‘Tis the season for holiday-themed festivals and while craft shows and Christmas parades abound, here are a few unique events where you get to join in the fun.
Crowds of Santas Spotted in Breckenridge and Crested Butte, Colorado
There’s something particularly amusing about being surrounded by hundreds of Santas; boy Santas, girl Santas, tall Santas, short Santas, fat Santas, skinny Santas, pantless Santas (it happens). Here are two Colorado mountain festivals for folks who love Santa Claus and who like dressing up like the fat old fellow.
Race of the Santas, Breckenridge, Colorado
December 2, 2017
I’ve attended this event and can personally give it two white-gloved thumbs up. Race of the Santas is part of the Lighting of Breckenridge, a beautiful weekend tradition that involves the conversion of Breckenridge from a charming Victorian town to a charming Victorian town covered in holiday lights.
The Race of the Santas is seven blocks (0.75 miles) and contestants must dress like Santa. Some Santas who enter this race are serious runners while others, the Santa’s with a flask tucked into their black boot, are just there to have a good time.
You must register for this race by Friday, December 1, 2017. The race takes place on Saturday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m. Santa suits are for sale at the Breckenridge Welcome Center and Vertical Runner, a local running store. Contestants may also wear their own Santa costume.
Click here for more information on the Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas. If you’ve never visited Breckenridge during the holidays, it’s truly magical.
Santa Ski Crawl, Crested Butte, Colorado
December 9, 2017
Be part of history in Crested Butte this December and help break the World Record for the most skiing Santas at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. You can ski, snowboard or snowblade, but you must be dressed as Santa. This fifth annual event will attempt to break the record they set in 2015 which was 827 skiing Santas. Will YOU be number 828?
In addition to the event, this is a festive weekend to be in Crested Butte. There’s a Santa Pub Crawl for drinker Santas as well as $25 lift tickets for skier and riders decked out in full Santa suits (valid 12/9/17 only).
This is also the weekend of Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Light up the Night and annual Christmas Tree lighting, so it’s a good time to be in town. Register for the race here.
Santa Stampede, Littleton, Colorado
December 16, 2017
Okay, so this is less of a fest and more of a race, but I thought I’d throw it on this list for good measure.
This 5K and 10K winds along the banks of the South Platte River in Littleton, Colorado, just southwest of Denver. The entire family is encouraged to join in this Colorado Runner Events race. All runners get a Santa hat with registration, but participants are encouraged to dress up as well.
The race’s start and finish grounds are located at Hudson Gardens and will feature more than 20 vendors. There will be a festive, holiday atmosphere. To register for this family-friendly fun run go here.
While most Friday festival posts are sponsored, this is not a sponsored post.
A Note from the Mayor: This article first appeared in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor where I work as a reporter-at-large. The original title was “Explore Colorado.”
Colorado is a beautiful state. Even the towns that dot the Eastern Plains have their own sort of nostalgic charm. However, there are a few towns that really sparkle when blanketed with a fresh layer of snow. Here are the towns that I consider to be three of the most picturesque winter towns in Colorado.
Coloradans have a long time love affair with Crested Butte. And while it’s not quite the same quaint place it once was – according to Zillow the median home price is $995,000 – it still retains an authenticity that residents and visitors love.
Crested Butte sits on the border of where ranch land merges with the mountains. The town, which is located a short (free) bus ride from Crested Butte Mountain Resort, is full of colorful Victorian buildings, many of which house fantastic restaurants.
The town was incorporated in 1880, and had a population at that time of 400. In addition, approximately 1000 miners lived in the surrounding area. One of Crested Buttes’ most popular winter festivals, Al Johnson Memorial Uphill/Downhill Telemark Ski Race, is a celebration of Al Johnson, a mail carrier who traveled between the mining communities in the Crested Butte area in the late 1800s. Continue reading
Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer (The Elders at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon on July 9, 2009)
Celtic music is in my blood, literally. My Scottish and Irish genes co-mingled to make me an undeniable descendant of the Celts, complete with red hair and freckles and a propensity to sunburn. From childhood the tunes of the fiddle, drum and bagpipe have inspired me to move. Throughout my life I have loaded up on Celtic music CDs from Celtic Women to the Proclaimers, if the music was related in some way to Ireland or Scotland, I had to have it.
Over four years ago, at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, I was introduced to a band called The Elders, and I am now a disciple. Since that fateful summer evening, my husband and I have seen the Elders perform over a ten times. We have bought all their CD’s and regularly give their CD’s as gifts (we are working to convert others to The Elders discipleship).
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, The Elders formed in 1998, and have gone on to become a successful and well loved band. Every summer they pull in over 3,000 people to Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, making them the most popular group by far to ever play the venue. This year, the band broke it’s own record by drawing over 4,000 people to the Northern Colorado venue.
The Elders live show is a must-have life experience. Their on-stage energy is truly infectious. Though the group calls their style “Arse-kickin’ music from the heartland,” front man Ian Byrne, from County Wicklow, Ireland gives the band an authentic Irish flare. The talent of the band members is mind blowing. Guitarist Steve Phillips, violinist Brent Hoad, bassists Norm Dahlor, drummer Tommy Sutherland, and keyboardists Joe Miquelon, always appear to be having as much fun as the audience. I especially love watching Brent Hoad; he flies through the notes on his fiddle at such a furious pace I expect to see smoke rising from the strings.
The audience at an Elders show is diverse and depending on the venue, there are often entire families in attendance. When the band visits the Loveland, a number of pint-size dancers collect at the edge of the lagoon and predictable end up in the murky waters.
The Elders are also gifted songwriters. From fish tales and pub tales to more somber themes such as the historical struggles of the Irish, each song tells a story and paints a picture. I particularly enjoy the fact that the words of each song are intelligible and singing along becomes inevitable.
There will be many chances this summer to see The Elders perform live. Last night the band played at the Foote Lagoon in Loveland and here’s where they will be over the next several days.
July 10, Cheyenne, Wyoming – on the Plaza – free, 5:30 p.m.
July 11-12, Littleton, Colorado – Colorado Irish Fest – both evenings
July 14, Aspen, Colorado – Belly Up – free show, starts at 10:00 p.m.
July 15 Crested Butte, Colorado – Wednesday night summer concert series- Red Lady Stage at 5:30pm
To see The Elders entire schedule, go to www.eldersmusic.com.