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Carefree Christmas Festival opening Dec. 12

Staff Report~ 11/26/2014

CAREFREE – A three-day, two-night celebration with real snow, an electric light parade, and a fireworks extravaganza will be bringing the holidays to Carefree, Dec. 12-14.

The 7th annual Carefree Christmas Festival will be turning the town of Carefree into an illuminated winter wonderland for the yuletide event. Festivities take place at the Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12-13 and 10 a .m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.

The signature Electric Light Parade, presented by APS and produced by the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, takes place on Saturday at 6 p.m., along Easy St., and is followed by a fireworks display. ABC15 weekend meteorologist and Valley native, Iris Hermosillo, will return for the third year as emcee of the parade.

The annual event has quickly become a holiday tradition in the northeast Valley. Highlights include a lighted holiday village with daytime and late night shopping, seasonal food and drink, live holiday dance, and singing performances, including the Salvation Army Marching Band, a Kids’ Zone with 35 tons of real snow, lighted carriage rides, real snow and ice princesses, Charles Dickens inspired carolers, a live Nativity display, and Santa.

Pet lovers are invited to bring their pets, dressed in their holiday best, for a pet parade and pictures with Santa on Sunday. Pet adoptions by the Foothills Animal Rescue will take place throughout the day.

Over 20,000 visitors are expected to attend throughout the weekend. All activities are free. Information and a full schedule of events are available at or at (480) 488-2051.