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The weather outside is far from frightful, and the number of things to do is so delightful! We've made our list of festive activities to help you enjoy the holidays in Yuma, Arizona ...
Photo by Yuma Palms Regional Center
Holiday Concerts by Yuma Jazz — Let the Yuma Jazz Company fill your soul with holiday cheer! Two bonus concerts in December help kick off the 2017 Village Jazz Series at the Yuma Palms Regional Center. Bring your own seating and a blanket to keep warm; these performances will take place under the stars from 6 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 1: Yuma Jazz Company featuring bassist Cesar Juarez. Bassist Cesar Juarez will be featured with the Quintet in spreading Christmas Joy, adding some 'tunes of the season' to their repertoire and tossing around good cheer like candy canes!
Dec. 15: Yuma Catholic High School Choir with Yuma Jazz Company. YCHS’s outstanding choir will be jazzing up some of their Christmas repertoire as they join the Yuma Jazz Company Quintet in presenting this lavish holiday extravaganza!
Live performances at the Historic Yuma Theatre — If you are craving more holiday-themed performances, the Historic Yuma Theatre in Downtown will be the place to be! Like a stocking on Christmas morn, the Theatre's calendar is overflowing with exciting, live shows:
Dec. 2 & 3: Nutcracker Suite on Main Street. Take a step back in time to Victorian Era England. Join Clara, Fritz, Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker Prince, the Mouse King, The Sugar Plum Fairy and all the characters from the beloved story. Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet is one of the most famous ballets the world has ever known. Click here for times and tickets.
Dec. 6: Blue Christmas. The holidays were always a very special time for The King of Rock n' Roll. For Elvis, the holidays meant a time of sharing with friends, family, and even complete strangers! No expense was spared when it came to decorating Graceland for Christmas, and Elvis took the same approach when it came time to record holiday music. During his lifetime, he released three albums of songs to celebrate the season, which have since been re-packaged and re-configured many different ways. This heart-warming show features some of The King's best loved holiday favorites mixed in with a healthy dose of top hits from throughout his career. Click here for times and tickets.
Dec. 7: 62nd Army Band FREE Holiday Concert. Presented by Yuma Proving Ground, the 62nd Army Band from Fort Huachuca, Arizona rolls into town for two, free holiday concerts. To claim your tickets while they last, visit the Yuma Art Center 254 S. Main Street. Click here for times and more information.
Dec. 9: Tony Kenny's "Irish Christmas." Singing, dancing, and old fashion storytelling which relives the heritage of Ireland from Saint Patrick and onward; great music making, Irish dancing, Christmas carols and the wit and wisdom of the Irish. Click here for times and tickets.
Dec. 11: World Christmas Music. KAWC FM88.9 AM1320 presents a World Music Christmas by the versatile, lively duo Nossa Bossa Nova. In the Yuma Art Center’s Main Gallery, with cabaret style table seating, the duo will share its special brand of world music to celebrate Christmas across the globe. In addition to its popular Brazilian Christmas repertoire, Nossa Bossa Nova will be showcasing holiday music from Italy, Haiti, and Mexico, as well as familiar favorites in English. In recognition of our world’s bountiful cultures, we are proud to be performing some traditional Hanukkah music in Hebrew and a participatory Nigerian welcome song! It will be fun, family-friendly and festive! Light refreshments included and a cash bar will be available. Click here for times and tickets.
Dec. 13: Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas. Cozy up to the fire and get into the spirit of the season with our jazzy tribute to the holidays. Starring LSP favorite and American Idol finalist Crystal Stark and a swingin’ jazz combo, you’ll be sure to have a “Cool Yule” with these holiday hits! Click here for times and tickets.
The Nutcracker — Ballet Yuma’s colorful production of “The Nutcracker” set to original choreography by Kathleen Sinclair, Jon Cristofori and Emma M.K. Cong, has introduced audiences of all ages to the magnificent world of ballet. This holiday season, experience the beauty and grace of Ballet Yuma’s cast of dancers, and make “The Nutcracker” one of your family’s favorite holiday traditions for years to come! Showings take place on Dec. 9, 10, 11. For showtimes and ticketing information, visit BalletYuma.org.
Walt Kammann Sausage Fry — The 2016 Yuma Rotary Club Walt Kammann Sausage Fry fundraiser will be held at the Yuma Civic and Convention Center on Friday, Dec. 2nd from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Everyone is invited to join this community tradition that has provided entertainment and good food for nearly 60 years. Members of the Yuma Rotary Club are selling tickets now for $10 each or tickets can be purchased at the event. Ticket price includes dinner consisting of Walt Kammann sausage, beans, coleslaw, salsa, dinner roll and also a beverage. There will be dessert items on-hand and take-out is available. New this year is a drive thru line for standard dinners. Additionally, there will be holding a sausage eating for $1,000 prize. For more information, visit the event's official Facebook page.
El Toro Bowl — For some, college football games are synonymous with the holidays. On Saturday, Dec. 3, National Junior College Athletic Association's top two teams will meet up and battle it out on the gridiron in Yuma for the National Championship! Number 1 ranked Garden City Community College Broncbusters will take on second ranked (and hometown favorite) Arizona Western College Matadors in what is expected to be a clash of daunting defenses. For complete game details and ticket information, visit ElToroBowl.com.
The Yuma Art Center presents Santa's Workshop — Let the kiddos express their holiday joy with festive projects that include take home ornaments and greeting cards on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Yuma Art Center! Attendees should be on their best behavior because Santa will also be attending, taking final wishlist requests from boys and girls. Click here for complete details and to register.
Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade — In its 14th year, the Parade will take place on Saturday, December 10 in the form of "A Wild West Christmas." Coming off "A Rock 'N Roll Christmas" in 2015, the Parade draws tens of thousands of Yuma residents and visitors to the Historic North End each year to celebrate the holiday season. This year, the tradition of recognizing the Parade's best entries, as graded by a panel of judges, continues with an assortment of awards, including the Dorothy Young Memorial Trophy for Best Performance by a Marching Band, last year awarded to Gadsden Elementary School District #32. Click here for complete parade details.
Reindeer Roundup 5K/10K Fun Run & Walk — Get a jump start on those New Year's resolutions with the City of Yuma Parks & Recreation's annual Reindeer Roundup Fun Run & Walk for all ages at West Wetlands Park on Saturday, Dec. 17! Pre-registration is available. Click here for complete event information.
Somerton Tamale Festival — Its organizers call it "the Woodstock of tamale events," but most know it as "mmm, mmm, mmm." Built from the tradition of homemade tamale making during the holidays, the Somerton Tamale Festival is the definitive mecca of all things wrapped in masa. From traditional varieties with pork, beef, turkey, corn and chicken, to sweet, desert-style offerings featuring strawberry and pineapple, #STF2016 will satiate your holiday hunger and then some! Proceed benefit the Arizona State University's El Diablito Alumni club. This year's festival takes place on Saturday, Dec. 17 in Yuma's sister city of Somerton, starting at 11 a.m. Click here for more event details.
Yuma Territorial Gun Shows' Holiday Gun Show — Calling all sportsmen and collectors: the annual Holiday Gun Show at the Yuma Civic Center is perfect place to treat yourself with a gift on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 & 18. The event features FREE raffles with a portion of the proceeds donated to wounded warriors. You may also transfer your purchased firearm to a California license on site. More information can be found at YumaAZ.gov.
HoldayCat Light Tour — The HolidayCat is back! Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation will once again offer the YCAT HolidayCat light tour! This is the easy way to see all the best holiday lights in Yuma. Fun holiday music, hot beverages and cookies are all part of the HolidayCat experience. HolidayCat will operate on Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18. The 90-minute tour departs from the Downtown Yuma Transit Center at 7 p.m both days. The fare is only $2.00 for general public and children under 5 ride for free. First come, firs-served basis. Please bring exact change.
Cocopah Racing Series — Get family and friends together for an afternoon spectacle of horsepower (no reindeer) at the three-eighths mile dirt/clay oval at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton! Racing action begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 with gates opening at 11 a.m. For race and ticket information, visit CocopahSpeedway.com.
Sanguinetti House Museum & Gardens Candlelight Tours — A magical night! Here is a rare and wonderful opportunity to tour the Sanguinetti House Museum by candlelight; then, stroll through E. F. Sanguinetti's enchanted gardens filled with white Christmas lights on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are just $8 per person and may be purchased at the door. For more information, visit ArizonaHistoricalSociety.org.
Yuman Interest Gifts & Souvenirs Holiday Bazaar — Local artists will set-up shop at the Yuma Visitor Information Center (201 N. 4th Avenue) to show and sell their work. Searching for a unique holiday gift for a friend, family, or yourself? Find a treasure at the Holiday Gift Bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the event, there will be free admission to the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, free refreshments and snacks, and door prizes! For more information, call 800-293-0071.
Photo by Laryl Hancock on Facebook
Yuma's Candy Cane Lane — Of course, no Christmas season is complete without an evening spent seeking light displays. Yuma's own Candy Cane Lane upholds a long-standing tradition of decorating like no other spot in town! Known 11 months out of the year as Vista Lane, this cul-de-sac is every bit the sights and sounds of the holidays with elaborate lighting, characters galore, and residents cheerfully offering good tidings. Drive though carefully or enjoy the scenes on foot.
City of Yuma New Year's Eve Family Fun Night — If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly and safe place to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your little ones, head out to the Yuma Civic Center! Kids will love the gift giveaways, scavenger hunt, video and board games, bounce houses, ping pong, washoes, cornhole and live coverage of the New York City ball drop! Parents, bring your kids to the New Year’s Eve Family Fun Night and you’ll still have time to drop them off with the sitter and have your own fun ringing in the New Year! Entry is $1 per person; event runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. For more information, visit YumaAZ.gov.
GAP Experience at Quechan Casino & Resort — "GAP Experience is the funky, rocking, dancing, soulful, gospel, and country inspired mega band brought to life by the original players of the legendary group, The Gap Band," and they're bringing the fun to Quechan Casino & Resort on New Year's Eve, starting at 8 p.m.! Tickets are $20 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit PlayQCR.com.
New Year's Eve Jazz Celebration — Welcome the start of 2017 at Julieanna’s Patio Cafe! The patio will be heated and the night will be magical. Julieanna's is offering a special menu all evening, and the music runs from 9 p.m. to midnight, featuring vocalist Jennifer Wayman with the Yuma Jazz Company Quintet! The truly excellent cuisine and service will be accompanied by champagne, party hats, noise makers, glowsticks, jello shots, and great live music - it doesn't get better than this! Whether you're looking for an outstanding early dinner or ringing in the new year, Julieanna's will make it memorable! For more information, visit YumaJazz.com and Julieannas.com.
New Year's Eve Countdown at The Kress Ultra Lounge — For adults 21 and older, The Kress Ultra Lounge is hosting Yuma's most exciting New Year's celebration with a balloon drop, confetti showers, and complementary party items. Wanna go all out? Call 928-750-2551 to purchase your VIP table and bottle of Champagne! More information available at the event's official Facebook page.
Know of a holly jolly event we've missed? Email us at Communications@VisitYuma.com and we'll update this article as we receive submissions!
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