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Take a walk among the luminarias, sculptures at Yavapai College Dec. 17

The Richard Marcusen Sculpture Garden at Yavapai College
Photo by Sue Tone.

The Richard Marcusen Sculpture Garden at Yavapai College

The garden may appear cold and barren this time of the year, but on Saturday, as the sun sets, it will be lit with the warm glow of luminarias.

About 400 paper bags and candles will line the walkways and light up the Richard Marcusen Sculpture Garden at Yavapai College for the first annual “Light Up the Season” event. The luminarias and carolers greet community members and visitors in this free event that takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.

Entry to the Garden is to the left, or south, side of the college’s Performing Arts Center. Music entertainment will be set up on the patio on the west side of the Center. The college choir, faculty and soloists will perform during the evening.

“We’ll be on the porch area as we need power for the keyboard, and we have speakers and equipment,” said Dr. Craig Ralston, dean of Arts and Humanities. “People walking around will certainly hear the caroling.”

Ralston said Dr. Penny Wills, president of the college, came to him and said, “We have this beautiful sculpture garden, let’s invite the community to enjoy it.”

They’ll begin lighting the luminarias – maybe not all 400 at once – at dusk, Ralston said. The college’s picturesque sculpture garden will take on a magical glow as people follow tiny candles around the garden’s pathways.

“People love Christmas events so we’re hoping a good number will come out. If 150 to 200 people come by, that would be great. It’s going to be very festive,” he said, adding that visitors can reduce the evening chill with on-site hot chocolate and cookies.

Yavapai College is a sponsor of Northern Arizona’s Great Circle Media clothing drive, Give the Gift of Warmth, and there will be a bin handy to collect any donated winter clothing or blankets.

Guests can continue celebrating the holiday by attending “It’s A Wonderful Life, the Musical” in the Performing Arts Center immediately following the event and enjoy Frank Capra’s classic holiday of a man redeemed, a town restored, and an angel getting his wings in story and song. Performance begins at 7 p.m. and tickets, $20-$30, are available by calling the YCPAC Box Office at 928-776-2000, or visiting

Yavapai College Performing Arts Center is located at 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott.

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