by Joel G. Belloc, Mayor, City of Eloy
Over the last 100 plus years, Eloy has consistently exhibited an extremely deep reservoir of human endurance. From a rest stop and watering hole on the De Anza Trail in the 1700s to the 1900s when Eloy became one of the nation’s most important agricultural regions, Eloy was ever changing and persevering. Eloy has continued to survive, thrive and become the cultural center for numerous populations including African American, northern European, Native American and Hispanic.
Although now predominantly Hispanic, many different folks have lived here in harmony for several decades. As this edition of the Golden Corridor Magazine focuses on arts and humanities, let me use this opportunity to reflect over important ways Eloy residents celebrate their community, heritage, arts and culture.
Every day Eloy culture is evident through special events and parades consistently held throughout the years. Eloy residents actively participate in our Veterans Day parade, MLK March, Easter Egg Hunt, Harvest Festival, Memorial Day events, 4th of July celebration, the annual Tip Over the Shelves 5k Fun Run and, of course, Christmas in Eloy featuring the Electric Light Parade. These events are great times for neighbors to reconnect; strengthening long-term relationships and continuing to build community pride.
The arts are represented in our community, as well. Ballet Folklorico can be seen at many of the events listed above, featuring incredible dancing, beautiful colors and young people intent on preserving their rich heritage to be passed on to the next generation. Our high school, Santa Cruz Valley Union, has among many of its student organizations one devoted to Mariachi music and dance. Eloy’s Parks and Recreation division offers dance classes for youth of all ages from ballet to tap.
Fine arts are well represented by the residents and artists in Robson Ranch that includes a Fine Arts Guild and community art center with instruction and work space for numerous creative activities. The City of Eloy offers various arts and crafts programs, and Central Arizona College offers a full fine arts curriculum.
Lastly, I invite all of you to visit the Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum. As of this writing, the City is completing improvements to the historic school house, originally constructed in 1930, which will be occupied by the Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum, the Sunland Visitor Center and the Eloy Chamber of Commerce by September 2019. According to the museum website, “One of our organizational goals is to preserve our unique heritage and to tell our story from the perspective of residents’ shared stories and memorabilia — all handed down from past generations. The history of ‘Those Who Came Before’ — the Hohokam or First Americans, the Spaniards, settlers, the Mormon Battalion, Civil War soldiers, railroad builders, and the hardy migrant workers who followed the cotton, citrus and produce harvests — will all be preserved and shared in perpetuity.”
I humbly invite all who read this to visit our museum or come see for yourself what makes Eloy a special place that our many long-term residents and recent arrivals call home.