Sun, Dec. 08

SWEET STUFF: Chocolate Walk to showcase Old Town for 26th year
Several other holiday events this week in Verde Valley

There were only 146 tickets remaining on the easy-to-remember website,, as of Monday evening, so attendees are encouraged to purchase their $25 tickets quickly before they are sold out. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

There were only 146 tickets remaining on the easy-to-remember website,, as of Monday evening, so attendees are encouraged to purchase their $25 tickets quickly before they are sold out. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD — An event that has become an annual tradition for some Arizonans is more than a quarter century into helping Old Town Cottonwood merchants shine one afternoon each winter.

The 26th annual Old Town Cottonwood Chocolate Walk offers something for all ages — including anyone who can and will enjoy the deliciousness that are the handmade chocolate treats to be made available at Old Town businesses.

The Saturday, Dec. 7, ticketed event runs from 3-5 p.m. There were only 146 tickets remaining on the easy-to-remember website,, as of Monday evening, so attendees are encouraged to purchase their $25 tickets quickly before those are sold out.

Debbie Garrison of the Cottonwood Old Town Association said the newly remodeled Cottonwood Clubhouse will be used for part of the rain-or-shine event, where chocolate-samplers can pick up their tickets, visit with Santa, and grab empty sacks to be filled with chocolate.

Then, it’s off and about along North Main Street, sampling from 30 businesses — some of which specialize in chocolate or other food delicacies and many who don’t — taking home many samples for later.

“There will be carolers going up and down the street to add to the atmosphere,” Garrison said, regarding one of the features of the Chocolate Walk returning after a hiatus. “And Happy Futures (the nonprofit support organization for Oak Creek Schools) will not only auction off six student-decorated Christmas trees in the Clubhouse, but will also serve up hot chocolate on the street.”

Garrison said the Cottonwood Old Town Association provides $50 in aid to each of the 30 businesses creating (or ordering) chocolate for the event.

“This is a fundraiser for the association, and chocolate supplies are expensive,” she said.

At 4:30 p.m., a panel of “local celebrity” judges will taste-test all of the entries to determine prize winners. There isn’t a reward, simply “bragging rights,” Garrison explained.

The judges this year will be Garrison’s husband, Randy, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors chair; Christmas Parade grand marshal and Verde Independent editor Dan Engler; Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski, along with the city’s police chief, Steve Gesell, City Manager Ron Corbin, and Fire Marshal Rick Contreras.

Elinski will have to evaluate the chocolate quickly, as he’s the mayor presiding over the tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Debbie Garrison said events are timed to have most of the Chocolate Walk done in daylight, with the lighting close to dusk.

Parking in Old Town is available in several public lots, including one behind Adventures in Books.

Here are several other events happening Saturday as the holiday season gets into full swing in the Verde Valley:

Santa in the Park, Clarkdale

The Town of Clarkdale’s Community Services Department celebrates the spirit of the season from noon to 2 p.m. when Santa Claus comes to the Clark Memorial Clubhouse Men’s Lounge, 19 N. Ninth Street. Children of all ages can visit with Santa, have their photo taken with the guest of honor, drink hot chocolate with cookies, and create an ornament with “Made in Clarkdale” artists to hang on the Town’s tree.

Doors close promptly at 2 p.m., so please arrive prior to closing. The Town of Clarkdale offers this event free as a wonderful holiday tradition for children and parents to enjoy. For additional information, contact Community Services at 639-2460 or email:

Made in Clarkdale

Saturday’s Santa in the Park event happens amid a four-day celebration of artists in Clarkdale.

Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 5-8, visit the 33rd Made in Clarkdale in the Clark Memorial Clubhouse, Made in Clarkdale is an artist showcase overflowing with holiday spirit this season.

All forms of painting, photography, master-built ceramics, jewelry, whimsical sculpture, hand carved gourds, elegant dog accessories and more fill the show.

The showcase has been in planning for the past 10 months, as folks have organized fundraising activities, sent out publicity, designed booths and recruited new members. It features daily live music, entertainment, and artist demonstrations.

Kicking off Thursday in live entertainment is the Salt Miners from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Saturday, Tommy Anderson Rocks the Beatles from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday, the Raven Sisters play from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Clarkdale Greg and Friends will also play.

Percy Edwards, a Native American of the Colville Confederated Tribe in Washington State, will attend in his full regalia and will dance during the show.

The highlight of the show is the gala at 6 p.m. Friday. Local restaurateur Sylvia Bourde, Charlotte’s The Breakfast Place Cafe & Fudge, prepares the elegant small bites.

Jazz pianist and jewelry maker Janice Paul and the Janice Paul Combo provides the music. Organized art classes in ceramics, weaving and sewing for local school children are Thursday and Friday.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information and raffle sponsors, visit and

Made in Clarkdale is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts, artists, and art education. Donations welcome.

Breakfast with Santa, Sedona

Kick off Saturday with the City of Sedona Department of Parks and Recreation.

Bring friends and family, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m, to the 11th annual Breakfast with Santa at the Sedona Hub, 525-B Posse Ground Road in Posse Grounds Park.

The Sedona Elks Lodge will be serving up a delicious pancake breakfast accompanied with eggs, sausage and juice. Shortly thereafter, the jolly man in the big red suit will arrive.

Children of all ages will be able to visit with Santa and take a photo with the guest of honor. Guests will also be able to visit Santa’s reindeer stable and children can decorate an ornament to take home.

Doors open at 8 a.m. with breakfast served until 9:45 a.m. This event is free of charge.

For more event information, visit or call 928-282-7098.

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