Prescott: 'Arizona's Christmas City' - CBS 5 - KPHO

Prescott: 'Arizona's Christmas City'

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Yavapai County Courthouse Yavapai County Courthouse
PRESCOTT, AZ (CBS News) -

Each night this week on the CBS 5 News at 10, we're highlighting an Arizona Christmas legend or tradition.

Tuesday, we're taking you to Prescott: Arizona's Christmas City.

"The lights are absolutely incredible," said Sue Dewees of Goodyear. "The moment you come here, it's like a wonderland."

That's the reaction most people have when they visit Arizona's Christmas City – a designation former Governor Rose Mofford bestowed upon Prescott in 1989.

"I think we've definitely earned the name and I don't see it ever changing," said Pete Wertheim, Communications and Public Affairs Manager for the City of Prescott. "Each year we continue to expand on our Christmas platform."

For the past 59 years, the city has decorated the Yavapai County Courthouse and surrounding plaza.

This year, more than 100 trees are illuminated by array of colorful lights.

"Hello, awesome!" exclaimed Lisa Symonds of Gilbert. "It's beautiful; really pretty. It puts you in the holiday spirit."

This Christmas tradition is community-wide effort, with the city and downtown merchants footing the $85,000 bill.

"My family has always been a Christmas family," said Jersey Lilly Saloon owner Tommy Meredith. "I guess I had a little bit of that bred in me. And, so it's not hard for me to come in and try to make this a better event every year."

The hard work pays off each year as thousands of visitors, and residents alike, flock to the courthouse plaza to take in its beauty.

"It's very nostalgic," said Dewees. "It should be nostalgic for everybody and bring exuberance to the children and just come out here and sing Christmas carols. I feel like it should be snowing. It's breathtaking."

The year 2014 will mark 60 years of this Prescott tradition.

The city says you can expect the "Super Bowl of Christmas lights" next year.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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