New Castle to illuminate Saturday at Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off |

New Castle to illuminate Saturday at Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off

Christmas lights ignight downtown New Castle as darkness settles on the Colorado River Valley Wednesday. New Castle will host several holiday events including a performance by the Symphony in the Valley Friday and the traditional tree lighting Saturday. (Kyle Mills / Post Independent)

New Castle has back-to-back holiday events scheduled this weekend beginning with a performance from Symphony in the Valley on Friday, followed by a holiday tree lighting and chili cook-off Saturday.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday Symphony in the Valley will perform The Nutcracker Strikes Back at New Hope Church, 880 Castle Valley Blvd. 

Composed of local musicians who share a passion for classical music, the orchestra will perform holiday music with a touch of “Star Wars.” 

“We wanted to bring out the ‘Star Wars’ main title theme,” Kelly Thompson, Symphony in the Valley conductor and music director, said. “As well as get everybody in the Christmas spirit.”

Tickets for Friday’s performance can be purchased in advance online or at the door the day of the show.

Symphony in the Valley will perform two shows in Rifle at the Ute Theater on Saturday and Sunday as well. 

Following Friday’s performance, the town will host its Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off Dec. 7 in Burning Mountain Park – 450 W. Main St. – from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The family-friendly event sponsored by Alpine Bank and the New Castle Chamber of Commerce will offer free photos with Santa, hot chocolate, live music and a spectacle of holiday lights.

Saturday’s music lineup includes performances by Liberty Classical Academy’s Choir, Riverside Middle School’s Choir and Oran Mor. 

According to special events coordinator Debbie Nichols, the town, with the help of New Creation Church, has already turned on countless holiday lights at the old schoolhouse next to Burning Mountain Park.  At 6:35 p.m., following a countdown, the town will illuminate its holiday tree. 

Saturday’s event also features a chili cook-off that already has over ten competitors signed up. 

Additionally, while the Holiday Tree Lighting remains free and open to the public, for $7 attendees can taste and judge the various red and green chili entries as well. 

 “We are just hoping to have a beautiful weekend full of people being able to get out in the evenings and do nice holiday type of events,” David Reynolds, New Castle town administrator said.

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