Holiday Spirit

A season full of holiday Magic on the Mountain

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Watch out grinches, the Rim Country is zinging with holiday cheer.

The lampposts are decorated. Let the Magic on the Mountain revelry begin.

It all starts in Payson the day after Thanksgiving with the annual festivities and lights for two days at the Swiss Village Shops.

The shops are located at the intersection of Forest and the Beeline.

Friday evening there will be a nativity scene in front of La Sierra Mexican Restaurant and carolers at 5:30 p.m., courtesy of the Payson High School Choir.

At 6 p.m., the lights go on!

Santa Claus arrives at 7 p.m. and there will be photo opportunities.

Saturday the festivities begin at Swiss Village when Santa returns from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be free hayrides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Swiss Village Idol begins at 1 p.m.

Kiwanis will have their Brat Mobile and participating merchants will have make-and-take projects throughout the day.

Celebrate God and Country

When the Legacy Christmas tree lights up the night this year, it will have a patriotic theme.

Legacy will turn the tree lights on at 6 p.m., but from 5:30 to 7:30 is a chance for people to "brings their kids out and celebrate as a town," Butch Klein said.

Klein is one of the founders of Payson Supply Line. His organization is getting the troops ready for Christmas, and the community can help.

"People can bring supplies, whatever they want to send to the troops, this way we can get all that stuff off to them by Christmas," he said.

Through monetary donations received throughout the year, PSL is able to help parents or relatives who can't afford to ship gifts, get them to their son or daughter who is in the service.

"Whether we ship the stuff or the family does, we just want them to get it," Klein said.

PSL will have also letter writing materials and a big Christmas card for people to sign for the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Safeway is providing hot chocolate, coffee and cookies for people to snack on at the event.

There will be a bounce house for the children.

Keynote speakers will include parents and grandparents of soldiers, as well as soldiers who have recently returned.

KCMA radio is providing holiday and patriotic music for the event.

"Come help us celebrate a traditional Christmas. It is going to be a neat event," Cindy Kofile of KCMA said.

Parade of lights

Saturday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. the APS and the Town of Payson's Electric Light Parade down Main Street.

Participants include churches, businesses and the Northern Gila County Historical Society.

Roger Radu and his cohorts at Central Arizona Supply (CAS) will be back this year with more lights, a lot more snow and two special characters.

"It's going to be quite spectacular when we get geared up," Radu said.

The Grinch will be in his sleigh, trying to lure his little dog near enough to harness.

"Of course the dog does not want any part of it," Radu said.

"Mo," Radu's "real wiener dog" will play the Grinch's pup.

Radu's partners in float making are "Sparky," Steve Castillo and Bob Icard. Kevin Thorp and Stephen Marley are the new "recruits."

"We'll be giving out lots of treats and the Grinch might even be taking some treats," Radu said.

The deadline for entering a float in the Electric Light parade is Nov. 21. Call (928) 468-6074 for details.

First Friday on Main

The Main Street Art and Antique Walk continues with refreshments activities, music, and shopping while strolling.

Down the Street and Artists of the Rim galleries are hosting art receptions.

If you missed Vyktoria Pratt Keating's Celtic Christmas show or just want to see her again, then be sure to stop by Bootleg Alley between 5 and 8 p.m. Debra Mooney of Bootleg Alley is a fan and has brought Keating there to sing and play her guitar during the art walk.

Santa, hayrides and boats

There are still more Magic on the Mountain activities on Friday, Dec. 7. Green Valley Park is hosting Santa and his elves in their workshop at Green Valley Park from 5 to 7 p.m.

That same evening, from 5 to 7 p.m., children of all ages can hitch a ride on a hay bale at Julia Randall Elementary School and take a ride down Main Street.

Enjoy Payson's first annual boat parade when as many as 20 decorated watercraft will light up the waters of Green Valley Lake.

Holiday house lights tours and contests

The Third Annual Holiday Lighting Contest is open to residents of Payson (within the city limits) and residents of Star Valley.

Prizes will be awarded for each town: $500 first place, $300 second place and $200 third place.

Winners must agree to allow the addresses and photographs of their homes to be published in the Payson Roundup and Rim Country Gazette newspapers and online at payson.com and rimcountrygazette.com.

Noon, Dec. 12 is the deadline to submit contest applications to the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Payson, APS, the Roundup and the Gazette which are sponsoring the contests.

It does not cost anything to sign up.

A representative from each group will judge the contests and winners will be announced the week of Dec. 17.

Payson Parks and Recreation is sponsoring a bus tour of Payson homes that are alight with the glow of Christmas. Busses leave from Julia Randall Elementary school at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15. The last bus leaves at 8 p.m. The tour is free, check out Main Street businesses for tickets after Dec. 1.

Contact Parks and Recreation for more information at (928) 474-5242, Ext. 7.

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