Prescott parade, courthouse lighting set for Saturday

Jesse Bertel/Courier file photo

Jesse Bertel/Courier file photo

The City of Prescott, in conjunction with the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, is celebrating Prescott’s designation as Arizona’s “Christmas City” with the 41st annual Christmas Parade and 69th annual Courthouse Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 2.

PARADE

Staging for the parade will begin at 9 a.m. with the closures of the following streets:

• Willis Street (from Mt. Vernon Avenue to Montezuma Street);

• Cortez Street, Marina Street, Alarcon Street and Pleasant Street (Sheldon to Gurley streets).

Staging-area roads are anticipated to reopen at approximately 3 p.m. or when the Prescott Police Department deems it is safe to do so.

The parade itself will begin at 1 p.m. The parade route around the courthouse plaza will begin closing to vehicle traffic beginning at 8 a.m. The parade route closure will be:

8 a.m. closure

• Gurley Street from Montezuma to Cortez streets

11 a.m. closures

• Cortez Street from Willis to Goodwin streets;

• Union Street from Cortez to Marina streets;

• Goodwin Streets from Granite to Marina streets;

• Montezuma Street from Goodwin to Sheldon streets.

Parade route roads are anticipated to reopen at approximately 3 p.m. or when the Prescott Police Department deems it is safe to do so. However, in the interest of public safety, the city will keep the following roads closed for the Courthouse Lighting event:

• Gurley Street from Montezuma to Cortez streets;

• Montezuma Street from Gurley to Goodwin streets;

• Cortez Street from Gurley to Union streets.

The Christmas parade will fill downtown Prescott with numerous floats, marching bands, and music – all leading up to the arrival of Santa Claus. Kids can visit with Santa on the courthouse plaza after the parade until 5 p.m.

LIGHTING

The Courthouse Lighting festivities will begin at 5 p.m., with seasonal music on the courthouse steps. At 6 p.m., the program will begin.

Arizona Sen. Ken Bennett, R-Prescott District 1, will be reading the Christmas story at the lighting. It will be his 33rd year.

He was tasked in the early ’90s, through his time on the Prescott Chamber of Commerce board, to assist in “saving the event.”

“As a boy I stood on the steps singing, it’s part of my life – the first Saturday in December,” said Bennett, who is now 64 and will be accompanied by area choirs.

At the conclusion of the program, look to the sky for a fantastic fireworks display.

The remaining road closures are anticipated to reopen at approximately 9 p.m. or when the Prescott Police Department deems it is safe to do so.

As with any event in the downtown area, parking will be at a premium and very limited. There will be a free shuttle starting at noon from Prescott High School, 1050 N. Ruth St., to the parking garage on Granite Street. The shuttle will run until 8 p.m.

The parking garage on Granite Street will be open as well. City officials ask that spectators and participants in the parade be courteous and mindful of businesses in the downtown area that remain open during these events.

Please direct event questions to the Prescott Chamber of Commerce at 928-445-2000. For information about other holiday events, visit ArizonaChristmasCity.com.


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