The annual Singing with Santa and Community Christmas Tree Lighting event will be held on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The public is invited to this long-standing Durango tradition.
Singing with Santa was started nearly 40 years ago by DACRA, the organization that used to house both the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Office. The Durango Chamber of Commerce took the event on when DACRA dissolved, and then the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County managed it for several years. The Durango Business Improvement District (BID) assumed leadership of the event in 2013.
This year, the community is asked to gather at Eighth Street and Main Avenue between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. on Friday. Bank of the San Juans will hand out glow sticks to the first 1,000 kids to arrive. 99X, Durango’s Hit Music Station, will be on hand playing holiday music. Santa will arrive on a stagecoach pulled by Prairie Fire Percherons at 6 p.m. sharp.
The crowd will follow Santa on Main Avenue to Buckley Park, singing Christmas carols along the way, with music courtesy of 99X. At Buckley Park, we’ll have a brief program to remind us about the spirit of the season, then we will count down to the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree. BID thanks Eagle Crane for its help in placing 1,325 lights in the tree this year.
Once the tree is lit, attendees can enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies courtesy of Carver Brewing Company, Durango Party Rental, Doubletree Hotel, Norton’s Catering and Manna’s Culinary Program.
Guests can also take photos with Santa, but bring your own camera please.
New this year is a chance for two children to win a ride in the stagecoach that will carry Santa. To enter BID’s coloring contest, visit http://bit.ly/2jv1FRs. Download the coloring sheet, color it in, and then enter it at the Durango Welcome Center. Two winners will be chosen, one age 4 to 6 and the other age 7 to 10.
Entries are due at the center by 6 p.m. Sunday. The two winners will be announced Monday, and each can bring two other people with them, with one being an adult.
Singing With Santa is the kickoff to the holiday season for downtown. Coming up after this is Local First’s 12 Days of Shopping Local. The highlight of those 12 days is Noel Night, the biggest shopping night of the year in downtown, to be held on Friday, Dec. 1.
During the 12 Days of Shopping Local, BID will be rewarding people who are shopping local with $50 gift cards. Make plans now to do some early Christmas shopping downtown on Nov. 27 and Dec. 4; you just might be a winner!
BID is working on Christmas gift guides to help you with ideas for unique gifts from local stores.
Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/DurangoBID to learn more, and please do as much of your Christmas shopping as you can at local stores!
Tim Walsworth is the executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.