Garfield County A&E Roundup holiday festivities for the weekend

Santa's helpers ride in Carbondalian style on their bikes behind Santa's sleigh during Friday evening's Light Up Carbondale Celebration.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Santa is making a special trip to ‘Light up Carbondale’

Santa is coming to Carbondale a little early this year to help residents light the town up for First Friday. 

“There’s some magic there,” said Eric Brendlinger, Carbondale Parks and Recreation director.

During this season, it gets pretty dark, especially in mountain towns in Colorado. Illuminating the town doesn’t just help people in the community get into the holiday spirit. 

It also helps Santa and all of his helpers find their way. 

He’s made his rounds in most of the other towns, and now later tonight, he’s bringing his elves and landing in Carbondale to help with the countdown to light the town up. 

He’ll be making his landing by the large tree on Carbondale’s Main Street, and will magically be illuminating all the trees in town from the top of the U.S. Forest Service Tree.

“What’s fun is when you see the kids’ eyes light up as they scream the countdown before the lights turn on and Santa is at the top of the tree, in a bucket 70 feet in the air waving his magic wand and all the lights come on,” Brendlinger said. 

Carbondale’s recreation department, Carbondale Arts, Carbondale Fire District and the Carbondale Chamber First Friday Committee worked together to put the event on for the community, a Carbondale news release states.

Santa’s first stop is Main Street and Weant Boulevard near the Forest Service building around 5:30 p.m. 

He’ll start with a musical entrance with people singing “Oh Christmas Tree” to help start the festivities.

When the holiday spirit reaches its crescendo, Santa will start the countdown and magically illuminate all the lights on the trees on Main Street from the top of Forest Service tree (with a little help from the Carbondale Fire District Fire Engine), according to the release. 

Then, carolers will begin a pedestrian parade down Main Street to the Fourth Street Plaza from 5:30-5:45 p.m.

Once at the plaza everyone can get a chance to warm up at the bonfire, sing along with the carolers and enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and cider with Santa, complimentary of Alpine Bank and the Carbondale Parks and Recreation Department.

The rest of the evening will allow time for anyone interested to have a free sleigh ride with Santa at Fourth Street Plaza Park until 7:45 p.m.

“We link up with the local cowboys — the true cowboys in town, the Nieslaniks — and they run their big Clydesdale horses around town with Santa riding on the sleigh,” he said. “It’s a great experience looping around town.”

Every holiday season, the Deck the Walls event has their holiday market of artisanal goods at the R2 Gallery in the Launchpad, by Carbondale Arts. They will be open until 7 p.m. and will be featuring live performances by the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra at 5 p.m.

Vendors are mostly local with some regional. handcrafted goodies like crafts cards, ceramics, candles, chocolate, jewelry, upcycled mittens and scarves. There are about 60 artists with a fun variety of gifts to buy for loved ones.

“As far as indoor activity building, go look at all that locally produced art from local artists and hopefully get some Christmas shopping off their list,” Brendlinger said. 

Enjoy the season, all the lights, and stroll around to the many shops, restaurants and art galleries that are part of the First Friday “Light Up” Carbondale Events, the release states. 

Glenwood Springs 

All Weekend

What: “Colorful Palette” Art Show and Sale

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All weekend

Where: Glenwood Springs Branch Library, 815 Cooper Ave.

What: Holiday Arts and Crafts Market

When: Noon-6 p.m. all weekend

Where: Glenwood Springs Arts Council Gallery, 233 Sixth St.

What: Wine Tasting

When: 5-7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3

Where: Cooper Wine & Spirits, 732 Cooper Ave

What: Vaudeville Holiday Show

When: Doors open at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, and 5 p.m. Nov. 4

Where: Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave.

How much: $28 for Adults, $25 for Seniors, $16 for kids ages 2-12

What: Mountain Madrigal Singers

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 7 p.m. Dec. 10

Where: Glenwood Church of Christ, 260 Soccer Field Road

How much: Free Christmas concert


What: Visit With Santa!

When: 4-8 p.m.

Where: Annie and Dean Children’s Boutique,  214 Eighth St.

What: Holiday Craft Fair

When: 9 a.m.-noon, Dec. 3

Where: Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge, 51939 U.S. Hwy 6

What: Santa at the Caverns

When: 4-7 p.m. Dec. 3, kids 12 and under ride the gondola for free

Where: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road

What: Holiday Bazaar

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4

Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road


What: Hometown Holiday

When: 4–8 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Center, 1001 Railroad Ave.

What: MARTY STUART and His Fabulous Superlatives

When: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 2

Where: Ute Theater and Events Center, 132 East Fourth St.

How much: $50-$65

What: Symphony in the Valley Presents: RETURN of the NUTCRACKER

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 2 p.m. Dec. 4

Where: Ute Theater and Events Center, 132 East Fourth St.

How much: $15-$25


What: Old Thompson Barn Holiday Market

When: 2-5 p.m. Nov. 4

Where: Old Thompson Barn, 333 River Valley Ranch Dr.

Library Roundup, according to a news release from Garfield Libraries

Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert

The Silt Branch Library is excited to host a holiday music concert and singalong with students from the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra. Join us at 10 a.m. Dec. 10 where you can feel free to sing along or sit back and enjoy listening to a variety of holiday music from many traditions. Families and young children are always encouraged to attend. This event is free as part of the Holiday Concert Series at the Garfield County Libraries. For more information, call the library at 970-876-5500.

Adult Crafternoons: Macrame Angel Ornaments

Get creative in a safe, welcoming space, within the context of a guided craft series at the Parachute Branch Library. We’ll feature four different crafts over four months, and each workshop is taught by a knowledgeable library staff member or community member. The last event in the series will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 10 and feature macrame angel ornaments. It’s free and open to all adults with the materials and supplies provided at no cost. Finished projects make great home decorations or gifts, just in time for the holiday season. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 970-285-9870 to register or get more information.

Music of Christmas with Alyce Meredith

Christmas is a time of rejoicing, as reflected in the beautiful music of the season. Join us for a holiday concert featuring pianist Alyce Meredith at the Carbondale Branch Library starting at 2 p.m. Dec. 12. Caroling will be a part of the festivities and light refreshments will be served. Free and open to all as part of the Holiday Concert Series at the Garfield County Libraries. For more information, call the library at 970-963-2889.

Western Colorado Book Club: Special Edition

The Western Colorado Book Club meets every month at the Parachute Branch Library with the mission to discuss local authors and books of local historical significance. The Grand Valley Historical Society and Garfield County Libraries are excited to invite all members of the public to the library at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 13 for a special edition of the book club. It features  guest speaker Gary Miller, son of the late Western artist Jack Roberts, who will relate his memories of his father and of his father’s paintings. Come prepared to discuss the December book selection “Colorado Artist Jack Roberts” by F. Darrell Munsell and take a short field trip to Parachute Town Hall to view “Last Great Train Robbery” paintings by Roberts. The book club is free and open to all adults. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call the library at 970-285-9870.

Holiday Sing-A-Long

Burning Mountain Ukuleles invite you to a sing-a-long of familiar Christmas carols as part of the Holiday Concert Series at the libraries. We’ll begin the fun at 1 p.m. Dec. 14 at the New Castle Branch Library. Come sing with us or just enjoy the music! For more information about this free event please call the library at 970-984-2346.

John and Kathryn Gracey Holiday Concert

Join us at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library for a concert featuring John and Kathryn Gracey as part of the Holiday Concert Series at the Garfield County Libraries. The duo entertains audiences with a collection of holiday Celtic folk music and patriotic ballads on the accordion and harp. The free concert will begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 15. For more information call the library at 970-945-5958.

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at or 970-384-9131.

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