The Glenwood Springs Downtown Partnership and local businesses are working to return that “old-fashioned” Christmas spirit to downtown Glenwood with two holiday-flavored events leading up to the big day.
First up will be the partnership’s new “Christmas in Glenwood - An Old Fashioned Celebration,” starting at 3 p.m. Saturday in Centennial Park, located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Ninth Street.
The event will feature caroling, games, holiday treats, horse-drawn hay rides and a visit from Santa Claus, plus a chance for folks to check out the downtown shops for holiday gifts.
Secondly, several downtown merchants are teaming up to present “A Christmas Day Out Downtown” event starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19.
That event will also include a visit from Santa, only this time with some of his live reindeer, plus carolers, treats and in-store promotions.
The dual events signal the return of a downtown Glenwood Springs holiday celebration since the former Grand Holidays celebration went away a few years ago.
Tom Fleming, director for the Downtown Partnership, said he hopes the first-ever event for his organization will garner enough support to become an annual tradition.
“We wanted to create a community-oriented event that brings people downtown, and we hope people will come downtown early to shop and eat before they come to the park,” he said.
In the past, the partnership has organized the summertime Downtown Fanfare on the Fourth of July. But this is the first winter holiday event for the group, Fleming said.
The Christmas in Glenwood event will run from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to the group activities, the Symphony in the Valley Brass Ensemble will be performing, and a Christmas tree decorating contest will pit local real estate agencies against each other.
Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) will also be having an adopt-a-thon at High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters’ new location in the 800 block of Grand.
In conjunction, Colorado Mountain College’s ArtShare program and the Glenwood Springs Branch Library are hosting an art exhibit opening featuring the painting works of the late Ariel Agemian. An opening reception will take place from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at the library.
Meanwhile, the Dec. 19 Day Out event will feature the arrival of Santa at 4 p.m., and the reindeer are expected to make their appearance between 5-7 p.m. in the open area on the west side of Grand Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets.