Plenty Of Holiday Activities To Keep Rim Country Busy

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Andy Towle/Roundup

Lorraine Horton puts a painted saw blade back on the wall after a close examination of the painting on it at the Pine Arts and Craft Guild’s Christmas Boutique.

Swiss Village Lighting Ceremony

Kickoff Christmas with the annual Swiss Village Lighting Ceremony and enjoy the festivities from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27 and again from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28.

Friday’s festivities include Santa’s arrival on a fire engine at 5:30 p.m. and the lighting of Swiss Village; at 6 p.m., the Sounds of Christmas will be performed by local artists and there will be photos with Santa; at 7 p.m., enjoy the hospitality of the Swiss Village shops.

Saturday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be photos with Santa, carriage rides, make-and-take Christmas projects and a book signing for “Insect Wonderland” at Payson Florist, plus food and refreshments.

Payson Elementary School will be providing each store with handmade decorations adorning Christmas trees placed at each merchant store.

Nativity sets sought

To have your Nativity set included in the annual Nativity display in Pine, take it to the Pine Cultural Hall between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2. The community is invited to view the Nativity sets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Dec. 3 and 4 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5.

Linda Howard and her helpers will be there to offer refreshments and answer any questions you may have about this unique holiday display.

Christmas Boutique

This is the last week to purchase items from the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild’s Christmas Boutique. The boutique will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28, then again on Sunday, Nov. 29, from noon until 3 p.m.

Festival of Lights

The residents of Pine and Strawberry invite their neighbors from throughout the Rim Country to join them for a night of fun for the entire family celebrating the first Festival of Lights event Saturday evening, Nov. 28.

Local businesses will open their doors early to offer special deals for holiday shoppers. The Jingle Bell Parade starts at 6 p.m. with a special tribute to those in the military. Immediately following the parade will be a community tree lighting ceremony, caroling and entertainment from many of the area’s talented fiddlers. Santa is scheduled to make an appearance before the evening ends and folks will have an opportunity for photos.

Anyone interested, may bring an unbreakable ornament to help decorate the community tree and organizers will also collect canned food items to help benefit the local food bank.

Admission is free, so head to the Community Center in Pine to help kick off this Christmas season.

Midweek Advent services

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, 507 W. Wade Lane, is holding midweek Advent services in preparation of the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Services will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. The last service will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17. The theme for the Advent services will be “The Stories of Advent.” The community is invited to join the congregation for this traditional welcome to Christmas. For more information, call (928) 474-5440.

Christmas tree auction

Everyone is invited to the annual Pine Strawberry School Christmas Tree Auction from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 at the school gym. Local merchants sponsored trees that were decorated by students in every grade.

These decorated trees are available for auction, with proceeds to benefit Pine Strawberry School. Also, Christmas cards, featuring holiday art by every student at the school are available for purchase the night of the event, as well as handmade ornaments and poinsettias.

The evening will culminate in a visit from Santa and homemade cookies and hot chocolate are provided free of charge.

Angel Trees growing around town

The Fourth Annual Senior Angel Christmas Tree and other Angel Trees will be growing up around Payson in the next week or so.

The Senior Angel Christmas Tree, which has been at First State Bank in the past, will now be at each of the Edward Jones offices in the community.

Angel Trees for youngsters in the community will be at National Bank of Arizona and elsewhere. Look for the locations in future editions of the Roundup.

Compassion never goes out of fashion.

Christmas for Kids registration

Family assistance 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.

Tamales for Toys

Bring a new, unwrapped gift to Gerardo’s Italian Bistro, 512 N. Beeline Highway, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 and get a great tamale dinner from the Payson Public Safety Christmas for Kids folks.

Electric Light Parade and tree lighting

Rain or snow, the Town of Payson will be brilliant with lights and the spirit of fellowship 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 in 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 town of Payson.

Everyone is invited to join in this colorful community event. Spend an evening in historic downtown Payson and spark that magical holiday feeling again.

The spectacular Electric Light Parade is the perfect way to get the holiday season off to an illuminating start.

For more information, please contact the Main Street office at (928) 474-5242 ext. 374.

Christmas concert

The Payson Choral Society, directed by Daria Mason with accompaniment by Victoria Harris, will present its annual Christmas concert in two performances Saturday, Dec. 12.

The concert, “A Joyous Noel,” will be at the Payson High School auditorium at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Concert tickets are $8 for adults; students and children are admitted free.

Tickets may be purchased in advance from Choral Society members, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, and at the library. Tickets will also be available at the door before each concert.

Proceeds from the concerts provide musical scholarships to middle school and high school students. These are awarded each year at the spring concert.

Have a Jazzy Christmas

Pete Pancrazi, jazz guitarist and vocalist, brings jazzy Christmas sounds to Payson at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13 at the Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.

Pancrazi, who is reappearing in Payson by popular demand, is not exactly a household name when it comes to music legends, but the Valley musician is extremely well known in the jazz community. Downbeat magazine called him “the one to watch,” and a guitar player “deserving greater attention,” while AzJazz magazine named him “Jazz Guitar Player of the Year.”

Pancrazi is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston. While there, he received their Performance Songwriter Award four times, and he was a two-time winner of their songwriter competition. Pancrazi has cultivated a large and loyal following among Arizona jazz fans. They enjoy his nimble guitar work and warm vocals. While his repertoire will include original compositions, straight-ahead and Latin standards, the focus Sunday will be on his special blend of holiday music.

Beth Lederman will accompany him on piano and keyboard, Vic Kottner on string bass, and Gerry Reynolds on drums.

Refreshments will be included, and a donation may be given to support the program costs. Reserving a seat is advised, as seating is limited to 200. To make a reservation, contact Gerry Reynolds at gerryr@cox.net.

Gingerbread party

The members of the Crossroads Foursquare Church invite Rim Country residents and visitors to join them for their Fourth Annual Gingerbread Party at the church, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17. Space is limited, for reservations, call (928) 474-2602.

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