DECEMBER 8, 2010

Third Annual Carefree Christmas Festival offers full weekend of holiday entertainment

Real snow in the Sonoran Desert! Friday, Dec. 10 – Sunday, Dec. 12

Bookmark and Share
CAREFREE/CAVE CREEK/N. SCOTTSDALE – The forecast calls for snow in Carefree as the town transforms itself into a winter wonderland for the third annual Carefree Christmas Festival, Friday, December 10 through Sunday, December 12.

snowmanThe Carefree Christmas Festival has been expanded to include three full days packed with live holiday music and entertainment including real snow, an electric light parade fireworks display and dog stroll.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs for the electric light parade along Easy Street and presented by the Carefree Resort & Conference Center on Saturday night at 6 p.m. A holiday fireworks display has been added to the line-up following the parade at 8:30 p.m.

Kids of all ages will get to experience 25 tons of real snow, complete with snow slide.
An outdoor Carefree Christmas Marketplace will take place from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Specially selected vendors will offer holiday gift shopping, along with seasonal food and drink favorites including hot chocolate, spiced cider and roasted chestnuts.

Other highlights include performances by the Carefree Christmas Chorus led by Kevin Glenn, a live nativity scene, Cactus Shadows Honors Choir performances, pet events including a dog walk, pet adoptions, “Doggies of the North Pole” comedic canines, and much more.

“Twilight shopping and entertainment are just part of the holiday fun,” said event director and co-director Jo Gemmill. “Dance to your favorite swing tunes at our open-air concert, or simply spend time browsing the stores until late in the evening.”

On Friday evening, Carefree Merchants will offer an evening open house with late night shopping, wine tastings, cocktail parties and more.

“This year’s event is sure to be better than ever with the addition of our fireworks display following the light parade,” said Gemmill, owner of the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree. Gemmill co-founded the festival three years ago with Holly Bergman of Wild Holly Gallery in Carefree as a way to bring good cheer to the community.

Attendance for this year’s holiday festival is expected to exceed 15,000 people for the three-day event.

Festival hours are from 10 a.m. –9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. All events are FREE to the public and take place along Easy Street in downtown Carefree. Visit

The Carefree Christmas Festival is presented by Carefree merchants, the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Carefree.

Festival Hours:
10 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday, December 10
10 a.m.–9 p.m. Saturday, December 11
8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, December 12

Featured Festival Events:
The Carefree Resort & Conference Center presents Electric Light Parade; 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.  Experience holiday wonder as more than 75 illuminated entries parade along Easy Street in downtown Carefree.

Holiday Fireworks Extravaganza
8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.  Holiday fireworks light up the skies in downtown Carefree.

Everyday - Carefree Christmas Marketplace

More than 60 hand selected holiday food and gift vendors offer goodies you won’t find elsewhere. Presented in conjunction with Magic Bird Festivals.

Everyday - Real Snow!
Go sledding down the snow slide on 25 tons of real snow in the Kid’s Zone. Mail letters to the North Pole and visit with Santa at his Carefree grotto.

Everyday – Live Holiday Music, Dance and Entertainment

Three days of live music, dance and performances in the Carefree Amphitheater

Everyday – Festival of Trees
Taking place at the Carefree Resort & Conference Center and at Carefree merchants, view the beautiful trees and bid on one to benefit a local non-profit organization.

Other Highlights Include:

Friday, December 10
5-7 p.m. - Holiday DJ Music and Holiday Lightshow
7-9 p.m. – The Main Event Swing Band with Kevin Glenn perform live holiday classics
4-9 p.m. – ‘Twas the Night Before, Easy Street merchants holiday open house with late night shopping.

Saturday, December 11
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Petting zoo and pony rides
Noon-1 p.m. – Story Time with Mrs. Claus
1-2 p.m. – Cactus Shadows Honors Choir
3:30 – 5 p.m. – Community Choir and Live Nativity Scene

Sunday, December 12
8-11 a.m. - Holiday Dog Stroll
Noon - 1 p.m. - Doggies of the North Pole, comedy canine performance featuring Doggies of the West, as seen on David Letterman.
3-5 p.m. - Carefree Christmas Chorus and Kevin Glynn perform a medley of holiday classics.