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Tue, Oct. 15

Friday Catchall: ‘Christmas City’ designation safe?

Large crowds were on hand for the annual Courthouse Lighting in downtown Prescott Saturday, December 2. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Large crowds were on hand for the annual Courthouse Lighting in downtown Prescott Saturday, December 2. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

The Friday Catchall:

• CHRISTMAS CITY – Christmas, already? Many gifts are bought, yet awaiting my wrapping skills (huh!). And the traditional Christmas Eve chili dinner needs attention (starting).

Well, at least Prescott still has its place in the state as the “Christmas City.”

Some are nipping at our heels though.

First, imagine our courthouse plaza. Thousands upon thousands of lights, dozens and dozens of trees; more than 100 lit up for the holidays in Prescott. (Sounds like a burned-out bulb nightmare to me!)

But the lights continue to burn brightly and, even driving by, the sight of it all instills a wondrous spirit for Christmas and a host of memories (remembering past courthouse lightings with our daughter, seeing friends and browsing store windows, and how it looks like — or better than — that of other huge displays across the country, such as in Denver.)

Still, it gave me pause recently when a reader told of a Phoenix TV station dubbing the city of Gilbert as the new Arizona Christmas City.

Wait a minute.

Actually, after some research, it was ABC stating that a certain Gilbert neighborhood’s light display won the station’s “Great Christmas Light Fight.”

No, it was not the entire city but one neighborhood. And, our designation came from the governor (Rose Mofford), adding much more credence.

Looking at the video and photos, the neighborhood does look impressive. Quite a lot of coordination involved there!

But, I think Prescott’s status is safe.

I would like to see us add some of the Gheral Brownlow-era cutouts and characters, though (remember those?!).

It comes down to personal preference.

Side note, thank you to the city, chamber, and Tommy Meredith and the Friends of Jersey Lilly Courthouse Lighting fundraiser each year!

• QUOTE – “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith

• ELK ETHICS – I went to the highlands early this month for bull elk season, and while we were not successful a great amount of fun was had! We hiked anywhere from 3 to 7 miles each day, a few times twice a day, and enjoyed the time in nature.

Unfortunately, we also came upon two kills that hunters abandoned in the forest. One was a five-point bull a hunter said his buddy did not want because coyotes got to it before he could. Another was a cow elk that was obviously shot by mistake.

Add to that repeated news releases from Game and Fish investigating illegal kills out of season this year.

Never before have I heard of or witnessed so many acts of illegal activity (or simply poor hunting ethics) in my nearly 40 years of hunting. I believe some hunters give a bad rap to those of us who play by the rules and merely want to fill our freezer.

Know what you’re shooting at, and you get only one — not a choice and continue for another.

If you witness or know anything about an illegal kill, call 800-352-0700 or visit (Arizona Game and Fish’s Operation Game Thief).

• PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): Prescott’s 4th Friday Art Walk – tonight from 5 to 7 or so downtown Prescott.

Follow Tim Wiederaenders on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2032, or

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