Glendale has the big game, so Glendale gets the big party. The West Valley city’s downtown is hosting the official BCS title game block party from 3 to 10 p.m. today.
Among the sights to be seen are hot air balloons, musical guests, street performers and horse-drawn carriage rides. There also will be a KidZone featuring rides and hands-on activities.
The annual Glendale Glitter and Glow Block Party, originally created as a Super Bowl XXX event in 1996, represents the city’s farewell to the holiday season, when Arizona’s largest public holiday light display is turned on for the last time. Glendale Glitter holiday lights, which now total 1.4 million, attract more than 300,000 visitors every year.
To get fans in the mood, the schools’ marching bands will perform beginning at 7:15 p.m., with each band playing their pregame and halftime shows, as well as the school’s fight songs until 8:15 p.m. Cheer squads, flag lines and mascots will also be on hand.
Multiple video screens will televise the performances, so block party attendees can view the bands from throughout the downtown area.
Downtown Glendale is located at 59th and Glendale avenues. Due to the extensive street closures required for the block party, parking in the area will be very limited. So Glendale officials are encouraging people to use the city’s free shuttle service that will be available at two locations — Glendale Community College at 59th and Olive (Dunlap) avenues, and University of Phoenix Stadium shuttle lot at Glendale and 95th avenues, just east of Loop 101. Shuttles will run from 2 to 11 p.m.
land of buckeyes
Buckeyes fans in the town of Buckeye is a natural fit.
The West Valley town is again opening its streets to Ohio State fans this morning in advance of Monday’s game, which pits the No. 1 Buckeyes against No. 2 Florida.
It was in 1884 that a native Ohioan named an irrigation canal for the Buckeye State. Since then, the town has grown from a sleepy farming village to a city on the verge of a population boom.
The second annual Buckeyes in Buckeye Day begins at 9 a.m. There will be historical photographs on display, a dart toss at a Gator target and members of the Arizona chapter of the Ohio State University Alumni Band will perform at 10:30 a.m.
Bob Doster, a member of the Town Council and a graduate of OSU’s veterinary school, will hoist OSU flags at Town Hall and the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Another council member, Levi Beard, will be giving out free commemorative T-shirts welcoming Buckeye fans to town. All Ohio visitors have to do to get a T-shirt is show an Ohio driver’s license or an alumni membership card.
Can’t wait until Monday to cheer on your team? There’s always basketball.
The hoop squads of Florida and Ohio State are both in action today, and there are watching parties planned for fans in the Valley.
The third-ranked Gators open their SEC schedule against Georgia at 10 a.m. Florida’s local alumni group has reserved Fox Sports Grill, 16203 N. Scottsdale Road.
Meanwhile, the No. 6 Buckeyes, taking on Illinois at noon, will be rooted on from a number of places.
Part of the Buckeyes in Buckeye Day includes a game-watching party at the master-planned community of Verrado. From noon to 4 p.m., anyone registering at the Verrado visitor center will be eligible for a drawing for three two-ticket sets to Monday’s title game.
Ohio State fans also will gather at McDuffy’s Tavern in Peoria, 15814 N. 83rd Ave.