When the late Rose Mofford, then governor of Arizona, named Prescott “Arizona’s Christmas City” in 1989, she may not have envisioned the celebration that would grow. Prescott now is recognized nationally as a festive place to be for the holidays, attracting thousands every year.
In the Quad Cities, the season started Saturday evening, Nov. 24, with the Holiday Light Parade and dozens of colorfully decorated entries. Organized by the Prescott Downtown Partnership, events culminated with after-parade activities at Mile High Middle School’s athletic field.
Saturday, Dec. 1
1 p.m. 36th annual Christmas Parade around the Courthouse Square, sponsored by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce with theme “Cowboy Christmas.”
6 p.m.64th Annual Courthouse Lighting with more than a million lights on trees and buildings, and holiday music by several performing groups.
6 p.m. Sharlot Hall Museum features historically-based Frontier Christmas events.
7:30 p.m.Handel’s “Messiah,” at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
Saturday, Dec. 7
5:30 p.m.30TH Annual Acker Night Musical Showcase sponsored by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce. More than 500 performers – musicians, dance troupes, carolers – will be at businesses in central downtown Prescott area.
Saturday & Sunday Dec. 22-23
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Santa’s Visit and refreshments at Holiday Courtyard, 150 S. Montezuma.
Monday, Dec. 31
10 p.m. & 12 midnightWhiskey Row Annual Boot Drop, sponsored by Spring Hill Suites
Unique in the nation is the 26th Annual Gingerbread Village at the Prescott Resort. Billed as “the largest Gingerbread Village in the World,” the fanciful exhibit is created by local individuals, schools and businesses from the Quad Cities area. It is located in the lobby and free to the public for viewing through the New Year. Donations benefit the local Hungry Kids Program.
Another memorable holiday experience for many is the “Valley of Lights,” a drive-through spectacle at Fain Park in Prescott Valley, organized by the PV Chamber of Commerce. It runs through December 30.
In addition to all the activities cited above, several local churches and synagogues are sponsoring programs; Information is available by contacting the specific organization. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
For more information, go to visit-prescott.com/upcoming-events.
Photo by Ray Newton