City News

Christmas and New Years have come and gone but organizers of the fourth annual Holiday Central Sedona are already thinking of ways to improve 2017’s event.

More than 30 events stretching from Uptown to Sedona Red Rock High School fell under the umbrella of Holiday Central. This time a few locations changed, most notably Tinsel Town from Posse Grounds Park to Tlaquepaque. And, last year’s festivities saw the return of Red Rock Fantasy but in a modified format compared to what it once was.

“For a first year [of changing locations], I thought it was great and well attended,” said Wendy Lippman, managing partner of Tlaquepaque and Holiday Central committee member. “I like the Red Rock Fantasy theme. I think Tinsel Town isn’t necessary. When people called Tlaquepaque they only referenced Red Rock Fantasy as that is what they know and have known.”

Lippman said in terms of changes for 2017, she would like to figure out a better way to direct those attending throughout the complex.

“We provided a map but we only manned our welcome tent a few nights each week, therefore, many folks didn’t vote, didn’t have a voice and consequently might not have seen all the installations,” she said. “Tlaquepaque added additional installations as well that weren’t marked on the map.    

“We can do better on signage and do better on telling a visitor where to vote. We need to figure out how to not have folks/kids try to touch the installations or move them around. Tlaquepaque would like to work on more power for next year to have more installations.”

She added that the Friday night free movies in the courtyard was a big hit as they showed a variety of Christmas classics, which was courtesy of Sedona International Film Festival.

Like Lippman, Sedona Parks and Recreation Manager and fellow committee member Rachel Murdoch agreed that there is room for improvements, especially when it came to Tinsel Town.

“I think things went well but can be improved upon,” she said. “It was well attended because of the location. It was a little confusing for people to find all the displays or understand what was a Tinsel Town display versus just another decoration.”

Murdoch, who oversaw the ice skating rink over New Year’s weekend, said that despite poor weather, everything went well.

“People loved it,” she said. “They loved how pretty is it was, they loved the location, they loved — and couldn’t believe — that it was free. I had all aged people show up and people that wanted to skate in the rain.”

They officially got rained out both days at 7:30 p.m. But until that point she said it was a busy crowd the whole time. “Not busy where you had to wait in line, but busy where there was a solid number of people constantly flowing on and off the ice,” Murdoch said. “The music was playing, the lights were beautiful and the product [ice rink and skates] were good quality.”

Overall they had 537 people cast votes on Tinsel Town exhibits. Murdoch said it was split almost in half for people that voted in person as opposed to online. In the end, Elf on the Dental Shelf was the People’s Choice Award winner and will receive a $500 check from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.


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