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Wed, June 26

Courthouse light program kicks off

Members of the public admire the Yavapai County Courthouse at a past Christmas lighting event in downtown Prescott. (Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier)

Members of the public admire the Yavapai County Courthouse at a past Christmas lighting event in downtown Prescott. (Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier)

A favorite Christmas tradition gets underway this week as workers begin stringing Christmas lights in some of the trees on the courthouse plaza. It may seem early to some, but it's less than three months from now that the lights are turned on in recognition of another Christmas season. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce joins the Prescott Downtown Partnership in organizing the annual program. It was the chamber's Christmas Decorating Committee back in 1954 that started this tradition. Over the years, other groups have managed the program, but the chamber and PDP have managed it for the past 10 years.

Prescott is known as "Arizona's Christmas City," thanks to a 1989 proclamation by then-governor Rose Mofford. In that proclamation, the governor noted that "all who view its unusual beauty and the tasteful commemoration of our shared values, understand immediately that those values transcend lines distinguishing one religion from another."

Gov. Mofford's proclamation was actually the second time that Prescott had received statewide attention for its Christmas lighting program. Records show that twenty-seven years earlier in 1962, then-governor Paul Fannin issued a similar proclamation, naming Prescott has Arizona's "Christmas Town."

This 60-year history has been supported over the years by the City of Prescott, Yavapai County, and a multitude of businesses and individuals - all contributing in the name of Arizona's Christmas City. To those who have already contributed, thank you! If you would like to be part of this year's lighting program, send a check payable to the Prescott Chamber Foundation to the Chamber at 117 W. Goodwin St., Prescott, AZ 86303. Your donation is tax-deductible.

This year's lighting ceremony takes place Saturday, Dec. 6 at 6:00 pm and the lights will be on through Martin Luther King Day Weekend in 2016. The lights are on every night from dusk to 2 a.m.

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