It may be only the first week of December, but the hum of the holidays can be heard loud and clear all through the Rim Country.
Come out from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 for the First Friday festivities on Main Street and a special program at Julia Randall Elementary School.
The fun starts with the First Friday on Main Street Block Party from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4. Merchants all along Main Street will have lots of special features, food and fun. The Community Presbyterian Church will have another of its famous First Friday benefit dinners featuring beef stroganoff for a donation of $5 per person.
Guests for Friday’s festivities can use the Main Street Shuttle — park in the Community Presbyterian Church parking lot and hop on the Main Street bus. The bus will be traveling the whole length of Main Street and makes several stops for your convenience.
The First Friday on Main Street Block Party is presented by the Payson Main Street Merchants Guild along with the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation and takes place regardless of the weather.
If beef stroganoff isn’t a favorite, stop by JRE. The Julia Randall Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization is sponsoring a dinner and book fair from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4. The menu includes two slices of pizza with a beverage for only $3. Enjoy great savings from Scholastic Books on books, posters and more while helping support reading in education. The money raised will be used to buy new books for the library. JRE is at 902 W. Main St.
Drive up to Pine this weekend and enjoy a collection of Nativity sets at the Pine-Strawberry Community Center. The display can be seen from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5. Coordinator Linda Howard and her helpers will be there to offer refreshments and answer any questions you may have about this unique holiday display. While in Pine stop by the library’s gift shop in the original Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library, on the east side of Highway 87, across from the community center.
Tamales for Toys
Back down in Payson, get some of the best tamales around by donating new, unwrapped toys to the Payson Public Safety Christmas for Kids program at Gerardo’s Italian Bistro, 512 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5.
For those needing assistance with children’s gifts this Christmas, registration for the Payson Public Safety Christmas for Kids program is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Payson Town Hall Council Chambers. To register, you must have birth certificates or proof of school registration for all children to be assisted, proof of residency and proof of income for the last 30 days. Assistance is limited for children ages 3 to 12. No food basket registration will be taken at this location.
After enjoying the Tamales for Toys event, head over to historic Main Street. See a scale model train and a scale model Santa at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main, Payson. A selection of modules will be set up at the church from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (until the beginning of the Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade), Saturday, Dec. 5, and after the parade and tree lighting ceremony at Green Valley Park, until 9:30 p.m. There is no charge for attending, (although a can of food for the Payson Area Food Drive would be graciously accepted, stickers gladly given).
Make sure to bundle up for the evening’s Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade and Community Christmas tree lighting.
Rain or snow, the Town of Payson will be brilliant with lights and the spirit of fellowship on Saturday, Dec. 5. Residents and visitors are invited to share in the magic and excitement of the season by attending the Ninth Annual Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade held on Historic Main Street Payson and then visit Green Valley Park for the tree lighting ceremony.
The parade starts promptly at 6 p.m. Spectators start gathering early in the evening along Main Street to get the perfect spot to watch this dazzling nighttime procession of lights. Arrive early and visit merchants and your friends and neighbors. It’s a festive affair with colorful marching bands, equestrian entries, dozens of lighted and decorated floats, and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Imagine the magical sparkle of thousands of lights in the Rim Country resort Town of Payson.
Stop by the Payson Womans Club at 510 W. Main St. and enjoy a bowl of hot cowboy beans and cornbread, with the trimmings, before and during the Electric Light Parade Saturday, Dec. 5. Serving starts at 5 p.m. In addition to beans and cornbread, there will also be hot coffee, hot cocoa and hot cider, plus the members of the club are baking fresh cookies and cakes.
Sunday, Dec. 6, enjoy a terrific musical celebration of the season with the annual Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship’s presentation of “The Spirit of Christmas.” Read all about this multi-media extravaganza in the story below.
Lots more holiday events are planned in coming weeks. Watch for details.