Sedona Gears Up for Holiday Jollity


November 23, 2018


hillside-glass-sculpturesIt’s official! After warming up with our Turkey Trot 5K and enjoying a satisfying Thanksgiving meal with family, friends, and football, we can finally welcome the holiday season to Sedona. Today, of course, is Black Friday – another-fun filled milestone along our Holiday Road (apologies to Lindsay Buckingham).

While you are making your move among the holiday crowds, remember to ‘keep it local.’ Every dollar you spend in Sedona helps sustain local wages, jobs, businesses, and local tax revenues. An amazing 73 cents of every dollar spent in Sedona stays in the community, keeping our economy strong.

As we rev up our holiday spirit, now is also an excellent time to enjoy all the things that make Sedona beloved around the world. Why not decide to see our hometown as visitors do? Have you tried Sedona’s Secret Seven? Check out for (literally) off-the-beaten-path hiking experiences you may have overlooked. Or purchase the “Nine Easy Hikes in Sedona” book at the Visitor Center on 89A and walk off some of that tryptophan. The immense volume of information there may surprise you with a few things you didn’t know you didn’t know about Sedona and the Verde Valley.

As December draws on, you may be hosting out-of-town friends or relatives, but even if it’s just you and your family, rediscover the arts is a great way to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. When is the last time you visited some of our world-class galleries? The Sedona Gallery Association at offers an excellent overview and links to each member’s site and special events. Our gallery owners and artists are critical to attracting discerning, environmentally-conscious visitors to Sedona – the kind of high-value guests who treasure what makes Sedona unique. Please take time to visit and support our galleries and artists this season – you will be amazed anew at the tremendous quality our local talent has to offer.

The same is true of our excellent restaurants. The holiday season is all about indulging guests and family, and in Sedona’s first-class food scene, the choices are many. An informal Chamber survey of 30+ Sedona dining spots shows 20 percent of their business comes from Sedona residents – meaning 80 percent of local restaurant revenues come from visitors. We owe them a vote of thanks for making possible the many superb Sedona venues that offer cuisine not usually found in communities our size. Take advantage!

I’ve already marked the weekend beginning Friday, December 7 as one of the best weekends of the season. The annual Uptown Tree Lighting and visit from Santa coincides with the First Friday Art Walk – and it’s going to be spectacular. Join us as Sedona’s galleries and people celebrate all the warmth and joy of the season. The very next night is the Festival of Lights kick-off at Tlaquepaque, a sparkling, inspiring community event. What a weekend! Just six days later, on December 13, the four-day Sedona Northern Lights show debuts with four dazzling nightly shows of spectacular 3-D art projected on Camelback Rock next to Snoopy Rock. The show is a fantastic way to celebrate our beautiful dark skies with your friends and neighbors.

I’m looking forward to finding out just how much holiday merriment a true-blue Sedonan can stand! I’ll be looking for you out there, too, sharing the joy of the season here in the best place to live, work, play and visit.

Jennifer Wesslehoff