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Centennial Christmas Village opens Friday at Yuma Quartermaster Depot with sledding, more
YUMA, ARIZONA - Snow fooling: Santa arrives in Yuma Friday with a rare treat for kids of all ages - enough snow to blanket a sledding hill!
The sledding venue will be part of a magical Centennial Christmas Village at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.
The Village will also feature a trip back in time aboard the trackless "Heritage Express" train, which will tour the brightly lit historic buildings of the park to experience Christmas traditions in 1912, the year Arizona first became a state.
Sponsored by the Yuma Visitors Bureau, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area and the City of Yuma, the Village will be open from Dec. 16-23 daily. Hours are 5-9 p.m. except Dec. 16, when City of Yuma employees get a special sneak peek and the public is welcome from 7 to 9 p.m.
Snow is guaranteed Dec. 16-20, and special "theme nights" have been planned for the remaining nights if warm temperatures bring a premature end to sledding, including Hispanic Heritage Night Dec. 21, Christmas Spirit Night with a special performance by Destiny Christian Church Dec. 22 and Polar Express Movie Night on Dec. 23.
Throughout the week, the entire park - and a special kid-sized village of fanciful walk-in playhouses - will be decorated with thousands of sparkling lights and other holiday decor.
Each playhouse will offer an activity - for example, free kid-friendly holiday crafts in the Arizona Western College schoolhouse, free old-time "bank robber" photos in the Foothills Bank, a Christmas museum in Turtle Bay Cafe's Snack Shack, shopping for gifts at Santa's Workshop (all items just $1) or for classic "penny candy" at the Gingerbread House (all items 25 cents). Santa will also be on hand for visits and photos, along with Yuma County Library District's Booker Bear and other mascots.
Entertainment will be offered nightly, along with food and drink vendors and shopping for homemade holiday gifts at the new Pioneer Craft Market, a showcase for local crafters.
A "Polar Pass" good for unlimited Centennial Christmas Village admissions all week long is $5 and includes the train ride and most activities except sledding. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. A strip of tickets for half a dozen rides down the sledding hill costs $5, and sledding is open to those ages three and older who can safely ride alone. Kids under three can enjoy a special snow fun area without charge.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County totaled more than $566 million in 2010, supported nearly 5,800 jobs and generated $36.3 million in state and local tax revenues.
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is an independent nonprofit corporation governed by a local board of directors. It was among the first national heritage areas in the West officially designated by the U.S. Congress. The Heritage Area's master plan projects earned the Governor's Arizona Preservation Award in 2009. For more information, call 928-373-5198 or visit www.yumaheritage.com.
A longtime favorite with sun-seeking snowbirds, Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,000 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. For more details about Yuma's year-round attractions, special events - and the rarely "cloudy with a chance of tacos" forecast* - visit www.visityuma.com or call 800-293-0071.
* Yuma hotel guests will eat free every day the sun doesn't shine from Aug. 1, 2011 until July 31, 2012! For more information on our Centennial "free board" promotion, call us.
For more information:
Media contact: Ann Walker, 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell), email@example.com
Event contact:Kimberley Ahuactzin, 928-376-0100 (office), (928) 580-0002, firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitor Information Center: 1-800-293-0071
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