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Tlaquepaque Offers Events for Holidays

Sedona’s annual Festival of Lights returns for its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Patio del Norte.

Festival of Lights

As part of the Festival of Lights, approximately 6,000 luminarias will be set up throughout the property on Saturday.

“In the holiday spirit, Tlaquepaque will provide free hot cider for everyone. Children’s entertainment will include a visit from Santa and his elves,” Tlaquepaque stated in a press release. “Tlaquepaque will also feature a fabulous lineup of performers playing traditional Christmas, jazz, pop, gypsy and Latin music throughout the day.”

The American Cancer Society will have luminarias available for a $10 donation, which can be purchased on-site or in advance by contacting the main office.

“Upon arrival, Tlaquepaque will give each person a candle,” the press release stated. “When the bell tower strikes at 5 p.m., everyone’s invited to make a wish and light the golden luminarias. As the light washes every courtyard, balcony, walkway and parapet, Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village transforms into a timeless village of light.”

Seven different musical acts will be performing, including the Rosemary Chavez Group from 3 to 5 p.m. at Tlaquepaque North. Patio del Norte will host Tom & Shondra from 3 to 5 p.m. and Swing Tips from 6 to 8 p.m. Patio de las Campanas will host Ritmo Latino from 3 to 5 p.m. and Zazu West from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Tlaquepaque Chapel will be the backdrop for performances by Jonathan Levingston from 3 to 5 p.m. and David Mills from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A free trolley service will be shuttling attendees from the parking lot at 260 Schnebly Road. The trolley will run from 3 to 8 p.m.

Hanukkah Menorah Lighting

The menorah lighting to celebrate Hanukkah has been an annual tradition at Tlaquepaque since 2018 and will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Patio Del Norte. People of all faiths and creeds are welcomed to participate in the fourth night of Hanukkah.

“What I always enjoy and appreciate is seeing how much the children are festive and enjoy the night and coming out for this Jewish event,” said Rabbi Mendel Kessler, of Chabad of Sedona. “What is also so beautiful [is] when we light the menorah. There’s this silence and a reverence for the message of the light of Hanukkah, which is always very moving and inspiring.”

The event is free to attend, with latkes, doughnuts and hot cocoa also provided, along with a performance of traditional klezmer music. For the kids there is free gelt, craft activities and the opportunity to take your photo with a wooden cut-out of Judas Maccabeus. “We need more courageous people, so we want everybody to think of themselves and see themselves as they’re Judah the Maccabee,” Kessler said.

“I think this year more than ever Hanukkah is so important,” Kessler said. “Even in Jewish law, there’s this aspect to the celebration of Hanukkah, where it’s supposed to be publicized, and the message [of] the light of the candles has to reach furthest and darkest places. That’s why, as Jews, we want to shine the light of the Torah, the light of Judaism, the light of goodness and kindness and that’s why, this year, it’s even more important than any other years.” Because this is a one-hour event, there will be no trolley service.

Santa is Coming to Tlaquepaque

Christmas events will wrap up on Sunday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 5 p.m. with Santa is Coming to Tlaquepaque, formerly known as the Holiday Sweet Stroll. In addition to an opportunity for the kids to meet the big guy and get a free photo taken, they also can decorate their own Christmas cookie, create their own holiday ornament and sample the free face painting.

“Shop local, enjoy and engage with the community. [It’s a] great afternoon to spend with kids — family-friendly holiday spirit,” Tlaquepaque managing partner Wendy Lippman said. “We will have a Christmas bear out and about as well as a gingerbread man cruising around for photo ops and fun.”

Source: Sedona Red Rock News