UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 28, 2024

High Note: Tuacahn, Visitors’ Center, HedgeHog Electric bring Christmas spirit to St. George

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Though you won’t find much snow in St. George during the Christmas season, the city still offers a down-home Christmas feeling with events offered all around the city.

This Christmas season I have traveled around St. George looking for events that would bring the spirit of the season and help me remember the true meaning of Christmas. Three events that stuck out to me and helped me capture the joy of Christmas with my family and friends were “Christmas in the Canyon” held at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts, “Light the World” held at the St. George Visitors’ Center, and “The Christmas Light Spectacular” organized by HedgeHog Electric.

“Christmas in the Canyon” at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts

“Tuacahn has provided ‘Christmas in the Canyon’ for almost 20 years,” public relations director Joseph Smith said. “And for about 16 years, we have done the Nativity through community volunteers.” 

According to Tuacahn.org, “Christmas in the Canyon” is a way for Tuacahn to say “thank you” to the community. The event is held every Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening through Dec. 23 and features a live Nativity and Christmas lights.

My experience at “Christmas in the Canyon” brought the Christmas spirit as some friends and I listened to the seasonal music, rode the Ruby Inn Train around to see the lights on the trees around the parking lot, and told Santa Claus what we wanted for Christmas. 

“Christmas in the Canyon” also offers two showings of a live Nativity performed by community volunteers — one at 7 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m. — and is a steal for only a $2 admission. The Nativity includes live animals such as a donkey, horses and a camel. A reverence came over the audience as we listened to a narration of Jesus Christ’s birth along with “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.”

Zach Shephard, a sophomore nursing major from St. George, said the Nativity was more relaxing and less crowded then the other Tuacahn plays, and he enjoyed the spirit the Nativity provided for him for this Christmas season. He hoped everyone would attend this play to experience the birth of Christ.

“We love opening it up for the community to be part in this play, and the community loves doing it,” Smith said. “There are families that have made this a very important family tradition for them, and we love supporting it.”

“Light the World” at the St. George Visitors’ Center

Susan Iverson, a senior missionary at the St. George Visitors’ Center, is in charge of the events happening on the Visitors’ Center grounds. She said The Visitors’ Center will help community members to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The Visitors’ Center activities and programs are performed by local choirs and singers every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 23.

Iverson said the purpose of the events is to “share the reality of Christ’s birth with the guests who come to the Visitors’ Center.”

Walking around the temple grounds with all of the beautiful lights and Christmas music playing in the background was a peaceful experience for me.

“Christmas Light Spectacular” by HedgeHog Electric

If you find yourself tired from walking around “Christmas in the Canyon” or too busy for the events at the Visitors’ Center, try the “Christmas Light Spectacular.” The HedgeHog Electric Company put together a map of the St. George providing 16 different Christmas light pit stops, available at HedgeHogElectric.com. The houses and parts of the city featured in the “Spectacular” are covered with lights from the bricks to the trees. Community members can enjoy the lights and music from the comfort and warmth of their cars each night through Dec. 25.

The “Spectacular” is a simple date activity for the holidays. Two of the houses I visited — No. 1 and No. 12 on the map, in Washington and Santa Clara — created dancing lights to the tune of Christmas songs played on certain radio stations. House No. 10 in Bloomington Hills made my mouth drop; it is plastered with Christmas lights, reindeer, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and many more Christmas decorations.

With 16 different locations, I did not get to see all of them. But I have until Christmas to visit the rest of them. 

Braden Tobler, a HedgeHog Electric marketing representative, said his company has been putting on this event for three years now, and the company loves the positive feedback and publicity the event has captured.

HedgeHog Electric is doing something new this year by giving participants a chance to win a $300 gift card by sharing a photo of themselves visiting their favorite Christmas lights on the HedgeHog Electric Facebook page. In addition, with every “like” to their Facebook page, HedgeHog Electric will donate $1 to The Dove Center, an organization that provides shelter, advocacy and counseling to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

With affordable events like these, the Christmas season can be both unforgettable and inexpensive for college students.