Christmas never ends in Aspen |

Christmas never ends in Aspen

Charles Agar
Vail, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times Christmas decorations still light up the downtown area in Aspen well after the holiday season.

ASPEN ” The twinkling lights on Aspen’s Red Mountain, along with the wreaths, lights and garlands strewn through downtown Aspen might have a visitor thinking it’s Christmas Eve instead of February.

Some locals maintain that Aspen is a Christmas town all winter, but others have had enough of decorations and lights.

“Typically we take the holiday lights on the Main Street area down in late January, and then we’ll take the lights down in the commercial core in late February or the beginning of March,” said Stephen Ellsperman, the city’s parks and open space director. But the timing varies with weather and events in the city.

“We try to get through most of the major events in the downtown” with the lights on, Ellsperman said, adding he isn’t aware of any law that says homeowners must take down lights.

Mayor Helen Klanderud said she believes the plastic garlands and decoration stay up later for the Winter X Games and other events.

“I don’t mind them,” Klanderud said. “But there comes a point.”

Steve Purso, a bartender at Little Annie’s Eating House, said the lights transcend the holiday season.

“I like the lights in town,” Purso said. “They’re winter lights, they’re not Christmas lights.”

“They keep the lights up so drunk people don’t fall,” added Sara Beth Trogdon, a Little Annie’s customer visiting from Denver.

“No, they leave the lights up so drunks can see that they’ve already fallen,” Purso quipped.

“This isn’t the real world,” added Pat Deskin, another Little Annie’s employee. “It’s a winter wonderland.”

Michael Daniels, owner of Daniel’s Antiques on the Cooper Street mall, who keeps his decorations up until mid-February, said: “I know some people take them down right away. But Aspen, it’s still cold and snowy. … It’s a Christmas world.”

Others have had enough. Jennifer Blocker, a saleswoman at Paris Underground, took a warm, sunny Saturday to take down the wreaths and garlands from out in front of the shop as they were turning brown and losing their needles.

“I feel like it wasn’t looking fresh,” she said. “It reached the end of its time.”

The bear on the roof of the Hickory House still wears a wreath, the eaves sag with garlands and lights and stick-figure reindeer adorn the porch, but Brian Jack, the restaurant’s general manager, said it’s time they come down.

“Everyone who comes to town is so used to it, they kind of block it out,” Jack said. “I want it down personally. I’m tired of it.”

But Jack said his decorator won’t take the decorations down unless it’s warmer than 30 degrees.

“Hopefully we’ll have it down by March,” he said.

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