‘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.
I love Colorado during the holiday season. From Denver’s Larimer Street to the Christmas Market in Georgetown, there’s something about Colorado that make me feel as though I’m spending the holiday season in a postcard.
As the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, I attend a lot of events and festivals and I spend a lot of time at holiday events around the state, so I’ve decided to share what I deem as the Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns. This list is in no particular order, although if I were to pick a number one Colorado Christmas town, it would be Georgetown.
1. Georgetown, Colorado is a hidden gem just 45 minutes west of Denver along I70. I’d driven by it a hundred times before actually stopping in, but once I did I realized what a great little place it really is, and during the holidays it’s truly outstanding. With the a tree lighting ceremony, Letter Day and the Georgetown Christmas Market running for two weekends, this town commemorate the holidays the way they were intended to be celebrated. Visit HistoricGeorgetown.org for more information.
2. Breckenridge, Colorado is well known as a ski town, but this place has a lot of other stuff going on and that’s why it makes my list. The Victorian style architecture of the town looks resplendent during the holidays. With the Lightening of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December to carriage rides available throughout the holidays, and wonderful shopping opportunities, this town will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a holiday postcard. Check out GoBreck.com to keep an eye what’s happening in Breckenridge year-round.
3. HGTV recently named Durango, Colorado as one of their “Top Ten Christmas Towns,” and it’s no surprise. Durango is home to the Polar Express, a production of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This train ride is a memorable way to celebrate the holidays with your children. During the month of December, Durango is alive with festive music and the hubbub of the holidays. There’s never a dull moment and always something Christmassy happening, and that’s why it makes my list. Go to Durango.org for more information on this top Christmas town.
4. The 12 Days of Aspen, is just one reason this ski town is making the list. From December 20, through New Year’s Eve, Aspen, Colorado celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to free ice-skating, to shopping and restaurant specials and so much more. Aspen is also quite lovely during the holidays – just one more reason they made this list.
5. Nestled between the soaring peaks of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado is known as the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s always a bustling during the summer, but this charming little village lights up during the holidays. Visitors should stop at Longs Peak Coffee & Paper House for a cup of hot chocolate and then stroll the streets of this picturesque town. While in town, be sure to visit the famous The Stanley Hotel, to see the holiday dÃ©cor.
This past summer, one of the most standout events I attended was the 1940s WWII Ball. My husband and I didn’t really know what to expect, but by the end of the night we both agreed that this was the most fun we’d had at an event in a long time, and we go to A LOT of events.
This is the sort of evening out that creates memories, not only because it’s unique, but a lot of characters attend the 1940s WWII Ball, and they make this event the cat’s meow. From singers to swing dancers, to band members, to hosts, to regular guests who come decked out in unbelievable 1940s garb from head to toe, there’s never a dull moment.
The 1940s WWII Ball is held annually at the Boulder Airport, and features a hanger for dancing, a big stage, lots of vintage airplanes, a couple themed bars, entertainment and much more. When we saw the caliber of the dancers who were in attendance, we had no intention of dancing – we’re not really great at swing – but judging by the number of blisters on my feet the next day, we ended up spending hours on the dance floor. Big band music is just so infectious!
Now it’s time for the 2nd Annual Big Band Christmas Ball, by the same people who brought you the 1940s WWII Ball.
Last June, HeidiTown ran a contest for tickets to the WWII Ball, and the organizers have been good enough to decide to give away tickets again through this blog. This time, you can sign up here to win a pair of tickets (an $80 value) to the Big Band Christmas Ball.
The event is on December 10, 2011, and will be held at the Boulder Elks Lodge. The night will feature the big band, The Hot Tomatoes. This band plays the WWII Ball and I can tell you for a fact that they are truly HOT – it’s hard to stay seated when the guys are playing
There will also be re-enactments from famous Christmas shows like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas.” Frank Sinatra will be there, along with the Andrew Sisters tribute act, Reveille 3. Other entertainment will include everything from ice carvers to chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Believe me, you don’t want to miss this event. I’m not!
Guest are encouraged to dress up in 40s and 50s vintage era clothing, and although this isn’t a requirement, my husband and I dressed the part at the 1940s WWII Ball. We didn’t go all out, like some of the people there, but for some reason, it just makes the evening that much more fun.
So, if you’d like to win a pair of tickets to Big Band Christmas Ball in Boulder, Colorado, just leave me a comment below telling me your favorite Christmas movie, and you’ll be entered into the random drawing that will take place at approximately 3 p.m. Friday, November 25, 2011.
Tickets to this event make an excellent early Christmas present! To purchase tickets to the Big Band Christmas Ball go here.
~ Contest Closed ~
What’s going on in Colorado, November 18-20, 2011…
It’s time for another one of my segments on KRFC 88.9 FM. It’s the time of year for craft shows and Santa Claus… yep, that bearded man in the jolly red suit is showing up in a town near you. Find out where…
Subscribers, you’ll need to link over to HeidiTown.com to view this video. It will be worth it… believe me!
“˜Tis the season for holiday events and festivals, so I’ve decided to look ahead at the next several weeks and share with my readers the events I’ve discovered. I have no doubt I’ve missed many, so feel free to add your town’s event in the comment section. Please note, in today’s post I’m only writing about November 20 thru November 27.
Fort Collins, CO – Santa Arrives & the Old Town Ice Rink Opens
November 20, Old Town Fort Collins
Santa arrives in Old Town Square at noon on Saturday. Santa’s Workshop hours are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, November 21 to December 24. There will be all kinds of holiday activities associate with Santa’s Workshop. For all the details visit www.downtownfortcollins.com.
On Saturday, Old Town Square’s ice rink opens with skating just $2 and skate rental only $1. For a full ice rink schedule visit www.downtownfortcollins.com.
Horse and carriage rides will be available throughout the holiday season in Old Town Fort Collins. For information and reservations visit www.coloradocarriage.com.
HeidiTown Tip: Fort Collins’ downtown parking structures will be free every Saturday and Sunday, November 27 until January 2, 2010.
Loveland, CO – Ice Rink Open, Horse & Carriage Rides Start today!
The Promenade Shops at Centerra
For details visit www.thepromenadeshopsatcenterra.com
Gunnison, CO – Sugar Plum Festival
November 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Field Western Heritage Center
Come do your holiday shopping at this arts and crafts fair featuring arts, crafts, wines and food. There’s a little something special for everyone on your Christmas list at this annual event.
Old Colorado City, CO – Christmas Tree Lighting
November 20, 5 p.m. at 25th & West Colorado
This is one of my favorite Colorado towns, and if you haven’t visited now is your chance. Watch this beautiful town light up, while listening to the holiday choir and sipping hot chocolate. You can even visit with Santa Claus at Meadow Muffins.
Estes Park, CO – Catch the Glow
November 26, activities start at 12 p.m. including hayrides and visits with Santa. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Estes Park.
This breathtaking holiday parade happens every year on the day after Thanksgiving. With music, floats, lights and more, the entire family will enjoy this kick-off of Estes Park’s holiday season. There are many holiday activities in the town including the Holiday House Christmas Bazaar, Quota Club Home Tour, a Holiday Art Walk, a black-tie Fantasy Ball and many music concerts. For all the festivities visit www.estesparkcvb.com.
Niwot, CO – Niwot’s Enchanted Evening
November 26, 5 to 8 p.m., downtown Niwot
Watch the trees light up in this charming Colorado town. The evening also includes bus rides by Banjo Billy, lots of live music, and arts and crafts vendors. The downtown stores will stay open late and serve refreshments to accommodate holiday shoppers. Be sure to visit Santa at Niwot Interiors.
Greeley, CO – Festival of Trees
November 27 thru December 4 at Union Colony Center
If you like Christmas trees this is the event for you! Each tree has a theme and visitors can vote for their favorites. There are different categories and even a kid favorite. Win prizes and meet Santa Claus at this annual event. Learn more at their comprehensive Web site: www.greeleygov.com.
Greeley Lights the Nights
November 27, 5:30 to 8 p.m. starting in Lincoln Park
Dozens of floats decorated with lights will move through the streets of downtown Greeley in this lighted parade that kicks off the holiday season.
Durango, CO – Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad presents Polar Express
November 19 thru December 28
For info & tickets: www.durangotrain.com
Take your children on the Polar Express, the ride that brings the popular children’s book alive. This is an event you and your family will never forget.
For a list of all the holiday events in Durango go to www.durango.com.
Georgetown, CO – Georgetown Loop Railroad Santa’s North Pole Adventure
November 26 thru December 30
For info & tickets: www.georgetownlooprr.com
Just 45 miles west of Denver, Georgetown is a winter wonderland. From their Christmas Market starting December 4 (more on that at a later date) to a train ride with Santa, if you like the holidays this is the town for you.
There are several holiday train rides to choose from on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, but if the kids would enjoy riding the rails with Santa, the North Pole Adventure is the way to go. Cookies, hot chocolate, candy canes and Santa. What more could a kiddo want?
HeidiTown Tip: The Mayor loves Georgetown. Read all about her weekend stay in this mountain community HERE.