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7th Annual Carefree Christmas Festival

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December 12 through December 14, 2014

7th Annual Carefree Christmas Festival

A Weekend Long Holiday Celebration in Downtown Carefree, Arizona

A three-day, two-night celebration with real snow, an electric light parade and a fireworks extravaganza, welcome in the holidays at the 7th annual Carefree Christmas Festival, December 12 – December 14. 

The tiny town of Carefree, located just north of the Scottsdale and most famously known for its over-sized Sundial, turns into an illuminated winter wonderland for the yuletide event. Festivities take place at the Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a .m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

The signature Electric Light Parade, presented by APS and produced by the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, takes place on Saturday at 6 p.m., along Easy St., and is followed by a fireworks display.  ABC15 weekend meteorologist and Valley native, Iris Hermosillo, will return as emcee of the parade. This will be Hermosillo’s third appearance at the growing event.

More than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend throughout the weekend. All activities are free. Information and a full schedule of events are available at, or at 480-488-2051. 

The annual event has quickly become a holiday tradition in the northeast Valley. Highlights include a lighted holiday village with daytime and late night shopping, seasonal food and drink, live holiday dance and singing performances including the Salvation Army Marching Band, a Kid’s Zone with 35 tons of real snow, lighted carriage rides, real snow and ice princesses, Charles Dickens inspired carolers, a live Nativity display, and Santa.

Pet lovers are invited to bring their pets, dressed in their holiday best, for a pet parade and pictures with Santa on Sunday. Pet adoptions by the Foothills Animal Rescue (FAR) will take place throughout the day.

The four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens provide a stunning backdrop, with thousands of cacti, many rare or unusual specimens, illuminated in holiday lights for the festival.

Several important sponsors have signed on this year, including APS who will make possible the Festival’s signature event, Saturday night’s Electric Light Parade. 

Sanderson Lincoln on Bell Road will present a snow slide and 35 tons of real snow, and local Carefree businessman, Chris Mellon of Chris Mellon Custom Home & Remodeling Center, is sponsoring the always popular Kid’s Zone. 

Discount Tire has also signed on to be a supporter this year.


Friday, December 12, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Gift Market and Holiday Food Court

10 a.m. – noon, To Be Announced

Noon – 2 p.m., Salvation Army Brass Band

2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Dickens Carolers, Christmas Around the World

3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Dickens Carolers, Christmas Around the World

4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Dickens Carolers, Christmas Around the World

4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Kid’s Zone with snow slide and 35 tons of real snow

5:45 - 6:45 p.m., Kelso Brothers – Holiday jazz music

6 – 9 p.m., Live Nativity and Lighted Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

7 – 8 p.m., Community choirs from four local churches


Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Gift Market and Holiday Food Court

10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Kid’s Zone with snow slide and 35 tons of real snow

10 – 11 a.m., Adage Dance Company, “A White Christmas”

11:30 – 1 p.m., Desert Foothills Theater, Medley of Christmas Classics, Snow Queen and Ice Queen appearances

2 – 2:30 p.m., Cactus Shadows High School Honors Choir

2 – 4 p.m., Live Nativity

2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Kevin Glenn Singers

3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, Live Nativity and Community Sing-Along

5 – 9 p.m., Holiday Party with DJ Robin Sherman

6 p.m., Electric Light Parade sponsored by APS, emceed by ABC15 weekend meteorologist Iris Hermosillo, followed by a Fireworks Extravaganza


Sunday, December 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

9 – noon, Pet Parade – presented Foothills Animal Rescue (FAR)

10 a.m. – noon, Pet photos with Santa

10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Gift Market and Holiday Food Court

10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Kid’s Zone with snow slide and 35 tons of real snow

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Kiddie train rides

12:30 – 2 p.m., Center Stage Dance Studio

2:15 – 3:15 p.m., “Jolly Roger,” children’s comic magician

3:30 – 5 p.m., Johnny Martini and the Cactus Kickers dance troupe

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