Light it up
Arts and entertainment contributor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — When Hotel Colorado General Manager Jon Siebring thinks back on his childhood Christmas memories, the presents stick in his mind.
In the spirit of giving, he considers his first Christmas Spectacular at the historic hotel one of the greatest gifts he can offer Glenwood Springs.
“It’s a thank you to the community,” he said. “Everybody loves the Christmas spirit, and it’s the hotel’s gift to the community as we make it into a winter wonderland.”
Siebring said helping put on the Hotel Colorado’s 24th annual celebration of lights reminds him of his childhood in Europe.
“I grew up in Amsterdam, and Christmas is big there,” he said. “It’s all about the celebration. It’s about Christmas, the season that brings joy to people.”
Siebring said he is looking forward to unveiling some of the new features for the Christmas Spectacular on Friday at the historic hotel at 526 Pine St. Around 50 volunteers came from as far as Denver to help create the holiday display that traditionally begins the Christmas season in Glenwood Springs.
“I think it’s a grand event,” Siebring said. “Glenwood Springs has always been dear to my heart. I’m very happy to be part of this, going through the tradition for the city.”
The Christmas Spectacular begins at 3:30 p.m. with pianist Sarah Orr in the Grand Lobby, followed by a performance by the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts dance companies in the Devereux Ballroom at 4:30 p.m. The community’s all-volunteer Symphony in the Valley plays in the lobby at 5 p.m.
“We have a very nice program of entertainment and music,” Siebring said.
At 6 p.m., the Festival of Lights takes place in the hotel’s decorated courtyard. Fireworks and a visit by Santa completes the night at 7 p.m.
“The whole hotel will transform into Christmas,” Siebring said.
Jeff Hale, of Glenwood Springs, said he enjoys the local talent that is featured at the holiday event.
“I love the performances,” he said. “It makes it real and down home, non-contrived. “
Hale said the event is a prime chance to celebrate the history that is the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.
“To me it means touring the grounds and the inside,” he said. “And watching the piano recitals and a cocktail or two.”
Hale enjoys attending the Christmas Spectacular for the camaraderie the event inspires between neighbors.
“I think it is just the community spirit and sense of place that it promotes. I get the sense that the public generally has that feeling,” he said. “Hotel Colorado is the grande dame of the town and to see her all dressed up in her holiday best really cements the beginning of the holiday season for me.”
Christmas along the Crystal
Along with Glenwood Springs, Redstone officially welcomes the holidays with today’s annual Grand Illumination celebration. Volunteers have decorated the town’s historic lamp posts, bridges and park to represent the season.
The Redstone General Store, Redstone Inn and Redstone Castle are a sampling of the businesses getting in the spirit with special holiday offers and tours. Shops and restaurants will welcome guests with specials beginning at 10 a.m. The Redstone Castle will lead a tour beginning at 1:30 p.m. and Santa and his elves visit the Redstone Inn from 4-7 p.m.
Christmas carolers will entertain along Redstone Boulevard with a lighting of the trees at the Redstone Inn at 5 p.m. followed by a bonfire lighting and live music.
The Church at Redstone will serve cookies and hot seasonal drinks. The event is free and open to the public.
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