by Blake Herzog
2020 has thrown uncounted obstacles in the way of holding community events, but Pinal County’s communities are rallying to bring its residents together in ways traditional and modern.
Some gatherings are being converted to drive-by formats while others are primarily virtual, but they all have the same goal: to knit neighborhoods and towns together, to fuse diverse personalities together, even for one night to experience the warmth, peace and contemplation of one year’s end and the approach of a new one.
As of press time, these cities had set tentative dates for their 2020 holiday events, though as with any year, they are subject to change or cancellation.
Dec. 5, 1-4 p.m.
Casa Grande Community Recreation Center, 1905 N. Peart Road
The free event will feature drive-through photos with Santa, goodie bags with holiday crafts and candy.
Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Dec. 5 at 5:45 pm
Can be viewed at www.casagrandeaz.gov/ELT
The Mayor and City Council will kick off the holiday season with the annual tree lighting ceremony. The festivities will feature pre-recorded performances from local school bands and remarks from Mayor Craig McFarland.
Electric Light Tour
The entire community is invited to participate in this alternative to the annual Electric Light Parade by creating stationary displays for public viewing either for a single evening (Dec. 5) or continuously through the month of December (Dec. 5-Dec. 20). Participants may enter their home, business or organization into the event to secure a spot on the tour map. The event map will be available to the community to take the Electric Light Tour and vote for their favorite entries.
- The Mayor’s Award — Best of Show, creates a WOW factor.
- APS Power to Make It Happen — Best Use of Lights/visual appeal.
- Most Original — Unique, creative, innovative.
- Most Festive — Captures the holiday spirit, use of lights, music, costumes.
- Biggest & Brightest — Use of lights, overall design, special effects, and displays outstanding craftsmanship.
- People’s Choice — Voted on by the community (continuous displays only).
For more information, to download the map and to vote for your favorite display visit: www.casagrandeaz.gov/ELT
Christmas Light Parade
Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.
The City of Coolidge is planning to hold its traditional Christmas Light Parade, inviting churches and organizations from across the Casa Grande Valley to participate.
Holiday Homes and Businesses on Parade
The 16th annual Holiday Homes and Businesses on Parade Contest takes place Dec. 4-13. The City will accept any residents or business displaying lights and holiday decor on the exterior of their premises. Drivers will travel throughout the City to see all of the displays.
For more information visit www. https://www.maricopa-az.gov
- Best Theme
- Best Light Show
- Best Use of Color
- Best on Parade — $250 cash prize
- Resident’s choice — $250 cash prize
- Best Business — fee waiver of banner permit for 6 months
City officials are discussing whether and how they might be able to hold the annual Merry Copa event, given CDC recommendations and limits on social gatherings. The most likely date and location is Dec. 4 at Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 Martin Luther King Blvd.
For more information on both events see www.maricopa-az.gov/departments/community-services/special-events/events-calendar
Miracle on Main Street Light Parade
Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
The Town of Superior is planning to hold its Miracle on Main Street Light Parade this year, with the parade traveling through town. Families can then do a drive-through visit with Santa to receive a goodie bag.
ELOY AND FLORENCE
Officials in both communities are discussing the potential for holding some holiday-themed events in December, but neither has set dates yet.