Holiday festivities in Benson kick off Saturday with a daylong list of activities at Apache Park, along with the city’s ninth annual light parade followed by a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall.
The Benson Chamber of Commerce is hosting its Christmas OFF Main celebration with vendors, live entertainment and family-fun activities from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Apache Park, 150 W. Sixth St.
“Along with the vendors and live entertainment, we’re going to have a Kidz Kove with different activities, horse-drawn wagon rides for $5 and Christmas carolers at the end of the night,” said Najayyah Many Horses, chamber spokesperson and event organizer. “The city of Benson is organizing the annual light parade, which starts at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall, adjacent to Apache Park.”
During the Christmas OFF Main festivities, the Benson Pony Express will ride into the park between noon and 12:30 with letters filled with special Christmas wishes from children.
“We’re going to have a specially deputized couple — Mr. and Mrs. Frosty the Snowman — who will make sure the mail gets to Santa at the North Pole,” Many Horses said.
While Christmas OFF Main activities in Apache Park are free, the horse-drawn wagon rides will require a $5 wristband. The wagon will be providing tours throughout the area as it shuttles folks around Benson, giving participants opportunities to take advantage of the community’s boutiques and holiday shopping.
“The wristband entitles you to unlimited rides, and if you have kids, that can be pretty important,” Many Horses said. “Those wrist bands will also help you get discounts at some participating merchants in town as well as vendors at Christmas OFF Main. You must be 16 years of age to ride the wagon without an adult.”
Parking will be available at the Benson High School football field parking lot, located near Apache Park. There will be no parking on Sixth Street after 4 p.m. because of the Parade of Lights at 6 p.m. In addition, parking will not be allowed in the alleyway adjacent to Apache Park at any time.
“We are reminding everyone to stay for the Parade of Lights and tree lighting ceremony at city hall. Finish the night off with caroling in the park before the lights go out for the evening,” said Many Horses.
With its “Hometown Holiday Past, Present and Future” theme, the city’s ninth-annual light parade starts at 6 p.m. The parade route starts at Union and Patagonia, then takes a meandering route through neighborhoods as it heads past City Hall and Apache Park on San Pedro Street.