Arizona Getaways For The Holidays

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The holidays are a great time to enjoy various events within our state.

One of the more outstanding is the Lake Havasu City Festival of Lights.

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Fat cats, fancy and furry cats -- cats of all kinds can be seen Dec. 8-9 in the Cat Fanciers All-breed Cat Show at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The London Bridge is the second largest tourist attraction in Arizona and the English Village is aglow with more than a million lights. The storefronts to rooftops, trees and walkways are ablaze with lights. The Island Fashion Mall is totally lit with displays and the London Bridge Resort has more than 100 acres on the shoreline in fantastic lighting arrangements. On Dec. 7 and 8, the annual Boat Parade of Lights will be floating its way down the channel, getting underway at 6 p.m. The parade begins at Thompson Bay from the south and proceeds north under and bridge and out, circling back around. Some 80 vessels will participate. The Nautical Inn situated on the channel is Arizona's only all-beachfront resort and a great way to see the procession as it enters the channel. Phone (800) 892-2141 with questions.

A wonderful family vacation spot is the Nautical Inn Resort with 139 beachfront rooms, restaurant, bars, heated pool and a mile from London Bridge. Another fine hotel with high standards is the London Bridge Resort. It has 122 deluxe suites with three pools, fine dining, bars and great views of the water. Telephone (866) 331-9231 for details.

If you have never visited Lake Havasu City, it may be a surprise to find a city of more than 40,000 people, mostly located on the Arizona side of the lake in homes that have been built since the inception of the development by Robert McCulloch in 1968. He purchased the London Bridge, moved it brick by brick to Arizona and it was completed at its current location in 1971. The City of Lake Havasu now owns the bridge. From Payson, it is a little more than 300 miles or an easy six-hour drive.

Other December events include Luminaria Nights in Tubac Dec. 7-8. The village is lighted by thousands of candles, with homemade food, Santa Claus, music and wonderful gift ideas. From dusk to 9 p.m. Call (520) 398-2704 for more information.

From Dec. 7 through Dec. 9 in Tucson, see Luminaria Nights at the Botanical Gardens with more than 2,000 luminarias, a garden railway, and entertainment from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Tucson Downtown Parade of Lights & Festival at Armory Park and the Main Library Plaza is Dec. 8. For details, call (520) 547-3338.

The Cat Fanciers All-breed Cat Show is Dec. 8-9 at the Phoenix Convention Center, West Hall 2 with Best in Show competition, raffles, vendors and more. For information, call (480) 893-7695.

Other upcoming events

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    Enjoy holiday light shows around the state this month.

  • Dec. 14 - Jan. 5 - Scottsdale Holiday Lights at McCormick Railroad Park with various display and entertainment, 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., except Dec. 23, 25 and 31. For details, call (480) 312-2312.
  • Dec. 23 - Globe Festival of Lights in the Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park celebrates the holidays with hundreds of glowing luminarias along walls and walkways with holiday music, hot cider and cookies from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., for information, call (928) 425-0320.
  • Dec. 29-31 - Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix at the State Fairgrounds. Features livestock, exhibits, ranch rodeo, Lil' Buckaroo rodeo, western art and gear show, stock dog demonstrations, tractor pull and children's activities; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., for more information, call (602) 258-8568.

Whatever you do, may it be fun, safe and full of pleasure. Happy Holidays.

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