Categories
Culture

History of German Fashion

Did you go to the German Fashion show on Monday (Aug 30)? Hosted by Beauty Box Boutique, this event was sure to get you inspired for Oktoberfest later in September at Fountain Park. But have you ever wondered about the history of the famous German fashion?  

Lederhosen

Lederhosen never started out as an iconic costume for Oktoberfest. Peasants used this clothing. Germans had been using leather for centuries but up until the 16th century, French fashion began to influence Europe. Culottes (or knee-breeches) were designed for leisurely and aristocratic fashion as they were softer fabrics. By the 18th century, German workers adapted the culottes into their attire but instead of using a softer material, they went with their trusty leather. This is what we now know as the lederhosen, which translates to “leather breeches.”

Although the lederhosen was designed for peasants, the upper class eventually adapted the clothing for outdoor recreation like horseback riding and hunting. In the 18th century, they also used lederhosen as a fashionable ensemble to mimic the peasant style. Thus, lederhosen became a common German attire for peasants and noblemen alike.

By the 19th century, the city-dwellers lost interest in the lederhosen, making it, once again, the attire for peasants. Eventually, a new fabric was introduced to country workers: jeans. Levi Strauss, a German immigrant, invented jeans in 1873. Not only were jeans durable for manual labor, but they were also seen as hip American fashion. Eventually, this caused the lederhosen to become unpopular in Germany.

Dirndl

The dirndl has a very similar history as the lederhosen. They were originally used as a maid’s dress for house and farm workers. By the 18th century, the upper-class adapted this style into their fashion, much like the lederhosen. The only difference between the peasants and upper-class fabrics was the materials they used. Wools were more affordable for the peasants whereas the more lavish materials included silk and satin.

Eventually, the dirndl also started to fade out by the 19th century. It wasn’t until more recently that fashion emerged as costumes for Oktoberfest. Additionally, the tradition of apron knot-tying is a more modern practice since women did not wear these outfits to impress anyone centuries ago. If the girl’s knot is on the right, she is taken. If it’s on the left, she is single.

When you’re attending the Fountain Hills Oktoberfest later in September, remember to toast to the peasants that began this famous tradition. Prost!

For more information, CLICK HERE.

To see the other upcoming pre-Oktoberfest events, CLICK HERE.

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Categories
Inside Your Home

7 Ways Smart Home Technology Improves Your Life

When you were given chores as a teenager, did you ever respond with, “Why can’t someone invent a self-cleaning floor?” Of course, someone eventually invented the iRobot floor cleaners. Going back farther in time, someone said, “Why can’t someone invent a machine to wash the clothes for us?” And someone did!

Today, the opportunities for adding automated features to our homes are growing. Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology allows our devices to “talk” to one another and for us to “talk” to our homes, even from long distances.

We call these homes with automation technologies “Smart Homes”. The benefits of turning your home into a Smart Home are tremendous.

CONVENIENCE

You can schedule your thermostat according to your living habits, tell your oven to preheat while you’re in line at the grocery store, and see who is ringing your doorbell and even converse with them with devices like Ring doorbells.

SECURITY

Self-monitoring is made easy with smartphone apps. Add cameras, motion sensors, automated door locks, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. You can also install leak detectors to alert you to increased moisture so you can proactively protect your home from costly damage.

ACCESSIBILITY

Many accessible features are available for the elderly or disabled. Voice-command systems can control lights, lock doors, operate a telephone or computer. Other devices help the speech impaired. Even labor-intensive tasks like watering the lawn can be automated.

EFFICIENCY

Create automations for shutting off lights when you leave a room, adjust the thermostat when you’re away, and operate motorized shades. Pair automations with energy-efficient appliances to find new ways to save on electricity, water, and natural gas.

RESALE

Adding Smart Home features is a good way to improve the resale value of your home. These features can attract savvy homebuyers in the future and potentially increase the value of your home.

HOME MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS

Monitor how much TV you watch, get an inventory on food in your smart fridge, and get an overview of your energy consumption habits over time. These insights help you to modify your daily habits and behaviors to live a lifestyle that improves efficiency.

SAVE MONEY ON INSURANCE

Check with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts on your homeowners’ insurance. Find out which smart devices and systems qualify for discounts. These may include thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion detectors, moisture and humidity sensors, and smart security systems.

Categories
Things to Do

A Journey through Musical Cultures Around the World

A visit to the Musical Instrument Museum is more than just a stroll among interesting instruments from around the world. It is an experience that is enriching, inspiring, fascinating, and just plain fun.

MIM’s founder Bob Ulrich (then CEO of Target Corporation) was inspired to develop a new kind of museum that focused on the kind of instruments played every day by people worldwide. Today, the collection has over 8,000 instruments from more than 200 countries.

In the five Geographic Galleries, guests can see, hear, and experience musical traditions from every corner of the globe. These galleries focus on the major world regions of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, Latin America, Europe, and the United States and Canada. Many of the instruments are rare and the finest of their kind. Many are historically significant and are part of distinctive musical cultures.

You will don a museum-issued headset, and as you approach video monitors in the various exhibit spaces, the videos begin to play footage of musical performances that show instruments played in their original contexts. The video combined with the sounds of the music transports you to other cultures and their unique styles of music and dance.

When you finish your tour of the museum, you will feel an appreciation of diverse cultures and the craftsmanship and traditions of instrument makers from the past to the present. Your sensory experience will pull on your emotions in ways you may not expect.

In addition to MIM’s regular museum exhibits, you can attend a wide range of concerts in their beautiful concert hall throughout the year. MIM also offers classes for children up to age 10, field trips for school groups, and a STEM video collection for educators.

Be sure to check out the oldest instrument in the museum: a paigu goblet drum. It dates to China’s Neolithic period and is estimated to have been created between 5000 and 4000 BCE. The drumhead may have been made of snake or frog skin. For more information about the museum, visit mim.org.

Categories
Home Management

20 Steps to Sell Your Home

As a homeowner, you can play an important part in the timely sale of your property. With guidance from your RE/MAX Sales Associate, here are some simple steps to facilitate selling your home faster and at the best possible price.

  1. Make the Most of First Impressions

A well-manicured yard, neatly trimmed shrubs, and a clutter-free patio welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted front door. Work with your landscaper to blow away all leaves and be sure to freshen up the paint on yard walls. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

2. Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends

Here is your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. A paint refresh adds value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, “with a little work.”

3. Check Faucets and Bulbs

Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned-out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don’t let little problems detract from what’s right with your home.

4. Don’t Shut Out a Sale

If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect’s mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

5. Think Safety

Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps; roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs, and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

Check out our online guide 20 Steps to Help You Sell Your Home for the remaining valuable tips. Visit SunPropertiesAZ.com/about-fountain-hills.

Categories
Around Arizona

Will We Have Enough Water?

Water conservation is common practice in this very dry state. If you’ve lived in Arizona for any amount of time, you know we have a declining water supply.

But what measures are we taking to ensure enough water for decades to come?

Carbon-Free Electricity

Arizona Public Service (APS) is committed to carbon-free electricity. Since they are amongst the only companies that received a double-A score for their climate and water stewardship, they have a goal by 2050 to be 100 percent clean and carbon-free.

Carbon-free energy is the energy that is produced by generating no carbon emissions; the thing our cars emit. Hydroelectric plants are one of the ways Arizona is using this type of energy. As the water flows into the dam, it flows through a narrow pipe then pushes against turn blades in a turbine to spin a generator and produce electricity. The Hoover Dam and the Glen Canyon Dam were constructed for such resources. Our water supply comes from these dams through our canals. Learn more about our canals HERE.

Battery Energy Storage

The APS utility has been adding battery energy storage to its solar plants and expanding its renewable energy. They have signed an agreement that purchased 200 megawatts of additional wind energy. This has helped reduce the amount of groundwater consumption by 22 percent from 2014 to 2019. This utility is also used at Palo Verde Generating Station, the largest generator of carbon-free electricity in the U.S.

Reforestation

The Salt River Project (SRP) has created the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, which replenishes the state’s water supply through a massive public-private reforestation. Reforestation helps with climate change. More trees mean less heat. They absorb the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be put back into the air. If the temperatures can stay consistent and lower, less energy would be used. This allows SRP to refrain from tapping into more water consumption that’s used for energy.

Plan in Advance

EPCOR is the proven leader in managing our water supply. They have secured up to 5.87 billion gallons of water supplies by signing an agreement with Maricopa Water District. This adds to the amount of surface and groundwater offered to Valley residents.  

Join the Cause

Be conscientious and use common sense when using water. Phoenix is now considered to be the hottest city, according to national climate data. With heat comes less water. But if you are practicing conservation, you are headed in the right direction.

We all have to share this desert and showing a little care can go a long way.

To learn more about water conservation, CLICK HERE.

Categories
Local Events

Can I get a “Prost?!”

Are you eager to celebrate Oktoberfest before the actual days? Now you don’t have to wait! The Chamber of Commerce has put together a few events to get you in the spirit of the holiday. Take a look at the exciting days to come before you attend the real Oktoberfest later in September.

German Wine Tasting

Beer and brats are not the only things to enjoy during Oktoberfest. Wine lovers can enjoy 5 authentic German wine samplings at Grapeables. Hosts will be there to create a fun experience and guide you through your tastings.

All are invited to attend on Monday, August 23rd at 5:00 pm. The cost is $20 for 5 wines. Don’t forget to sign up! Registration is required. CLICK HERE to sign up.

German Fashion Show

Break out your dirndls and lederhosen! Get inspired for your Oktoberfest costume and watch the men and women show off their best authentic German outfits. Hosted by Beauty Box Boutique.

The show starts at 5 pm on Monday, August 30th at DC Bar & Grill.

Taste of Germany

Fountain Hills Sister Cities is here to give you “A Taste of Germany,” so be sure to bring your appetite. There will be authentic tastings of traditional German food including frothy beer, juicy brats, and warm pretzels. You will be dreaming about the food until the actual event in September. Is your mouth watering yet?

This event is Tuesday, September 14th at 5 pm located at Phil’s Filling Station.

German Polka Dance Lessons

The final pre-party event is for those who love to shake and groove. Local dance company Love 2 Dance will teach you the steps of traditional Polka dancing. Show off those moves at Oktoberfest and impress your friends and family.

This event will take place Monday, September 20th at 5pm located at Georgie’s.

Pre-Sale Tickets

Order your tickets for Oktoberfest ahead of time. Tickets are just $5 if you pre-order online; $10 at the door. If you dress up in costume, you will receive $5 in food/drink tickets.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

Categories
Local Events

Back 2 School Bash

Celebrate the end of summer with us at the Fountain Hills Back to School Bash event on August 20! There will be so many free activities, you won’t know what to do first. Festivities begin at 6:30 pm and it all wraps up at 8:30 pm.

Inflatable water slides and games will be scattered throughout Four Peaks Park for your little ones to play on. Try to dunk your friends in the dunk tank too. Water and fun – what more could you ask for?

Yard games will also be set up to enjoy. Toss a bean bag and challenge your friends to a fun competition of cornhole. Strike a target with a bow and arrow. Toss balls into a pit. Test your luck and spin the wheel. There are unlimited amounts of fun here!

Food trucks will be on-site to serve up some delicious food. After you fill your bellies, break out your dance moves and grove to the beat provided by a DJ. The MCSO and fire department vehicles will also be there to show off their cool trucks and vehicles.

Show some support for a neighborhood in need and donate canned goods for St Mary’s Food Bank. There will be collection bins on site. For more information, please call Kim Wickland at (480) 816-5108.

Visit fh.az.gov for additional information about the Bash.

Categories
Around Arizona

The History of Arizona Canals

Lakes Mead & Powell on the Colorado River are the sources of water for Fountain Hills residents. The water from Lake Mead makes a long journey of 336 miles across central and southern Arizona to supply 80-percent of the state’s population by way of canals. These canals are maintained by the Central Arizona Project (CAP).

After the turn of the Twentieth Century, the seven states that share the Colorado River Basin entered an agreement to allocate shares of the river’s water. This led to the construction of both Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Colorado River Basin Project Act. This authorized the construction of CAP by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. This new system provided a way for Arizona’s allotment of water from the Colorado River to be delivered to the most populous areas of Arizona while reducing the use of groundwater for agriculture and other activities.

The construction of the CAP system started in 1973 at Lake Havasu. It was completed south of Tucson twenty years later at a cost of more than $4 billion.

The CAP is an engineering marvel. Water enters the system at Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant where it lifts the water more than 800 feet from Lake Havasu into the 7-mile long Buckskin Mountain Tunnel. It flows into the open canal where it continues its journey across the state. Over the course of the entire system, it gets lifted more than 2,900 feet in total elevation. There are fourteen pumping plants, a hydroelectric pump/generating plant at New Waddell Dam (Lake Pleasant), 39 radial gate structures to control the flow of water, and more than 50 turnouts to deliver water.

The canal loses about 1-percent of its annual flow each year to evaporation. Depending on flow, the water takes 5-7 days to go from the beginning to the end of the aqueduct. It has more than 80 long-term water users, including municipal and industrial customers, agricultural users, and Native American tribes.

Few natural resources are as precious as water. The Central Arizona Project provides reliable, renewable water from the Colorado River. This makes Arizona’s economy stronger, and residents can enjoy a higher quality of life.

Learn more about the Central Arizona Project at cap-az.com.

Categories
Local Businesses

American Watchmaking Finds a Home in Fountain Hills

Which country comes to mind when you think of watches? Probably Switzerland. Who did not have a Swatch watch in the 80s, after all?

EARLY AMERICAN WATCHMAKING

Yet, until the 1920s, it was America who led the global watchmaking industry while the European markets were flooded with cheap junk watches. Waltham, MA was the hotbed of the industrial revolution where advanced tools and machines could cut metal parts. These tools allowed American watchmaking to take off in 1854. The Waltham Watch Company produced the first 100% American-made watch.

Swiss watches were crafted by small-scale, individual watchmakers with no standardized parts or tools. They realized their industry was in trouble and sent a representative to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. A behind-the-scenes tour revealed specialized machines for manufacturing each part of the watchmaking process.

After World War I, everyone wanted a wristwatch, something the Swiss had learned to produce exceptionally well after their earlier visit to America. But the biggest blow was when World War II turned American watch factories into factories for war equipment. As with most other industries, watch components and manufacturing moved to China and a 100% American-made watch became a relic of the past.

BRINGING WATCHMAKING BACK TO AMERICA

But Kunal Naik is on a mission to change that. His Fountain Hills-based company, Fine Timepiece Solutions, exists to bring every aspect of watchmaking back to the United States. It has been a challenging process, but Kunal has made great strides toward his goal.

Before starting Fine Timepiece Solutions, he began his own watch company called Brillier with three watch collections. When he started Fine Timepiece Solutions in 2019, he introduced the company as the first industrial watch movement supplier based in the USA since 1960. FTS supplies high-quality movements built in the USA to other American brands.

“My goal is to empower watch brands across America to be more independent,” said Kunal. “I want to see American-made watchmaking make a return. I want to protect American brands, whether they are large companies or independent microbrands.”

Companies around the world rely heavily on China for parts and movement. When a small watch company wants to build a “Made in America” brand, they encounter many hurdles, including a sharp increase in production costs. Kunal wants to help mitigate those barriers to entry.

“Our Ameriquartz movements are assembled, tested, and regulated at our Fountain Hills facility. These are constructed from domestic and imported components as we move towards our goal of a total Made in USA standard.”

A walk through the FTS facility in the former Four Peaks Elementary School shows the great attention to detail given to this craft. Most of the employees are from the Phoenix metro area and a few grew up in Fountain Hills. Kunal especially loves bringing in young people to be the new generation of timekeepers and watchmakers.

Learn more about FTS at ftsusa.us.

Categories
Community Engagement

Learn How to Cook This Summer

Summer is a great time to find unique activities to do indoors to stay out of the heat. Why not turn the oven off at your house and take some cooking classes with friends or family?

Whether you are a complete novice in the kitchen or you’ve been cooking for years, there is always room for improvement. Even the finest chefs constantly improve their skills. Cooking classes can also broaden your culinary horizons by introducing you to new cuisines.

Check out some of these fun options not far from home.

ARIZONA CULINARY INSTITUTE

Go big by getting a diploma in Culinary Arts, Baking, and Restaurant Management, or get a certificate in Culinary Arts or Baking & Pastry. The Arizona Culinary Institute offers a small group setting in a comfortable environment. The hands-on learning experience provides far more success than classroom or online formats.

Azculinary.edu

CLASSIC COOKING ACADEMY

Whether you are a knife-shy beginner or want to expand your home-cooking skills, look no further. The Classic Cooking Academy guides you through single cooking classes that focus on a variety of skills. Learn techniques rather than just reading a recipe and become the master of your kitchen. They also offer kids and teens camps each year.

Ccacademy.edu

SWEET BASIL COOKING SCHOOL

Sweet Basil is Scottsdale’s premier gourmet store, cooking school, and market café all in one. Knowing how to cook is more than just surviving. It is a means to making us whole, healthy, and happy. Take a hands-on cooking class under the guidance of a professionally trained chef and instructors.

Sweetbasilgourmet.com

CUISINE BY CELINE

Learn brand-new skills or hone existing ones. Become a better cook at home or find a new twist on an old recipe. A professional chef will oversee your entire experience while you do the cooking. They can accommodate all kinds of diets.

Cuisinebyceline.com

SUR LA TABLE

Build your skills and develop your cooking confidence with comprehensive, multi-session courses. Or sign-up for single classes to focus on a single technique or dish. You can even take an online cooking class where you invite Sur La Table’s chefs into your kitchen through live, online sessions.Surlatable.com/cooking-classes-1/