Prescott’s reputation as Arizona’s Christmas City is growing even more in 2022, as the community adds yet more activities to the holiday festivities. The City of Prescott, acknowledging the holiday season has major positive economic impact estimated to be more than $52 million annually, initiated support this year when the City Council increased its contribution from $40,000 to $50,000.
Prescott Chamber of Commerce President-CEO Sheri Heiney said a major factor has been that the Christmas event is now working under one banner, not several. “Cooperative effort among all the groups is more functional,” she said, adding cooperation is making it possible to coordinate events for an estimated cost of $200,000 annually. That includes infrastructure expenses, operating costs, marketing and related charges. Heiney also said it’s estimated that Christmas City activities generate significant City bed taxes and other taxes.
Signature events included: the Holiday Light Parade and Bonfire, Nov. 26; 40th Christmas Parade, Dec. 3; 68th Courthouse Lighting, Dec. 3; and 34th Acker Night Musical Extravaganza, Dec. 9.
- Christmas Village and ChristkindlMarket, 4 to 8 p.m., Dec. 16; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 16, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 18
- New Year’s Eve Whiskey Row Boot Drop, Dec. 31.
Several other holiday events are worth seeing. One is the 30th annual Gingerbread Village at the Prescott Resort on display until Jan, 2, 2023.
Also attracting thousands of visitors is the Valley of Lights, with holiday scenes created in lights along a casual drive-through roadway in Prescott Valley through Dec.30.
All Kids Need Free Books
Generosity from people throughout the county is making it possible for kids from birth to age 5 in Yavapai County to have a free book a month
sent to their home. Dolly Parton is behind much of that generosity. Through a program called Dolly Parton Imagination Library of the Prescott
Area, an affiliate of the international nonprofit organization, no cost and age-appropriate books are provided once a month, said Tara O’Neill,
president of the local group.
O’Neill, director of the College Education and Early Childhood Education program at Yavapai College, said the local Imagination Library has
served more than 1,250 kids countywide since 2019.
“To keep up with growth, we need to raise between $35,000 and $40,000 annually,” O’Neill said. “We especially appreciate the support we
get from the Frontier Rotary Club, the Prescott Rotary Club, the Prescott Sunup Rotary Club and the Arizona Community Foundation. Our
board also values support from the Prescott Public Library, where Blair Runion works. She also serves on our board as the treasurer.”
O’Neill said the Imagination Library, since its founding in 1995, has become a major international philanthropy: “It functions in five countries
— the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Internationally it serves more than 2,200,615 kids.”
She said it all stems from Parton, who has said: “When I was a young girl growing up in Tennessee, I had dreams. Some of those dreams came from
seeds found in books. The seeds you help plant in your communities from giving books to kids can spread across the world.”