The Winter Christmas Holiday season brings some spectacular lighting ceremonies, events and long traditions to several communities throughout Colorado.
From small town gatherings to the spectacular Parade of Lights and the lighting of the Civic Center in Downtown Denver, each has a job and special significance all it’s own.
Enjoy this list of Holiday Lighting Celebrations and please comment below if we’ve missed your favorite event.
Downtown Boulder’s Switch on the Holidays:
Nov. 19, 2011, 5pm
Every night on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall is a unique experience, but Switch on the Holidays is one of the best. The popular pedestrian thoroughfare crowds with people as live music fills the air and Santa counts down to the grand illumination of the street, courthouse and star atop Flagstaff Mountain. Afterward, head to the ice rink for more family activities.
Catch the Glow Holiday Celebration and Evening Parade:
Nov. 25, 2011, 5:30pm
Kick off the season in Estes Park on the day after Thanksgiving with carolers, pony rides, hay rides, shopping and, of course, Santa and his elves. When dusk falls, the magical Catch the Glow Parade begins. It’s a 45-minute lighting ceremony with bands, floats and dancers.
Holiday Lighting Ceremony:
Nov. 25, 2011
Hotel Colorado is an historic landmark in Glenwood Springs, and each year its lighting ceremony is like a holiday itself. Locals and visitors gather in the courtyard to sing carols and sip hot cocoa as the scene transforms into a winter wonderland. Don’t miss the hotel lobby either, which is decorated with several 12-foot trees and animated displays.
Denver Parade of Lights:
Dec. 2, 2011
No other holiday celebration in Denver can hold a candle — or strand of twinkling lights — to the grandeur that is the Denver Parade of Lights. Arrive early so you can claim your corner to watch the impressive floats, festive marching bands, diverse dancing groups and local celebrities take over the streets of downtown. In case you’re not up for the cold or the crowds, this one is broadcast live on 9NEWS.
Festival of Lights Parade:
Dec. 3, 2011, 5:50pm
Downtown Colorado Springs is the place to be for the 26th annual parade and lighting ceremony. Floats, high-school marching bands, groups on horseback and Santa Claus himself bring the holiday spirit at this family favorite. Bring a dollar to give to Santa’s elves as a donation to this year’s charity, The Empty Stocking Fund.
Holyoke Country Christmas and Parade of Lights:
Dec. 5, 2011
Experience the delight of the season’s small-town-style in the northeast Colorado town of Holyoke. The most popular activity of the night is the Parade of Lights, which features floats decorated according to the annual theme. There are contests for best float, tree and window display. Children can give their wish lists to Santa at the Vets club where the local fire fighters serve up a hot chili supper.
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade:
Dec. 24, 2011
The slopes light up as nearly 100 Telluride Resort employees glide gracefully down the dark mountain, torches in hand. Watch the glowing trail from town; popular viewing spots are Main Street, Pacific Street and Columbia Avenue. Rumor has it, that after a long night of delivering presents around the world, Santa comes to Telluride for some much needed R-and-R — so you might just catch a glimpse of the man in red.
Friday November 25, 2011 time TBA
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always the festival occasion in historic downtown Parker when citizens gather for the annual Mayors Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Parker Chorale and local high school choirs lead the community in a moving candlelit Christmas Carol time, the Horse Drawn Carriage rides begin and all of the lights in O’Brien Park and along Mainstreet and in the Victorian district are lit. There is food, hot cocoa and plenty of warm holiday glow each year.
Castle Rock Star Lighting
Nov. 19, 2011 – 5:00 p.m.
This year is the 76th annual Star Lighting on the Rock ceremony where the giant star atop the castle shaped rock is lit for the residents and everyone driving through Castle Rock from Denver to Colorado Springs to enjoy. The event starts at 5:00 and the star will be lit promptly at 5:30 p.m.
Other Popular Holiday Lighting Festivals in Colorado
• Pueblo Parade of Lights: Saturday,November 26 beginning at 5:30
• Greely Lights the Nights: Dec. TBD
• Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light: Dec. 2–Jan. 1
• Dillon’s Festival of Lights: Dec. 12–Jan.15