Christmas in Carefree Ushers in Holiday Season

The Carefree Desert Gardens illuminated for visitors to the Christmas in Carefree celebrations. Photo: Herbert Hitchon

Christmas in Carefree returns to the Carefree Desert Gardens, with holiday-themed events and special celebrations designed to welcome the spirit of the season.

This year’s official Holiday Tree Lighting will take place Friday, Dec. 6, at 5pm in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion and at the iconic Carefree Sundial. The giant 25-foot Christmas tree and the Gardens will be illuminated for the first time during the holiday season with thousands of twinkling lights sparkling throughout the desert landscape. The ceremony will include a performance by various Cave Creek Unified School District student choirs, and Santa himself will handle the tree lighting duties. Following the tree lighting, a special screening of the popular holiday film Elf will be held in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Free hot chocolate and holiday treats will be available, along with snacks for purchase, and a holiday gift will be distributed to each child/family in attendance.

Santa makes another appearance in town Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9am to 11am, in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Held in conjunction with Rural Metro Fire’s Holiday Toy Drive, attendees may bring a new toy, canned good or suggested donation of $5 per person for admission, with proceeds benefiting Foothills Food Bank. Enjoy free photos with Santa and a performance of Sing! Sleigh Bells Ring!, a holiday celebration in song featuring talented area youth.

The Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion will resonate with an evening of classic Christmas tunes, harmonies and holly-jolly jazz favorites when area favorites Vicki McDermitt and Chirp, featuring Jerry Donato, take the stage Saturday, Dec. 7, at 6pm. Presented in partnership with Spirit in the Desert and Music Serving the Word Ministries, the evening’s entertainment will be preceded with a performance of holiday favorites from the Cactus Shadows High School Jazz Band, directed by Kevin Brady. Music Serving the Word will be accepting non-perishable food donations, benefiting Foothills Food Bank. This concert is open to the public, and free to attend.

Rounding out the weekend, Pinnacle Creative Arts presents Hope for the Holidays — A WWII Christmas, Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2:30pm in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Step back in time to Christmas Eve 1944 and experience a serviceman’s holiday celebration. Tickets are $15, and available online at www.pinnaclecreativearts.com as well as at the door.

Congregants from Temple Chai, as well as members of the Jewish Social Group of Cave Creek and Carefree, will host the annual Chanukah in Carefree Menorah Lighting every evening at 5:30pm, beginning Sunday, Dec. 22, through Sunday, Dec. 29, in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Local groups and families will be invited to light the menorah each evening, with a special ceremony Sunday, Dec. 22, that will include the Temple Chai cantor and choir. Each evening’s service is open to attendees of all denominations and faiths.

For more information about these events, visit www.christmasincarefree.com or call 480.488.3686.

Christmas In Carefree

Twenty-Three Days Of Seasonal Celebrations

This year, the Town of Carefree is building upon the decade-long tradition of the Carefree Christmas Festival—and expanding the holiday season, while also furthering community and business involvement.

Preserving the sense of community for locals while also showcasing all the color and beauty of Carefree to new visitors will be the focal point of the expanded Carefree Christmas Festival. The seasonal celebration is set to run from December 1 through 23, and will include highlights of an official tree lighting at the iconic Carefree Sundial, Carefree Snow Village (featuring real snow), an open-air Christmas Market, concerts, a comedy show, arts and crafts, gingerbread build-off, Luminaria Tribute in the Garden, and a new daytime community parade by the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few.

“The expanded footprint will allow for even more visitors to enjoy the festivities over an extended period,” said Carefree Mayor Les Peterson. “This will complement typical business hours and also provide a platform for nonprofits from all over the desert foothills area to engage with the community and showcase their cause.”

Evenings in the enchanting, four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens will be adorned with a professional holiday light display. Meanwhile, the daytime hours will be better positioned for the community parade December 9—while also allowing for more community involvement, reduced safety risks and enhanced exposure of Carefree’s pedestrian-friendly business district. There will also be special appearances by Beatles Tribute Band, Marmalade Skies, singer-songwriter Ryan Sims and comedian-actor Jill Kimmel, who is the younger sister of the late-night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel will pay tribute to veterans and first responders by performing a comedy show just for them. Admission will be an unwrapped toy for the annual toy drive, which supports children of a family selected by the Foothills Food Bank. All toys will be delivered by the Carefree Rural Metro Fire Department. The Cave Creek Unified School District will also include performances from the Cactus Shadows High School Jazz Band as well as various elementary and middle school choirs in addition to the bell ringers and choir from the local Presbyterian church.

It all adds up to an enchanting expansion of the Carefree Christmas Festival—and the sign of even more exceptional things to come.

“We anticipate this event becoming one of the most-attended and revered holiday traditions in the North East Valley,” said Peterson. “We look forward to seeing it grow and evolve, year after year.”

For more information, visit www.christmasincarefree.com.

Click here for a Christmas in Carefree Calendar of Events and Information!

 

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