BISBEE — The city comes alive this weekend kicking off the holiday season, where one can enjoy the fading art of festive window dressing, be charmed by cozy small town decorations and lights, make an ornament, sing a few Christmas carols, and, of course meet and greet Santa Claus.

Shops in Old Bisbee are in the holiday swing and have prepared plenty of one-of-a-kind gifts sure to make even the Grinchiest of family members and friends smile.

Lorena Valdez, who has managed the events and decorations for the past eight years, said she starts two or three months in advance of the event. There is a lot to coordinate with vendors, entertainers and the street department to get all those decorations up in Bisbee’s City Park and all over town.

From noon to 2 p.m., all are invited to show their artistic side by making a free ornament in a workshop.

Be sure to bring your happy feet to dance to the all day live entertainment.

This year, parents and kids can join in some fun contests – the sack race, egg and spoon race for adults and imbo for the kids, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Santa Claus arrives by Bisbee fire truck around 5:30 p.m. with plenty of time to get the children’s wish lists.

When the performers are finished, the city will hold a free raffle. Tickets will be given to children.

Those whose numbers are called get the chance to rake in as much money as they can in the Money Machine. The kids who get the most money will get to choose their prizes — mystery boxes which contain some awesome prizes, said Valdez.

Then at 8 p.m. comes the 30th annual Festival of Lights, turning City Park into a wonderland of bright colors, Valdez noted.

Stores and galleries will be open until 8 p.m. on Saturday for the 7th Annual Small Town Holiday, which also features live entertainment from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. throughout Old Bisbee. Face painting is offered in front of Pan Terra Gallery from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children, said Jen Luria of Dog Cat Mouse Media, which handles the city’s marketing.

Folks are encouraged to vote for their favorite window display, sponsored by Eliza Adams Real Estate, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bisbee Good Cakes on Main St.

Old Bisbee Tours is offering free rides up Main St. from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to view the storefronts.

The Bisbee Woman’s Club will also hold the 37th annual Home Tour beginning Friday at 10 a.m. at the Greenway School on Cole Ave. in the Warren District. Tickets are $20 for adults, good for Friday and Saturday, and free for children 12 and under. Hours both days are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 homes are open for the tour.

Also featured at Greenway School along with the Home Tour is the silent art chair auction by the city’s artists of all ages. With over 80 items to auction, and not all are chairs — there is a good chance something will be perfect for that perfect niche in your home.

The auction will be held at Greenway School at 5 p.m. when all bids must be in. From 4 to 5 p.m. there is a meet and greet with the artists who participated.

Proceeds benefit the club’s scholarship program, For the Love of Music Series and other local non–profits.

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