Have yourself a very Eagle County Christmas

Rosanna Turner
Daily Correspondent
Vail’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take places on Dec. 21.
Jack Affleck | Special to the Daily |

❝Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer, fun for all, that children call, their favorite time of year,” sang Snoppy and the gang in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” encapsulating how many of us feel about the holiday season. Whether you’re a year-round local or an out-of-towner only here for a few weeks towards the end of December, there are plenty of holiday-themed events to attend with both friends and family. From the annual tree lighting in Vail Village to the brand-new Bravo! Vail Holiday Sing-Along, you can celebrate Christmas nearly every day this month. Our holiday calendar is designed to help you plan your festive free moments, like visiting Santa so he’ll leave you something under the tree this year, provided you’re not on the Naughty List:


If you don’t want to trek all the way up to the North Pole to see ol’ St. Nick, head to Vail Recreation District’s annual Santa’s Workshop Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Held at the Community Program room on the second level of the Lionshead Welcome Center, Santa will be in attendance to listen to your Christmas wishes.

On Saturday, he’ll be at Holly Days at Chapel Square in Avon from Noon to 3 p.m. along with Ralph, the World’s Tallest Elf.

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Mr. Claus will continue his ride through town on Dec 12. by visiting the Riverwalk in Edwards from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Then he will make a pit stop in his sleigh at the Vail Public Library Family Fireplace Holiday Party, held on Dec. 18 at the library in Lionshead Village at 7:30 p.m.


On Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Apres-Avon will mark its grand opening with a Winter Farmer’s Market featuring 11 Colorado artisans and local vendors, including warm homemade soups and stews from both Food by Marc and the Gourmet Cowboy. Sip on complimentary hot cocoa for kids or a special hot apres drink for adults while watching fire jugglers, magicians and more. Held at Possibility Plaza at 45 Benchmark Road in Avon.

Alpine Arts Center in Edwards also hosts its annual Holiday Market with over q5 participating artists displaying and selling handmade holiday gifts. The Holiday Market takes place todays from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Alpine Arts Center, located in the Edwards Commercial Park. The public is invited to browse and shop for gifts, enjoy hot cider and cookies, and kids crafts will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the weekend. There is also a holiday party open to the public on Saturday evening starting at 6 p.m. with live music by Johnny Schleper and Rob Eaton Jr., complementary appetizers, wine and beer available for purchase, and of course holiday shopping all evening long.

The Minturn Market in downtown Minturn takes place on Saturday and again Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll find handmade crafts, fine art and more, perfect if you’re searching for something one-of-a-kind to gift this Christmas.


There will be four Gift Making Studios at the Vail Recreation Community Program Room (located on the second level of the Lionshead Community Center) on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Dec. 16 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. All ages are welcome to come and paint an ornament, mug or piece of pottery for a family member or friend. Gifts will be fired and available for pickup by Dec. 17. There is a $5 studio fee and $5 to $20 per piece of pottery. On Dec. 12 only, there will be a cash bar for adults. For more information call 970-479-2292 or visit


If you love watching people belt out “Silver Bells,” the Vail Chorale will walk through the Riverwalk in Edwards on Dec. 13 from 5 to 6 p.m.

This year Bravo! Vail will host its very first Holiday Sing-Along on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel. This is a free event open to the public, so don’t be shy about joining in when the chorus begins to sing your favorite holiday tune.

“All levels of experience are welcome,”said Eden Badgett, music conductor for the Sing-Along, “We’ll even have some trained singers there to help lead the group — but don’t let the ‘pros’ intimidate you. This is meant to be a fun and festive event for community members of all ages and abilities.”


Beaver Creek’s annual WinterFest begins Dec. 20 and goes through Jan. 3. Events are held each day in Beaver Creek Plaza from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Walk along with characters like Old Man Winter and The Snow Princess during the Kid’s Parade, taking place every day at 4 p.m., followed by storytime. Santa will stop by Beaver Creek from Dec. 20-24. Ice Sculpture Demos will be Dec. 19 and Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. Both the Figure Skating Performances and American Juke Box Skate Nights will be held on Dec. 21 and 28 starting at 6 p.m. And don’t miss the Thursday Night Lights Glow Worm Ski Down on Dec. 26 at 6 p.m., which will be at the base of Beaver Creek mountain. For more information on WinterFest visit


Vail’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take places on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. at Silfer Square, located near the Covered Bridge in Vail Village. Following the Tree Lighting will be a special Lantern Walk through the town. Earlier in the day, Art in Public Places will host a free Paper Lantern Workshop at the Vail Public Library’s Community Room from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. This will be the second annual Lantern Walk, and organizers hope to make this a long-standing holiday tradition.

“Like many paper lantern festivals around the world, AIPP hopes that Vail’s Paper Lantern Project will grow to become a beloved tradition during the holidays in the town of Vail,” said Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places coordinator.

For more information on the Paper Lantern Walk and to reserve a spot at one of the workshops call 970-479-2344 or email


Nebraska Theater Caravan presents “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Gena Buhler, theater director at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, said for many people this production is their first time experiencing “A Christmas Carol” live.

“It’s a musical theater version of the show,” Buhler said. “There is plenty of singing and dancing to make the story even more exciting for the entire family.”

Tickets are $55 for adults and $35 for children. To purchase online visit


If you, or your little ones, still can’t get enough of “Frozen,” engage in a some frosty magic with Ice Under The Big Top: A Traveling Circus On Ice, Skating Club of Vail’s annual show at Dobson Ice Arena in Lionshead on Dec. 28 and 29 at 6:30 p.m. For more details email


Say hello to 2015 Vail-style with the annual Torchlight Parade & Fireworks on Dec. 31 at 6:15 p.m. at the base of Golden Peak in Vail Village. Skiers parade down the hill in a glowing trail, followed by a dazzling light show in the sky. Beaver Creek’s New Year’s Eve Ski Down and Fireworks is also held that Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the base of the mountain.

At the end of “Christmas Time is Here,” the Peanuts close out with the lines “Oh that we, could always see, such spirit through the year.” The holidays only come around once every 12 months, but the warm and fuzzy feelings we experience with the ones we love can last a lifetime. We all have holiday memories from our childhood we look back on that still make us smile, shed a few tears and maybe even laugh, like our dad’s failed attempt at wrapping socks. Oh wait, that was just me. This Christmas, mark your calendar for creating a new memory, which will hopefully become a holiday tradition as classic as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” itself.

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