Have an eventful season
In between shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating, singing, visiting and eating this holiday season, it’s always fun to throw in a few more things to do to make the season memorable — or festively frantic, if that comes first. Whether you live in Fruita, Grand Junction, Palisade or somewhere in between, you’ll find a parade, festival or holiday event on this page that can help you celebrate the season.
Stuff for kids
Christmas and children go together like peanut butter and jelly, and there are several events around town that are geared specifically for children, such as breakfast with Santa Claus and the 11th annual candy cane hunt.
Saturday, Dec. 10 – Visit Dinosaur Journey, 550 Jurassic Court in Fruita, for breakfast and photos with Santa and admission to the museum. For reservations, call 242-0971.
Saturday, Dec. 17 – Candy Cane Hunt at Lincoln Park. Activities in the barn begin at noon and the hunt starts promptly at 1 p.m. Although Santa won’t be there, Frosty the Snowman will be and MJ Thomas Photography will be on hand to capture the event.
For those who love a parade, there’s one almost every weekend in December!
Saturday, Dec. 3 – In Grand Junction celebrate a Wild West Christmas at the 28th annual Parade of Lights, sponsored by City Market and Downtown Grand Junction. The parade will start at dusk with more than 100 entries. Come early to snag a seat, stay late to eat dinner downtown!
Saturday, Dec. 10 – It’s a Storybook Christmas for the Palisade Parade of Lights, starting at 5:30.
Saturday, Dec. 17 – In Fruita, the theme to this year’s holiday parade is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which begins at 5:30 p.m.
Olde Fashioned Christmas
Tree-lighting ceremonies and the arrival of Santa Claus have already taken place in downtown Grand Junction and at Mesa Mall, but the town of Palisade will have a tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 9 as part of the Olde Fashioned Christmas, with children’s crafts, vendors and entertainment from 4–7 p.m.
Those who want to walk or run have many opportunities:
Saturday, Nov. 26 – The Art & Chocolate Walk in Palisade can help get the holiday shopping season off to an appropriate start. Walk, eat chocolate and shop. Wait — it gets better. Get a special Art & Chocoloate Walk card stamped at participating merchants. Enter your fully stamped card in a drawing to win a gift basket that includes items from Palisade merchants.
Friday, Dec. 9 – The Spirit of Christmas Walk takes place in downtown Grand Junction from 6 to 9 p.m. Entertainment includes vocal and band groups from local schools, the Bookcliff Barbershop Chorus, Sweet Adelines, bell choirs, a children’s choir and anyone else who wants to come and swing Christmas carols. Downtown merchants will have treats and cider. With no official starting times and no itinerary, it’s more of a holiday stroll than an organized event.
Saturday, Dec. 10 – It’s the 2011 Jingle Bell Run 5K & Kids’ 1K at Canyon View Park starting at 9 a.m. Pre-registration is through the city of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department and costs $20. Day-of-the-event registration will be $25.
Friday, Dec. 16 – The Chocolate Walk in downtown Grand Junction, sponsored by Enstrom Candies, the Museum of Western Colorado and the Downtown Development Authority. This is an organized event, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Enstrom Candies. Cost is $10 and pre-registration through the city of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department is required to guarantee a mug.
Soup lovers, have we got soup for you!
Saturday, Dec. 10 – During Palisade’s Olde Fashioned Christmas, the Soup Challenge kicks off at 1 p.m. A chili cook-off benefit for the fire department begins at 2:30 p.m. and the Altrusa Soup Kitchen at Slice of Life Bakery begins serving up bowls of soup at 4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17 – During Fruita’s Hometown Christmas, the Fruita Lioness Club will host a chili supper at the IOOF Hall from 5-8 p.m. Another chili supper will be at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall, 433 E. Aspen St., also from 5-8 p.m.
To find homes with great holiday light displays, check out page 2 of The Daily Sentinel every day in December. If you prefer a more organized tour and want someone else to do the driving, the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department offers two tours.
Wednesday, Dec. 7 – Holiday light tour from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for those 50 and older. Meet at the Lincoln Park barn. Call 254-3866 for reservations.
Saturday, Dec. 10 – Take a Kool Kruise and enjoy the Santa Claus at the Avalon Theatre. Two showtimes, three tour times. Call 254-3866 to get your tickets early for the show and tour times you prefer.
Still want more?
Head to downtown Grand Junction for free carriage rides every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Visit Santa at Mesa Mall – he’s there every day, but he takes a break from 1-2 p.m. and from 5:15- 6 p.m. (to feed the reindeer).
And last, but not least, experience Tuba Christmas at the downtown Wells Fargo Bank on Sat. Dec. 10, to hear all your favorite Christmas music played by a tuba band. Organizer Richard Morgan is hoping to have 50 tuba players join in holiday oom-pahs. Tuba, baritone and euphonium players are all welcome to join the fun. Rehearsal will be at 10 a.m. on Dec. 10 at Roper Music.