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© 2010 Jack D. Wilson

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Governor Rose Perica Mofford issued an official proclamation that Prescott Arizona is indeed “Arizona’s Christmas City.” A governor’s proclamation is merely a piece of paper. What caused her to issue that proclamation is much more important.

Cities and towns all across Arizona spend lots of money on Christmas lighting displays, and yes, some are larger and grander than in Prescott. But if your soul longs for the essence of the old-fashion Christmas that you enjoyed as a child, then you need to come to Prescott.

Prescott Holiday Montage 2010

 

World’s largest gingerbread village

The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s reservation is in the middle of Prescott. Their Prescott Resort and Conference Center is at 1500 Highway 69 as you enter Prescott and kicks off Prescott’s Christmas festivities with the grand opening of their 18th annual World’s Largest Gingerbread Village on November 20 at 10AM. It then continues through Sunday, January 2.

The Gingerbread Village is in the lobby of the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, 7 days a week. There is no charge to see the Village. The houses are made by children, chefs, businesses, families and individuals (several TV personalities typically participate). The creativity and originality of the displays is always amazing! Dozens of meticulously executed village homes and businesses are a backdrop to a circling train.

Feeling a tad jaded about the holidays and the economy? Come take a look at the Gingerbread Village, it is free and it just might revive your spirit and belief in this season of hope and giving. This event typically brings 50,000+ people to see this amazing display.
This annual Whimsical Village of over 100 houses is a fundraiser for Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters. They receive donations from the ‘lot sales’, gingerbread men cookie decorating and the donation house. And by the way, the Resort and Conference Center has just completed a spectacular multi-million dollar renovation with added amenities such as a new coffee shop.

Gingerbread Village Scheduled Activities

• Grand opening 10AM on Saturday, November 20

• Gingerbread cookie decorating for children of all ages: Dec. 4th, 11th & 18th, from 11AM until 2PM

• Santa Clause will be at the resort Saturday, Nov, 27 Noon-2PM

• Central Arizona Railroad Club will be at the resort on Saturday, December 4 from 9AM to 4PM for all train enthusiasts. Come see the finest model trains in the nation and the club will be giving away a train set to one lucky child.

• Saturday, Dec. 4th 7-9PM Light the Resort party in the Eagles Nest

• Friday, Dec, 17th join Santa from 6-7PM for a special reading in the Eagles Nest

For move information about these activities call (928) 776-1666.

Holiday Lights

What would Arizona’s Christmas City be without lots of lights?

15th Annual Prescott Holiday Light Parade

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson from 2008 parade

Prescott’s Holiday Light Parade occurs on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 6:00 PM at the Downtown Courthouse Plaza. It is the second major festive event of the season. Come out and enjoy a parade of floats festively and creatively decorated with lights. Dozens of lighted floats circle the courthouse in this annual favorite. I have included a picture from the 2008 that illustrates that creativity with an airplane theme.

Yard and house lights

Some folks in Prescott really go all out doing exterior decorations. The local paper, Daily Courier, maintains a list of some of the best for drive around viewing.

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson

Courthouse Plaza Lights

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson

You can enjoy the Christmas lighting on the Historic Courthouse Plaza all through December after their festive lighting on December 4 (see below).

A Bevy of Christmas Events – Saturday, December 4

My best advice is to book your room early for these great festivities. You may want to come in a day of two early to take advantage of the unique shopping opportunities (see Antique Capital of Arizona) and visit our museums (see Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums).

28th Annual Christmas Parade at 1:00 pm

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson – yes, that is a calliope

Prescott is steeped in historic traditions and the annual Christmas Parade is

one of those traditions. It winds around the Courthouse Plaza and lasts for about two hours. Spectators bring their lawn chairs down early to stake out prime viewing real estate.

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Too cute!

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Lots of vintage cars participate.

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Patriot Disposal entry with co-founder Chris Kuknyo sitting in the brown jacket

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What is a parade without bands?

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Unique entrants!

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Always lots of period costumes, many with Western or Territorial themes.

Photographs by Jack D. Wilson at 2008 Parade.

56th Annual Courthouse Lighting 6:00 pm.

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson 2008 Courthouse Lighting Ceremony

The Courthouse Lighting ceremony is an old tradition in Prescott and is our signature Christmas event – the lighting of the Courthouse and Plaza. It includes children’s choirs on the steps of the courthouse, as Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett reads the story of the first Christmas just before the plaza explodes in the beauty of nearly one million Christmas lights. You should get down to the historic Courthouse Plaza early as this event always draws a very large crowd. Bring your camera to get some memorable pictures.

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Prescott City Hall

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Pretty light display

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Plaza trees and Whiskey Row

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Plaza trees and the Courthouse

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Bronze cowboy at Christmas

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Crowd on the Courthouse Plaza

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Checking out the scene

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The Courthouse in its glory

Photographs by Jack D. Wilson – 2008 Courthouse Lighting

Sharlot Hall Museum Annual Frontier Christmas Open House

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson at 2008 Frontier Christmas

Prescott got its start as a gold mining town and because President Lincoln wanting to ensure the Arizona Territorial capital was far away from the pesky confederates in Tucson. We are justly proud of being the territorial capital twice and of our frontier heritage. Come sample that heritage at the Frontier Christmas Open House features live holiday music, refreshments, cookies by a roaring fire, shopping, and living history presentations of holiday celebrations during Arizona’s territorial days.

When: Saturday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. immediately following the Courthouse Lighting

Where: Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 W. Gurley St., two blocks west of the Courthouse Plaza

Admission: $3 for Museum members; $5 for nonmembers; under 18 free

For more information about Sharlot Hall Museum’s Frontier Christmas Open House, call Jody Drake at (928) 445-3122 or visit the Museum’s website.

Acker Musical Showcase – Friday Dec. 10 5:30-8:30 pm

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Chorus in St. Michael’s Alley

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Banjos at Lamerson’s Jewelry

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A little Western style music

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Another Western style group

Photographs by Jack D. Wilson at the 2005 Acker Musical Showcase

This is truly a unique Prescott event. My advice is get downtown early to have an early dinner to prepare for this, it is usually mobbed. Insider tip: The “Jug Band” normally plays at the Elks Opera House and their songs are parodies that skewer the local politicals (they got me when I was the Prescott Mayor). Great fun and not to be missed! Festive luminaries lights will surround Courthouse Plaza and local merchants open their doors and host over 100 of the area’s entertainers for this downtown open house. Browse the various shops, galleries and boutiques while enjoying a variety of music and entertainment and indulging in delectable treats.

This magical holiday celebration is the primary fundraising activity of the J.S. Acker Music Park Association. The performers are all volunteering their time. Please give generously to the TIPS for Scholarships! bags that are staged with the performing act at each venue. Your contributions will be used to award Local Area Youth with Performing Arts Scholarships!

More at their website: www.ackershowcase.com

Shopping

Prescott offers lots of opportunities for shopping. I have highlighted a couple where you can find unique and really special gifts.

Nov. 2-Dec. 23 Mountain Artists Guild Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Show

Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery located at 228 N. Alarcon

Pick up some one-of-a-kind objects d’art at this popular annual holiday arts and crafts show at the Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery. Items go quickly, so be sure to make out your list now!

Formal reception on Friday Nov. 26, 5:00 to 7:30 pm.

Nov. 5 – Dec. 16 "Gifts Galore!"

Prescott Fine Arts Association located at 208 N. Marina St.

Prescott Fine Arts Galley is once again transformed into a glittering gallery of gifts for the discriminating shopper. Visitors look forward to this annual event where they can purchase one-of-a-kind art and handcrafted treasures. Our artists work year round to create only the best in unique, hand made gifts for your shopping pleasure. You’ll find fine art, sculpture, jewelry, textiles, glass, ceramics and several "Who would have thought of that" items.

Last-Minute Non-Profit Stocking-Stuffer Bazaar Dec. 18 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 50 nonprofit agencies selling low-cost, high-quality merchandise to raise money for their agencies. Live entertainment. Gifts from Santa for children with adults. Prescott Activity Center, 824 E. Gurley St. 928-778-3747. Get there EARLY for the best selection!

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment, Tweet it (button below) or forward to a friend. If I missed something, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 Jack D. Wilson

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Governor Rose Perica Mofford issued an official proclamation that Prescott Arizona is indeed “Arizona’s Christmas City.” A governor’s proclamation is merely a piece of paper. What caused her to issue that proclamation is much more important.

Cities and towns all across Arizona spend lots of money on Christmas lighting displays, and yes, some are larger and grander than in Prescott. But if your soul longs for the essence of the old-fashion Christmas that you enjoyed as a child, then you need to come to Prescott.

Prescott Holiday Montage 2010

World’s largest gingerbread village

The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s reservation is in the middle of Prescott. Their Prescott Resort and Conference Center is at 1500 Highway 69 as you enter Prescott and kicks off Prescott’s Christmas festivities with the grand opening of their 18th annual World’s Largest Gingerbread Village on November 20 at 10AM. It then continues through Sunday, January 2.

The Gingerbread Village is in the lobby of the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, 7 days a week. There is no charge to see the Village. The houses are made by children, chefs, businesses, families and individuals (several TV personalities typically participate). The creativity and originality of the displays is always amazing! Dozens of meticulously executed village homes and businesses are a backdrop to a circling train.


Feeling a tad jaded about the holidays and the economy? Come take a look at the Gingerbread Village, it is free and it just might revive your spirit and belief in this season of hope and giving. This event typically brings 50,000+ people to see this amazing display.

This annual Whimsical Village of over 100 houses is a fundraiser for Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters. They receive donations from the ‘lot sales’, gingerbread men cookie decorating and the donation house. And by the way, the Resort and Conference Center has just completed a spectacular multi-million dollar renovation with added amenities such as a new coffee shop.

Gingerbread Village Scheduled Activities

• Grand opening 10AM on Saturday, November 20

• Gingerbread cookie decorating for children of all ages: Dec. 4th, 11th & 18th, from 11AM until 2PM

• Santa Clause will be at the resort Saturday, Nov, 27 Noon-2PM

• Central Arizona Railroad Club will be at the resort on Saturday, December 4 from 9AM to 4PM for all train enthusiasts. Come see the finest model trains in the nation and the club will be giving away a train set to one lucky child.

• Saturday, Dec. 4th 7-9PM Light the Resort party in the Eagles Nest

• Friday, Dec, 17th join Santa from 6-7PM for a special reading in the Eagles Nest

For move information about these activities call (928) 776-1666.

Holiday Lights

What would Arizona’s Christmas City be without lots of lights?

15th Annual Prescott Holiday Light Parade

clip_image004

Photograph by Jack D. Wilson from 2008 parade

Prescott’s Holiday Light Parade occurs on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 6:00 PM at the Downtown Courthouse Plaza. It is the second major festive event of the season. Come out and enjoy a parade of floats festively and creatively decorated with lights. Dozens of lighted floats circle the courthouse in this annual favorite. I have included a picture from the 2008 that illustrates that creativity with an airplane theme.

Yard and house lights

Some folks in Prescott really go all out doing exterior decorations. The local paper, Daily Courier, maintains a list of some of the best for drive around viewing.

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson

Courthouse Plaza Lights

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson

You can enjoy the Christmas lighting on the Historic Courthouse Plaza all through December after their festive lighting on December 4 (see below).

A Bevy of Christmas Events – Saturday, December 4

My best advice is to book your room early for these great festivities. You may want to come in a day of two early to take advantage of the unique shopping opportunities (see Antique Capital of Arizona) and visit our museums (see Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums). 

Christmas Parade at 1:00 pm

clip_image010

Photograph by Jack D. Wilson – yes, that is a calliope

Prescott is steeped in historic traditions and the annual Christmas Parade is one of those traditions. It winds around the Courthouse Plaza and lasts for about two hours. Spectators bring their lawn chairs down early to stake out prime viewing real estate.

clip_image012

Too cute!

clip_image014

Lots of vintage cars participate.

clip_image016

Patriot Disposal entry with co-founder Chris Kuknyo sitting in the brown jacket

clip_image018

What is a parade without bands?

clip_image020

Unique entrants!

clip_image022

Always lots of period costumes, many with Western or Territorial themes.

Photographs by Jack D. Wilson at 2008 Parade.

56th Annual Courthouse Lighting Ceremony 6:00 pm.

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Photograph by Jack D. Wilson 2008 Courthouse Lighting Ceremony

The Courthouse Lighting ceremony is an old tradition in Prescott and is our signature Christmas event – the lighting of the Courthouse and Plaza. It includes children’s choirs on the steps of the courthouse, as Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett reads the story of the first Christmas just before the plaza explodes in the beauty of nearly one million Christmas lights. You should get down to the historic Courthouse Plaza early as this event always draws a very large crowd. Bring your camera to get some memorable pictures.

clip_image026

Prescott City Hall

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Pretty light display

clip_image030

Plaza trees and Whiskey Row

clip_image032

Plaza trees and the Courthouse

clip_image034

Bronze cowboy at Christmas

clip_image036

Crowd on the Courthouse Plaza

clip_image038

Checking out the scene

clip_image040

The Courthouse in its glory

Photographs by Jack D. Wilson – 2008 Courthouse Lighting

Sharlot Hall Museum Annual Frontier Christmas Open House

clip_image042

Photograph by Jack D. Wilson at 2008 Frontier Christmas

Prescott got its start as a gold mining town and because President Lincoln wanting to ensure the Arizona Territorial capital was far away from the pesky confederates in Tucson. We are justly proud of being the territorial capital twice and of our frontier heritage. Come sample that heritage at the Frontier Christmas Open House features live holiday music, refreshments, cookies by a roaring fire, shopping, and living history presentations of holiday celebrations during Arizona’s territorial days.

When: Saturday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. immediately following the Courthouse Lighting

Where: Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 W. Gurley St., two blocks west of the Courthouse Plaza

Admission: $3 for Museum members; $5 for nonmembers; under 18 free

For more information about Sharlot Hall Museum’s Frontier Christmas Open House, call Jody Drake at (928) 445-3122 or visit the Museum’s website.

Acker Musical Showcase – Friday Dec. 10 5:30-8:30 pm

clip_image044

Chorus in St. Michael’s Alley

clip_image046

Banjos at Lamerson’s Jewelry

clip_image048

A little Western style music

clip_image050

Another Western style group

Photographs by Jack D. Wilson at the 2005 Acker Musical Showcase

This is truly a unique Prescott event. My advice is get downtown early to have an early dinner to prepare for this, it is usually mobbed. Insider tip: The “Jug Band” normally plays at the Elks Opera House and their songs are parodies that skewer the local politicals (they got me when I was the Prescott Mayor). Great fun and not to be missed! Festive luminaries lights will surround Courthouse Plaza and local merchants open their doors and host over 100 of the area’s entertainers for this downtown open house. Browse the various shops, galleries and boutiques while enjoying a variety of music and entertainment and indulging in delectable treats.

This magical holiday celebration is the primary fundraising activity of the J.S. Acker Music Park Association. The performers are all volunteering their time. Please give generously to the TIPS for Scholarships! bags that are staged with the performing act at each venue. Your contributions will be used to award Local Area Youth with Performing Arts Scholarships!

More at their website: www.ackershowcase.com

Shopping

Prescott offers lots of opportunities for shopping. I have highlighted a couple where you can find unique and really special gifts.

Nov. 2-Dec. 23 Mountain Artists Guild Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Show

Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery located at 228 N. Alarcon

Pick up some one-of-a-kind objects d’art at this popular annual holiday arts and crafts show at the Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery. Items go quickly, so be sure to make out your list now!

Formal reception on Friday Nov. 26, 5:00 to 7:30 pm.

Nov. 5 – Dec. 16 “Gifts Galore!”

Prescott Fine Arts Association located at 208 N. Marina St.

Prescott Fine Arts Galley is once again transformed into a glittering gallery of gifts for the discriminating shopper. Visitors look forward to this annual event where they can purchase one-of-a-kind art and handcrafted treasures. Our artists work year round to create only the best in unique, hand made gifts for your shopping pleasure. You’ll find fine art, sculpture, jewelry, textiles, glass, ceramics and several “Who would have thought of that” items.

Last-Minute Non-Profit Stocking-Stuffer Bazaar Dec. 18 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 50 nonprofit agencies selling low-cost, high-quality merchandise to raise money for their agencies. Live entertainment. Gifts from Santa for children with adults. Prescott Activity Center, 824 E. Gurley St. 928-778-3747. Get there EARLY for the best selection!

 

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

 

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment, Tweet it (button below) or forward to a friend. If I missed something, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

RockyHorrorPoster

My wife Liz and I remember attending the original stage production of this wild “musical” show over 35 years ago at the Royal Court Theatre in staid London. On Saturday October 23 at 7PM we attended the Lonesome Valley Playhouse’s presentation of Prescott Independent Theatre’s production at the Elks Opera House in what some would say is staid Prescott. I think the pictures of some members of the audience dressed “in character” will dispel that conclusion. The ole town is a changing!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult tradition, some would say the classic cult tradition. It is a parody and a cross between science fiction and B-movie horror films.

The original stage play was transformed into a movie in 1975 and is still being shown at midnight showings around the world. It has a life of its own where people come dressed as their favorite character, several phrases are mirrored by the audience and there are points where things are thrown. That prompted the Elks Opera House to display the following sign at several places:

RockyCautionSign

I talked to Deputy City Manager Laurie Hadley after the Saturday night performance and they did not have to eject anyone during that performance. However, on Friday they did have to eject someone.

The show

Opening

The show opens with a criminologist (Olga Salazar from Jerome) narrating and setting the scene of Brad and Janet getting engaged and taking a drive where their car breaks down. They find themselves lost and with a flat tire on a cold and rainy, late November evening, but Brad remembers a castle they passed a few miles back. And then the fun begins…BradJanet2

At the beginning of the show Brad Majors and Janet Weiss are depicted as “square” innocents, but that would soon change radically.

Musical Numbers

This is a musical and there are several musical numbers. The first was “The Time Warp.” See the Wikipedia entry for a complete synopsis of the stage production and movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Samples from the production

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Brad and Janet soon learn this is no normal castle!

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From one of the musical numbers, doing “The Time Warp.”

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And here we have Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania and his creation Rocky Horror.

The seduction of Janet and Brad

That night Dr. Frank-N-Furter does serial seductions of both Janet then Brad. The dialogue in both seduction scenes is the same.

Brad1 Brad2 Brad3

After his seduction by Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Brad is transformed.

Janet2 Janet1 

After her seduction by Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Janet tries to get it on with Rocky Horror.

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Staid Brad transformed.

GoodShot4

 

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Dr. Frank-N-Furter near the end of the show in the “I’m Going Home” musical number.

Audience pictures

This performance drew a large crowd. The balcony was very popular for those dress “in character” and it was nearly filled. The main floor was about 3/4 full.

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Counter help

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Here we have Joseph Brehm, City of Prescott Management Analyst (black shirt) and Laurie Hadley (Deputy City Manager) working the concession counter. No wine or beer was available (drat) as they are still waiting for approval of their liquor license from the state.

“In character”

There were many (upwards of twenty) audience members dressed “in character” and this is an example:

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This is a male dressed in drag as the lead character Dr. Frank-N-Furter.  I shot this during intermission.

Playbill

The cast list, director and producer courtesy of Andrew Johnson-Schmit.

  • BRAD MAJORS – Jayk Boomer
  • JANET WEISS – Valerye Jeffries
  • CRIMINOLOGIST – Olga Salazar
  • FRANK N. FURTER – Christopher Galinski
  • MAGENTA – Danica Jeffries
  • RIFF-RAFF – Jacob d’Armand
  • COLUMBIA – Willa Cowan
  • EDDIE/DR. SCOTT – Toni Rios
  • Directed by Jacob d’Armand
  • Produced by Clyde Neville
Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

Prescott Arizona comes in at number two on this list. Click on the link, below, to read the full article and see why we rated higher than Sedona:

The New Best Places to Retire

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

The Prescott – Caborca Sister City Committee was established in 1972, 38 years and nearing four decades ago. There has been a strong relationship between Caborca, Sonora, Mexico and Prescott, Arizona over that period.

Video trip recap

Technology today allows us to capture the moment almost anywhere and instantly publish those memories on the Internet. I carried my Flip HD video camera with me on this trip and used it to film the following videos.

I hope you enjoy these videos and maybe they will tempt you to join us as a member of the Prescott – Caborca Sister City Committee. Also see my related post Caborca, Mexico Official 2010 Sister City Visit with lots of photographs.

Friday, October 16 2010 – Welcome Fiesta

Saturday, October 16 2010 – Lunch BBQ at Guillermo’s House

Saturday, October 16 2010 – Noche Bohemia Casa de la Cultura

Sunday, October 17 2010 – Dinner and Dance sponsored by Mayor of Caborca

Photo and video credits

All photographs and videos by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

Mile Hile Trail System Image

Prescott Arizona is an outdoor adventurers paradise, an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. This guide focuses on the many trails in Prescott. However, kayaking, rock climbing, camping and fishing opportunities abound. Many believe that Prescott is the best place to mountain bike in the entire country.

Prescott is a pleasant two-hour drive 100 miles north of Phoenix. Our mile-high elevation means we are typically 15-20 cooler than Phoenix. Prescott is surrounded by the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine forest. The US Forest Service has over 450 miles of trails in the forest around Prescott!

Prescott is working on completing the 50-mile Circle Trail. We have trails to satisfy users at any level, while being a "cool " place to hang out in the evenings with the opportunity to take  rest days and visit the museums/ theater, go kayaking on the lakes, play golf, rodeo, or even pan for gold!

A Mountain Biker’s Perspective

To give you a flavor of the exceptional trails in Prescott Arizona, here is a link to a blog post from the blog Diary of Scott Morris, sharing a mountain bikers perspective on some challenging riding on new trails in the picturesque Granite Dells area of Prescott: Play hard, get hurt. Also see Scott’s follow-up article Prescott Monster Redemption and Scott’s precursor to these two, Strategy in Prescott. With those blog posts as an introduction, I think that most would agree that Prescott Arizona is truly a mountain bikers paradise!

Whiskey Off Road Endurance Race

This is the premier mountain biking event in Prescott, check out the video:

2010 Whiskey Off Road Endurance Mountain Bike Event from Epic Rides, Inc. on Vimeo.

The 8th annual Whiskey Off Road will be held on April 30, 2011. Registration opens on January 1, 2011 (see sponsor Epic Rides website The Whiskey Off-Road). Event activities are scheduled for April 29-May 1, 2011, with the actual race on April 30, 2011. The race will have a guaranteed cash purse of $20,000 split equally between men and women racers.

Besides the race there will be a bandshell with entertainment.

Here is the opening song from last years lead entertainer, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (video by Jack D. Wilson):

Trails in Prescott

City of Prescott Office of Tourism Trails Page

City of Prescott trails page has a comprehensive listing of city trails. These range from the easy, such as the Peavine trail (on a former Santa Fe railroad bed) to extremely difficult Willow Dells Slickrock Trail Loops See the Vimeo video Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott. Are you an advanced mountain bike rider and want a technical challenge?

Mountain Biking in Prescott

 

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott from Ken Bennett on Vimeo.

Prescott Area trail maps by Derek Brownlee at Sharlot Hall Museum. Derek was on my Prescott Bicycle Advisory Committee when I was mayor and he has the reputation of having ridden every trail in the area.

Bradshaw Ranger District Trails from US Forest Service.

Peavine Trail Video

Ron Smith’s Book

Description and cover picture from Amazon.com:

RonSmithBook

Product Description

The author presents his personal trail journals for mountain hikes in the Central Highland region of Arizona. Trail descriptions include maps, trail specifications, elevation profiles, and Latitude/Longitude coordinates as convenience to GPS users. This is a guide for hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists. Most trips can be completed in one day and average six to 12 miles in length.

About the Author

Ron Smith is semi-retired, after a 30-year career as wildlife biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. This career has taken him throughout Arizona’s diverse biological regions. His skills as keen observer, writer, and back country traveler have helped to make this guide more than just a technical reference. It also reflects a long cultivated sensitivity to the value of wild places and the need to protect them for ourselves and those who follow us. ”

Bike and Hiking shops in Prescott

Shop/Click for website Address/Phone Comments
Ironclad Bicycles 710 White Spar Rd, Prescott, AZ 86302
(928) 776-1755
Bicycle sales, rentals and repairs. facebook.com/ironcladbicycles
Bikesmith Cycle & Fitness 723 N Montezuma St
Prescott, AZ
86301-2001
(928) 445-0280
Oldest bike shop in Prescott.
High Gear Bicycles 505 E Sheldon St
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-0636
 
Hike Shack 210 S Montezuma St, Prescott, AZ 86303 (928) 443-8565 M-F 10a-6p, Sat 9a-6p, Sun 10a-4p Outfitters for Day Hikers, Backpackers, Climbers, Urban Walkers, Trail Runners, Trekkers, Boaters, Hunters, and Adventure Travelers.
Granite Mountain Outfitters (no website) 320 W Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 776-4949
Mon-Thu 9am-5:30pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9:30am-4pm, Sun 12am-12am

Biking organizations in Prescott

Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA)

Website: www.prescottmtb.com

See the Facebook page for Prescott Mountain Biking – 195 members when I checked or their website at prescottmtb.com.

Prescott Cycling Club: http://www.prescottcycling.org/index.html

Trail and Hiking organizations in Prescott

Yavapai Trails Association

Yavapai Trails Association is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and developing recreational, non-motorized trails.  They are an all-volunteer group that represents the interests of hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. They publish a quarterly newsletter, Trail Tracks, which you can view on their web site.

Yavapai Trails Association
P.O. Box 403
Prescott, AZ 86302
Call Membership Chair
Jim Pessin at (928) 771-2707
or go to: www.yavapai-trails.org

Prescott Outings Club

The Prescott Outings Club was founded in 1975 and sponsors three hikes each week from September through May. See their website for details.

Prescott Hiking Club

The Prescott Hiking Club is a Prescott-based hiking club. See their website for details on the club, how to join, contacts, etc.

TrekAbout Hiking Club

Treks around the Prescott area are held year-round. The club meets every Tuesday from 8 to 9 a.m. and Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m. during the summer months and vary in length and difficulty. Walks are graded on a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being the most difficult). Hikes are lead by staff and volunteers from the Prescott Recreation Department, YMCA, and Yavapai County Health Department. For information call Prescott Parks and Recreation Dept. at 777-1122 or the YMCA at 445-7221. Membership is $12 a year and includes 2 weekly guided hikes and monthly calendar. Hiking boots required, carry water, dogs must be on a leash. Click for PDF application.

Adventure Travel Providers

Perhaps you would like an expert guide to take you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Vendor (click for website) Comments
Rubicon logo Rubicon specializes in adventure travel. Matt Brown is the owner and lead guide. From their web site
“Our year round guided tours in the mile high city now include Guided Mountain Biking and Guided Dayhikes. If you are looking for a relaxing weekend away our Self Guided Camping in Granite Basin Recreation Area is an easy way to get out and have some fun. Combine any or all of the tours above with a Guided Rock Climbing day and you will surely have a weekend to remember.”
GO! Adventure Recreation Dave provides guided mountain bike rides and guided hiking among other services.

Rest days attractions

Need something to do on a rest day? Prescott has several interesting museums, details at Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums. There are lots of interesting shops downtown, including antique shops, details on these at Antique Capital of Arizona.

Accommodations in Prescott

There are lots of hotel, motels and bed and breakfast establishments in Prescott. I have listed a few that are outstanding. The first two were statewide winners in their categories is the Arizona Republic’s Best Hotel reader poll.

Prescott Motor Lodge, 503 S. Montezuma St., Prescott, AZ 86303 928-717-0157. See Arizona Republic story Best Arizona Bargain Hotel. Some say this might be the coolest budget hotel in Arizona. In addition to their website they have a blog and a Facebook page.

Hassayampa Inn, 122 E. Gurley, Prescott, AZ  86301 – See Arizona Republic story Hassayampa Inn, Prescott: Best historic hotel. The Peacock Dining room has great food and I have eaten there many times.

Residence Inn Prescott, 3599 Lee Circle Prescott, Arizona 86301 USA 928-775-2232. The Residence Inn is right across from the Prescott Gateway Mall. If you are partial to Four Seasons, you will like the Residence Inn. It is the best business destination in Prescott.

Do you like Bed and Breakfast accommodations? Then click on over to the  Prescott Bed and Breakfast Association.

Food and Drink

DinnerBellCafe You will not be disappointed with breakfast at the Dinner Bell. It is located at 321 W. Gurley, (928) 445-9888. Cash only, but an ATM in front. Open until 2:00pm. Favorites include buckwheat waffles with mango and walnuts, cinnamon rolls and Huevos Rancheros. Use the creek side walkway to get to the back room/patio – it is the best place to sit (locals eat back there).

  Best Prescott Pick
Grandmas Bakery in Prescott Arizona Grandma’s Bakery is located at 207 W. Gurley just off Montezuma. It is in the lower level space of the Hotel St. Michael’s. If you like fancy baked deserts such as Napoleons and Éclairs then do not miss this.
Kendalls in Prescott Arizona Kendall‘s is located at 113 S. Cortez and features Fifties music, décor and value. Made to order burgers, fries and an old-fashioned soda fountain.
Raven Cafe in Prescott Arizona The Raven Café is located at 142 N. Cortez (web site at http://www.ravencafe.com/ ). Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 35 beers on taps with 135 beers in bottles. Free wi-fi. Check out the upstairs patio area.  The owners are supporters of biking. They hosted the Ales for Trails benefit on March 24, 2010.

  Best Prescott Pick
The Palace in Prescott Arizona

  Best Prescott Pick
The Palace is located at 120 S. Montezuma on historic Whiskey Row and is a bar and restaurant. If you can’t eat there at least stick your head in to check out the décor. The movie Junior Bonner shot some of its scenes inside and there is a very large Junior Bonner wall mural in the back portion. Their food is not the attraction, it is the old western bar ambiance.Junior Bonner Wall Mural in Palace Saloon in Prescott Arizona 

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

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I hope that you found this guide helpful, if you did please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

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Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. While he was mayor, he participated in two Mayor’s Bicycle Ride to Work on a tandem bicycle with partner Billy Broadfoot and had a Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.