NOVEMBER 3, 2010

Real snow in the Sonoran Desert!

Third Annual Christmas Festival in Downtown Carefree, Friday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 12

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carefree christmas electric light paradeCAREFREE – Imagine an entire Arizona community located in the high Sonoran Desert, magically transformed into a holiday winter wonderland.  Then mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Carefree Christmas Festival taking place along Easy Street in downtown Carefree, Arizona on Fri., Dec. 10 through Sun., Dec. 12.

The festival offers a multitude of free holiday events for the entire family and promises to bring good cheer with a weekend long celebration featuring an electric light parade and fireworks display on Saturday night presented by the Carefree Resort & Conference Center.

Live music, dance and entertainment, visits from Santa and a chance to experience 25 tons of real snow take place throughout the entire weekend. Other highlights include the Nutcracker ballet excerpts, Cactus Shadows Honors Choir performances, pet events including a dog walk, pet adoptions, “Doggies of the North Pole” comedic canines, and much more.

An outdoor Carefree Christmas Marketplace by Magic Bird featuring 75 vendors will offer holiday gift shopping, along with seasonal food and drink favorites including hot chocolate, spiced cider and roasted chestnuts.

“Twilight shopping is just part of the holiday fun,” said event director and co-director Jo Gemmill. “Dance to your favorite swing tunes at our open-air concert, or simply spend time browsing the stores until late in the evening”

In addition to the marketplace, Carefree Merchants will offer an evening open house with late night shopping, wine tastings, cocktail parties and more on Friday evening.

“This year’s event is sure to be better than ever with the addition of our fireworks display following the light parade,” said Gemmill, owner of the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree. Gemmill co-founded the festival three years ago with Holly Bergman of Wild Holly Gallery in Carefree as a way to bring good cheer to the community.

Attendance for this year’s holiday festival is expected to exceed 15,000 people for the three-day event. Gemmill encourages attendees to arrive early and bring lawn chairs to ensure a prime viewing spot.

Festival hours are from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. All events take place along Easy Street in downtown Carefree. For a full schedule of events and information, visit

The Carefree Christmas Festival is presented by the Carefree merchants, the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Carefree.