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Oct. 20, 2017

Hey, Pardner! Join us for a Sunset Dinner on the Ranch

By Vice Mayor Kevin Hartke

The City of Chandler has a wide array of educational, recreational and cultural experiences for our young people; from story times at Chandler Public Libraries to swim lessons at our pools to seats at a special performance at the Chandler Center for the Arts. These and other valuable programs and amenities help make Chandler a great place to grow up or raise a family.

There is one unique hands-on learning experience the City offers that the general public may not know about, but teachers across the East Valley know it well, and that is Tumbleweed Ranch. Located in the southeast corner of Tumbleweed Park is a collection of historic homes and old farm equipment among some agricultural fields that create a living history space called Tumbleweed Ranch. The Ranch is operated by the Chandler Museum, which hosts a variety of events and programs there throughout the year, including the annual Chuck Wagon Cook-off. 

On weekdays during the fall and winter, local third grade students visit Tumbleweed Ranch on field trips to learn about life as an early settler 100 years ago. They see the inside of the McCroskey House, a kit home from 1917, and hear about life in a home where there was no electricity and water came from a pump. They explore the Morrison Store to experience what it was like to get their food and supplies with limited resources. And, they learn about cotton and our region’s agricultural history through activities and viewing the antique farm equipment on site. Tumbleweed Ranch is a fantastic educational resource for Chandler youth.

One of the organizations that promotes this facility is the Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch, a volunteer-led 501c3 organization that supports the Chandler Museum’s efforts, including the maintenance and development of the outdoor learning space.  The organization is dedicated to restoring the historic structures and providing hands-on learning experiences for youth and families at Tumbleweed Ranch. 

On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12, the Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch will join with the Chandler Museum to produce the 2017 Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off. This unique event gives attendees a taste of the 1880s with food prepared from chuck wagons using authentic cooking methods from the time period. More than 7,000 people enjoyed the event last year, and I was there as a judge of the fantastic food.

This year, Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch is offering a special outdoor dining experience for a limited number of people with a Sunset Dinner on the Ranch from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday evening, Nov. 10. All proceeds from this event support the Pardners and their mission. It’s the perfect date night for a good cause. 
Tickets are $40 and include a five-course steak dinner and entertainment from Tony and Rick Martinez, two local country performers who put on an excellent show.

I hope you will join me in supporting the Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch by attending the Sunset Dinner on the Ranch. Come and see what makes Tumbleweed Ranch such a special place in our community. For more information and tickets, visit pardnersoftumbleweedranch.org.