Holiday event roundup: String of festivities kicks off weekend in Craig
What better way to follow Thanksgiving than to join in on the string of holiday festivities, starting this weekend with the Festival of Trees lighting ceremony and the annual Parade of Lights, followed by a local artisans market and other festivities in the coming weeks.
The holiday events will start off with a tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at the Craig Chamber of Commerce in the Yampa Building, 775 Yampa Ave.
Brittany Young, assistant director of the Chamber, said this will be the first opportunity to see the lighting of the Festival of Trees, and it will also kick off a silent auction.
The Festival of Trees is an annual event that’s open to businesses, community organizations and individuals to create festive trees for the holidays. Each tree will be auctioned off with the proceeds going back to the organization and to The Network, the Chamber member group that organizes the event.
“We have 33 trees this year, which is the largest we’ve ever had,” Young said.
After the tree-lighting ceremony, people are invited to watch the annual Parade of Lights from the warmth of the Yampa Building.
The Parade of Lights, which is organized by the Downtown Business Association, will start at 6 p.m. and will follow the usual parade route. Float participants will meet at Craig Middle School at 5 p.m., and the parade will start its journey down Yampa Avenue.
Tammy Villard, owner of Moffat Mercantile, said that parade will go down Yampa Avenue, to U.S. Highway 40 and then Ledford Street, where the parade will pass the Sunset Meadows and Sandrock Ridge senior homes.
Villard said the Parade of Lights is still welcoming community members or groups that want to build floats and participate in the parade.
“Anyone can put together a float; we just love the participation,” Villard said. “All we ask is that people don’t throw candy from the float.”
Float participants can hand out candy by walking alongside their floats. Villard said that Santa and Mrs. Clause will be making their usual appearance in a float, and the Anson family is lending one of their Belgian horses to lead Santa’s sleigh.
The Chamber and the Downtown Business Association partnered this year on a shared theme of “Christmas through the decades” for the Festival of Trees and the Parade of Lights.
Villard encouraged float builders to show what Christmas through the decades means to them. Registration slips can be picked up at the Moffat Mercantile or KS Kreations before the parade, and there will be prizes for float winners.
Upcoming holiday cheer
Local shoppers can get serious about their holiday shopping at the 12th annual Artisan Market from 3-6 p.m. Dec. 2, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Pavilion at the Moffat County County Fairgrounds.
Event organizer Roberta Hawks confirmed there will be nearly 30 vendors from the Yampa Valley selling original and locally made goods.
There is a huge range of items vendors will be selling including woodworking, textiles, ceramics, baked goods, handmade soaps and lotions, paper goods and cards, photography, local honey, handwoven baskets, jewelry, food items and handcrafted fishing rods. Hawks said vendors will be accepting cash and card payments, and will have packaging and gift wrapping available.
On Dec. 3, the Sizzling Pickle will be at the fairgrounds serving lunch for both vendors and shoppers. The eatery has smoked pulled pork, a chicken salad croissant and pickle pasta salad on the menu. There will be a small area set up for people to enjoy their lunch.
In the coming weeks, there will be a festive Chamber Mixer on Dec. 8 with complimentary refreshments, door prizes and a chance to vote for your favorite tree in the Festival of Trees.
The Chamber will also host Craig’s Downhome Christmas from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 10. People are welcome to bring the kids to visit Santa and create Christmas crafts.
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