Oak Creek Holly Festival kicks off with Friday tree lighting | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek Holly Festival kicks off with Friday tree lighting

Ben Ingersoll

— With Santa Claus on ice skates, hundreds of kids caroling in unison and a ruthless scavenger hunt along Main Street, the Oak Creek Holly Festival has about as much Christmas cheer as a tiny town can have in the matter of two days, and it’s back once again this weekend.

Oak Creek Holly Festival

Friday

■ Tree Lighting Ceremony, corner of Main Street and Sharp Avenue, 6 p.m.

■ Caroling, following tree lighting

■ Movie Night at Oak Creek Community Center, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” 7 p.m.

Saturday

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■ Yoga, Let’s Dance Studio, pay for class with donation to LIFT-UP of Routt County, 9 a.m.

■ Coffee with the Mayor, Kate’s Cafe, 10 a.m.

■ Pictures with Santa Claus, Bonfiglio Drug, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

■ Scavenger hunt, start at Kate’s Cafe and finish at Fire Station, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

■ Ice skating with Santa Claus, ice rink, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Starting with Friday night’s annual tree lighting ceremony, the Holly Festival kicks off downtown at the corner of Main Street and Sharp Avenue. Also at the tree lighting there will be family portraits by local business Natural Light Images, with one free portrait per family.

From there, beginning at the senior home, the mass of kids and adults will rumble down Main Street, caroling at different businesses along the main drag.

"The kids just love it," Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel said. "And we love it as adults."

The Friday evening festivities will be capped by a town movie night at the South Routt Community Center for a showing of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Doors for the movie night open at 7 p.m.

The scavenger hunt will begin at 11 a.m. starting with Kate’s Cafe at 216 E. Main St. Participants will decorate their cookies and then follow clues throughout town for a final prize at the Oak Creek Fire Department, 131 Main St.

Also on Saturday — Knoebel’s second-favorite event only to the caroling stroll — is ice skating with Santa Claus from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

"A lot of these are staples we have created and keep doing every year," Knoebel said. "They’re very popular. We always have hundreds of kids out there skating with Santa at the ice rink."

For the adult crowd, Knoebel will be hosting Coffee with the Mayor at Kate’s Cafe preceding the scavenger hunt. The elderly bunch can join in on Bingo at the Ladies Aid Hall in Yampa on Saturday, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Oak Creek’s own shop local campaign will be in effect all weekend, where every $100 spent at local participating businesses qualifies shoppers to be entered into the town’s grand prize drawing. Details are on the town of Oak Creek website.

"This is all focused as a family event that also helps us support our local businesses," Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen said.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll.

Oak Creek Holly Festival

Friday

■ Tree Lighting Ceremony, corner of Main Street and Sharp Avenue, 6 p.m.

■ Caroling, following tree lighting

■ Movie Night at Oak Creek Community Center, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” 7 p.m.

Saturday

■ Yoga, Let’s Dance Studio, pay for class with donation to LIFT-UP of Routt County, 9 a.m.

■ Coffee with the Mayor, Kate’s Cafe, 10 a.m.

■ Pictures with Santa Claus, Bonfiglio Drug, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

■ Scavenger hunt, start at Kate’s Cafe and finish at Fire Station, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

■ Ice skating with Santa Claus, ice rink, 2 to 3:30 p.m.