GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Every year, Black Friday becomes Bright Lights Friday in Glenwood Springs as the Hotel Colorado flips the switch for the Celebration of Lights ceremony.
From 6-10 p.m. today, the Hotel Colorado welcomes the holidays with a tree lighting ceremony featuring holiday carols, live music, festive decorations and displays, hot cocoa and a visit from Santa Claus. The annual event is a long-running tradition the day after Thanksgiving, as locals and visitors tour the decked halls of the historic hotel and anticipate the ooh- and ahh-inspiring tree lighting.
For Roaring Valley native Brett Tenza, of Glenwood Springs, the holiday lighting at the Hotel Colorado is a tradition not to be missed.
"As a lifelong local, ever since I was young the Hotel Colorado tree lighting has been a highlight of my winters," he said. "It's like that flip of the switch is a starting gun bang to kick the happy wholesome spirit of the season. The lights have always inspired a magical feeling in me due to their majesty and beauty."
Tenza, a 23-year-old musician and lighting producer originally from New Castle, said he enjoys the festive bond the annual tree lighting brings to the community after people give thanks on the holiday.
"The lighting is a great place to meet new friends in the community, revamp a current friendship and/or mend one that needs mending," he said. "Standing in front of all of that beauty is quite the icebreaker to help inspire togetherness."
Christmas is Tenza's favorite time of the year, and the holiday celebration at the Hotel Colorado is the star atop his decorated tree.
"I love it because the holiday spirit gives us a free pass to give our crushes chocolate, wear festive clothes, and sing in public," Tenza said. "The pride that the Hotel Colorado displays with its holiday lighting display legitimizes the pride we have as being one of the best winter towns in Colorado."
Vaudeville Revue rolls out holiday show
A new tradition that has become the talk of the town is the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, opening for the holiday season today at 6:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge in downtown Glenwood.
The family-friendly vaudeville shows entertain audiences with slapstick skits, singing and dancing - all themed for the holidays. Vaudeville veteran John Goss and his cast of multi-talented performers have had audiences laughing since the revue's inception.
"If you've come to the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue for fancy-schmancy, artsy theater, you've come to the wrong place," he said.
Over the last several years, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue's holiday season has proven to be a popular option for company holiday parties, family get-togethers, and New Year's date nights. The shows change from year to year, with new material for every season. Reservations are suggested during the and Christmas holidays.