Christmas on Broadway
EAGLE – Christmas on Broadway is so charming that if Norman Rockwell was still alive he’d paint it.
Eagle’s 23rd annual Christmas on Broadway transforms downtown Eagle into a Christmas village today.
Michelle Friedman of NRC 365 is helping ride herd on all this.
“We’re excited about this and we hope everyone will dress warmly and join us in Eagle to celebrate the holiday season,” Friedman said.
This year’s event kicks off at 4 p.m.
Decades of holiday delight
Christmas on Broadway started more than two decades and at least two Nearly Everything Store Santas ago.
A group gathered for lunch at an Eagle Chamber of Commerce meeting in the back room of Brenner’s restaurant. They came up with the idea for a Christmas celebration in downtown Eagle.
After a few minutes of spirited discussion about naming it, everyone wrote their ideas on a napkin and put it in a hat – with the understanding that most great writing begins on bar napkins.
Nick Nikolich owned the Eagle Valley Enterprise in those days, and his napkin came up the winner with Christmas on Broadway.
The name stuck.
They started it on Wednesday nights because there was only Eagle Elementary School and Eagle Valley Middle School in those days. Everyone knew everyone else’s kids and they were all free to roam that particular street on that particular night.
Woe to the teacher who assigned homework on that night.
The school put on a live nativity scene in the public park where the Eagle town hall is now. Imagine it, a public school staging a religious observance in a public park.
The Vail Valley Jet Center brought their blimp. Ed Oyler brought his team of draft horses for carriage rides.
Annie Colby sat down at a sewing machine and stitched together the 20-foot tall Santa that hangs on the sign of the Nearly Everything Store, which her family has run for generations.
That Santa served for years, but finally gave out.
“We tried washing him, spray painting him, we tried to dye the material, but we finally had to give up,” Colby said.
So, Santa didn’t show up one year, and people were so upset you’d think the planet had spun off its axis.
Well, Annie Egan came up with enough red awning material for Colby to sew together two 20-foot Santas for that sign.
They’re on the second Santa, Colby said, and when this one’s done so are they.
“We’ll probably finish about the same time,” Colby said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.