Western Garfield County celebrates a Hometown Holiday
With less than three weeks until Christmas, the holiday spirit is shining bright in western Garfield County as Rifle prepares to host the sixth annual Hometown Holiday Friday and Saturday.
Organized by Your Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce located in Rifle the event brings thousands to the community to enjoy local business, crafts, music, sleigh rides, fireworks and more.
“People come from all over to look at the parade of lights in the evening,” Chamber CEO & Director Tanya Doose said.
“Because we are a regional chamber of commerce we are reaching out and involving Silt and Parachute this year. It is the first year we’ve done that – normally it has been a Rifle Hometown Holiday.”
Made up of multiple events including window display contests, scavenger hunts, Christmas Bingo, pictures with Santa, Christmas caroling, a craft fair, ornament making, hayrides, a bonfire, and a performance of the Nutcracker.
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Multiple venues in close proximity to downtown shops are involved, including Garfield County Fairgrounds, Centennial Park, the Ute Theater, the library, and Brenden Rifle 7 Theaters.
Doose said the event began through collaboration with the Chamber and Johnson Construction in 2014.
“The importance in this day and age, when everything is online shopping, e-commerce is great, but I think that bringing the community together for a free event to boost the local economy is awesome,” Doose said.
“It gives the city the old time vibes of a small town that people in the community cherish.”
The fireworks will be back this year after rave reviews for last year’s show.
“It was such a huge hit last year, that this year we have the addition of fireworks again,” Doose said.
The favorite event of Hometown Holidays is the Parade of Lights down Railroad Avenue which kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Also new this year, mayors from all three communities will participate in the tree lighting in Centennial Park before the 15-minute fireworks display.
The night winds down at Brenden Theater where the parade floats gather for the bonfire with s’mores, hot cocoa, and snacks.
On the other side of Railroad Symphony in the Valley will present a rendition of the Nutcracker at the Ute Theater at 8 p.m.
“People just congregate, and I think that’s the community spirit that people really love about it,” Doose said.
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Carbondale’s September First Friday event will double as its ninth annual Family Block Party to bring the community together and raise funds for local organizations.