Gilbert Arizona is a suburb of the Phoenix metropolitan area and located in Maricopa County. Gilbert has been recognized as the fourth fastest-growing large municipality in the nation and has been ranked 28th out of top 100 best places to live in America. Gilbert is located eight miles southeast of Phoenix and only twelve miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In 2007 its population was said to be about 207,550 by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to a number of educational reporting systems Gilbert Arizona has one of the highest ranked K-12 education systems in the state.
Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles. Its birth as a city was as an agriculture-based community and was known as the “Hay Capital of the world” from 1911 until the late 1920’s. It has grown and made the transition to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Gilbert’s population was 5,717 in 1980. So the growth to 217,521 as of July 2009 is rather amazing. Gilbert is considered a highly educated and affluent community supporting high-wage jobs in life science and health services, high technology, clean and renewable energy, and corporate and regional headquarters/offices in advanced business services while preserving its highly desirable quality of life.
“Insulated from the frantic pace of metropolitan Phoenix, Gilbert offers many amenities enhancing our lifestyle. The village concept of planned communities includes parks, equestrian trails, fishing, boating, and local business services all within walking distance. Gated communities, as well as equestrian properties are available in Gilbert. However you define your lifestyle, Gilbert has something for you!” – Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Gilbert’s Parks and Recreation Department provides a wide variety of activities for the enjoyment of its residents. In addition to athletic and adult education activities, residents enjoy annual events like Summer Concerts in the Park and the Christmas Tree Lighting. The town also maintains hiking and equestrian trails for the enjoyment of its citizens.
The Gilbert Fine Arts Association sponsors live performances, art shows and annual musical productions such as Camelot, Annie, Joseph and the Amazing Dreamcoat, Peter Pan, and West Side Story. This organization also provides scholarships and workshops for young people through its Theatrical Academy for Youth.
The town of Gilbert celebrates the historic paving of Gilbert Road in downtown Gilbert with its annual Gilbert Days event. The three day celebration features one of the largest parades in the state, IPRA Rodeo, and a carnival. Residents also enjoy a Fourth of July celebration with an impressive fireworks display which draws thousands of viewers.
Arts and Cultural Attractions
- Hale Theater
- Gilbert Fine Arts Association
- Theatrical Academy for Youth
- Gilbert Days
- The Riparian Institute
- Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Arts
- Gilbert Historical Museum
- Heritage District
- Freestone Park
- Deer Valley Rock Art Center
Athletic and Recreational Facilities & Activities
- 4 Gilbert golf courses (25 within a 15 minutes drive)
- Two Municipal Swimming Pools
- Two Community Centers
- Recreation Center
- 14 Parks
- Boys and Girls Club
- Horse shows at Rodeo Park
- Soccer & Softball Leagues
- Miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding
The nearby Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area is one of only eleven cities in the nation to host teams in all four major professional sports.
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