Music, Crafts And Special Events Kick Off Busy Month

Caleb Jackson plays guitar at the Spirit of Christmas program presented by the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship.

Caleb Jackson plays guitar at the Spirit of Christmas program presented by the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship. |

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The hustle and bustle of the season adds a celebratory flavor to the holidays. That hustle and bustle explodes this week with a long list of craft fairs and one of the community’s most popular music programs.

Start with a lesson about the traditions of Christmas. Historian Neil Morrison will present “The History and Customs of Christ­mas” in a free program from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Dimi Espresso, 612 N. Beeline Hwy., Payson. The evening will also feature music by Cinnamon Twist.

Next, make plans to stop at the Payson Community Presbyterian Church between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6. A $5 chili supper is planned (bring a can of food and eat for $4). Once again, the evening will feature music provided by Cinnamon Twist.

The Friday night fun launches to Community Presbyterian’s “Mudhens” railroad display that will be operating in the lounge from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., admission is a can of food. The railroad display will also be available for viewing from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. Coincidentally, the program planned by Cinnamon Twist will feature a hearty selection of train songs.

The cans collected are for the Payson Area Food Drive.

The railroad display hours Saturday evening coincide with the Payson Electric Light Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. at Green Valley Park and makes it way east on Historic Main Street to the Sawmill Crossing. This year the parade has a Charlie Brown Christmas theme. The award-winning Fiesta Bowl Parade Ponderosa Pine Trees and Santa will also be part of the festivities.

Additional fun is offered at Pine Country Animal Clinic on West Main and at Mount Cross Lutheran Church on East Highway 260.

The clinic will have its third Annual Santa Paws event where you can bring your pets for photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 7. The photo fees will be contributed to the National Canine Cancer Foundation and its fight against the disease, which affects one out of three dogs in the U.S.

Cameras will be flashing at the log building of Mount Cross Lutheran Church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. For a donation, you can take pictures with Santa including not only family members, but pets as well.

Music and more takes center stage — literally — Sunday, Dec. 8 at the eighth annual Spirit of Christmas program presented by the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship.

The always popular, and awe-inspiring, event will take place at both 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Payson High School Auditorium. Admission is a non-perishable food item.

In the past the pageant has featured music from church choirs and soloists, dance, sketches and music.

This year the program has received assistance from Rim Country Health, which has provided major funding.

Christmas craft fairs

An array of unique, handcrafted gifts will be offered at all the craft fairs taking place through December.

Trek down to Young for the 14th annual Community Holiday Bazaar at Braswell’s Chuckwagon from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, and from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8. There will be lots of food, books and plenty of other gift items.

The Mogollon Health Alliance Auxiliary is having an Arts & Crafts and Bake Sale in the hospital’s main lobby from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6.

Items available to purchase include baby blankets, bibs, toys, scarves, catnip toys, dishcloths, jewelry and more.

Proceeds from the sale will go to support the many programs and scholarships offered by the Mogollon Health Alliance. For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

Swing by the Payson campus of Gila Community College, 201 N. Mud Springs Road for the seventh annual Student Art Show and Sale from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show will include oils, acrylics, ceramics, sculpture, photography, folk art, drawings and cake decorating. The event is free and refreshments will be served.

The Rim Country’s oldest civic organization, the Payson Womans Club, will have its annual Holly Berry Fair from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 (the evening hours are for the benefit of those attending Payson’s Electric Light Christmas Parade on Main Street).

The Holly Berry Fair features crafts and baked goods, plus a Southwestern Lunch with green chile burros, posole, beans and a dessert of pie or cake.

The Payson Womans Club is just east of the Payson Senior Center, which is at 514 W. Main St.

The Pine Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild’s Christmas Boutique in the guild’s shop at the Pine Community Center continues this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8, and again Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15.

While not a craft fair, the Mogollon Health Alliance will host Paula’s Bags & More of Scottsdale for a sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9 at the Payson Regional Medical Center main lobby.

The sale will feature a great selection of purses, men’s and ladies’ wallets, fanny packs, travel bags, pet carriers, cell phone covers, Bible covers and various other items.

Proceeds from the sale will go to support the many programs and scholarships offered by Mogollon Health Alliance. For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

More music

The Payson Choral Society’s Christmas concert, “Come On, It’s Christmas,” is Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Payson High School Auditorium. Once again Daria Mason is directing the program, which featured accompaniment by Victoria Harris.

Performances are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission is $8 per person if purchased in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets can be bought from members of the Choral Society or at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce or Payson Public Library.

Proceeds from the concert fund scholarships awarded to students at the middle and high schools in the spring.

To learn more about the Payson Choral Society, contact John Landino at (928) 468-0023.

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