Festivals and Events Illuminate Colorado This Holiday Season
DENVER, Colo. (November 18, 2011) – The arrival of snow in Colorado is a sign that the holidays are right around the corner. From re-living the magic of a classic holiday book to ice carving demonstrations, Santa Claus spectacles and torchlight parades, locals and visitors are invited to join in the holiday cheer with an abundance of seasonal offerings throughout the state. Below is just a sampling of ways Colorado celebrates the holidays.
§ Mile High Holidays (November - December)Denver comes to life during the holiday season, with twinkling lights, hotel deals, festive parades, special events and much more. Events include the 9News Parade of Lights, Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light, the Denver Zoo’s Zoo Lights and Cherry Creek’s 22nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. www.denver.org/milehighholidays
§ The Polar Express (November 18 – December 28)Climb aboard the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to experience The Polar Express come to life. Pajama-clad children enjoy hot chocolate while listening to the award-winning book on their way to visit Santa. www.durangotrain.com/events/2011-polar-express
§ Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (November 19) A traditional tree lighting ceremonywill replicate scenes from celebrations in Estes Park more than 60 years ago. The lighted trees will accompany more than 175 decorated trees throughout the downtown area. www.estesparkcvb.com/calendar.cfm
§ Holiday Lighting Extravaganza (November 25) Join the town of Pueblo to welcome the holiday season on the historic Arkansas Riverwalk. Santa will listen to children’s wishes and fireworks will light up the night sky. www.puebloharp.com/events/upcoming-events
§ Greeley Lights The Night (November 26) The “Old Fashioned Christmas” themed Greeley holiday parade leaves guests enchanted with creative light displays on floats and Santa’s arrival. The tree lighting of Lincoln Park is also a signature component of the holiday event. www.greeleychamber.com/visiting
§ Georgetown Christmas Market (December 3, 4, 10 & 11) Experience the lively Christmas scene at the 51st Annual Georgetown Christmas Market, reminiscent of how Christmas once was. Hot roasted chestnuts, unique shops, horse-drawn wagon rides, appearances by St. Nicholas, high tea and more await guests at this traditional outdoor European marketplace. www.historicgeorgetown.org/spevents/xmarket.htm
§ Santa Claus Special (December 3, 10, 11 & 17) Santa has traded his iconic sleigh and reindeer for Golden’s historic locomotive this holiday season. Children can share their wish list with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy special treats and an abundance of railroad toy gifts. www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org
§ Vail Snow Daze (December 5 – 11) This winter festival pays homage to great music by throwing the largest early season party in North America. Vail Snow Daze features a weeklong series of high-profile concerts and special guests, including Jakob Dylan, Yukon Kornelius and Guster. www.vail.com/events/snowdaze.aspx
§ Yule Festival Weekend (December 9 – 10) Ouray’s Yule Festival kicks off with a festive Christmas Jazz Concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Participate in gingerbread house building workshops, a Main Street Parade, a visit with Santa and the annual Wine and Chocolate Festival. www.ouraycolorado.com
§ Rock On Ice (December 16 – 18)World Champion ice carvers will fill the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort with sparkling ice sculptures during the days, and will amaze the audience with their performance ice sculpting show on Saturday night. Kids can have their names carved into an ice block for the finale. www.skicb.com/cbmr/things-to-do/rock-on-ice.aspx
§ 12 Days of Aspen (December 20 – 31) Visitors can partake in a variety of free holiday activities, including ice-skating, a snowman-making contest, caroling and view Aspen Academy Screenings. www.aspenchamber.org/12days
§ Traditional Torchlight Parade (December 24) After a reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, guests gather at the base of Zephyr Express Chairlift at Winter Park Resort to watch skiers make their way down the popular Lower Hughes ski run – flares in hand – followed by snow cats descending the mountain in a Christmas tree formation and a fireworks finale. www.winterparkresort.com
Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, 26 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 54 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet and 12 national parks, monuments and historic sites. For more information or a copy of the 2011 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO. Media are invited to visit the Colorado Media Room at www.COLORADO.com/media-room for story ideas, press releases, press kits, and high-resolution, downloadable photos and video for editorial use. Follow Colorado on Twitter at www.twitter.com/colorado or become a Colorado Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/visitcolorado.
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