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SOCCER FANATICS REJOICE! 

The new Overland Park soccer complex at 135th Street and Switzer Road, which opened on Sept. 1, was unveiled to the public on Saturday, Aug. 29, during a grand opening celebration. Those who attended the grand opening experienced an evening full of exhibition games, clinics, food, beverage and a whole lot more. The 96-acre complex is home to a fieldhouse, 12 lighted fields and three concession stands. Setting this complex apart from any other complex like it in the United States is the fact that all of the fields feature synthetic turf versus traditional grass. This means one thing…less games cancelled due to rainy weather, thus making players and fans alike very happy. Spectators will also enjoy the added luxury of the outdoor wireless Internet access and the ability to view both brackets and game results on big-screen TVs located at the fieldhouse and concession stands. The complex, which can be used year-round, will host a variety of sporting events in addition to soccer such as lacrosse, rugby and field hockey. Word is rapidly spreading about the facility. There are already more than 20 tournaments scheduled to take place at the complex in 2009 and 2010, featuring teams of all ages, based locally, regionally and nationally including the 2010 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship. The complex is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the area as teams and fans alike travel here to play. This constitutes a big win for local businesses in the area as well.


THE RESULTS ARE IN

U.S. News & World Report considered 2,000 communities nationwide when determining “America’s 10 Best Places to Grow Up,” and Overland Park made the cut. Characteristics that were taken into consideration included low crime rate, strong school system, expansive green spaces to play in, plenty of nearby family events and an abundance of artistic and recreational activity. Mayor Carl Gerlach says, “Overland Park has always been a destination for families. Survey after survey shows that education and a safe community are important.” The addition of the new soccer complex at 135th Street and Switzer Road as well as the nationally recognized Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, helped prove that Overland Park is a family-friendly suburb. Other cities across the country that made the top 10 include Virginia Beach, Va., San Jose, Calif., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Plano, Texas, Denver, Boston, Rochester, Minn. and Edison, N.J. 

 

GHOSTS AND GHOULS ALIKE

Be a part of an event the entire family will love. Taking place four nights this month, Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the Night of the Living Farm at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. Featuring games, a haunted barn, a flashlight scavenger hunt, haunted horse-drawn hayride and tractor-pulled wagon rides for little trick-or-treaters, a marshmallow roast and campfire, as well as a Halloween dancing stage, there is something that everyone no matter what their age will enjoy, including a Halloween parade beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the regular concessions available at the Farmstead, bratwursts, cider, carmel apples and glow-in-the dark necklaces will be available as well. Tickets can be purchased in advance and are available at the Farmstead concession for $7 or at the door the night of the event for $8. 

GROUNDBREAKING

Expect to see something new the next time you drive by the Shoppes at Deer Creek Woods. In early September, Becky Harper, owner of Double Take Salon and Spa, was joined by City Councilmember John Skubal, Chamber Chairman Suze Parker and several other Chamber diplomats for the groundbreaking of the newest Double Take Salon. The state-of-the-art, 8,000-square-foot space will be located at 7560 West 135th Street.

BRIGHTEST CRAYON IN THE BOX

The annual Parents’ Pick Awards decided upon by Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect, the online resource for parenting advice and community chose the Crayola© Store in Crown Center as the Best Toy Store for 2009. Located on the second level of the Crown Center Shops, the Crayola© Store opened in November 1999 and was designed to be a visual, interactive and sensory experience for both children and adults – a celebration of color and creative potential equivalent to opening a new box of Crayola© crayons. The Parents’ Picks businesses are nominated based on recommendations from Nickelodeon’s local city editors who determine the winning venues in 30 different categories. In addition to Best Toy Store, the Parents’ Pick Awards identified winners in 52 major U.S. cities including best museum for families and best playground/park. 


GODA DI (ENJOY)

Now you can serve the dishes you love to order at Jasper’s restaurant to your family and friends at your table at home. Owner of the world-class restaurant, Jasper Mirabile, Jr. has put together a collection of more than 100 of his most beloved family recipes in his cookbook Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook: Italian Recipes and Memories from Kansas City’s Legendary Restaurant, available in stores this month. The five-course cookbook also features origins of the recipes, ideas for ways to create new variations on basic recipes, resources for unique or hard-to-find foods and ingredients as well as commentary, anecdotes and culinary footnotes from Jasper himself. Passing along his love for both food and family, Jasper’s cookbook combines a rich family history with the essentials you need to create an authentic Italian dish of your own.

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