Joey Chenoweth mug

The term “bedroom community” has lingered over Maricopa since it started to boom nearly 20 years ago. The idea that the city is a place where people leave in the morning to go to work and come home at night to sleep is mostly reflective of the number of commuters leaving each day because the job offerings at home have not yet met the demand of a rapidly growing labor base.

But some people have also used “bedroom community” as a pejorative about the lack of cultural offerings in Maricopa. They say the city was built out of nothing from some opportunistic real estate developers, and that there’s little more than homes that exist to give the city an identity. “There’s nothing to do here,” they might say as they pack up their family to go to the Valley on the weekends in search of some fun.

What this issue of Copacetic argues is that those beliefs are unfounded. If you know where to look there are plenty of opportunities for fun and engaging activities and personality right here without having to drive all the way to Phoenix Metro. All you have to do is get out there and find where you belong in the grand scheme of Maricopa’s burgeoning cultural landscape.

We didn’t just want to list the things to do around here — there are plenty of places to find that on the internet. Do indeed go to the Dwarf Car Museum or take a ride on a hang glider. But what we’re focusing on is a little deeper than that: the organic communities that have grown in this young city, full of people who have come here from all over the world and found others who have the same passions they do.

Whether it be artists or historians or athletes, these niches have formed and grown along with the city they’ve helped mold into one that feels like home, and not just a house. And then, of course, is the story of a tiny tribal community that has turned itself into a tourist destination through ambition, vision and execution. It’s all here in Maricopa and the Ak-Chin Indian Community, and while you might still have to drive a while to get there during rush hour (a different topic for a different time), the fact remains that this culture belongs to you, because it was made by you.

So now that the weather is getting nicer following a long summer, why not get outside your house — and your comfort zone — and give your own city a shot for having a good time? There are plenty of opportunities out there, and even more people willing to welcome you in. You might just find some new pride in where you’re from, to call yourself a Maricopan.

Have fun out there.

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