Ahwatukee Plaza Welcomes Santa & Friends at Black Friday Festivities

Ahwatukee Plaza Welcomes Santa & Friends at Black Friday Festivities

Santa arrives via helicopter, available for complimentary photos Nov. 25

Millie’s Hallmark and Ahwatukee Plaza are hosting the annual “Santa’s Back” event, a local tradition, on Black Friday, Nov. 25. Santa will arrive by helicopter, followed by an array of holiday activities for families. Visitors who attend the event may also enjoy grabbing a bite to eat in the Plaza’s new restaurant, Fresko Mediterranean Kitchen.

For 27 years, Millie’s Hallmark has hosted the Santa’s Back event. Parents who attended this event when they were young now return with their own children.

Holiday activities at the Plaza include:

  • Magic elves
  • Face painting
  • Balloon sculpting
  • Goode Time (Dickens-style) carolers
  • Balloon artist clown
  • Appearances by Disney’s Cinderella and Princess Elena of Avalor plus Batman.
  • Point Dance performance
  • Free popcorn, cotton candy and churros
  • Holiday bounce house for the children

“The whole idea is to provide families with something fun to do on Black Friday that will provide holiday memories for years to come,” said Don Crabtree, owner of Millie’s Hallmark. “The arrival of Santa via helicopter is always a high point of the Black Friday holiday kick-off event.”

Families can pose for complimentary photos with Santa after his arrival on Friday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free. Santa Claus will arrive via helicopter at about 11a.m.

After partaking in the holiday activities, shoppers can stop in for a savory meal at Fresko Mediterranean Kitchen. Owner Kody Harris, formerly the executive chef of Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill, said the restaurant is a tribute to the family’s Greek heritage. The menu includes family recipes passed down over the years. The Lamb or Chicken Souvlaki followed by Baklava is recommended.

Harris said the health benefits of a regularly consumed Mediterranean diet have been widely documented.

“Our motto is good food doesn’t have to taste bad,” Harris said. “The concentration of fresh vegetables, fruits, grain & nuts along generous amounts of olive oil help reduce heart disease, diabetes, various cancers, Alzheimer’s and many other health aliments.”

For more information on Millie’s Hallmark, visit MilliesHallmark.com and Facebook.com/Millies-Hallmark. To learn more about Fresko Mediterranean Kitchen, visit Freskokitchen.com and Facebook.com/freskokitchen.

About Ahwatukee Plaza

Ahwatukee Plaza is located on the southwest corner of Elliot Road and 51st Avenue with an average household income of $71,000 and 33,000 vehicles per day. Tenants such as Gold’s Gym, Millie’s Hallmark, O’ Reilly Auto Parts, Café Boa, Sakana Sushi Bar Teppan, Acacia Salon, and Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre support the Ahwatukee Foothills Village community.


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