Introduction to Gilbert, Arizona
Incorporated in 1920, Gilbert is a large town in central Arizona, located approximately 24 miles southeast of Phoenix. Other nearby cities include Mesa (approximately 15 minutes to the north) and Tempe (approximately 20 minutes to the northwest). The town's population has skyrocketed from under 2,000 in 1970 to over 156,000 according to a 2004 census estimate.
Known during much of the early 20th century as the 'Hay Capital of the World', Gilbert was primarily an agricultural community until recent years. Concurrent with the town's population growth, Gilbert has developed and transitioned rapidly to its present status as a modern suburb of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
Gilbert Arts and Culture
Gilbert is home to an annual 'Gilbert Days' celebration in late November, a three-day festival in observance of the full paving of Gilbert Road through the town. Additional things to do in and around Gilbert include:
- The Riparian Institute
- The Hale Centre Theatre
- Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Arts
- Gilbert Historical Museum
- Heritage District
- Freestone Park
- Deer Valley Rock Art Center (nearby Phoenix)
- Cave Creek (nearby Phoenix)
Included among the recreational facilities in Gilbert are two municipal swimming pools, two community centers, a recreation center, and 14 parks, one of which is a dedicated skateboard park.
For sports fans, there are many attractions within a short driving distance:
- Cactus League - Several MLB teams hold spring training (March) at nearby sites:
- Chicago Cubs (Mesa - approximately 8 miles away)
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe - approximately 16 miles away)
- San Francisco Giants (Scottsdale - approximately 20 miles away)
- Oakland A's/Milwaukee Brewers (Phoenix - approximately 24 miles away)
- Major League Baseball (MLB) - Arizona Diamondbacks (Phoenix).
- National Basketball Association (NBA) - Phoenix Suns.
- Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Phoenix Mercury.
- National Football League (NFL) - Arizona Cardinals (Tempe).
- National Hockey League (NHL) - Phoenix Coyotes.
- National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Arizona Sting (Glendale).
- College: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
- Arizona State Sun Devils (Tempe).
Nearby Tempe, Arizona is also home to both the NCAA College Football Fiesta Bowl and Insight Bowl.