Winter festival — a week away

Christmas spirit is strong in Williams. A host of events including a light parade, craft fairs and lighting contests have been orchestrated Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 for Williams sixth annual Mountain Village Holidays Festival.

John Sullivan, Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the festival is a way to instill a sense of community.

"As much as this is an opportunity to bring winter visitors, this event is intended to stimulate the spirit of the holiday season," Sullivan said. "Let’s use this event to showcase our beautiful city and develop the holiday spirit for our whole season."

Craft fairs

Plan to be part of the second annual Mountain Village Holiday Christmas Craft Fair held 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 at Williams Skate Park. This year the fair is open only to crafts and homemade food items, not manufactured or commercial items. All food items that are to be sold must be pre-made, properly wrapped and labeled. Applicants are asked to include a photo or brief description of items.

A few spaces are still available. The fee is $10 per table for each day. Chairs will be provided. Cash or checks (made out to the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber Mountain Village Holiday Fund) are accepted to reserve space.

Set up will begin at 8 a.m. Participants must stay up until 6 p.m. unless the crafts sell out. On Dec. 9, displays will need to be torn down promptly at 6 p.m. and be finished by 7 p.m.

Skate park activities

Several events are planned at the skate park to keep attendees entertained.

Dec. 9 activities include:

• Artwork from junior high art students will be on display.

• Jo Platt of Stampin’ Up will put on craft demonstrations.

• Janice Martinez from Giggles Clown Around will provide face painting.

• David Bixby will serve as emcee and provide musical entertainment beginning at 11 a.m.

• The Builders Club from the Williams Elementary/Middle School (WEMS) will sell chili and fritos from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• The Community United Methodist Church Bell Choir will perform at 1 p.m.

• Arcoiris Folklorico Dancers de Williams will perform at 2 p.m.

• WHS/WEMS drama students will present a Living Nativity at 3 p.m.

• After the parade, Phil Sanzari and Joe Pronto, will play Christmas and country western music for a dinner/dance from 7-9 p.m.

• Dinner will be provided as a fund-raiser by the Williams High School Publications class beginning at 7 p.m. Scott Warren of Williams Filmworks will be on hand to take photos of kids with Santa. Parade winners will be announced. Williams Civitan Club will be selling s’mores.

Dec. 16 activities include:

• Artwork from junior high art students will be on display.

• Jo Platt of Stampin’ Up will put on craft demonstrations.

• Janice Martinez from Giggles Clown Around will provide face painting.

• WHS Publications class will hold a bake sale.

• David Bixby will serve as emcee and provide musical entertainment beginning at 11 a.m.

• WEMS Builders Club will sell chili and fritos from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Adrienne Christie and Patty Williams will host a sing-a-long at 1 p.m.

• Arcoiris Folklorico Dancers de Williams will perform at 2 p.m.

• WHS/WEMS drama students will present a Living Nativity at 3 p.m.

Gingerbread houses

All are invited to participate in the 1st annual Gingerbread House Contest sponsored by the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce. Each family can contribute one entry and all parts must be edible. Judging will be based on originality and creativity.

The plan is to display the gingerbread houses throughout town starting prior to judging and then bring them to the skate park during the Christmas Craft Fairs Dec. 9 and Dec. 16. Voting will take place at this time with a ballot box on site so people attending these events can vote. There will be prizes for first place, second place and third place. Entrants will be responsible for transporting gingerbread houses to and from the events.

Tree lighting

A tree lighting ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 9 in Monument Park on west Route 66. A sign will be up Thursday designating which one is the community Christmas tree. Anyone who wants to make or donate ornaments can either put them on the tree or drop them off by Dec. 6. at the City of Williams/ Kaibab National Forest Visitor Center, 200 W. Railroad Ave. City and chamber staff will hang them on the tree.

Parade info

The festival’s Holiday Parade of Lights will wend its way through downtown Williams Dec. 9. and will begin at 5:15 p.m. along Route 66.

National Honor Society members from WHS are selling glow sticks as a fund-raiser.

Parade entries are being sought for antique or special vehicles, recreational vehicles, water haulers (on trailers and on trucks), floats or specially decorated vehicles, marching or walking entries, band or musical group, commercial trucks and family cars or trucks.

Entrants are asked to fill out an application, available at the visitor center, and return it to make judging simpler. When planning their entry, participants are asked to include an identifying banner if possible.

Lineup will be at 4:30 p.m. on Ninth Street near Route 66. Staff Motel 6 will provide hot chocolate to keep parade entrants warm while they wait.

Judges will be Debbie LaJeunesse and Linda and Orvis Fugate. They will award prizes in each category that night based on best lighting and light effects, originality and creativity.

After the parade, Small Town America, at 117 E. Route 66, will hold an open house with hot chocolate and cookies available.

Business lights

All local businesses are urged to join in by stringing holiday lights Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, keeping them lit from dusk to at least 9 p.m. They are also asked to participate in the lighting ceremony on Dec. 9.

Goals have been set to make Williams aglow. Large hotels are urged to add 5,000 lights or more, restaurants 3,000-plus, large retail/service stations 2000-plus, small hotels 3,000-plus, other businesses 1000-plus and small retailers 500-plus.

Awards will be given to hotels, motels, RV parks, restaurants, retail/large and other large businesses, stores/shops/other small businesses.

All businesses owners, even those who don’t enter the contest are asked to fill out a form indicating how many lights they have. The chamber wants to keep tabs on how well lighted the town is.

Residential lighting

As in past years, anyone who decides to enter the residential lighting contest (with a minimum of 500 lights) will get a $10 credit on their December electric bill.

Residents who plan to string fewer lights are asked to join in as well. As with businesses, residential lights need to be up Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, and kept lit from dusk to at least 9 p.m. Residents are also asked to participate in the lighting ceremony on Dec. 9.

WHS Student Council will judge both residential and business entries on Dec. 14.

Entry forms for all these events are available at the visitor center. The application deadline has been extended until Dec. 1.

For additional information, call 635-1418. The fax number is 635-1417.

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