Paul's Note - November 29th, 2019

You all have turkeys to defrost so I’ll keep things short. This week, I’m thankful that I have a wonderful family: my wife, my sons and two magnificent parents. I’m also thankful that I get to serve the people of a city that I love for another four years.

Tucson’s struggles aren’t unique, but we have faced our challenges while in ways that other communities haven’t. I’ll take some credit for that, but credit also goes to all of you as citizens and taxpayers. Thank you.

Enjoy your time with your family this weekend, and in the words of Tucson comedian Eddie Whitehead, commit to hate one less person, and to love one more person.

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The Tucson Parade of Lights is on a different weekend this year; it’s now Thanksgiving weekend.

This is the 25th Anniversary of this great tradition. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. on Stone Avenue just south of Toole Avenue and proceeds south on Stone Avenue, turns east on Pennington Street to Sixth Avenue, continues north to Toole Avenue, then turns west and ends on Toole Avenue just east of Stone Avenue.

Attendees of the parade are encouraged to arrive early in order to avoid traffic detours necessary for the event. Please note that pedestrian and bicycle access is being maintained in and around road closures. The Sun Link streetcar will offer free rides all day during hours of operation in celebration of Small Business Saturday sponsored by Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, Downtown Tucson Partnership and the Mercado District. More information about the Parade of Lights may be found at: www.downtowntucson.org.

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Yes, we call this cold, but can you believe that there will be ice skating this weekend?

Rio Nuevo, the City of Tucson, and our generous community sponsors invite you to begin celebrating the holidays downtown at our City’s first-ever outdoor ice rink, Tucson Holiday Ice on Fifth Avenue.

The rink is located at 45 N. 5th Ave., just north of Congress Street at 5th Avenue, and will be opening this Friday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m. (weather permitting).

The Tucson Holiday Ice on Fifth Avenue rink will operate from Nov. 29 through Jan. 5. The rink will be open seven days a week during this time period, except for Christmas Day, Dec. 25, when it will be closed. The rink will have daily open skate hours and will be available to reserve for private events during off-hours.

Open skate hours will be Monday-Friday from 4-10 p.m., Saturdays from noon -10 p.m., and Sundays from noon-7 p.m., except New Year’s Eve when the rink will be open from noon -11 p.m. Hours are subject to change. Updates will be posted on the website and social media.

Open skate all-day admission will be $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Skate rental is included in the admission price. Socks are required and gloves are highly recommended. Gloves will be available for purchase at the rink. Skate assist devices can be rented for $5.

All purchases must be made directly at the ice rink. There are no discounts for bringing your own skates.

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And finally, the Tucson Fire Department wants you to be safe this weekend. Look for holiday tips on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TucsonFireDept/) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/TucsonFirePIO).

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As I write this, I have learned of the death of Judith Blair. Mama Blair, as she was known, was a force of nature and was inspirational in the Arizona sporting community and to all of Tucson. Her commitment to her faith and to her children, Joseph and Jonathan, was a great example. My heartfelt condolences to all of those who loved her. I have to admit that this one hurts.

I’ll be writing more about Mama Blair’s work in the community next week.