Tree lighting ceremonies across the valley
The holiday season is upon us, and towns throughout the valley are lighting up their decorated trees this week
There may not be snow, but towns across the valley are transforming into winter wonderlands once again thanks to elaborate lights, ornaments and other holiday decorations.
This week, a number of towns and venues in Eagle County are holding official holiday tree lighting ceremonies to unveil the glowing, glittering trees that, for many, serve as a centerpiece of celebration throughout the holiday season.
While some have gotten an early start and already completed their ceremonies, the trees will all be up through the new year, and visitors are invited to stop by the following locations at any time to admire, take pictures, and be merry.
Upcoming tree lighting ceremonies
Gypsum’s Home for the Holidays Celebration – Saturday, Dec. 11
The Gypsum Public Library and Town Park is hosting a free, family-friendly holiday celebration featuring visits with Santa, reindeer, carols, crafts and, of course, a holiday tree lighting. The celebration will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday evening. Warm chili and hot chocolate will be offered on site and will be made available with a suggested donation.
Home for the Holidays will also include a special book signing for Gypsum’s very own history book, “Gypsum Days: Pioneers, The Poor House & Progress”, by local historian Kathy Heicher.
Vail Tree Lighting – Sunday, Dec. 12
Guests are invited to kick off Vail Holidays by lighting up the village with the Vail Village Holiday Tree Lighting at Slifer Square, located across from the Vail Village Parking Structure, adjacent to the 10th Mountain Walking Statue. The ceremony will take place from 5-6 p.m. on Sunday evening, and there will be a special pop up appearance by Santa Claus on site, as well as Dickens carolers singing classic holiday tunes.
Trees that are already lit for the holidays
If you’re looking for a place to take those festive family photos, these trees are already lit, decorated and camera-ready.
Beaver Creek’s annual tree lighting ceremony is always the first of the year, and takes place on Thanksgiving weekend. This year marked the 41st occasion of the Tree Lighting Ceremony, which took place on Friday, Nov. 26. The tree is located in the middle of the village next to the ice rink, and is among the tallest of the valley’s decorated trees.
Town of Minturn
The Minturn holiday tree is located on the corner of Main Street and Toledo in downtown Minturn. This year’s lighting took place on Friday, Dec. 3 and featured carolers, a reading of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and plenty of hot cocoa.
The Town of Minturn, the Minturn Community Fund, and the Salvation Army also teamed up for their annual holiday Giving Tree and distributed ornaments with directions for holiday donations at the lighting. Extra ornaments will be made available on the tree in the Town Hall lobby, and those interested in sponsoring a child in need can check into that location next week to see which ornaments remain. Gifts will need to be dropped off at Town Hall during regular business hours, no later than Dec. 21.
Vilar Performing Arts Center Tree
Every winter, the Vilar Performing Arts Center transforms its interior with lights, garlands, and, at the center of it all, a live tree that is elaborately decorated by facilities manager Dean Davis and professional holiday decorator Sarah Foster.
The 18-foot, white-fir tree is brought through the doors and down the spiral stairs by a team of seven people, and Davis and Foster then work for a full five days to direct and complete the decorations.
While most of the outdoor town trees are decorated in lights alone, this completed indoor work features a well-balanced collection of twinkling musical notes, forest critters, snowflakes, bulbs, ribbons, icicles and more, complete with presents waiting under the tree.