“It was a great turnout. It just went off without a hitch,” said Heather Rupska, executive director of the BV Chamber of Commerce. “I need to give a huge shout-out to my office staff for pulling it off. For two out of three of us, it was our first time running this.

“There was great communication with the different entities, the Polar Plunge with the town and the library, the museum, and One Love. It just all came together and I think the community just thoroughly enjoyed it.”

One of Rupska’s favorite moments was the surprise visit from Mrs. Claus, who joined Santa for the tree lighting. “I loved seeing … the joy in people’s faces, and it wasn’t just in kids’ eyes. It was in the adults’, too. It was so special.”

Though the tree was lit when Santa got to the corner of Railroad and Main, spectators still beamed as he recited “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from atop a fire engine’s ladder.

Kids and parents alike called out and waved to Santa, who returned their greetings and reached down to shake hands.

Though there’s a full year before next year’s Christmas Opening, Rupska encourages locals and visitors alike to send her their thoughts on this year’s event.

“I like constructive feedback,” she said, “either from the community or the businesses to let us know if there’s something to improve. We don’t know everything, right? So if there was something that you would like to see done differently or things that could maybe be run better, we would love that input just to continue to build on what we have and make it more and more amazing each time.”

Overall, Rupska is grateful for the community’s participation and joy on Saturday.

“I just want to thank everybody for coming out and, you know, being a part of this community and something so special that doesn’t get to happen in a lot of places. so I think we’re blessed and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

For more information about upcoming chamber events, visit their website at https://buenavistacolorado.org

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