GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Downtown Glenwood has its halls all decked out for those down-to-the-wire, last-minute Christmas shoppers, or just anyone looking for a little holiday cheer.
Local merchants have teamed up to present another “Day Out” event today, the fifth showcase this year of all that downtown Glenwood Springs has to offer, and again with a special emphasis on the season at hand.
Today’s “A Christmas Day Out Downtown” begins at 4 p.m. and runs through the evening, with special events including a visit by “Father Christmas” and his live reindeer, as well as another opportunity for children to bend Santa’s ear.
“This is our fifth Day Out event this year, and with each one we’re really trying to build on a theme that connects the community to what all we’re doing for the downtown,” said Erin Zalinski, a co-organizer of the event and owner of TreadZ shoe and apparel store.
“In the past, there’s been sort of a sense of inconvenience when it came to shopping and spending time downtown,” she said.
That has changed with a variety of new assets, including the opening of the city parking garage at Ninth and Cooper at the start of this year, completion of the new library and “just a better flow to the whole area,” Zalinski said.
“We also have a lot of new businesses so there is a broader range of services available downtown,” she said.
Cindy Svatos, window decorator and sales associate at Confetti Design and board member for the summertime Glenwood Downtown Market, said it’s not only a chance to get out and shop, but just to “see how pretty downtown is right now.”
The reindeer and Father Christmas team come from Idaho Springs, and funding for their visit was made possible by Garfield County and the city of Glenwood Springs, she said.
They will be arriving between 4-4:30 p.m. on the west side of Grand Avenue in the small pedestrian area in the 800 block next to the A La Carte boutique. Evening activities will also include carolers, a fire pit with marshmallow roasting and other holiday treats.
“Hopefully, we’ll start a new tradition for our holiday day out, and year-round,” Svatos said.
Zalinski said the Day Out events will become monthly after the first of the year, taking place on the third Thursday of each month starting in February.
“It’s not just a shopping event, we also want people to go out and check out the area restaurants and other services,” Zalinski said. “It’s a full downtown event.”