'Tis the season for crafts

Light Up the Night event to feature Santa, cider and singing

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If you go

What: Light Up the Night

When: 6 to 7 p.m. today

Where: Routt County Courthouse lawn

Cost: Free

Call: Tracy Barnett at 846-1800

— Thanksgiving is barely in the rearview mirror, but Tracy Barnett already is looking forward to Christmas. And for good reason - the holiday season kicks off locally with the lighting of the community Christmas tree today.

"In years past, (the event has) been really lame, so we're very excited to be beefing it up this year," said Barnett, manager of Main Street Steamboat Springs, which is organizing the Light Up the Night ceremony.

Light Up the Night, which includes the traditional lighting of the giant spruce tree on the Routt County Courthouse lawn, also will include a visit from Santa Claus, free apple cider and cookies, and caroling and singing by members of the Emerald City Opera.

"We've got it all," Barnett said. "We've got the carols, we've got Santa coming from a lighted carriage near Howelsen, we've even got cider and cookies."

The event begins at 6 p.m., and the tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m. There also will be drawings for $100 gift certificates that can be redeemed at about 58 downtown businesses.

"You'll register on the courthouse lawn, but you've got to be there to win or else we'll call someone else," she said.

Main Street Steamboat Springs wanted to have a parade to accompany the lighting of the tree, but city officials decided against closing Lincoln Avenue.

Instead, Barnett encouraged people to decorate their cars as festive parade floats and park them in front of the courthouse.

"In the next few years we're hoping to build it into a parade," she said.

Barnett said Light Up the Night is a great event for families, especially those with small children.

"The weather is supposed to be good, so we're hoping to have a good turnout. So far I've heard a lot of positive things from community members, so hopefully they'll are come out," she said.

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