When: Saturday, Dec. 1
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds
Hosted by NRC 360, this event is the biggest craft and gift fair downvalley.
"This event supports locals and you can find almost everything. We have more than 60 vendors," said Holli Snyder, NRC 360 general manager. "People are really excited about the fair this year."
Snyder said the event features a great variety of holiday collectibles, wearables and edibles in a festive atmosphere. Carolers will be performing throughout the day and a number of children's activities are planned on site. Santa will be on site to hear gift requests and pose for photos.
"This will be a great kickoff for the holiday season, and to continue to bring events like this to the town of Eagle, people need to show up and support them," said Snyder.
When: Saturday, Dec. 1
Time: 4 to 6 p.m. - Shopping
5:15 p.m. - Parade line-up on Fifth Street
6 p.m. - Parade down Broadway
Where: Downtown Eagle
For more than 20 years now, Eagle has launched the holiday season with this special evening shopping and nighttime parade event.
According to Taylor Slaugh of the Eagle Chamber, downtown businesses will serve special treats and offer special shopping deals during Christmas on Broadway. The Edward Jones office will have cookie decorating set up for kids and Sandra Houghton, author of the children's book "Sleep Comes to You," will have a book-signing outside The Nearly Everything Store. Additionally, her book will be offered for sale for $12.95 rather than its on-line price of $19.99.
"Santa will be on the porch of Studio B Hair Salon to visit after the parade," Slaugh said.
As for the parade, it is always a big hit for the Christmas on Broadway event. According to organizer Michelle Morgan, entries will be accepted up until line-up, which begins at 5:15 p.m. along Fifth Street. The entry fee is $10.
Morgan is appealing to both parade entrants and spectators to be safety cautious.
"Because this is a night-time parade and it is dark outside, we are asking everyone to keep safety in mind and refrain from throwing candy from moving floats or vehicles," said Morgan. "Last year there was an issue with kids running out in the street to get candy and float and vehicle drivers were unable to see them."
She said that parade participants will be asked to walk along side their entries if they want to distribute candy. Additionally, Eagle Police and Eagle Chamber volunteers will be stationed along the parade route to encourage spectators to remain at the curb. Morgan is looking for locals who would be willing to help with this safety effort. Please contact her at 970-471-2294 to volunteer or with questions about how to enter the parade.
The parade will get under way at 6 p.m. and will conclude with the arrival of Santa.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 4
Time: 6 p.m.
Where: Eagle Ranch Village
Eagle Ranch's traditional tree lighting ceremony and shopping event continues the holiday happenings in town next week.
The official Eagle Ranch tree is located east of the James Lee School of Champions studio along Sylvan Lake Road. During the tree lighting festivities Eagle Ranch Village merchants will offer special discounts and activities including the following:
• Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate Office - Visit with Santa and his Elf
• Peridot - Refreshments and all products, jewelry and accessories will be 20 percent off
• Axis Sports Medicine - Free seasonal wellness check
• MF Inc. - Decorating ideas and 20 percent discounts
• HP Provisions - Decorate a gingerbread house and buy one pizza, get one half-off
When: Tuesday, Dec. 4 - 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 6-8 - 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 13-15 - 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 20-22 - 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Where: Commercial space next to Eagle Family Dentistry
Eagle resident Sig Bjornson will again assemble his elaborate miniature Christmas village and train display to delight and benefit local kids.
Bjornson is an architect, a model train enthusiast and the creator of "Dickensville," an elaborate miniature world of perpetual Christmas, where six model trains run through four levels of a town that has grown bigger every year for nearly two decades.
While the village fascinates and delights visitors of all ages, for the past couple of years it has also benefited kids who are looking at a lean holiday. While kids are admitted for free to see the display, adults are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or a $5 donation to benefit the Salvation Army's toy drive.
Eagle residents and businesses are lending a hand to the needy.
As the need for food assistance steadily rises each year across the county, the community is doing a great job responding but more is still needed, said Vail Valley Salvation Army Director Tsu Wolin-Brown.
"We are so grateful for the surge of recent support but we always need more these days," Wolin-Brown said.
Across the county, there were more than 5,400 requests for food aid last year compared to 357 in 2008. Wolin-Brown expects even more this year. About 600 food baskets were sent out for Thanksgiving and a greater number of baskets will be packed and delivered Dec. 15.
Helping for the Holidays
Eagle has a few options for those who want to chip in. Joining the effort this year is a drive by the Broadway business district called "Helping for the Holidays."
Non-perishable food or household necessities can be dropped off at any Broadway business in Eagle through Saturday, Dec. 1. Some businesses are offering deals in return. For example, Rouge Consignment Boutique is giving 15 percent off one item for each item donated to the food drive.
Rouge owner Joselyn Brubaker said she recently initiated the drive with an email to other Broadway business owners.
"I read how food banks around here are in desperate need and felt we could do something," she said.
To find updates on the Helping for the Holidays drive, including deals and discounts, visit the Historic Downtown Eagle Facebook page.
An ad for the drive points out that useful items include diapers, soap, baby formula and toilet paper besides the usual types of donations, such as canned goods and dry food. Make sure food items are sealed properly and not expired.
Donations will go to the Vail Valley Salvation Army, which operates the Eagle Food Pantry.
Eagle Ranch area
For the fifth year, Eagle Ranch merchants are participating in the Land Title Guarantee Company Food Drive. Items may be dropped off with any Eagle Ranch business before Dec. 16. Donations will go to the Vail Valley Salvation Army.
"This drive has been growing every year as more people find out about it," said Eagle Ranch Association Manager Erin Vega.
Eagle Food Pantry
Of course direct donations to the Salvation Army's food bank in Eagle are always welcome, too. Donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Pantry is at 425 East Third St. The bank is in the basement of the United Methodist Church of Eagle Valley but is run separately from the church.
"We have so many people come in, the food goes quickly," Wolin-Brown said.
"We are still desperate for bell-ringers as well," Wolin-Brown said.
Salvation Army bell-ringers stand by "red kettles," soliciting money donations at various storefronts. City Market in Eagle and Columbine Market in Gypsum have red kettles available for donations but more volunteers are needed to run the locations.
"A bell-ringer brings in an average of $60 an hour," Wolin-Brown said. "Anyone who wants to volunteer at a specific location can go onto our website and tell us which store they want to work at and we will put them directly in touch with the captain of that area."
The region's Salvation Army website is www.salvationarmyvail.org.