Tlaquepaque's 38th annual Festival of Lights set for Dec. 11

Welcome to the 38th annual Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque. On Dec. 11, at the stroke of 5 p.m., Sedona's arts and crafts village will transform into a spectacular dazzling jewel with its 6,000 glowing luminarias signaling a time of coming together, celebrating family, honoring lost loved ones and welcoming the coming holiday season.

This hugely popular family event draws locals and visitors from far and wide. The Festival starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m. Admission is free, as is the Sedona Trolley service from the Uptown municipal parking lot to Tlaquepaque, available during festival hours.

Events kick off on Friday, Dec. 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the beautiful Tlaquepaque Chapel. Lead singers Bryan Pace and Ron Tolson of the famed River of Life Tabernacle Choir will perform holiday favorites.

On Saturday the festivities begin in Patio del Norte with a visit from Santa (3-5:30 p.m.) and his special elves. Please consider bringing an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots to brighten the lives of youngsters who are facing difficult times.

Every year during the Festival of Lights, traditional music fills the patios, terraces and balconies at Tlaquepaque. This year the line-up of exceptional musical talent means you won't want to miss anything:

• Tom and Shondra Jepperson belt out classic holiday favorites in Patio del Norte from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

• Paul McDermand entertains with his steel drums, marimba and more. Patio de las Campanas, 3-8 p.m.

• River of Life Tabernacle Choir, with dozens of singers, performs their high-energy harmonies and huge sound. Plaza de la Fuente, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• Rojas Mariachis, Three generations of family, from grandkids to grandparents, will perform lively seasonal songs with strings and brass instruments in Patio de las Rosas, 3-6 p.m.

• Jim Buchanan on piano in the Chapel, performing traditional holiday music, is a popular Festival tradition. 4-5:30 p.m.

• The Sammy Davis Band is big fun and foot stomping good times. Sammy will have you moving and in the holiday spirit in no time. Patio del Norte, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

• Meadowlark's lush soulful guitar and flute music beautifully capture the spirit of the season. Performing in the Chapel 6-8 p.m.

Just before 5 p.m. candles will be handed out. Now a Tlaquepaque tradition in its seventh year, cancer survivors are honored and those that lost their lives to cancer are remembered as friends and families dedicate a luminaria in their name. A $10 donation to help fight the disease is gratefully accepted by the American Cancer Society.

Tlaquepaque is located at 336 SR 179 in Sedona. For more information call (928) 282-4838, visit: www.tlaq.com.

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