OURAY COUNTY – With Santa Claus stopping in Ridgway on Friday night to collect wish lists from eager children during the annual “Christmas in the Park” celebration and holiday arts and crafts shows in both Ouray and Ridgway, this weekend is sure to provide a dose of Ho! Ho! Ho!-holiday cheer while giving shoppers an opportunity to purchase gifts locally.
The festivities kick off in Ridgway on Friday, Dec. 4 when the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual “Christmas in the Park” celebration in Hartwell Park from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The parade lineup will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the lot just east of Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar where Santa will climb aboard a Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department truck for the parade. There is no pre-registration required to be a part of the Christmas in the Park parade, just show up and join Santa in parading the streets of Ridgway.
Santa will arrive at the Hartwell Park gazebo at approximately 6 p.m., where children will have the opportunity to share their wish lists and have their photos taken with the big guy. There will be hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and a special toy for each child.
To keep the hands warm and the toes toasty, the traditional bonfire will be roaring in the adjacent parking lot. And, as usual, a number of Ridgway retail stores will be staying open extra-late for those looking to do some holiday shopping. During the celebration, Lane and Carrie Lynn will be performing their music at the new Schoolhouse Emporium, with refreshments being served there as well.
To cap the evening, the annual holiday concert performed by the Ouray County Chorus will begin at 7 p.m. at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center in Ridgway. For more information on Friday’s celebration in Hartwell Park, call RACC Administrator Linda Lysaght at 970/626-5181.
Two Holiday Craft Shows This Weekend
For those looking for the perfect gift this season that will also support local artists, there are two different arts and crafts opportunities. The sixth annual Art and Gift Show will be held at the Ridgway Community Center on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Ouray Elks will, once again, present its holiday Arts, Crafts and Food Sale in the lodge room at 421 Main Street in Ouray from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
According to Art and Gift Show organizer Ilene Greene, the event at the Ridgway Community Center will showcase almost a dozen local artists’ work.
“There will be everything from pottery to Christmas decorations, paintings, fiber arts, and handmade lotions,” Green said. “This is a great social event. It’s a chance to get the local community out to support the local artists.”
Local artists who participating in Saturday’s show include Susan Maybach (Christmas decorations), Nina Rea (jewelry), Peg Wood (fiber arts), Greene (paintings), Rose Walsh (paintings and glass art) Joyce Withrow (Norwegian folk art), Jeannie Hooper (fiber art), Jen Riley (handmade lotions and candles), Sally Whitehead (pottery), Gay Leachman (handmade dolls), and Diane Larking (fiber arts).
Greene also said there will be a weaving demonstration along with food and refreshments.
“There are so many artists in our area,” Greene said. “We hope people will shop for holiday gifts with them rather than Wal-Mart.”
Holiday shoppers will have two days to get what they need at the Ouray Elks Arts Crafts and Food Sale. According to organizer Jim Pettengill, the event is an opportunity for any local crafters to sell their unique goods and gifts before the Christmas holiday arrives.
“So far the list of folks attending include photography, fiber arts, clothing and soft goods, jewelry, and oil paintings,” Pettengill said. “In past years we have had everything from natural wreaths to sheepskin slippers.”
New to the sale this year is food. “This year we decided to open it up for food and we will see what happens,” he said. “The turnout is entirely dependent on the weather and, so far, the weather looks good for this weekend. We are hoping to have a good turnout on both vendors and purchasers.”
Pettengill said space is still available for vendors, who can rent tables for $35. It is open to anybody who wants to display his or her arts and crafts. Pettengill said those wishing to be a vendor should show up no later than 8 a.m. on Saturday morning for set up. For more information or to reserve a spac,e call Pettengill at 970/626-4239.