Rifle goes downtown with Holly Days | PostIndependent.com

Rifle goes downtown with Holly Days

Behind the buzz of the bright lights and big trucks of Rifles annual holiday festivities was a genuine desire by organizers to create more community in the downtown.Holly Days lit up the downtown core of Rifle this past Saturday as the city celebrated the eighth annual Parade of Lights, which was organized and put on by The Citizen Telegram.As the budding population of Rifle edges towards 8,000, organizers aimed to bring the community together for a downtown event as well as promote shopping in the area.Our community is growing and changing. We want to pull new people in and recognize that they are part of who we are, said Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert.More than 600 people lined the main street from Railroad Avenue to the Garfield County Fairgrounds to see the parade that featured fire trucks and floats decorated in thousands of glittering Christmas lights.Afterwards, most of the crowd converged at the fairgrounds to see Santa and hear the results of the much-anticipated raffle at the grand finale.During a five-week promotion, The Citizen Telegram offered retailers discounted advertising rates that allowed local businesses to hold special sales to entice shoppers to shop downtown. For every $10 spent, customers received a raffle ticket.They get rewarded for shopping locally, we want people to spend their money here, said Sally Dahl, of The Citizen Telegram. It was evident that hordes of shoppers took advantage of the sales as they arrived at the Fairgrounds carrying fistfuls of tickets in hopes of winning prizes including a $3,000 Wild West travel package.Were a small town, we rely on folks who live here to keep our stores open, said Mary Hackett, owner of Fingers & Toes & Lotions & Potions. Ill notice more business after this, she said.According to Dahl, it did help.Everybody we talked to said their business was up, she said.Even though the Parade of Lights is gone, Rifle is enjoying a banner year thats bound to get even brighter as they head into their Centennial Celebration this summer.

Some organizers and sponsors of the event, from left, Carrie Click, of Rifle, is editor at The Citizen Telegram; Art Dahl is an oil and gas consultant; and Sally Dahl is a sales representative at The Citizen Telegram.

The Simpson family, of Basalt, from left, Lynda works at Dalby Wendland & Co.; Austen, 9, is in fourth grade; and Jason works for CDOT in Carbondale.

John Wheeler, of Rifle, works for Schmueser & Associates, and Karla Wheeler is on the Centennial Committee and is an active volunteer in the community.

From left, Hope Kehr, 3, of Rifle; Jeff Kehr, a mill worker; Nessa Kehr, 5; and Steve Zimmer, who works for Midway Supply.

Harry Cole, 5, of Rifle gives his wish list to Santa and Mrs. Clause, played by Dale Trahern and his wife, Betty, of Rifle.

From left, Adam Ford, of Rifle, a mason; Avery Ford, 2; and Carissa Ford, a waitress.

From left, Rose Dobbs, of New Castle, works for Jamie Allee Insurance; Mary Hackett, of Silt, owns Fingers & Toes & Lotions & Potions; and Christine Tharp, of Rifle.

Riding on the Rifle Centennial Committee float, from left, Ken Mahaney, of Parachute, is semi-retired; Jeff Johnson, of Rifle, is an architect and city council member; and Ralph Koehler, of Rifle, is chairperson of the Centennial Committee.

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