Four years ago, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau decided to kick things up a notch and make Sedona a destination for the holidays. Los Abrigados Resort & Spa had announced the end of Red Rock Fantasy, and the chamber knew they had to do something to bring visitors to town and replace what had become a favorite tradition for locals. Holiday Central Sedona was born, and it gets bigger every year. The event is a collaboration between multiple businesses and nonprofits, especially the chamber of commerce, Sedona Main Street, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village and the City of Sedona Parks and Recreation. “There has been a big community effort to make these events cool,” says Kegn Moorcroft, the chamber’s public relations manager. “This year, we are focused on bringing out the locals. Most of the events are free, and we have something for everyone – religious events, family activities, art events and concerts.”
In addition to the events listed in this story, Kegn says to keep an eye out for a few surprises. On Dec. 1, larger-than-life decorations will be unveiled around Sedona. Carolers will also roam Uptown. “There are surprises around every corner,” says Kegn.
It isn’t just Sedona that’s getting into the holiday spirit. You’ll also find festive events happening in Cottonwood and Jerome, too. Below is a list of selected activities. Happy holidays from Sedona Monthly!
Light the Village
Every night through mid-January
Village of Oak Creek Business District (AZ-179)
For the third year in a row, the trees and bushes along AZ-179 through the Village of Oak Creek will be lit every night. Check out the two main trees at the north and south ends of the VOC. At press time, the Sedona Village Business Association was raising money to double the number of lights that were displayed in 2015. If the goal was met, 10 percent of the donations were earmarked for the Yavapai Food Council.
Old-Time Ornament Making
Daily through Dec. 31, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sedona Heritage Museum (735 Jordan Road in Uptown)
Create small gifts, ornaments or adornments for your packages in the old-timey atmosphere of the Sedona Museum. Instructions and samples will be provided.
Red Rock Fantasy
Dec. 1-Jan. 1, dusk until 9 p.m.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village (336 AZ-179) and Tlaquepaque North (331 AZ-179)
Sedona’s beloved holiday tradition, Red Rock Fantasy, will return for the first time since 2012. The light display was previously located at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa, but this year Tlaquepaque has taken the helm. Professional light displays choreographed to music will intermix with Tinsel Town light displays created by local businesses and organizations. (In previous years, Tinsel Town was located at Posse Grounds Park.) Vote for your favorite light display – the winner receives $500 for their nonprofit of choice. The sycamore trees behind Pump House Station Urban Eatery at Tlaquepaque North will come to life after sunset with twinkling lights and music. The Sedona Trolley will take visitors from Uptown to Tlaquepaque every Friday and Saturday, 5-9 p.m. (excluding Christmas weekend) for free in December.
Classic Movie Screenings
Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 at dusk
Tlaquepaque North (331 AZ-179)
Bring your blanket and bundle up with friends and family while enjoying classic holiday film screenings presented by the Sedona International Film Festival on the lawn behind Pump House Station Urban Eatery. Local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will sell hot cocoa and popcorn. Visit the website for the movie schedule.