Santa Claus is Coming to Leadville!
Holiday Season Kicks Off Friday Night
Gather up the batteries and solar arrays, strike up the band, and round up your favorite group of merry-makers as Leadville’s annual Parade of Lights makes its triumphant return this Friday, Dec. 3 on historic Harrison Avenue.
“Yes, Santa and I will be there,” Mrs. Claus confirmed to Leadville Today in an exclusive holiday interview. “We look forward to visiting with the children and hearing their Christmas wishes.” The couple will be set up at the Lake County Courthouse, but this year the event will be staged outside. City and county staff are working together to provide a safe area, taking into account weather considerations, as well as a recent mandate handed down by the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
And if Halloween’s Trick-or-Treat event on Harrison Avenue was any indication, the crowds should be thick when it comes to the holiday kick-off event and visits with Santa. The good news for families waiting in line is that Mother Nature will be providing much milder temperatures than normal for this time of year at 10,152 feet. This Friday’s forecast calls for sunshine and a high of 47 degrees. However once that sun goes down, temperatures could be below freezing with an overnight temperature forecast for 2o – so dress in layers! Fortunately, maintenance crews will be assembling a visiting area for Santa and Mrs. Claus after The Parade of Lights which should keep everyone warm with smiles, perfect for that holiday photo! Plenty of other surprises await children as Leadville kicks off the holiday season with this community-oriented event. See you on the Avenue!
Leadville’s Parade of Lights
Sponsored by the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce, The Annual Parade of Lights officially kicks off the season this Friday, Dec. 3 beginning at 6 p.m. But get there early to secure your spot along historic Harrison Avenue as businesses, community organizations, and fun-loving individuals turn it up and turn it on for the festive march down Leadville’s main street.
A long-standing Cloud City tradition, the Parade of Lights seems to get bigger and brighter each year. And this year the razzle-dazzle competition looks fiercer than ever, as the pandemic pause from 2020 just gave these lights all the more time to get charged! For those looking to participate, there’s no need to sign-up, just line-up starting at 5:30 p.m. at the top of capitol hill in front of the mining museum. The chamber’s parade organizer will instruct entries from there. As mentioned, Santa will arrive by sleigh with Mrs. Claus and be available for photos at the courthouse following the parade.
Leadville’s Parade of Lights Retrospective
Taste of Leadville Helps Food Insecure
Also taking place on Friday, Dec. 3 is the annual Taste of Leadville. Promoted as St George Church’s seasonal fundraiser, this is a ticketed event where attendees will travel up and down Harrison Ave, visiting different restaurants for a “bite” or “sip.” The event will happen in conjunction with the Parade of Lights from 5 – 8 p.m. Most of the event will happen in designated spaces within each participating restaurant. However, merrymakers should keep an eye out for St George’s new Mobile Food Pantry (a half-sized school bus) which will be parked along the avenue, showcasing its service to Leadville’s food insecure through its local programming as well as participating in the Taste of Leadville” to raise money for the cause.
Food Drive Helps Restock Shelves
With this weekend’s festivities in mind, it’s the perfect time to update readers on the success of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors food drive. Held annually during the month of October this grassroots program assures that all four of Lake County’s food distributions points receive support as the colder, winter months come on in the high country.
Thanks to Lake County Public Works Administrative Assistant Mabel Bogeart this program has thrived, now wrapping up its 15th year of helping local families put food on the tables. Here’s Bogeart’s report from October 2021:
“I would like to thank the Lake County Community and all the merchants for their true support in the Neighbors Helping Neighbors food drive. The generosity and support we have received was heartwarming and much needed during these times. This was the 15th year and it was very successful with Thanks to Friends of Twin Lakes, General Store of Twin Lakes, Elk’s Lodge B.P.O 236, Saturday’s, South Car Wash Retail Center and others for all money raised, each bank will receive $428, food and donations along with my family and friends for their support. Our success is everyone’s success, so we would like to tell you – Thanks.”
In closing for this good news story, it’s worth noting that Mabel Bogeart and countless others have served on the Emergency Services Council for years. This dedicated group is comprised of local, state, and federal representatives who meet regularly to discuss emergency situations, from the ones that may be happening now, to the ones that could impact Lake County in the future. Residents should feel confident that there is a plan in place, filed with the federal agencies that often fund the programs for many emergency situations, including food distribution. The official ESC plan includes all four distribution centers, and for good reason. For some families who may be experiencing food insecurity, access to a more convenient location or distribution schedule may be the key to putting food on the table. For others, it could be a hesitancy toward the now required digital registration for some local food programs. But the good news for Lake County is that there is room for everyone at the table and thanks to people like Mabel Bogeart, the Emergency Services Council and dozens of dedicated professionals all up and down the food distribution chain in Lake County, no one should go hungry in Leadville Today.