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Newsletter September 2017

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Make Yourself at Home in Tucson

Hi, All! Please enjoy this edition of my newsletter. As always, I appreciate your support and feedback. Feel free to pass this along to someone you know who might be thinking about buying or selling a home. I am here to support you through any real estate transaction and answer your real estate questions. Call me!

If you were touched by the hurricanes of the past couple of weeks, I hope there was minimal upset. The fallout from the destruction will continue for some time and affect all of us in a multitude of ways, especially financially. For me the storms remind me to Keep it Simple, in terms of dreams for “more” and “better”. As the newscasters said repeatedly, “things are gone and can be replaced, but we have our lives.” It is certainly a time to think about what really matters, what we value, and how we approach life.

It’s been about four years since I planted a small fig tree in my backyard. Yesterday I had the pleasure of plucking many figs from its branches. If you like figs, they grow well here in southern Arizona, and they are easy to maintain. In the event you have, or will have a vacant yard with that new house you buy, consider planting a fig tree!

Speaking of new houses…

The September Housing Report is now available on my website. You can find out what is happening in your area of Tucson by clicking the geographic area. If you are interested in finding out how much your home might be worth in this current market, please contact me via phone or text or through my web site. If you’d like a peek at what is currently on the market, you can download the Long Realty App from my web site.

Trending in Tucson

  • Quiet restaurants – I don’t know if it is a trend, but I’d like for it to be one. Have you ever yearned to sit with your significant other or friend over a quiet meal and have a conversation where you don’t have to shout over the noise? Here is a link to a list of restaurants that are recommended for quiet meals, along with some tips for more enjoyment of those times.
  • New Home Construction – Construction of new homes continues in the Old Pueblo. If you are interested in buying a new home built “from scratch”, you can view what’s available here. And don’t forget to ask me to come along for your first visit to see some!
  • Still a Need for Affordable Homes – As home prices increase, affordable housing becomes more difficult to find. There are some programs available to low-to-middle income buyers you might want to be aware of. While the Mayor’s Home Expo event just passed, here is some information with links to programs available to buyers within the eligibility requirements.

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Long Realty Cares FoundationThe Long Realty Cares Foundation was established in 2002 to “give back” to the community. It has donated over $2.5 million to 180 different non-profit organizations in the communities where we live and work. Many sales associates voluntarily donate a portion of their commission from each real estate transaction. In addition to my personal contribution, when you complete a real estate transaction with me I will also contribute to Long Realty Cares Foundation in your name. See the currently scheduled Raffle Event here. Anyone can contribute!

Photo – Canyon de Chelly, October 2012

Newsletter – August 2017

 

Make Yourself at Home in Tucson – August 2017

Here we are in the midst of the Sonoran Desert monsoons. My fig tree is so grateful for the moisture it’s received. Honestly, it was suffering from lack of attention, so no figs this season. How is your yard bearing up? It’s a time when we need to be aware of how the water affects our yards. Is your yard graded correctly so that the water flows away from your foundation? Do you have standing water that attracts mosquitos? Now that the heat has broken our early mornings are a great time to tend to our yards.

This month I am highlighting my listing in Marana. The price has been reduced on this great manufactured 3 bedroom, 2 bath home – now offered at $129,000. Call me to see it up close and personal! You can also see more detailed information on my website.

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17101 W Placita Sipriano, Marana-MLS# 21713476

Trending in Tucson

  • For the main Tucson market, inventory continues to be low, inviting multiple offers on listings. Prices are up by 5% over this time last year. For more detailed information and statistics for other areas in Tucson, refer to the Housing Report on my website.
  • Hotel expansions in downtown Tucson are expected to bring more business and possible relocations. A recent KOLD News broadcast summarizes the impact of hotel openings coming soon.

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  • Having lived in urban Denver I’ve thought about living in downtown Tucson. However, if you want to live in downtown Tucson you might find that prices have risen dramatically. Read about it here.

Coming Up

  • Home Buyers Open House at Pima County Community Land Trust (PCCLT) – Potential home buyers who may be short on resources or need a boost to their credit can get information on how to buy a home through the PCCLT program. As a Realtor, I can guide you through the process.

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Something Personal – This month is Family History Month. I’ve been working on my genealogy for years. I like to tell the story about the house I grew up in. My father and his friend who was building his house next door, hand-dug the footings for our house and laid the cinder block, The concrete slab for the bedrooms was poured after the shell was up, with the concrete chute poking through the window into the room. My father put up all the pine paneling, laid brick tile on the floors, and set the stones in place for the fireplace. We moved in before the house was completed, with my parents sleeping on one side of the fireplace and my sister and me sleeping on the other side. We had a rented carry-out bucket in the bathroom that my father emptied into a hole down the backyard hill until we had the septic tank installed. The seat of that bucket had a rusty split in it that would pinch if you didn’t sit down on it correctly! Here is a photo of the house under construction (with my Mom and Ginger the dog).

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Best Wishes!

Su

 

Make Yourself at Home in Tucson – May 2017

Here we are in May already, with celebrations galore! May 1 is “May Day” an ancient celebration to honor the goddess of flowers, Flora. Did you ever dance around the Maypole? In a few days is Cinco de Mayo, a favorite celebration of those with Mexican heritage, and close behind is the Kentucky Derby. Do you dress up and watch this race each year with a mint julep? Then there is Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. How will you celebrate this month?

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What I love is this time when all the trees and plants begin to leaf out and bloom. Here is a photo of the desert willow in my backyard. I planted it five years ago when it was just a “whip” about four feet high and a finger’s size in diameter. I enjoy watching the hummingbirds visit the lavender flowers all summer.

In case you would like to enhance your yard and provide some shade and a cooler place to sit outside, you can get your own trees from Tucson Clean and Beautiful. They offer a variety of indigenous trees that know how to grow in the desert, and at a reasonable cost. Many HomeOwner Associations require plants and trees that are indigenous to the area. These trees are the perfect choice. Check them out!

Word of the Month:  Listing – In the Real Estate world this word means that a property (building or land) has been placed on the real estate market for sale. This month I have two listings, one in Avra Valley with four bedrooms and three baths on one acre, and one in the Tres Pueblos neighborhood of Tucson, a townhouse with two bedrooms and two baths. If you or someone you know is looking for a home in either of these areas, please contact me.

News About Tucson and the Region:

  • If you live in the Rita Ranch or Vail areas, or if you would like to live here, visit this new park that is opening on May 3. This park provides a wonderful amenity to the residents of these communities.

Pima County Park

This Pima County park located on the southeast side of Tucson and named for a historic Southern Pacific Railroad stop opens on Wednesday, May 3. The 274-acre Esmond Station Regional Park will serve Vail and Rita Ranch area residents, offering a walking trail, five separate fitness stations with exercise equipment, and a ramada. For more information, visit the link.

  • A Reminder to Tucson residents and visitors:  Beginning May 1, 2017 it is against the law to use a hand-held device while driving. The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted in March to approve the ban. Violation of the new ordinance will be considered a secondary offense, meaning you must be pulled over for another reason before police can cite you. Texting while driving already is banned in the city, but the new rules expand that ban to phone calls and the use of other hand-held mobile communication and electronic devices. See this link for more information.
  • Historic Preservation Awards – Individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to historic preservation in Tucson and Pima County will be recognized at the annual Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony hosted by the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission (T-PCHC). The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 13, from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The Commission’s purpose is to foster awareness and preservation of historic sites, structures, districts, and character in our community. The Mayor and Tucson City Council, City of South Tucson, and Pima County Board of Supervisors appoint its members.

I am here to walk you or anyone you may know through the real estate process, even if you just need a few questions answered. Please contact me or visit my website. Remember, I’m never too busy for your referrals and I’d love to hear from you.

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You can locate homes for sale, open houses, find commute times, and more from my Long Realty App. Visit http://longrealtyapp.com/suswanne from your mobile device. Updated every 15 minutes.

Make Yourself Home in Tucson – March/April 2017

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Today is the Spring Equinox. What more fitting way to celebrate than to enjoy this Amaryllis that finished blooming today? The bulb was a Christmas gift, and I’m drinking in the color!!!

This month I’m focusing on Trends in Southside Tucson. This area of Tucson is showing much economic growth. To see homes in the area get My Free Mobile App. I also invite you to visit my Real Estate Blog, where I post articles about aspects of Real Estate, including architecture, design, urban and rural planning issues, historic preservation, landscaping, gardening, and more.

  • With the expansion of Tucson Marketplace, residents can enjoy the new Century movie theater, restaurants, Starbuck’s, Planet Fitness, Dave and Buster’s, as well as Walmart and Costco. Located between S. Park and S. Kino (Campbell) it is convenient from two areas in Southside.
  • According to the February Ward 5 Newsletter, Southside has a total of 7,000 jobs that have been created within the last few years. Tucson Marketplace alone has created approximately 1,100 jobs.

  • The Mexican bakery Suspiros added its flavors to Tucson with its grand opening on February 17. Located at 5327 S. 12th Ave it offers gourmet cakes and pies, with wedding and quinceañeras catering coming soon. Check out their website.
  • Nearby, in Southwest, in the Midvale area, a new Fry’s opened in December 2016. It’s a huge store with everything a customer could want!

  • Remodeling of Tucson International Airport began last year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. For construction updates visit flytucson.com. And you can find a report of the Tucson Airport Authority’s achievements in the past year here. The influx of passengers to this area will increase the need for more services in Southside.
  • For more information about Southside Tucson, see VisitTucson.

Real Estate, Southside Tucson: Each month Long Realty provides a housing report for each section of the city of Tucson, as well as other communities. You can find information about housing trends in your area by going to my website and requesting the Housing Report.

To see homes in the area get My Free Mobile App. I also invite you to visit my Real Estate Blog, where I post articles about aspects of Real Estate, including architecture, design, urban and rural planning issues, historic preservation, landscaping, gardening, and more.

For Southside Tucson, distressed properties dropped from 20% to 13% of all properties, which means that more people are no longer “upside-down” or “underwater” with their loans. Properties for sale are in a “seller’s market” as buyers are many and properties for sale are fewer. The inventory of homes available dropped by 4% from this time in 2016. The market is HOT and sellers are getting 100% or more of their asking price.

Loan rates for real estate in Tucson are ascending, slowly but surely. They vary according to loan type, such as VA, FHA, or Conventional. But 4.3% to 5% are good rates in my book. My first house was bought at 7% a long time ago!

Upcoming Events:

  • Happening Now – March 19-24: Escapees Rally at Pima County Fairgrounds -The Escapade RV Rally is a fun, five-day event focused on the RV way of life. The schedule includes an extensive line-up of educational seminars, workshops, panels and discussions on topics relevant to the RV lifestyle.
  • SAHBA Annual Spring Home & Patio Show April 7,2017 – For over 45 years, the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) has been producing one of the largest home shows in the United States. Featuring more than 300 exhibitors, see what’s new in home improvement trends, remodeling ideas, and gardens.

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  • Easter Sunday – April 16: Check online for local celebrations and events.

Make Yourself at Home in Tucson – February 2017

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This month is a month full of images of Love. From the phrase at the top of this post, to the care of a woman’s heart health, to the romantic aspects of Valentine’s Day, to the quotes of U.S Presidents and revered leaders, we give tribute to something we know deeply inside ourselves. We “cross our heart and hope to die” to say the truth, and we meditate at the hearth of our inner fire. Where we live, both inside ourselves, and within our community, our homes are truly where our hearts are.

Trending

  • Housing inventory is down both in Tucson and nationwide. In the Tucson main market the inventory is at 2.5 months, which means if no other homes come on the market, all the housing stock will be gone in 2.5 months.

If you have been considering selling your home, but you’ve been unsure, NOW IS a good time to sell. There are buyers out there, waiting for your home. It is currently a seller’s market for price points below 450K with most homes selling for near 100% listing price, or more.

For buyers who qualify, the lending rates are quite good, generally between 3 and 5 percent.

  • If you are a homeowner wanting to rent short-term, such as with Airbnb, any concerns about collecting sales taxes have been taken care of by the Arizona legislature. Now the rental companies will be collecting the sales taxes. There also is no limit to the number of properties a person can own and rent out as a vacation property. For owners who want to rent to the annual influx of snowbirds, that is good news.

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  • The Arizona Association of Realtors has published a revised Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract, effective February 1, 2017, along with ancillary documents pertinent to the Purchase Contract. One of the major changes to the Purchase Contract is the removal of Warranty Items. Now all residential properties will be sold “As Is”, which is in line with most of the other states in the U. S.

Word of the Month

Landscaping: The appearance of the plantings and upkeep of the yard areas around a house are important when considering whether to buy a property. How much work will the new property owner have in order to enjoy the environment? In many neighborhoods, these days Home Owner Associations (HOAs) require a fee to manage common areas, and they have rules about how a homeowner keeps appearances, in addition to the kinds of plants that are allowed. Keep this in mind when you consider the property you buy.

Things to Do

  • February is national Go Red for Women month, to raise awareness for heart health for women. National Wear Red Day was February 3rd this year. On February 9 WATCH the live Facebook presentation of Macy’s Red Dress Collection in support of women’s heart health through the American Heart Association (#RedDressCollection).

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  • The Tucson Gem Show continues through February 12. If you haven’t found your treasures yet, you have only a few more days!
  • Commemorative Air Force AirPower History Tour – February 23 – 26 at Executive Terminal, 7081 S. Plumer Avenue in Tucson. Open 9 am to 5 pm daily. Find more information at AirPowerTour.org/

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“Fifi” – B52

 

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  • And don’t forget about the annual Tucson Rodeo, “La Fiesta de Las Vaqueros” that runs from February 18 – 26. The historic Tucson Rodeo Parade is scheduled fro February 23 at 9:00 a.m.

Infinity – the Pools that Never End

In my last newsletter I mentioned that I had seen an infinity pool at a new construction site, and as my newsletter theme was Infinity, I would say more about these lovely pools.

Borrowing from the Endless Pools website, “The term “infinity pool” is sometimes used for an “infinite edge pool,” “vanishing edge pool,” or “negative edge pool.” These are pools that have no swim current. Instead, they have one or more exposed wall (the weir) that’s a fraction of an inch shorter than the water level, so water flows into a catch basin below. When positioned high on a perch, they create the stunning optical illusion of water extending ‘infinitely’ to the horizon.”

You can find some photos of infinity pools here. And enjoy this video of some exceptional infinity pools! If you want to find one in Tucson for your new home, come to my website, SuSwanne.LongRealty.Com.

While they are beautiful to look at or to sit by, they do have quite a large price tag for construction and maintenance. But in the Luxury level of real estate or travel they provide an elegance of living that feels superb!

Make Yourself At Home in Tucson – January 2017

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In this first edition of “Make Yourself at Home in Tucson” for 2017, I want to focus on the theme “Infinity”; therefore, the Word of the Month is, you guessed it,  Infinity! Although we start a new calendar year on January 1, all the days continue to march on from the past into the future, without our artificial yearly marker, into Infinity. We are the ones who give the days meaning. So as we move forward, we only have one day at a time. Let’s make it the best day, every day!

Word of the Month:

infinitywave-1817646_1280Infinity ( ) is an abstract concept describing something without any bound or larger than any number. You’ve probably heard the term, ad infinitum – which means infinity or forevermore, and on and on and on…

Tucson Trends:

  • Tucson is listed as Number 9 in the realtor.com® 2017 top10 western housing markets based on price and sales gains, with median sales price at $237,000. Long Realty has the top market share of sales in Tucson; so if you are looking for a home or you want to sell, contact ME!
  • Tucson’s retirement communities are in demand as more retirees want to move to a warmer environment, with amenities for sports, restaurants, and affordable living. As folks approach mid-life and retirement they begin to think about downsizing, moving closer to family, and moving into active adult or retirement care communities.

Many want to “age in place” and not leave the home they feel so comfortable in. If you are considering downsizing or moving to be closer to family, I am available to consult with you in making these life-changing decisions. With my specialized training in this area, I can offer you options you might not have thought of. (As an aside, one of the more than 60 retirement/assisted living communities in Tucson is Infinity Home. If you are interested contact their office and request information.)  

  • A few months ago I visited a new construction site in northwestern Tucson where I found some nice pools with interesting features, including Infinity Pools. One definition of an Infinity Pool is “a swimming pool designed to give the impression that it merges into the ocean or other surrounding landscape”. Here is an example. I will be writing a feature post on Infinity Pools on my blog later this month.  

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Things To Do:

Jan. 12-22 Tucson Jewish Film Festival

The Tucson International Jewish Film Festival (TIJFF)  promotes independent, international film and its capacity to promote Jewish culture and celebrate cultural diversity. You can find a listing of the films presented this year here.

Jan. 20-21 Hotel Congress Dillinger Days Enjoy history at the Hotel Congress where John Dillinger was captured after his many bank robberies. It’s FREE!!!

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Jan. 28- Feb. 12 Tucson Gem Show

Near the start of every year, Tucson becomes a playground for the world of international gem and mineral trading, collecting, and bargain hunting when the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase arrives. Here is a list of the many shows, with locations and hours of operations. Plan now to visit your favorite sites for finding gems, beads, minerals, and other treasures from around the world. (Makes me want to create more jewelry from previous purchases!)

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Make Yourself at Home in Tucson December 2016

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There is a seasonal ebb and flow to the Real Estate market, and the holiday season seems to experience a slowing down. Special parties and events fill the month of December with excitement, which doesn’t leave much room for house hunting or preparing to sell. But remember…it’s always a good time to consider buying or selling your home. Have you been to an open house decorated for the holiday?

Tucson Events:

As a volunteer for the past five years at Tumacacori National Historical Park, I must bring your attention to a special event that takes place at the park every December.

On the first weekend, December 3-4, 2016 the park will celebrate its Fiesta de Tumacacori, recognizing the many cultures of the Santa Cruz Valley, with food and entertainment associated with the area. Best of all, it’s FREE! For more information, visit the park’s site.

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Winterhaven Festival of Lights, December 10-26: Ride through this special neighborhood decorated to the hilt in holiday lights. You can drive through, walk through, or ride a hay wagon (I think that sounds like fun!). Tickets sell fast, so be sure to get yours early!

Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo, December 7-23: Twinkling lights, hot chocolate and family – it’s the most wonderful time of the year at Zoo Lights, presented by Tucson Electric Power. Thousands of twinkling lights, light displays and animal-themed light sculptures help make Zoo Lights a part of your Tucson holiday tradition. AND the Tucson Harmony Chorus will be singing on December 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

Fourth Avenue Street Fair, December 9-11, 2016: Do your holiday shopping here! So many booths of artisan wares and food vendors. Spend a day enjoying the street party!

These are just a few of the many celebrations happening in Tucson in December. In addition to these you will find concerts, religious celebrations, charity events, and family enjoyment throughout the area.

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Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

Tucson – Did You Know?

  • Tucson now has round-trip non-stop flights between Tucson International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.

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If you’re thinking about leaving the Big Apple for a warmer clime, a vacation or visit with family where you can wear your shorts in January, you can get to Tucson quickly and spend more time in the sunshine. If you are considering moving to southwest Arizona it’s now easy to make that excursion to check out homebuyer opportunities.

  • Tucson is a cycling-friendly town. If you are looking to move to a town that has great weather and cycling opportunities Tucson continues to expand its miles of cycling lanes and The Loop, the cycling path that connects the communities of Marana and Oro Valley with Tucson. 

The big event, El Tour de Tucson, is November 19, with thousands of cyclists and recumbent cyclists entered in the various mileage events. (If you live in Tucson already, make sure you plan your route around town, as roads will be blocked off for the race.) (Video: KGUN News 2015)

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If you enjoy good food and want to be a part of the sustainable agriculture scene visit the many restaurants, farmers markets, and local farms and ranches in the area. Tucson has the longest agricultural history of any city in North America.

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  • Tucson has an Ice hockey team! The Tucson Roadrunners have a brand new arena in the Tucson Convention Center in downtown Tucson. The 2016-2017 season has started, with the next home game scheduled for November 18.

If you enjoy ice hockey (who would have thought Tucson would have ice hockey!) and other major seasonal sports, Tucson has some of the greatest teams in the nation.

What else would you like to know about Tucson? This sprawling city that feels like a town has amenities to go with its sunny lifestyle. 

If you think you might like to live in Tucson, Contact Me to assist you in finding just the right home! Go to my web site and find more facts about buying a home in Tucson.

Make Yourself at Home in Tucson November 2016

Tucson is thriving with growth in jobs, new construction, and things to do. Check out some of the links. And drop me a line if you find something you want to share. Please feel free to share my newsletter with friends and family, and as always, if you know of friends or family who might be wanting to buy or sell a home, referrals are always welcome and appreciated!

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News about Tucson

According to the TREND report the “Five Cs” of Arizona’s economy – copper, cotton, cattle, citrus and climate – have been transformed into the “Five Ts” of Tucson – technology, trade, transportation, tourism, and teaching. Tucson has been identified as a top city for millennials, and a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Employment opportunities are on the rise with new businesses hiring hundreds of employees – Caterpillar, C3, Samsung, and World View. New construction in Downtown and expansion of Banner UMC highlight new growth for Tucson. More jobs means more need for housing.

Residential Real Estate Trends

The Long Realty monthly Housing Report indicates that housing inventory is low which is creating multiple offers from buyers on existing listings. This is resulting in sales at or near asking price. For properties listed in the $100,000-350,000 price points it is currently a seller’s market. For a copy of the Housing Report please email me at SuSwanne@TheRealEstatePage.House.

The Word of the Month is Inventory

In the residential Real Estate industry Inventory is the number of housing units available for purchase. If the housing inventory is stated as 2.5 months that means that with no other listings coming on the market all inventory would be gone in 2.5 months. Low inventory creates demand and causes prices to rise.

Things to Do in November

All Souls Procession – Dia de los Muertos:  All Souls Procession weekend is November 5 and 6. View the calendar of events here.

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  • Veterans Day – November 11, 2016:  Attend the 97th annual Veterans Day Parade starting at 11:00 a.m. For more information about the route and where to park go here.
  • Tucson Desert Harmony Chorus Show – “Let Freedom Ring – A Military Salute”, honoring Veterans – Saturday, November 12, 2016, 3:00 p.m., St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Tickets $18. The Tucson Desert Harmony Chorus is a chapter of the Sweet Adelines International Learn more about the chorus here. To listen to them visit YouTube at this link.

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  • Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24, 2016. Please check local listings for events happening on this National Holiday of gratitude.
  • Frida Kahlo Exhibit at Tucson Botanical Garden – Now until May 30, 2106. This exhibit examines Kahlo’s work through the lens of the plants and nature in her paintings and her personal gardens. Tucson Botanical Gardens was selected as the only institution to receive this extraordinary exhibition designed by one of the world’s premier botanical gardens, the New York Botanical Garden. (NYBG)

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  • Minerals, Mud and Fiber: Explorations of Desert Architecture at MOCA – Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrates the work of Aranda/Lasch with their exhibition “Minerals, Mud and Fiber:  Explorations of Desert Architecture”.  The exhibition is organized around three materials from the Sonoran Desert and objects that are made from them: fiber expressed as baskets, adobe mud as a desert building block, and architectural structures drawn from the crystalline organization of minerals. Now until January 29, 2017. For more about the exhibition visit their website.