his body is stiff. So, I make him swim (fully clothed) up river against the current. It worked. He can move now and be a little more comfortable during the rest of the time — about a half-an-hour — in the water.

Dawn loving her day job.

Top 3 do’s or don’t’s for a water shoot?
DO wear your bathing suit and water shoes and make sure your team has the same. DO carry waterproof bags to put your gear in. DO bring extra clothes to change into after — for everyone — because you WILL get cold. Towels too.

DON’T dunk your flash into the river. It will never work again. Really! My lovely assistant somehow lost the flash into the river. KurrrPlunk. Now, I’m hoping a new NIkon SB-900 Flash will appear in my mailbox. Ha Ha!

Dawn is back at it... working to get just the right shot.

What did you love most about the final product?
They look GREAT! I had a great subject and couldn’t go wrong. I’m so delighted because Fred was really into it. To have a subject willing to go along with your creative [flow] is the best.

When you go into any shoot, how do you prepare?
I make sure I double check everything the day before. Make sure all your batteries are charged. Your digital flash cards are empty, formated and ready to go. The gear bag needs to have all the flashes, AA batteries, tripods, stands, tape, clamps, drop cloth, zip ties, etc.

What kind of camera did you use?

What time of day was this?
Sunset! The best time to shoot anything, anywhere. It’s the magic light.

Want to learn more about Dawn? Check out her blog.

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Celebrating Our Centennial: Snow In Yuma?

Yuma’s Centennial Christmas Village opens this Friday with plenty of real snow to play in… think sledding, snow angels, snowmen and snowball fights!

The Village will feature a trip back in time aboard the trackless “Heritage Express” train, which will tour the brightly lit historic buildings of the park to experience Christmas traditions in 1912, the year Arizona first became a state.

For those looking to hit the slopes, the sledding venue will be part of a magical Centennial Christmas Village at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

Of course, if you miss out on the first day of snow, you have plenty of time to play in the white stuff. The Village will be open from December 16-23 daily.

OK, so what happens if Mother Nature intervenes and warms things up? Not to worry: “Theme nights” have been planned for the remaining nights if warm temps bring an end to the snowy festivities, including Hispanic Heritage Night December 21, Christmas Spirit Night with a special performance by Destiny Christian Church December 22 and Polar Express Movie Night on December 23.

If snow is not your thang….. then take a walk through the park. The entire park — plus a special kid-sized village of fanciful walk-in playhouses — will be decorated with thousands of sparkling lights and other holiday decor.

Entertainment will be offered nightly, along with food and drink vendors and shopping for homemade holiday gifts at the new Pioneer Craft Market, a showcase for local crafters.

>>Flickr pic by Brit.’s

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Celebrating Our Centennial: 24th Annual Catfish Rodeo and Nature Fair

In honor of our upcoming Centennial, we’ll be posting blogs featuring events (both big and small from across Arizona), news, fun factoids, photos and more leading up to our BIG 100 in February — and by the way, please share with us! If you know of an upcoming “Official Centennial Event” or have an old photo tucked away somewhere, LET US KNOW!

First up… Got nothing going on this Saturday? Not sure what do with the kids… well, why not take a drive to Yuma for the 24th Annual Catfish Rodeo and Nature Fair where kids will have the chance to catch catfish all while getting fishing pointers from members of the Yuma Optimist Club and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The dets behind this Official Centennial Event:

When: Saturday, 10/22

Time: 7:00am – Noon

Location: West Wetlands Park, 282 N. 12th Avenue, Yuma

Everyone is also invited to take part in the Nature Fair that will be located on the west side of the pond. Many activities are scheduled for the morning that are sure to be fun and educational for the entire family. Kids will have the opportunity to try archery, learn about fun safety, and learn about animals that live in our Desert environment.

After the event, why not partake in more of what Yuma has to offer… And whatever you do, don’t let naysayers sway you from exploring this town because there’s actually a lot going on.

  • Enjoy a REALLY good burrito at Chili Pepper. Information: 1030 W 24th St # A, Yuma; 928-783-4213 ‎
  • Walk through the once infamous Yuma Territorial Prison — your kids will love this place, and you’ll dig the history.
  • Pop by Old Town Wine Cellar and pick up a bottle of some interesting wine from around the globe. Information: 265 S. Main Street, Suite E, Yuma; 928-373-0405

Flickr pic by Rhea C.

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Yuma is the Sunniest City on Earth…

…And the proof is in the pudding. Literally.

Following in the footsteps of the old Pilot Knob Hotel in Yuma, which at one time offered free board every day the sun didn’t shine, folks visiting the “It City” can now take advantage of a similar deal in honor of Arizona’s Centennial. All you have to do is stay at a participating hotel (on a cloudy day) and you could receive a free meal! Just like the olden days. Sort of.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, guess you’ll have to take a trip to Yuma and find out for yourself.

Oh and FYI, Yuma has around 350 days of sunshine, so GOOD LUCK to you!

Friendly side note/trip advisory: Burrito lovers, be sure to hit up Chili Pepper for some spectacular food — no joke, you’ll think about their tasty been and cheese burrito for days, even weeks after you nosh at this hidden gem.





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Filed under Getaways, Loco for Local, Things to Do, Wining & Dining