I’m not a super Christmassy person. I don’t decorate my house, I don’t participate in cookie Christmas exchanges and I do not listen to the Christmas station on Pandora. I’m not a scrooge, really, just not big on holidays in general, except St. Patrick’s Day. Bagpipes and whiskey? Yes, please.
However, even the biggest Scrooge in the world can’t help but get into the spirit in Golden, Colorado.
We visited Golden this past weekend in order to experience their annual Candlelight Parade. We stayed at The Golden Hotel which is ideally located for a holiday visit. Our room overlooked Clear Creek and once the sun went down we had a Christmassy view of all the lighted trees along the river.
After a drink at Barrels & Bottles (try the Gin Sure Thing IPA and Hot Apple Toddy), we ventured out on the street with unlit candles. It didn’t take long to find someone who lit our candles with theirs.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’d never seen a Candlelight Parade let alone participated in one.
It turns out that it was exactly what the doctor ordered. After a long week of terrible news about shootings and political discord on Facebook, walking alongside my fellow citizens whilst singing Christmas carols was a truly restorative experience.
It remains unconfirmed, but I’ve heard that a record number of people participate in this year’s Candlelight Parade. I do know that a steady line of twinkling lights could be seen coming down the hill behind us as we sang along to “12 Days of Christmas” with our fellow marchers. By the way, no one knows the words after the 5th day.
After walking in the parade we detoured over to Clear Creek History Park, next door to our hotel. The park is home to original buildings from the Pearce Ranch and is all lit up this holiday season. There were carolers, a blacksmith, activities for the kids, roasting chestnuts and hot cocoa and cider. It was postcard perfect.
The park is always free to visit and is open 7 days a week.
Want to experience a Golden Christmas? Here’s an itinerary to consider.
Book a room at The Golden Hotel. Arrive in town Friday evening and stroll through Clear Creek History Park as soon as the sun goes down.
Dine at one of Golden’s many downtown restaurants. If you’ve still got some energy to burn, enjoy a nightcap at Bridgewater Grill lounge at The Golden Hotel.
The next morning roll out of bed late and have breakfast at the Bridgewater, or order room service. The eggs benedict are divine.
Pop out the hotel door and take a stroll along the river. You can check out Clear Creek History Park in daylight hours and feed their chickens.
At 11 a.m. be back on Main Street for the Holiday Parade happening December 12th and 19th.
Thank you to Visit Golden, Colorado for hosting us on this trip and to The Golden Hotel for your hospitality.