Parade of Lights

Santa makes his way down Main Street

What’s that ring jing jingling? Why it’s Christmas Opening, that time-honored Buena Vista holiday tradition, coming back to town on Dec. 4 and 5.

The event can be traced at least as far back as the 1970s, when local ranchers would bring horses to town that would be decorated and lent to riders to parade down Main Street, said BV native Tim Stange.

This year’s festivities will be based primarily out of the Buena Vista Heritage Museum at 506 East Main St., where events will begin around 10 a.m., Dec. 4. Masks will be required for all indoor activities.

“We want to bring each of you an event where you can celebrate the season, but also keep each other safe during this time where the COVID-19 cases are surging,” said BV Chamber executive director Melissa Traynham. “It is important to us to keep our traditions thriving, while also keeping everyone safe and healthy.”

On the brighter side, kids won’t need to turn up early to be front-of-line with their lists and requests for Santa. Instead, they will reserve a spot at

Santa will be appearing for photos and naughty list checks from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Meanwhile the Heritage Craft Fair and Cloud City Toy Store will have toys and crafts for shoppers, and a chili cook-off will offer warm eats.

Dance fever can be resolved with live musical performances, while Shavano Pharmacy will also be on site to address other types of fever with tests and vaccines.

To the east at the community center, First Colorado Land is sponsoring a free showing of holiday animated film “The Star” at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Down on the Arkansas River near Surf Hotel the Polar Plunge will be all splashes and shivers from 11 a.m. to noon.

To reserve a place at the community center film screenings, visit

To the west at the library, a local author fair will take place where attendees can purchase signed copies and enter a raffle to win free books.

And yes, Virginia, the Chocolate Walk will be taking place all in-between on both Saturday and Sunday. Participants can purchase cards for $1 at the chamber office at 111 East Main St. until Friday, Dec. 3, and then at the heritage museum on Dec. 4. Businesses will be offering sweet treats and marks for cards toward a chance to win up to $200 in prizes.

Starting from the east (precise location to be determined) and heading west to Railroad Street, the Parade of Lights is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., Dec. 4.

“This Christmas Open I think is going to be one of the best ones ever,” said the chamber’s Jon Cobb.

Full event details are available at

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