Saturday, December 1, 2012

Arizona: Where “PC” Means. . .

. . .Pure Christmas!

The High Plains Drifters (that’s us, you know) hail from a ‘PC’ state, but in Washington that means, “Politically Correct”.

And that means some stutter and stammer out watered down, lukewarm greetings this time of year for fear of: 1) hurting someone’s feelings, 2) dissing some other holiday, or 3) being sued by someone for not being that kind of “PC”.

I can tell you, that from what we've seen, we much prefer Arizona PC in December!!!

 Our introduction to the season came in Prescott, Arizona, a college town of some 40,000 that’s also  popular with retirees and serves as a weekend getaway destination for those living in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. We spent our third night here on our Southwest Winter Road Trip.

AZroadtrip2012 116We’ve been taken with the town since our first visit  there a year ago, but now I am enchanted by it.  You see, it is Arizona’s Christmas City!

Banners hang on light posts throughout the downtown proclaiming it so. Advertisements fill tourism magazine pages. Residents announce it proudly. Even in Scottsdale they tell you about their neighboring Christmas City to the north.

“Are you in town for the Christmas Light parade?” the clerk asked when  we checked into our hotel in the heart of Prescott.  It was the first of many celebrations this month, he said, describing a series of PC events.

“We are heading to the parade,” we told a couple dining near us shortly thereafter.  “This is the small one,” they cautioned us, “The big one is next Friday. It lasts two and a half hours”

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This one, their Christmas Light Parade, about 45 minutes in duration, brought out hordes of people. They’d been gathering along the route as we strolled to dinner. Even the spectators were in a ‘light’ mood; decorating their own viewing stands with lights or waving lighted wands at the floats as they passed.

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By the time we arrived back to the parade route the sidewalks were filled, in some places, people were standing six-deep, often calling out  and waving to friends who paraded past.

Cheers and clapping erupted as each new display came into view.

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Among the Christmas celebrations scheduled for this month are the 30th Annual Christmas Parade and the 58th Annual Prescott Courthouse Christmas Lighting, (hugely popular events) and the Acker Musical Showcase which features live music throughout the downtown in stores, restaurants, bars and galleries.

AZroadtrip2012 114

It was music to our PC-dulled ears, when we were told that during the Christmas celebration calendar, there’s also a night when children gather on the courthouse lawn to hear a reading of “The Christmas Story”.

It’s a pretty special time in Prescott, the Poster Child of Pure Christmas.  But Christmas – not “Holiday” -- celebrations are taking place all over Arizona; I’ll tell you about them  as our jolly, pre-holly-day travels through the state continue. And next year we may just be celebrating Christmas in Prescott!

If You Go:

For More Information about the city: Prescott Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center, 117 W. Goodwin St., 86303, phone, 800-266-7534.

For Christmas events and travel information, click this link: Visit Prescott


  1. Bonjour Jackie. Thank you for stopping by chez French Girl in Seattle today. I left a message for you on my blog but thought I'd visit you here as well. It seems we are neighbors and live on the same side of "P.C." Lake Washington, ma chère, so let's plan to meet after Christmas if you are in town... What do you say? I am your newest Follower, as I would like to follow you during your travels. It seems you "get out" a lot more often than I do, lucky lady. A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    1. I'd love to meet after Christmas and am headed to your blog to become your newest follower right now!

  2. Prescott sounds delightful! I love to see when communities get into the Christmas spirit.
    I agree: we tend to tiptoe round the greeting for the reasons you mention. Sometimes I use the watered down (I think) Happy Holidays when I'm not sure but I love saying Merry Christmas because that's what it is. I'd love Prescott.

    1. Marcia, I think Scrooge would have a hard time not being in love with Prescott. And what is equally nice is finding that Christmas spirit alive and well everywhere we travel in Arizona!


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