Celebrate the holidays with Christmas at the Princess

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE -- It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

The resort is celebrating its 5th Annual "Christmas at the Princess" Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The event features the lighting of the resort's four-story musical Christmas tree in Princess Plaza, along with more than 2 million Lagoon Lights, the start of the Princess Express Train, the opening of the Desert Ice Skating Rink and debut of the new Christmas Carousel. (3TV's own Jill Galus took a few twirls on the rink on Thursday's Good Morning Arizona.)
The 45-foot Christmas tree at the Princess has 67,000 LED lights which "twinkle and dance" to 12 holiday songs. The tree lighting ceremony includes the christening of the Desert Ice Skating Rink with an appearance by Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill, a visit from Santa, carolers, complimentary sugar cookies and spiced cider on the Plaza.

Hot cocoa, cocktails and treats will be available for purchase from the resort's Kringle's Korner, as well as from fun food trucks on the front drive.

The "Christmas at the Princess" festival runs through January 5, 2015.

Here is the schedule for Thursday's tree-lighting festivities:

5:30 pm - Pre-Show and holiday family festivities. The Scottsdale Fire Department will be on hand with engine tours and will be accepting unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots.
6:00 p.m. - Performance at rink by the Ice Den's Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona
6:45 pm - Tree lighting ceremony begins including performances by:
Scott Keo, a Michael Bublé tribute artist
Scottsdale Christian Academy Spiritline
Appearance by Dorothy Hamill
7 pm - Tree is lit
7:15 pm - Desert Ice Skating Rink opens and all other attractions are open.

"Christmas at the Princess" is open to the public throughout the season. After the tree lighting ceremony, starting November 21, admission is complimentary for hotel and restaurant guests, then admission/parking for non-hotel guests is $30 for self-parking with up to 10 people per vehicle or $40 for valet after 5 p.m. without dining.

Valet for local residents is complimentary when dining at any of the resort restaurants.  The Princess Express Train, Christmas Carousel and Lagoon Lights are complimentary; there are fees for ice skating sessions and skate rental.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

For more information, please dial 480-585-4848 or visit scottsdaleprincess.com