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Houses throughout the community are beginning to sparkle, the Bulldogs are in the state championship game, and tonight, Santa Claus is coming to town – it truly is the most wonderful time of the year in the City of Champions.

Artesians young and old can bundle up and celebrate the arrival of the holiday season downtown from 4-9 p.m. today as Artesia MainStreet hosts its annual Light Up Artesia event.

With businesses in the downtown district offering specials, sales, and – most importantly – hometown service, residents will have the opportunity to complete their Christmas shopping locally.

As an added bonus, the Artesia Chamber of Commerce’s “Shop Artesia” promotion is using Light Up Artesia as a “double-dipper” event, meaning all receipts from local businesses count twice as a chance to win Chamber Bucks.

Artesians can turn in their receipts dated Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 at the Chamber; every $50 spent earns the shopper one entry into a drawing for Chamber Bucks, which can be used in place of cash at any Chamber member business.

As attendees make their way up and down Main Street, where landscaping and storefronts will be aglow with holiday decorations, the festival atmosphere will be enhanced by sidewalk vendors offering specialty items and goodies, such as hot chocolate and snacks.

And at 6 p.m., the Xcel Energy Parade of Lights will escort the Man of the Hour into Artesia.
At the conclusion of the light parade, Santa will set up shop at the 510 Building, 510 W. Main St., to pose for free photos and listen to the Christmas wishes of local children.

At 7 p.m., “Sleeping Beauty Christmas” will take the stage at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children, and those wishing to see the show need not worry about missing Santa – he’ll make his way to the OPAC for more photos following the performance.

“Bring the entire family to Main Street as we kick off the Christmas season,” said MainStreet Executive Director Elisabeth Jackson. “The parade theme is ‘Candy Lane Christmas’ – come check out the floats decorated with a sweet tooth in mind!

“And remember to shop local tonight and throughout the entire holiday season. Shopping local keeps more dollars inside our community!”