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Sedona Festival of Lights

A Red Rock Fantasy

It’s official. Christmas decorations have made it into department stores before Halloween.


And while some of us remember the good old days when you wouldn’t see a tree or stocking until Thanksgiving, the 44 families and organizations around Arizona who are participating in Red Rock Fantasy started their holiday decorating months ago - long before its November 16 opening ceremonies - to help bolster our holiday spirit.



Each holiday season, Red Rock Fantasy, hosted by Los Abrigados Resort & Spa, attracts thousands of visitors and tour groups to Sedona. And, while the event lasts only the few short weeks, Thanksgiving through the New Year, planning for the event is a year-round task that can be enjoyed by the whole family.


“This has been a wonderful bonding experience for our family, our kids have been working with us since year one,” said event veteran, Cynthia Connolly. “Our grandkids now help - OK they get in the way most of the time - but it is still a great time we share together.”


Those who have been participating in Red Rock Fantasy for years know that there is an advantage to planning early. All theme ideas have to be approved by a committee. Red Rock Fantasy promises 44 new displays every year, so a theme can never be duplicated, and in the cases where more than one group has selected a similar theme, the ruling goes to whomever submitted their idea first.


Once the themes have been approved, display sites (located through out the resort’s landscape grounds) are assigned by lottery. Participants are given a gift card from Home Depot to purchase supplies, along with 12,000 lights, eight sheets of plywood, glue guns and all of the glue they need to build their displays. Contestant families can also contribute their own supplies with some restriction.


Site selection took place on May 7, leaving contestants with just a few short months to bring their ideas to fruition. While many of us were taking cover in the air conditioning, these families and organizations were braving the heat to start work on displays that, in the past, have included everything from our cartoon favorites, to Santa’s workshop, and a 40-foot swan.


Red Rock Fantasy contestants are spurred on by their holiday spirit and the chance to win a lifetime vacation ownership package through ILX Resorts, Inc., parent company to Los Abrigados Resort & Spa. The winner of the competition is tallied from ballots cast by event attendees.

“We owe the success of Red Rock Fantasy to the hard work of our participating families and organizations,” said Lori LoDuca, vice president, ILX Resorts and event organizer. “It is truly a pleasure working with the contestants each year.”


This year, Red Rock Fantasy will be better than ever hosting a variety of kids activities, concerts, carriage rides, and special events.


The “Lights On Ceremony” for the 16th Annual Red Rock Fantasy will take place at 4:45 p.m. on November 16, and will last through the new year, ending with “Lights Out” on January 1. The festival is open each evening (weather permitting) from 5-10:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 5-9:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday.


Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for ages 4-12, complimentary ages 3 and under. For more information, call (928) 282-1777, toll free (800) 521-3131, or go on-line















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