Category Archives: arizona events

Sedona’s Holiday Events – From Luminarias to Lights!

Red Rock Fantasy at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa
Red Rock Fantasy at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa

Sedona is one of the most enchanting places to celebrate the holiday season. Annual events draw thousands each year to create family traditions & memories that will last a lifetime. Sedona’s moderate climate boasts temperatures in the mid-50’s to low-60’s making outdoor and indoor activities enjoyable year-round. Just be sure to pack a jacket to wear after the sun goes down. From the lighting of over 6,000 luminarias at beautiful Tlaquepaque to the lighting of over 1 million Christmas lights at Los Abrigados nightly, make some memories with your family this holiday season here in beautiful Sedona.

Red Rock Fantasy at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa, Nov. 19 – Jan. 2, 2010

One of the city’s most spectucular annual events is the Red Rock Fantasy at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa. Now in its nineteenth year and boasting nearly two-dozen displays created by families from the Southwest, the festival promises never-before-seen marvels of light that leave children in wonderment and move adult minds to enjoy the holidays as they did when they were young. That’s the magic that has made Red Rock Fantasy a favorite among Arizonans and visitors to the state alike.

Lights On for the 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy will take place this year at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2009. The event will last through the New Year, ending with “Lights Out” on Saturday, January 2, 2010.

All those touring the lights will be given a ballot containing a route map, which will allow them to choose five favorite displays. The completed ballots may be dropped in the ballot box located in the lobby of the restaurants. The winning display will be awarded a lifetime vacation ownership through ILX Premiere Vacation Club with prizes also going to runners up in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place categories. The Red Rock Fantasy Awards Banquet announcing the winners in every category is Saturday, January 9, 2010 beginning at 6:30 pm. In addition to the annual competition amongst display decorators, ILX Resorts Incorporated will continue the tradition of donating a percentage of proceeds to local schools, charities and nonprofits.

ILX Resorts wants to thank the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and City of Sedona for pledged safety during this year’s annual event. It is because of them Red Rock Fantasy has been and continues to be a success.

The festival is open each evening (weather permitting) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for children aged 4-12 and is complimentary for children 3 and under. Blocks of 20 tickets or more are sold at a discounted rate of $4 per person. For more information, call 928-282-1777 or toll free 800-521-3131.

For more information please call (928) 282-1777 or visit our web site at For bulk ticket information, contact Deb Hawthorne, Accounting Manager, Los Abrigados Resort & Spa, at (928) 282-1777.

cactusThe Festival of Trees, Tlaquepaque, Nov. 27

A new and exciting event opens at Tlaquepaque on Friday, November 27, 2009 – The Festival of Trees. Area artists and galleries will have over 30 Christmas trees fully decorated in fun and exquisite ways to entice the guests of Tlaquepaque. Kick of your holiday season with a beautiful themed tree already pre-decorated…The trees will be on display on throughout the courtyards of Tlaquepaque accompanied with silent auction bid sheets. Viewers may visit Tlaquepaque and check their bids through 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 6th. The proceeds from this Holiday event will benefit The Humane Society of Sedona, Toys for Tots, Camp Soaring Eagle and the Desert Star Community School. For additional information please contact Mally Paquette at (928) 592-2177.

Friday, November 27: 10:00am The Art Inspired Tree Display Opens

Wednesday, December 2: 1-3pm Pet Photos with Santa to benefit the Humane Society of Sedona

Saturday, December 5: 1-3pm “Kids Be a Star”. Make ceramic holiday gifts sponsored by Imagine Art in Sedona

Saturday, December 5: 5-7pm Holiday Reception Under the Stars

Sunday, December 6: 4pm The Auction Closes

  • Date Details: Friday, November 27 through Sunday, December 6, 2009
  • Phone: (928) 592-2177

The Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque
The Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque

The Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque, Dec. 12

It’s hard to describe what it feels like to be in the midst of 6,000 golden-hued luminarias that punctuate every wall, balcony, patio and cobbled stone walkway in the arts village. If ever there was a place for bedazzlement and holiday wonder, the 36th Annual Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque is it.

Everyone — the young, young at heart and revelers everywhere — is invited to the holiday celebration on Saturday, December 12th, 2009 from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. Admission is free, as is the Sedona Trolley service from the uptown Municipal parking lot to Tlaquepaque, available throughout the festival hours.

For many the lighting of a luminaria has a special significance. Now a Tlaquepaque tradition for six years, cancer survivors are honored and those that lost their lives to cancer are remembered as friends and families dedicate a luminaria in their name. Donations to help fight the disease are gratefully accepted by the American Cancer Society. The sponsored luminarias will their special messages are then placed around the fountain at Patio del Norte. “This can be a challenging time of year for many families. We want to especially remember those that are heroically fighting cancer or who overcame it… as well as those who did not. In a small way we pause to acknowledge them at this special time of year,” said Wendy Lippman, general  manager and managing partner of Tlaquepaque.

At 5:00 pm candles will be handed out to everyone. Kids, parents grandparents and visitors from all over love to light their candles and place them in the luminaria bags. Not long after, the stunning spectacle of light, over 6000 luminarias is complete.

The weekend event will kick off the night before with popular singer Ron Tolson whose deeply melodic baritone voice will fill the Tlaquepaque Chapel on Friday, December 11th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.

On Saturday starting at 3:00 pm gather the kids in Patio Del Norte to see the arrival of Santa Claus and his elf, accompanied by Christmas favorites sung by Sedona’s Tom and Shondra. The Chavez Jazz Trio with Frankie Chavez, accomplished drummer and percussionist, will perform from 5:30 to 8pm in Patio Del Norte.

At Plaza de la Fuente from 5:30 to 8:00 pm listen to the heart-pounding, uplifting vocals and perfect harmonies of the 60-person River of Life Tabernacle Choir. Astounding in their mastery of song, their repertoire is both traditionally seasonal and inspiring gospel.

Traditional Christmas music delivered with the upbeat sounds of steel drums, marimba and more by percussionist Paul McDermand will thrill the crowds in Patio de las Campanas from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. At the Chapel from 4:00 to 5:30 pm be sure not to miss Sedona’s Jim Buchanan and stay for the Leman Music Ensemble from 6-8pm, performing traditional Christmas favorites.

It wouldn’t be a traditional Tlaquepaque event without the Roaming Mariachis Familia Rojas – a big hit from the Fiesta, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Carolers will stroll throughout the village during the afternoon to round out the holiday cheer.

Home to more than 40 shops and galleries and four restaurants, Tlaquepaque, the Art and Soul of Sedona, now in its 37th year, is located at 336 Highway 179 at the Oak Creek Bridge just south of 89A on Highway 179. It is open daily at 10:00 am. For more information call (928) 282-4838, visit:

Sedona Tweet-Up Nov. 19 to Kick Off 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy


November 19 Tweet-Up to Kick-Off 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy  

This month's Sedona/Verde Valley Tweet-Up Kicks off the 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy of lights at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa
This month's Sedona/Verde Valley Tweet-Up Kicks off the 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy of lights at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa

SEDONA, Ariz., November 13, 2009 – The 6th monthly Sedona/Verde Valley Tweet-Up will bring dozens of Twitter users from Sedona, Flagstaff, the Verde Valley, Prescott and other parts of Arizona together to network in person and online Thursday, November 19,  5:00 – 7 p.m. at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa’s Shef’s Bar. The evening also marks the grand opening of the 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy at Los Abrigados, featuring over one million holiday lights in an array of creative displays throughout the property.  Shortly after arriving, attendees will have a chance to mingle with Santa Claus himself as he makes his grand entrance via helicopter at 5:30 p.m to switch the lights on for the season.

The Sedona/Verde Valley Tweet-Ups are sponsored in part by Red Rock TV16, and the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa. These fun and informal gatherings offer Twitter users the opportunity to meet their followers in person, gain more followers, learn how to use Twitter more effectively and create lasting business relationships. There is no cost to attend, no membership to join – just a gathering of great “tweeps”, good food, drinks and some valuable Twitter tips and tools to take home with you.

Los Abrigados Resort & Spa is generously offering attendees complimentary appetizers and drink specials in Shef’s Bar followed by a free raffle awarding prizes such as gift certificates to local restaurants and spas. Hosts Megan Aronson, Nate Hansen and Sheryl Curtis will give a brief presentation, “Online Video Marketing 101 and 2.0” followed by a short Twitter Tips & Tools Q & A session. Afterwards, be one of the first to see this year’s spectacular lights displays on a tour of the 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy! In the spirit of the season, attendees may bring canned food donations for the Sedona Food Bank to help feed hungry families this winter. 

About Red Rock Fantasy

LA_RRF1The 19th Annual Red Rock Fantasy will begins Thursday, November 19, 2009 and will last through the New Year, ending with “Lights Out” on Saturday, January 2, 2010. The festival is open each evening (weather permitting) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for children aged 4-12 and is complimentary for children 3 and under. For more information, call 928-282-1777 or toll free 800-521-3131, or visit our web site at

About the Sedona/Verde Valley Tweet-Ups

The Sedona/Verde Valley Tweet-Ups were started by Megan Aronson (Red Rock TV16), Sheryl Curtis (Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa) and Nate Hansen (Los Abrigados Resort & Spa) in June of 2009 in an effort to bring local Twitter users together to create business and social networking relationships on line and in person. The Tweet-Ups are well attended and take place once a month at various locations around Sedona. If you would like to be included on our email list about monthly events, participate as a host, sponsor or attendee, donate a raffle prize or if you just want to learn more about Sedona Tweet-Ups, please contact Megan Aronson via email at

Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 Chosen from Northern Arizona – Cutting Ceremony 11/7

capitol-christmas-tree-201x300CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE 2009 CUTTING CEREMONY

Springerville, Arizona (November 3, 2009)- The official United States Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from an area in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona on November 7, 2009.  A ceremony with White Mountain Apache Dancers, Apache blessing, choral music and Arizona’s official historian Marshall Trimble will commemorate the historic event.

Every year since 1970, a Christmas tree has been presented to the United States Congress from a national forest and is known as “The People’s Tree”. This year, for the first time, the tree will be a gift from Arizona. Placed in front of the Capitol building, Arizona’s Gift From The Grand Canyon State is an 85-foot Blue spruce selected from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.  Found in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona near Springerville, this beautiful tree is taller than a 7-story building. After the ceremonial tree cutting November 7th, the tree will travel throughout Arizona to 24 cities and towns including Payson, Prescott, Phoenix, Tucson, Lake Havusu City, and Williams for 10 days from November 10 – 19, 2009.  The tour continues across the nation where it is then presented to the United States Congress on November 30, 2009.  The iconic symbol of the holidays will be lit during a ceremony by the Speaker of the House, along with an Arizona schoolchild who has made an ornament for the tree.

The tree will travel on a double flatbed truck, escorted by a caravan of approximately 12 vechicles, a total of 3,000 miles in its three-week tour. Placed on its side, it will rest in a custom cradle that supports the branches, preventing damage and maintaining the tree’s perfect shape. The base of the tree will be fitted with a plastic bladder filled with fresh water nightly. The tree will absorb about 65 gallons of water each day throughout its trek to Washington, D.C.

Chris Knopp, Forest Supervisor of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests stated, providing a tree worthy of the U.S.Capitol lawn has been both a great responsibility and honor for us. This is a wonderful opportunity for Arizonans to showcase the states uniqueness, diversity and beauty.”

Finding the “perfect” tree is no easy task. Bechtol, who has selected the Capitol Christmas Tree for the last four years, explains some of the characteristics he looks for in a choice tree, “it has to have a straight trunk, dense branches, and an overall conical shape. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the tree will be viewed from every angle so it has to have an overall uniform appearance. In addition, the tree needs to be healthy enough to hold up during the long journey to Washington D.C.

Schoolchildren throughout Arizona have made more than 5,000 ornaments reflecting the theme of “Arizona’s Gift” to be placed on the iconic symbol. The ornaments collected have been as diverse as our state. Using natural materials from the Grand Canyon State such as copper to wild gourds found in the White Mountains, the creativity has been astounding. The handcrafted ornaments made for the Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 are about 9 to 12 inches so that they are viewable on the 85-foot tree from a good distance. Another challenge was for students to craft ornaments that can withstand 3 weeks of harsh winter weather, which can include snow and rain. Many of the ornaments submitted are eco-sensitive and made from recyclable materials.

An additional 1,000 indoor ornaments will decorate 75 trees placed throughout federal buildings in the Capitol. These ornaments are smaller in size, ranging from 3 to 7 inches tall. Since these creations were crafted for indoor use, they could be more refined and delicate. Many of these ornaments were submitted by arts groups, clubs and service organizations. In fact, most ornaments used by offices throughout the Capitol Complex will become part of office Christmas ornament collections. A full-sized semi-truck will be needed to transport all the ornaments delivered to Washington, D.C.

Many Americans who have never traveled to Arizona might not realize that Arizona’s landscape is as diverse as our culture ranging from hot desert areas in Phoenix and Tucson to cool, snowy climates in areas like Flagstaff and the White Mountains. Arizona is known for being the home of the Grand Canyon, the magical red rock destination of Sedona, the infamous Route 66, Snowbowl Ski Resort in Flagstaff and other key desert destinations like Scottsdale and Tucson. The area the tree was selected from actually suits its name, “The White Mountains” because it is a dense, rich countryside of forest that is oftentimes covered in snow. Arizonans are proud to provide this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree and as the tree travels the country making its way to the Capitol, many people along the way will probably be asking, “Where did the tree come from again? Arizona?!”

Follow the tree from Northern Arizona all the way to Washington, D.C. with daily updates at

WHAT: Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 Cutting Ceremony: Official cutting of the Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The 85-foot tree will tour Arizona and then be delivered to the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. on November 30, 2009.

WHEN: Saturday, November 7, 2009, 8:30 a.m. MST
Media access begins at 7:00 a.m.

WHERE: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest – Near Alpine, Arizona
Map and directions will be emailed on Wednesday, Nov. 4th