Though parts of Laveen fall within Phoenix's city limits, the town's apartment residents have long resisted annexation by their larger neighbor and eschew urbanization in favor of rural charm.
Today, Laveen retains much of the charm it has had since it was first established by dairy farmers in the 1870s. The city was once physically cut off from Phoenix by the Salt River, but the building of the Roosevelt Damn in 1911 eliminated that natural divide, according to the city. Today, apartment residents maintain the city's unique identity through a number of community events and festivities that celebrate Laveen's independence.
Started in the 1950s by the Laveen Cowbelles - a group of women from ranching families that worked to promote the beef industry - the town's annual barbecue pit festival has become a renowned yearly celebration. It is now put on by the Laveen Community Council - a volunteer group of more than 300 local residents that strive to preserve the city's rich history and town pride.
Volunteers also help arrange other annual events that give apartment residents and their families fun ways to enjoy Laveen. Each Spring, the city puts on an Egg Hunt, while in the Fall, the Harvest Daze and Turkey Trot are popular events for Laveen apartment renters. And though the city continues to grow in size, town officials say they're committed to maintain Laveen's small-town allure.
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