TUSAYAN — Local residents and visitors can get a jump on buying gifts by stopping by the Grand Canyon Community Church’s Christmas Bazaar Saturday at the Grand Hotel in Tusayan.
Unique handmade items will be on display for sale from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the hotel’s lobby. There will be up to 41 tables of items this year.
Among the tables will be one set up by the Women of the Grand Canyon Community Church. They will be selling bakery and donated items with proceeds benefiting the church.
slated for Dec. 8
GC VILLAGE — The Grand Canyon Rotary Club Holiday Dinner Dance tickets are now on sale.
The annual Christmas season event will be Dec. 8 at the El Tovar Hotel. The dinner dance’s evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a no-host reception. Dinner served by the El Tovar staff will begin promptly at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Limbs Akimbo.
Dinner tickets are available for $50 per person. They can be purchased from any Rotarian. There is limited availability for dinner tickets.
There will be several door prizes and raffle drawings all evening. Raffle tickets cost $2 each or three for $5. Those who buy raffle tickets do not need to be present to win. At the dinner dance, there will also be silent and live auctions and Rotary’s Community Leader of the Year award will be presented.
A professional photographer will be on site to shoot portraits for this “dress-up” social event.
Dinner and raffle tickets will also be available most afternoons and weekends at Canyon View Marketplace in the village. For those seeking ticket information, call Rotarian Angie Ancheta at 638-3150.
Food basket drive
TUSAYAN — The sixth annual Grand Canyon Christmas Food Basket Drive continues with the local Food Drive Committee canvassing the community to find deserving individuals and families.
Each year, local businesses and civic organizations are asked to identify and suggest individuals and families in the community who may not be able to enjoy a nice Christmas dinner without a community Christmas food basket.
After a list of suggested persons is compiled, the Food Drive Committee solicits donations from area businesses, organizations and individuals. The committee then collects the donations and purchases food items to place in the Christmas food baskets.
After the Christmas food baskets are prepared, they are quietly distributed to families and local individuals, within ample time for the recipients to prepare their own Yuletide feast.
The Christmas Food Basket Drive committee asks for local business leaders and individuals to contact Paul Kinnison at 638-2790 if they are aware of a family or person may deserve a Christmas food basket this year.
WILLIAMS — Personal-use Christmas tree permits for Kaibab National Forest's Tusayan Ranger District are currently available for sale through Dec. 24.
"These are tags left over from the Christmas Tree Sale by Mail program," Tusayan's acting district ranger Brad Johnson said. "Although the permits are available in Williams and at Tusayan, these Christmas trees are only located on the Tusayan Ranger District."
The permits cost $10 per tree and come with a corresponding map at the Tusayan and Williams ranger districts, as well as at the Williams Visitor Center.
"For many families, cutting their Christmas tree is a wonderful holiday tradition and the Forest Service would like these traditions to continue," Johnson said.
The Forest Service reminds tree cutters to exercise caution.
"I'd like to remind everyone to drive safely when going out on the forest and remember that many roads can be soft and muddy," Johnson said. "Also, carry emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as extra blankets, chains and shovels. And as always, let someone know your whereabouts and expected time of return."
Hours for facilities where permits can be purchased:
• Williams Visitor Center — Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Williams Ranger District — Open weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Tusayan Ranger District — Open weekdays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Christmas tree permits are also available for specific areas on the Coconino National Forest. For information on locations and availability of those permits, call 928-527-3600.
Ride Polar Express
aboard GC Railway
WILLIAMS — The award-winning children's book "The Polar Express" will come to life Dec. 7-8 aboard Grand Canyon Railway.
The Polar Express will leave Williams at 6:30 p.m. each evening, reach the North Pole at 7 p.m., and return to Williams at 7:30 p.m.
Passengers will be treated to a star-lit journey through the pines, enjoying chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa and readings of the classic Christmas story by Chris Van Allsburg.
Santa Claus will board at the North Pole stop and present young passengers with a commemorative sleigh bell. All will then be invited to sing Christmas carols on the return to Williams.
Individual tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 1-16. There is also a $179 package for a family of four, which includes the rail journey, a Fray Marcos Hotel room, breakfast and dinner and a copy of the book.
The City of Williams will also stage its annual Parade of Lights on Dec. 8, scheduled to start after the Polar Express train returns to Williams.
The special train will not enter Grand Canyon National Park nor will it change normal operation of Grand Canyon Railway's daily train run to the Canyon.
For information, call 1-800-843-8724.