This season’s HOLiDAZZLE promotion lists 56 (and still counting) events to enjoy in the coming weeks, many of which are free. For details, go to www.downtowndurango.org. I have highlighted a few family favorites here, but many more are on the HOLiDAZZLE calendar. Be sure to check it out. Here’s a sampling:
Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Holiday Farmers Market: Browse the food booths and support local growers, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., La Plata County Fairgrounds.
Nov. 28, Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner: noon to -2 p.m., La Plata County Fairgrounds.
Nov. 29, Singing with Santa and lighting of the community Christmas tree: Join Santa and company at Buckley Park at 5:30 p.m., tree lighting at 6 p.m., with cookies and hot chocolate served across the street at Guido’s. Note: all of Main Avenue will be open for Black Friday shopping and parking at downtown meters will be free from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1.
Dec. 5, First Thursdays Art Walk, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.: A popular monthly activity with a special holiday twist.
Dec. 6, Noel Night: This is an all-day shopping event to stroll downtown and enjoy window displays, music, entertainment and merchant specials.
Dec. 6 to 8 and Dec. 13 to Dec. 15, Festival of Trees: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. A free gift will be given to the first 100 entrants each day. (P.S.: Wonderful place to take your family Christmas photo)
Dec. 14, Christmas Holiday Farmers Market: Browse and shop local 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Great place to buy stocking-stuffers.
Dec. 14, Breakfast with Santa: See Santa arrive by helicopter at McDonald’s, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Dec. 17, Barbershoppers and Children’s Choral Christmas Show: 7 p.m.: Main Mall, downtown Durango.
Dec. 21, Winter Solstice Festival: Celebrate with East Second Avenue businesses from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the 700 block of East Second Avenue. Special entertainment, warm beverages and Santa’s reindeer will be present.
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Make your plans now for these holiday activities. Tickets and/or reservations are needed:
Nov. 23 to Jan. 4, The Polar Express: A magical family adventure for all ages www.durangotrain.com.
Dec. 6 to Dec. 8, Dec. 13 to Dec. 15 ,”It’s a Wonderful Life”: Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., Durango Arts Center, www.durangoarts.org.
Dec. 8, A Traditional Family Christmas by Durango Choral Society at 3 p.m., Community Concert Hall, www.durangoconcerts.com.
Dec. 19, Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee: Community Concert Hall www.durangoconcerts.com.
Also, this year, local businesses are asking people to shift at least 10 percent of their holiday shopping from the Internet and out-of area to local retailers to local shops.
Many local businesses and nonprofits are hosting holiday open houses, bazaars, performances for children and seasonal entertainment.
Finally, to donate toys to Project Merry Christmas, go to www.projectmerrychristmas.com.
email@example.com Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.