Merry Mainstreet to light up downtown Steamboat |

Merry Mainstreet to light up downtown Steamboat

Nicole Inglis

— The fourth annual Merry Mainstreet celebration takes place at 5 p.m. Saturday, lighting up the dark, December evening sky with the lights and holiday cheer of downtown Steamboat Springs.

The event opens the holiday season, helping to promote downtown businesses and giving them the opportunity to offer promotions, fun and games during the festival.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said the event has grown each year and attracts residents and visitors to the downtown area.

"It just feels like it kicks off the season to me — the twinkling lights downtown and the street closed," Barnett said. "I think people like the atmosphere primarily, and they like to go in and out of the stores and have a hot chocolate and things."

The biggest draw of the event is the parade, which requires all entrants to be lit up in the spirit of the holidays. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association will make its annual appearance with an old stagecoach strung with lights, and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue will bring a few trucks out onto Lincoln Avenue for the parade, which runs between Sixth and 10th streets.

"It's fun and funky, because it's just a little parade, but it gets people out," Barnett said.

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New this year will be a caroling contest, which will station preregistered groups of carolers on street corners from 6 to 7 p.m.

There will be locally made gingerbread houses at various downtown stores as well as games and holiday fun unique to each store.

F.M. Light & Sons likes to get into the holiday spirit by hiding a lump of coal somewhere in the store for children to hunt for.

And of course, Santa will make multiple appearances: 3 to 5 p.m. in the Santa hut on the Routt County Courthouse lawn at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue and after the parade from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ski Town Lifestyle Properties.

Another new event elevates Merry Mainstreet beyond its family event beginnings. The Santa Crawl is a tour of five downtown bars, open to anyone 21 or older who is wearing a Santa suit, hat, costume or even reindeer antlers.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Steamboat Smokehouse, where registration will be by donation to LIFT-UP of Routt County.

The final stop will be at Carl's Tavern at 10:30 p.m. Participants get specials throughout the tour.

Lincoln Avenue will be closed from Fifth to 11th streets at about 4:15 p.m.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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