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10/15/2013 10:41:00 AM
Mountain Village Holiday around the corner
Above: The Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce’s Pimi Bennett, Jan Shirley and Gioia Goodrum hand chamber chairman Jim Winbourn Christmas decorations in preparation for the Mountain Village Holiday celebration. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Above: The Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce’s Pimi Bennett, Jan Shirley and Gioia Goodrum hand chamber chairman Jim Winbourn Christmas decorations in preparation for the Mountain Village Holiday celebration. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter


The holidays are right around the corner, which means it's time for the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce to adorn the city with lights, wreaths and ornaments as part of its Mountain Village Holiday celebration.

This year, the chamber is asking for help with replacing some of its old supplies, including decorations, nuts, bolts, screws, wire and lumber.

Jim Winbourn, chairman of the Chamber Board and head of the lighting project, estimates about $15,000 worth of inventory needs replacing, and is asking for donations and sponsorships to help cover the cost.

"Every dollar helps promote Williams," he said. "It not only helps us promote Williams as a tourist destination but it also helps us promote us as a community."

Decorating the city for the holidays can cost between $28,000 and $35,000, including supplies, a lift to hang them and labor.

With the shift from incandescent lights to LED lights, Winbourn said the cost of supplies is increasing. The chamber has also started using commercial grade lighting, which is more expensive but lasts longer.

Businesses and individuals can choose to sponsor a specific location of decorations. For example, it costs $2,500 to sponsor the gateway arch, although several people can sponsor one location if they choose. Sponsors will be listed on signs at the Visitor Center, Christmas tree downtown and the sponsored location, as well as on the chamber's website and Facebook page.

Winbourn will begin organizing the decorations this week and hanging them up next week. That way, the decorations will be in place for the first night of the Polar Express, Nov. 8.

"There's a lot of people that come up here for the holiday season just to see the lights," he said. "So we don't want to let those people down. It's good for our businesses, it's good for the chamber, it's good for the city. It's become an attraction."

Chamber President Gioia Goodrum agreed, saying the city looks beautiful for the holidays.

"Christmas lights, there's just something very nostalgic about them," she said. "I think a lot of people respond to that nostalgia of Christmas and the holidays and the lights."

Winbourn and his crew will start by decorating the Gateway to the Grand Canyon arch on Grand Canyon Boulevard. Next, the crew will decorate Monument Park.

"We always decorate the trees up there, and that's really big to a lot of the locals that have been here for a long time because they remember when those trees were five and six feet tall, so they've watched them grow up," Winbourn said.

The crew will also put up a pole tree on the east end of town, hang wreaths on the new gateway arch, decorate the Visitor Center and Babbitt-Polson stage and hang wreaths and baskets on the light poles in town.

"We like to make it so when people come into town, no matter which way they come into town, they're getting hit with some sort of major lighting," Winbourn said. "And then as they come into town it just gets better and better."

The chamber is also putting on a residential and commercial lighting contest. This year's theme is "All I want for Christmas is..." The parade of lights will have the same theme, and applications will be accepted until Nov. 20 before the Nov. 30 parade.

More information about donating or participating in Mountain Village Holiday is available from the chamber at (928) 635-0273.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Kerry-Lynn Moede

Yay Chamber! They always make everything look so pretty! I hope the tree will still be at 2nd & Route 66 too. It is such a "beacon" to the downtown area. The small town feel of Christmas is one of the things we love most about Williams.

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Article comment by: Bobby Patricca

No word of the town Christmas tree, did the Grinch's of downtown Williams finally succeed in their personal vendetta against the tree? I always thought it was amazing to come into town on Grand Canyon Blvd, see the arch all lit up and decorated, and be drawn downtown with the massive tree and all of its lights. If the town Christmas tree is no more, then that is a sad turn of events for a town that is getting more and more hostile with each other and put their personal opinions ahead of the greater good for the community.



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