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Sheltering at Home for the Great Pinecone Drop

Trees are decorated, stores are aglow and the Discover Flagstaff team and the Downtown Business Alliance (DBA) are inviting residents and guests to shop, take out, stroll and enjoy the holiday atmosphere locally in Arizona’s Winter Wonderland – a designation proclaimed by Gov. Doug Ducey.

DBA Director Terry Madeksza says 95% of the downtown shops are locally owned and unique, with a blend of galleries, boutiques, restaurants and outdoor recreation outfitters, and gifts that won’t be found anywhere else. “There is something for anyone, even a gift for yourself!” she said. “It’s always important to shop locally, but this year more than ever we want to support the small businesses and encourage people to purchase their gifts by going to these independently owned businesses.”

Madeksza says street trees, rooflines and light poles are adorned throughout the downtown. “It looks like the holidays. Wheeler Park looks just awesome.”

Among the enchanting surprises this year, Arizona Handmade Gallery is offering cool blue winter wonderland glass ornaments, created by local glass-blower George Averbeck. The Sweet Shoppe is making the holiday season particularly delectable with blue and white crystal sugar snow pops of white chocolate and marshmallow.

“There are some seriously great local businesses offering freshly ground or whole bean coffee to go, as well as not-to-be-missed hot cocoa mix with pre-packaged goodness that will certainly have you asking for more,” said City of Flagstaff Public Relations Manager Lori Pappas.

Something to think about, says Pappas, as many of us are planning small celebrations at home and pondering take-out dining options from Flagstaff’s wide variety of extraordinary restaurants.

The Great Pinecone, Flagstaff’s traditional New Year’s Eve symbol of hope created by Weatherford Hotel owners Henry Taylor and Pamela “Sam” Green, is poised high above the streets, hanging from the historic hotel’s cupola. And, that’s where it will stay for the holiday season and into 2021 as Flagstaff rings in the New Year virtually.

“Rather than Flagstaff’s New Year’s Eve customary down parka, mittens and scarves, this year’s virtual-only Great Pinecone Drop event will require an electronic viewing device, your tried-and-true comfy sweatshirt – or bring out the sequins in your own home – some hot chocolate goodness, and your coziest in-home gathering place,” said Pappas.

Because of concerns regarding the highly contagious coronavirus, City of Flagstaff officials emphasize there will be no live New Year’s Eve event in the Historic Downtown District this year. However, viewers may still enjoy an authentic Flagstaff celebration on Dec. 31, by keying in pineconedrop.com. FBN

By Bonnie Stevens, FBN

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