GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.—Nov. 26— There's no shortage of holiday cheer in Grand Junction, from community celebrations and performances to enjoying an outdoor adventure with friends and family. Festivities start at the end of November and continue through the New Year – here's how travelers can enjoy the holidays in Grand Junction.
Kick-off the season of good cheer with the Downtown Tree Lighting on Nov. 23 from 5-7 p.m. With a wave of his hand and a sprinkling of magic dust, Santa lights not only the tree at 4th and Main but also all the lights on Main Street simultaneously from his perch high up on the Wells Fargo rooftop. Afterwards, Santa takes time to sit down and visit with the kids before returning to the North Pole. Note: the 2019 Downtown Tree lighting is occurring on Saturday, Nov. 23, rather than a Friday as in years past.
Continue the celebration with the 37th Annual Parade of Lights presented by Bank of Colorado on Dec. 7 from 5-7 p.m. Each year has its own unique theme and 2019 is a "Comic Book Christmas." The Parade of Lights is the biggest parade of the year as thousands of people line Main Street to watch as more than 100 lighted entries light up the night.
On Dec. 13, the 24th Annual Spirit of Christmas Walk brings hundreds of folks to Downtown Grand Junction to enjoy evening shopping, live entertainment, free carriage rides and a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Downtown businesses will be open until 8 p.m. and select shops will be serving complimentary hot drinks and treats.
On Dec. 22, Absolute Dance & Performing Arts is pleased to present a holiday tradition, The Nutcracker. Five performances take place between Dec. 20-22 at The Robinson Theatre at Colorado Mesa University, Absolute Dance brings the beloved classic to life with thrilling choreography, dazzling costumes, a cast of 80 local performers, and professional guest artists, including local magician Danny Baker. Reserved seating ranges from $15-$25.
As you can see, the holiday spirit overflows in Grand Junction's beautiful Downtown. Stroll along Main Street adorned with decorated shop windows while you find the perfect holiday gift like handmade soaps, a fleece from Loki Outerwear, or a box of Enstrom Candies world-famous almond toffee.
For those who enjoy outdoor adventure with their holiday, there's no better place to stay and play than Grand Junction. Nestled between the alpine peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the countless monoliths and canyons of the Colorado Plateau, Grand Junction is a stellar location for experienced and first-time rock climbers alike. Outfitters offer climbing classes that teach the basics of rock climbing and rappelling while developing safety practices and learning equipment care as well as guided day climbs and multi-day guided trips for the more experienced climbers.
There are only a few people who know a ski resort better than its patrollers. To get an inside look at life on the mountain, as well as learning some of the tools of the trade such as safety, transporting and caring for guests on the mountain, Powderhorn Mountain Resort will pair you with a ski patroller for a day. With the "Ski Patrol Ski Along" program, patrollers double as a local guide to educate guests of all ages about the roles of ski patrol and their importance to the resort.
For those who want to do it all, it's possible to hike or bike in the morning and ski in the afternoon (or vice versa), even in December! While the Grand Mesa receives more than 250 inches of fluffy powder every winter, Grand Junction rarely receives more than the occasional dusting, providing for unlimited trail hiking year-round. With a pair of comfortable hiking boots and a light jacket, visitors can spend the day exploring. For those who aren't prepared to retire the bike for the winter season, it's possible to enjoy many of the mountain biking trails year-round as well. Even on those occasions when the ground is covered with fresh snow, fat bikes open new possibilities for those addicted to pedaling.
Whether you're in the mood for festive events and celebrations or itching for some holiday hiking or biking, head to Grand Junction for the perfect holiday escape.
About Grand Junction, www.visitgrandjunction.com
Grand Junction is the largest city in Western Colorado, located at the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers, between Salt Lake City and Denver on Interstate 70. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, the city has warm summers and moderate spring, fall, and winter seasons, allowing for incredible year-round outdoor recreation adventures. The valley in which Grand Junction resides, is larger than the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined and is 75 percent public land.
Among Grand Junction's spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the 11,000-foot Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-top mountain boasting over 300 lakes. The breathtaking 20,500-acre Colorado National Monument is also a must-see while visiting offering epic hiking, horseback riding, road cycling and picturesque views for that perfect snapshot. Surrounded by an abundance of public lands, Grand Junction is also a mecca for hunting, fishing, dirt biking, and ATV riding. Other experiences include three national scenic byways, rafting, boating, golfing, skiing, extensive public art displays, museums, and a vibrant downtown featuring creative culinary options, shopping, the Grand Junction Convention Center, and the historic Avalon Theatre. The Grand Valley is also recognized as Colorado’s Wine Country, featuring 27 wineries.
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