Christmas Program and Light Parade Spread Cheer Throughout Community

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The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community celebrated the holiday season with its Community Christmas Program and Holiday Light Parade tradition on December 9.

Community members enjoyed participating in and listening to Elite Karaoke with DJ Brandy on the main stage to kick off the event. The karaoke contest winner was Lori Lewis and Santa’s Little Helpers, with Jeremiah Carmona in second place.

After karaoke was finished, the band Mariachi Avanzados Sones del Desierto joined the stage as seniors began to pack the Round House Café to play bingo. The third act on the stage was the Fushicho Daiko drum group.

The Huhugam Ki: Museum parking lot was filled with vendors selling all kinds of crafts, food and artwork. There also was plenty of fun for kids throughout the day, with different activities such as making Christmas ornaments, decorating cookies, a holiday goodie walk, and a chance to visit with a very special guest.

“We have Santa Claus on stage where kids can come and take a picture with him,” said SRPMIC Events Coordinator Kym Tyler. “We also have an open firepit for making s’mores with your family!” 

At the end of the program, attendees could enjoy hot drinks and holiday treats to warm up for the evening’s Holiday Lights Parade. The parade began at 5:30 p.m. just as the sun was beginning to set. Floats lined up at the Salt River Baseball Field and were escorted slowly by emergency vehicles up Longmore Road, ending the parade route at Osborn Road at Two Waters.

The grand marshal of the parade was 7-year-old Community member Carlos Mendivil Jr. (Pima/Cheyenne), who recently performed a traditional fancy dance at a Boys & Girls Club event and won Judge’s Choice.

In total, there were 24 entries for the parade from different families and SRPMIC government divisions and departments.

Here is a list of the winners of the parade contest:

Best Originality – #22 Miles & Moore Family, Olaf

Most Use of Lights – #24 Lopez Family

Best Theme – #21 ECS, Christmas Village

Best Walking – #1 Miss Salt River Committee

Most Festive – #23 FAC, Charlie Brown

Best Overall Department – #3 DOT

Best Overall Community Group/Family – #15 Scabby Family, Toy Story

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