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'Tis the Season - by Sarah Ryan

Im not suggesting you put away the Witches and Ghoststopull out Santa and his Reindeer,but Christmas IS only 7 Mondays away! To make sure you enjoy all we have to offer during this holiday season I have put together a list of activities just for you! Start crossing items off your holiday shopping list this Saturday and Sunday, November 7thand 8thfrom 9:00 to 5:00 at theInn at SilverCreek. They will have over 20 vendors promoting holiday gift ideas including handmade crafts, jewelry, holiday stockings, hats and SO much more! One of my personal favorites is theAnnual Holiday Artisan Fairon November 21 from 10:00 to 4:00 at Grand Park Community Recreation Center. This eventoffers unique arts and crafts from regional artisans. I have heardGrand Lakes Olde Fashioned Holiday Craft Bazaaron November 27thand 28thfrom 10:00 to 5:00 is not one to be missed. Rounding out our local craft fairs is theHoliday Gift Market at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spaon December 12thfrom 10:00 to 4:00. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts in a fun and festive atmosphere! Tree lighting ceremonies are a favorite among my family. TheTown of Grand Lakestarts us off with their traditional tree lighting ceremony November 27that 5:00 in front of the Town Square. Bring an ornament to add to the trees sparkle! TheTown of Kremmlingwill hold their version of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City at the Town Square on December 5th, and can be seen from the far east side of town. An event not to be missed is theVillage at Winter ParkTree Lighting CeremonyNovember 28thbetween 3:30 and 5:30 join in on the holiday fun with carolers, make-and-take holiday ornaments, a visit from Santa and the sixth annual lighting of the Villages beautiful Holiday tree! Are visits with Santa more your thing? Then youre in luck,because he spends a lot of time in Grand County! Not only will Santa be at all of the above events but starting December 5thbring your kids, the dogs,or just yourself toCooper Creekevery Saturday (until December 19th) from 3:00 to 5:00 for a free photo with Santa while enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays. If you are hitting the slopes Santa will also visitThe Village at Winter Park.If you need that special holiday photo for your furry familyGrand County Pet Pals Photos with Santawill be Saturday, November 14that the Historical Church in Fraser from 12:00 to 4:00or 9:00 to 1:00 at the Kremmling Fairgrounds. Suggested donation of $10.00 with all proceeds going to help with the medical needs for the animals of Grand County Just a few additional events that are sure to make your holidays happy December 4thfrom 4:00 to 8:00 is the12th Annual Festival of Treesat the Grand Park Community Recreation Center. This free community event is sponsored by the Fraser River Valley Lions Club for the benefit of almost 30 local non-profit organizations. These organizations raise money via a silent auction of their beautifully-decorated trees andwreaths. Theres food and refreshments, a silent auction of desserts, hand-carved figures for sale, and a visit from Santa, including free pictures with Santa for all children (and children at heart). December 18thand 19thfrom 10:00 to 3:00 at the Grand Lake Community Center is an event I just discovered,and think it is awesome! Grand Angels and the Rotary Club of Grand Lake invite you to bring your child to the5thAnnual Secret Santa Shop. Your child will be able to pick out a free giftfor you and then have it wrapped and eadyfor him/her to present to you on Christmas morning. Their hope is to bring JOY to your child by sharing with him/her the lesson of love that it is truly better to give than to receive. Sleigh rides on Friday; fire truck rides on Saturday and of course Santa! Winding River Resort invites you to aFREE sleigh ride with Santaon December 18thfrom 10:00 to3:00. Please call 970.627.3215 for reservations. Lastly the holidays wouldnt be complete without theChristmas Eve Torchlight Parade. This is one of the most beloved Winter Park traditions. The event begins with Christmas carols around the bonfire at the base of Winter Park Resort, next to the Zephyr Lift at 4:00. At 5:30.Aprocession of torch-bearing skiers and riders begin their way down Lower Hughes trail;followed by Santa Claus and his merry helpers. A spectacular fireworks display and snowcats adorned with Christmas colors light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation to conclude the festivities. I hope this helps you find that special event that will make your holiday one to remember!

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