Prescott’s holiday season line-up will please everyone with live music, an outside Christmas Market, German Food and drink, Santa Visits, a New Year’s Eve Party, and More
Arizona Christmas City organizers for Prescott’s annual holiday attractions in downtown Prescott are planning a fun-filled season with several free events happening in “Everybody’s Hometown”. Festivities kick off with The Holiday Light Parade & Bonfire Festival which returns for its 26th year in Prescott on Saturday, November 25, 2023, starting at 6pm on Cortez Street. The parade will be led by Santa and will feature more than 40 colorfully lit floats and music from school marching bands. The parade ends on the field at Mile High Middle School, where the Bonfire Festival will take place from 7:00 – 8:30pm. There will be music, visits with Santa, and reindeer games for the kids. Attendees can also get a closer look at the illuminated floats – all parked on the field for viewing. Prescott High School and Bradshaw High School marching bands will perform at the Bonfire. Entrance to the field is through the gate on Goodwin Street, across from Old Firehouse Plaza. “Prescott is a magical place for the holidays,” said Audra Yamamoto, Executive Director of the Prescott Downtown Partnership who organizes this event. “We’re excited to be kicking off the holiday season for people in Prescott and hope everyone will come out and celebrate with us.”
Prescott’s 41st Annual Christmas Parade and 69th Annual Courthouse Lighting are held the first Saturday in December. From 1 – 3 pm on December 2, 2023, the Christmas parade will fill downtown Prescott with floats, marching bands, and music – all leading up to the arrival of Santa. Kids can visit with Santa on the Courthouse Plaza after the parade until 5pm. That evening is the Courthouse Lighting from 6 – 6:30 pm. Live Christmas music starts at 5:00 pm as attendees wait for the moment when the Courthouse and more than 80 trees surrounding it come to life in brilliant light. Fireworks follow the lighting and will light up the Courthouse from above. A free shuttle service will be offered with parking again this year – stay tuned for details as we get closer to the event.
The 35th Annual Acker Night will take place on Friday, December 8, 2023, in downtown Prescott. The Opening Ceremony will begin at 5 pm on Gurley Street. On Acker Night, people stroll through downtown Prescott, taking in the holiday lights and listening to live music from more than 500 performers. More than 100 Prescott businesses open their doors to these volunteer musicians with the shared goal of keeping music alive for local school kids. While admission is free, all tips to artists provide music lessons and instruments to local youth and support school music programs. A free shuttle service is provided from Frontier Village Shopping Center off of Highway 69.
Next up is the 2nd Annual Christmas Village & Christkindl Market. Inspired by a centuries-old European tradition, it features holiday gift items from more than 20 local vendors, German-style foods, a Beer and mulled Wine Garden. The Christkindl Angel returns to host the event which also includes outdoor amusement rides, Christmas music, visits with Santa, and Clydesdale horse-drawn wagon rides around the beautifully lit Courthouse Plaza. The event will be open Friday, December 15 from 4pm to 8pm and Saturday, December 16 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on West Goodwin Street in downtown Prescott. Admission is free.
“Last year was our first time for the market. We’re excited to bring it back again and offer even more fun in Arizona’s Christmas City. It’s a perfect time for last-minute gift shopping and to just get in the mood for the Christmas season,” said Sheri Heiney, President of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce.
The 13th Annual New Year’s Eve Boot Drop will be held on Sunday, December 31, 2023, on historic Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott. This jubilant celebration on Montezuma Street starts at 7:30 pm New Year’s Eve and goes until 12:30 am New Year’s Day. The Boot Drop is fun for all ages, with boot drops at 10 pm and midnight. Participants can count down as the 6-foot tall, lighted cowboy boot is lowered from the Palace Building. The event also features live music, fireworks, food trucks, a carnival, and giveaways. “We’re excited to celebrate “lucky” year 13! The Boot Drop is a favorite holiday event in Arizona’s Christmas City and we’re proud to help close out all the festive activities that take place here in Prescott,” stated Matt Brassard, organizer with Whiskey Row Boot Drop, LLC.
All the Arizona Christmas City Events are presented by Desert Financial Credit Union, Friends of the Jersey Lilly, and the City of Prescott. Additional support provided by Ability Remodeling, Springhill Suites, Galpin Ford, Residence Inn, Findlay GMC Buick Toyota, APS, Fancy That!, Matt’s Saloon, All West Fire & Security, Daily Courier, Blind Brothers Arizona, KPPV106.7FM, KDDL94.3FM, JUAN107.1FM, JACK94.7FM, KQNA1130AM, American Mailer, Prescott Pro Sound, Your Home First Magazine, Further West, SignalsAZ.com, Pure Imagination, Sparklight Advertising, Torme, El Gato Azul, Prescott Living, Prescott Now, Magic99.1FM, KAFF92.9FM, Arizona Shine 103.9FM, The Mountain 93.9FM, Fun Oldies 1450AM, Prescott Woman Magazine, Talking Glass Media, Hotel St. Michael, Bistro St. Michael, Barrett Propane, Hair Station 105, FooteWork Auto License & Title, Quad Cities Business News, Flagstaff Business News and Copper State News.
About Prescott, Arizona’s Christmas City
Prescott was officially designated as Arizona’s Christmas City in 1989 because the city had long been known for its festive holiday events. Today, Prescott offers a multitude of holiday attractions and is increasingly a destination for visitors looking for special ways to celebrate.
In 2022, the city of Prescott and the Prescott Chamber of Commerce Foundation formed the official Arizona Christmas City Organization. This organization brought the city’s main holiday events together under one umbrella, enabling event organizers to collaborate on marketing, fundraising, and sponsorship assistance.
The following events now work together within the Arizona Christmas City Organization: the Prescott Holiday Light Parade, hosted by the Prescott Downtown Partnership; the Christmas Parade & Courthouse Lighting, hosted by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce; the Acker Night Music Festival, hosted by the Acker Foundation; and the Whiskey Row Boot Drop, hosted by the Whiskey Row Boot Drop, LLC.
This collaboration will continue to grow and help support each event financially for years to come.
Learn more at www.ArizonaChristmasCity.com.