PALISADE, Colo. " Experience the warmth of an old-fashioned Christmas Saturday in Palisade, with British high tea, Victorian homes tour, soup challenge, wine tastings, horse-drawn wagon rides, gingerbread house contest, chili contest and more.
Camel rides too.
It's a day packed with adventure, charm, cuisine and arts, tailored to everyone's interests, said Leif Johnson, Palisade Chamber of Commerce executive director.
"It really captures the essence of the time period. It's kind of a throwback," Johnson said. "Not only is it quite Victorian, it really has a nice feel to it."
Lighting of the Christmas tree is at 5 p.m., and the holiday parade with Santa Claus downtown at 5:30 caps off the day.
Events begin at 11 a.m., with Christmas gifts for sale in the marketplace downtown.
That's when kids' train rides start, and there will be a special kids' craft tent.
Music will play every half hour.
Bring the kids to meet Santa Claus, who will be at Chair 4 Studio, at Palisade's National Bank building downtown, between 2-4 p.m. Santa later is in the parade.
Tours of seven Victorian homes decked out in holiday splendor in Palisade begin at noon. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the chamber office, 319 Main St. The home tour ends at 4 p.m.
At the Blue Pig Gallery, the soup challenge starts at 1 p.m., and ends when participants run out of soup.
For $2, sample soups from eight top restaurants in the area, Inari's Bistro, Red Rose Cafe, Raintree Restaurant, Bin 707, Good Pastures, Kannah Creek Brewery, Palisade Brewery and Palisade Cafe. Each sampler becomes a judge with one vote for the best soup.
Winners take home hand-crafted ceramic soup bowls made by Palisade potter Tim Wedel.
Wedel is one of seven area artists offering to show his work on the art studio tour, a free event starting at 11 a.m.
Other artists include Donna Hindman, who paints portraits and commissioned art; Diana Fritzler, who works in oil and encaustics; Mary Mansfield, sculpture and mixed media; Joseph Browne, who has a teaching studio for making glass; sculptor Steve Kent, who works in marble and limestone; and stoneware potter Sue Parker.
At 2 p.m., the Wine Country Inn hosts a high tea for up to 75 people. The cost is $10 for adults and $15 for one adult accompanied by a child. The event will include a history of the British high tea custom, finger foods, flautists for ambiance and, of course, tea, Johnson said.
At the Palisade Fire Department, sample chili made by the firefighters at 3 p.m.
The gingerbread house contest commences at the Methodist Church from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
It wouldn't be Christmas without the cast of holiday characters wandering around downtown Palisade. Expect to meet the town Grinch (Bud Lofvenborg), Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Hodnett), Bob Cracthit (Scott Meyer) and Tiny Tim (Meyer's son, Tyler), and the town crier (Johnson).
For information, call the chamber at 464-7458.
Reach Marija B. Vader at firstname.lastname@example.org.