Southern Colorado is known for its snowy Christmas and traditions. For Pueblo, one of the greatest destinations is the River Walk. For 16 years the River Walk has helped add holiday cheer to the city. The boat on the River Walk also offers holiday boat rides with Santa. The entire festival lasts for a month and began on November 25. The last boat ride with Santa will take place on December 23 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The lighting of the River Walk attracted thousands around the city and gave children the opportunity to meet Santa and the Grinch. The boats in the river were lit up to match the lighting around the walk, creating a glow of Christmas color.
Donated gifts were handed out to the children as well as hot chocolate for everyone who attended the ceremony. There was music from both vocalists and band members from various schools including the Salvation Army band. Once the lighting ceremony was over there were fireworks to end the night. It is estimated the there are over 30,000 lights currently strung throughout the River Walk. The River Walk will keep the lights up until the day after Christmas.
Further south, Alamosa had lights all its own. The event attracts hundreds from around the San Luis Valley every year. The parade started with a John Deer Tractor decorated to look like a reindeer, followed by multiple floats from businesses around the area. Almost every year the local schools and clubs get together and create floats.
Kodie Barr, a newcomer to Alamosa attended the parade for the first time, “It was very welcoming. As someone who isn’t from here and doesn’t know many people I felt like I was a part of the family. It was very outgoing and to see all the pretty lights was amazing. You could tell people took the time to make it vivid and fun. Even with the bad weather they made it a good show for everyone.” Locals handed out hot chocolate and treats to others as the parade continued. Barr was even allowed to take her pooch and was given a spot by the locals.
The parade featured an announcer that joked and pointed out where each float was from. Some of the businesses down Main Street stayed open in order to allow the community to stay warm and still watch the lights pass through downtown.
Although the festivities in Southern Colorado are small and come early, they involve the entire community. The festivities are about being with one another for the holidays and feeling the closeness of a giant family. Southern Colorado has their events early in order to bring families together for the holidays.