10/23/2012 3:18:00 PM Mountain Village Holiday preparations under way
Decorations already up around Williams, chamber seeks sponsorship to support annual winter festival
Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Gioia Goodrum and Jim Winbourn, chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors, place a wreath on the Babbitt-Polson Warehouse Stage. Clara Beard/WGCN
WILLIAMS, Ariz. - It's official. Christmas is coming.
And with the season comes Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce's annual Mountain Village Holiday, bringing fun and festivities for locals and visitors alike, with decorations to please the eye and sponsorship opportunities to make a difference in the community for years to come.
Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce CEO Gioia Goodrum said community members probably aren't aware how expensive it is to put on Mountain Village Holiday, costing about $30,000.
"It's all the decorating, buying lights, the labor putting the decorations up, we have to rent a lift to do that," she said. "It's an expensive proposition, but the town looks beautiful when we are done."
Decorations are being assembled on the east and west end of town. The Babbitt-Polson Warehouse Stage and the arch on Grand Canyon Boulevard will also be adorned with festive trimmings.
"We want folks to know that decorations are going up now because it takes some time to get the town decorated," Goodrum said.
The Grand Canyon Railway will again provide the town's Christmas tree, cut locally with permission from the Forest Service. After it's transported into town, APS will erect the sizable tree in its usual place on Second Street and take care of the lighting.
"We have many people involved in this," Goodrum said. "Many different organizations and businesses. It really is a group effort."
As in past years, there will be a residential and commercial lighting contest. Winners of the residential contest will receive gift certificates donated by local businesses and winners of the commercial contest will receive awards of recognition. To participate, a residence must use a minimum of 500 lights and a commercial establishment must use a minimum of 1,000 lights.
Finally, the annual Parade of Lights along Historic Route 66 takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 24. The official tree lighting ceremony occurs immediately after the parade. This year's float theme is, "Twas the night before Christmas."
"I would say it's a more traditional Christmas theme," Goodrum said. "Think of "Twas the Night Before Christmas poem and people should try and follow that."
To make the float competition impartial, the chamber plans to have guests and visitors act as judges.
"The more we can decorate our town, the more people will come here and they'll go home and say, 'you have to go see Williams, it's so amazingly beautiful,'" Goodrum said.
For more information about Mountain Village Holiday, the lighting contest or the parade, contact the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce at (928) 635-1418.