It's time to get in the holiday spirit with the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce's Mountain Village Holiday celebration.
Chamber Board Chairman Jim Winbourn and his crew have been busy decorating the town with lights, and now residents and businesses can get involved by participating in the chamber's annual lighting contests.
The theme for this year's Mountain Village Holiday is "All I Want For Christmas Is..."
"We like to go with a fun theme that's festive," said Chamber President Gioia Goodrum. "It's so much fun to see everything getting lit up."
The business lighting contest runs from Nov. 8 to Jan. 4 to coincide with Polar Express dates. Participating businesses agree to install at least 1,000 lights and turn them on from 6 to 9 p.m. each night. Interested businesses must submit their applications by Nov. 26.
The residential lighting contest runs from Dec. 1 to Jan. 4. Participating residents agree to install at least 500 lights and turn them on from 6 to 9 p.m. Interested residents must submit their applications by Nov. 26.
Judging will take place Dec. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. In the business contest, judges will give awards for the best depiction of the theme in the categories of RV parks, small and large hotels, small and large retail, restaurants and other businesses. In the residential category, judges will give awards based on best lighting effect, best creativity and best depiction of the theme.
Participants will receive a $20 credit on their January electric bill. Chamber members will present awards to the winners at their Dec. 13 holiday mixer.
Goodrum encouraged people to decorate their homes and businesses even if they don't want to participate in the lighting contests.
"It just adds to the charm and the festivities in town," she said. "People come here just to see the lights."
The chamber is also seeking participants for its annual parade of lights, which takes place downtown at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30.
The parade includes categories for floats, equestrian, walking, antique and classic cars, family groups and novelties, such as bikes, golf carts and tractors.
The deadline to enter is Nov. 15, although entries received after this date may still be able to participate but be placed at the rear of the parade. As of last week, the chamber had received 10 entries.
After the parade, Santa will preside over the official Christmas tree lighting on Second Street and Route 66. The town Christmas tree is set to arrive Nov. 18. Arizona Public Service, Grand Canyon Railway and the chamber collaborate to bring in the tree.
The chamber is also still accepting sponsorships to help pay for the decorations around town. So far, organizers have raised almost $10,000. Donors can choose to sponsor a specific location of decorations or make $100 contributions.
Goodrum said Mountain Village Holiday benefits the entire city.
"It's usually slow in the winter. This just gives people that come to our town another reason to stay, go in our shops, eat in our restaurants, visit our town and experience our community," she said. "We have a great community, we should celebrate it."
Applications for the lighting contests, parade and sponsorships are available at www.williamschamber.org and at the chamber office, 200 W. Railroad Ave. More information is available at (928) 635-0273.