Andrew Capirchio watched wide-eyed Thursday as Fountain Hills’ namesake landmark spurted its full height of 560 feet into the cool evening sky. The 9-year-old boy’s father, Craig, brought him and three siblings to Fountain Hills Park for a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the fountain first being turned on Dec. 15, 1970.
"It’s cool to look at," Andrew said. "It’s definitely higher this time."
Craig Capirchio said although his sons have seen the fountain numerous times, the opportunity to attend an historic community event was something he couldn’t pass up.
"It’s the gateway to our community," Capirchio said. "They will remember this."
That’s what town officials hope. Councilman Keith McMahan played shutterbug with his camera, shooting the fountain, the celebration and the faces of some of the nearly 300 people who showed up.
"People have been here but not for a celebration like this," McMahan said. "It brings out the community and shows the kind of people we have in our town."
Joyce Aldrich of Scottsdale said she couldn’t keep grandchildren Shane, 10, and Lauren, 8, away. They visit the area regularly but had never seen the fountain when all three pumps were operating.
"I think it’s neat," Shane said. "I was excited when grandma said we were coming here. We like to watch the fountain a lot."
Besides the big spurt — a stream of water that reached more than 200 feet higher than normal — community leaders gave a presentation that included a slide show of historic photos of the fountain and town. To end the evening, fireworks illuminated the sky and made the fountain stand out even more.