Prescott’s designation as Arizona’s Christmas City gets an annual boost as Sharlot Hall Museum presents its Frontier Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 2, following the Prescott downtown Courthouse lighting ceremony.
Luminarias, handmade decorations, fresh-baked cookies, and hot cider welcome locals and out-of-town visitors to celebrate a full dose of holiday spirit and good cheer on the museum grounds.
For more than 20 years, Frontier Christmas has been entertaining guests with the warmth and spirit of Christmas past as the museum (and the city) puts on its holiday finest.
The smell of cookies and hot cider mix with the scent of pines frosted by the December chill. Music fills the air, and children activities abound in the 4-acre museum campus.
Throughout the celebration, living history interpreters regale guests with tales of pioneer Christmas traditions and Arizona’s early history.
“Judge Howard” will talk ‘law ‘n’ order’ in front of the Fort Misery fire, along with tales of a Prescott Christmas in the 1860s when saloon keepers would get old boots and old coats and lace them with a pint of whiskey, then hang the garments up Christmas Eve on trees in the park.
Also available will be events at the Schoolhouse, the old-fashioned letterpress printing office, decorating the Christmas tree with vintage trimmings in the Governor’s Mansion, meeting “Jessie Benton Frémont” and making Victorian holiday ornaments.
The museum is at 415 W. Gurley St., two blocks west of the Courthouse Plaza in downtown Prescott. Living history interpreters will be on hand during regular museum hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday), closed for the Courthouse tree lighting, and re-open for the Open House from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission for the evening holiday festivities is $5, and free to museum members and children (17 years and younger).