Holiday season lights up Friday in Glenwood, Redstone | PostIndependent.com
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Holiday season lights up Friday in Glenwood, Redstone

Heather McGregor and John Colson
Post Independent Staff

Traditional holiday season opening events are happening Friday at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs and along Redstone Boulevard in Redstone.

Both events offer a chance to enjoy some holiday cheer, socialize with family and friends, and put a word in with Santa Claus.

The Hotel Colorado continues to grow its tradition of lighting up the exterior of the 1893 hotel, creating elaborate holiday scenes indoors, and putting on a musical performance followed by a fireworks display and laser light show.



Hotel general manager Larry Welch said the holiday lighting on the building and trees will use 150,000 bulbs, doubling the number of lights on the trees in the hotel courtyard. The new lights are LED bulbs, which look better, use a fraction of the energy and last far longer.

Welch said a group of about 20 volunteers did the initial light-hanging two weeks ago, and were followed by a crew of about 40 technicians who work in the theater industry in the Denver metro area that put the finishing touches on over the past weekend.



“We’ve been doing the squint test for the last week,” he said. “You walk up to a tree, close your eyes and then squint, and you should see full lighting from top to bottom. If you don’t, then somebody left a hole in there somewhere.”

The goal has been to hang an evenly distributed array of lights on the trees from the base of the trunk to the tips of every branch.

Meanwhile, holiday scenes are set up throughout the hotel’s main level, with a North Pole exhibit featuring a sleigh built in 1880 and a life-sized Santa departing from a small chalet, and a walk-in gingerbread house with walls made from 400 gingerbread bricks.

The hotel’s festivities will start at 6 p.m. Friday in the hotel courtyard with a series of musical performances by the Defiance Stringband, singers Joanne Nystrom, Jessica Toovy and Ruth Sanchez, the Garden School Choir, father-daughter singers Brian and Natalie Roessler, the Starcher Hutsen Band and a festive and inspirational closing with singers Melissa and Kelly Gabossi.

At 7 p.m., hotel staff will flip the switch and light up the hotel with its holiday array. A four-minute fireworks show will fill the sky, followed by a laser light show set to music – a new feature this year.

The crowd for this event is expected to be 3,000 to 4,000 people, so Sixth Street in front of the Hotel will be closed to vehicles.

After the fireworks, everyone is invited in to tour the hotel’s displays, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies in the lobby, and children will have a chance to talk to Santa. Visitors will also get their first chance to vote in the hotel’s Christmas tree competition, which is drawing in about 30 trees decorated by local businesses.

Also on Friday afternoon, TreadZ at 812 Grand Ave. is hosting its annual Hot Chocolate Social. Everyone is invited to stop by for cocoa or a taste of Colorado Roundhouse Coffee Liqueur, a cookie and time with friends before the lighting ceremony at the Hotel Colorado.

This picturesque village, perched on the Crystal River south of Carbondale, will come ablaze with light for the annual Grand Illumination celebration from 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Redstone Inn and all along Redstone Boulevard.

Santa Claus will be holding forth in the Fireside Room of the historic Redstone Inn starting at 4 p.m., according to Cherie Morton, guest services manager at the Inn.

By 5 p.m., the time for lighting the bonfire in the Inn’s lower parking lot, businesses and homes up and down Redstone Boulevard will be glowing with holiday lights and luminarias, which are Southwestern-style brown paper bags protecting small candles from the breeze.

Also on hand will be the Dickens Carolers, an a capella singing group from Aspen performing holiday songs.

Hot dogs, bratwursts and hot beverages will be served to the revelers, and carriage rides will be available all weekend by calling the Inn at 963-2526, Morton said.

Visitors can also tour the famed Redstone Castle at 1:30 p.m. today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available at the Redstone General Store, Tiffany’s, and the Crystal Club.

Happy holidays, one and all!

jcolson@postindependent.com


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