Santa schedules arrival to downtown Grand Junction with tree-lighting celebration |

Santa schedules arrival to downtown Grand Junction with tree-lighting celebration

Santa at last year's Downtown Lighting Celebration, where he heard what local children hoped to get for Christmas. This year's celebration is set for Friday, Nov. 15. Downtown trees and storefronts will officially be lighted at 5:45 p.m.
Jim Cox |


WHAT: Downtown Lighting Celebration

WHERE: Main Street, Grand Junction

WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Fri., Nov. 15

COST: Free


Since her daughter, Makaylah Ward, was born seven years ago, Grand Junction mom Jamie Droskin has made the annual Downtown Lighting Celebration with Santa a must-do holiday tradition.

It’s the smile on Makaylah’s face “when the lights come on” that brings Droskin back every November, and they like to walk around downtown afterward drinking hot cocoa.

Friday, Nov. 15, Makayla and Jamie will do just that, when Grand Junction’s Main Street officially lights its trees and storefronts at 5:45 p.m. to welcome wintertime festivities. The Tonettes, an all-female singing group, will perform as well.

“Typically, all the downtown stores have their lighting displays up at the same time,” Downtown spokesman Aaron Hoffman said. “Stores will generally be staying open later, trying to capture those crowds. People like to wander around, looking at displays in the windows.”

Hoffman estimates up to 1,500 folks will head downtown this Friday, many of whom will stop to see Santa appear on the roof of the Wells Fargo Bank at Fourth and Main streets.

“Assuming that all goes according to plan, a fire truck will bring Santa down,” he explained. “He’ll sprinkle magic dust, which causes the tree to light; then he’ll descend and visit with the kids, so they can tell him what they want for Christmas.”

Unique Expressions owner Karen Hildebrandt said she plans to keep her store open later for evening revelers. She also recently unveiled a special holiday window “to get in the mood for Christmas.” Her shop is located at 336 Main St.

And John Lintott of the Kurtzman-Lintott Gallery, 412 Main St., plans to stay open for the lighting as well.

“Downtown events always draw new faces in,” he said.

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