Holidays 2009: Fun in Cochise County

So, the holidays are coming up. I’m already planning my Thanksgiving dinner. I’ll make apple pies for my fiance and his family this year. This will be their first taste of those pies. I hope they like them!

It reminds me of the first Thanksgiving weekend he and I took in Cochise County. We had dinner at Winchester’s in the Copper Queen Hotel. On Friday, we hiked off all those calories in Chiricahua National Monument on the Echo Canyon Loop trail. And then on Saturday we toured some wonderful homes on the Bisbee Historic Home Tour.

These annual events are lots of fun. If you’re heading to southern Arizona this holiday season, check out some of the events in Cochise County:

Nov. 25, Annual Douglas Christmas Light Parade

Annual Christmas Light Parade though historic downtown Douglas.  The light parade kicks off the holiday season with lighted floats, marching bands and a visit from Santa Claus.

When: 7 p.m.

Where: downtown Douglas

Admission: Free

Info:  Douglas Visitor Center, 520-417-7340

Nov. 27, Festival of Lights, Bisbee

The holiday season officially begins with a merry lighting ceremony and celebration in front of the Copper Queen Library. Santa will arrive in downtown Old Bisbee on a flashy fire truck with goodies for all children.

When: 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 28

Info: 520-432-6016

Nov. 27 & 28, Historic Home Tour, Bisbee

Turn-of-the-century splendor comes to life when Bisbee residents open their doors. Visitors will get a glimpse into the town’s architectural history. Docents answer questions about the distinctive structures.

Info: Bisbee Visitor Center, 520-432-3554 or 1-866-2BISBEE

Nov. 28, Art Chairs of Bisbee Silent Auction

Bid on local artist’s decorated chairs done in a variety of mediums at the 6th Annual Art Chairs of Bisbee Silent Auction. Sponsored by the Bisbee Woman’s Club, proceeds go to a local charity.

Info: Bisbee Visitor Center, 520-432-3554 or 1-866-2BISBEE

Dec. 4 & 5, Christmas Apple Festival & Christmas Lighted Parade, Willcox

Events include a bazaar with handcrafted arts and crafts vendor, raffles and fun with drawings for door prizes, apple cooking contest and entertainment. The parade will be held at dusk (about 6 p.m.) on Dec. 5. Bring a friend and enjoy two fun-filled days of surprises and holiday shopping.

When: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5

Where: Willcox Community Center

Admission: Free

Info: Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, 520-384-2272

Dec. 5, 51st Annual Holiday Parade, Sierra Vista

This is Arizona’s longest running holiday parade and is a family event with Santa Claus, floats, marchers and bands.

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Dec. 5

Info:  520-458-6940; www.sierravistachamber.org

Dec. 6, Holiday Tour of Historic Homes, Sierra Vista

Visit the turn-of-the-century homes, still occupied by officers, on the National Historic Landmark District of Fort Huachuca. These homes are beautifully decorated for the holiday season.

When:  1-4 p.m.

Where: Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Arizona

Admission:  Tickets $10 in advance, $12 day of the tour

Info:  520-417-6960

Note: Fort Huachuca is an active military installation. Stringent entrance requirements are enforced. U.S. citizens may enter with a visitor pass. Required documentation includes: vehicle registration and insurance, current, valid photo identification for driver and all passengers over age 13. Regulations may change without notice.

Dec. 12, Christmas on Main Street, Benson

Street vendors, local entertainment and the Saint David High School Choir make downtown Benson a holiday delight. This down home holiday celebration culminates with a visit from Santa and a tree lighting ceremony. Presented by the Benson Chamber of Commerce.

When:  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission: Free

Info:  520-586-2842 or www.bensonchamberaz.com

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