January 29, 2023

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It’s holiday season in the Central Colorado Rockies, and perhaps no other city in the region celebrates Christmas like Buena Vista (BV). The celebrations begin on Saturday 3 December with all day activities and culminate at dusk with the 2022 BV Light Parade.

Parade of Lights

The Santa Claus float was a key feature of Buena Vista’s Christmas parade, which ushered in the city’s holiday season. All photos by Henry DeKam.

Starts at 5:15 p.m. Sat. Dec. 3 from East Main (near community center) west on the Main to the Railroad. Chamber’s message to all: “Be sure to grab your coat and hot cocoa (or other libation) as we LIGHT up our town and end this fun-filled day with Santa reciting ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ just before he does.” the community tree is awakened to light.”

The parade is sponsored by JVAM, TBK Bank, Mt. Princeton RV Park, IN Bank and the First Colorado Land Office.

The grand kick-off of the city’s Christmas Day events will be hosted by the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce, City of Buena Vista, Buena Vista Heritage Museum, Buena Vista Public Library, Buena Vista High School and One Love Endurance Events.

The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce (BV) has been busy planning and organizing to make 2022 the best winter holiday year ever. From the Ugly Sweater 5K Run to photos with Santa, Santa’s Giftshop and the popular Parade of Lights, this can be a full day of fun and adventure for the whole family.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for December, starting with a popular holiday word – chocolate.

Buena Vista Christmas Opening 2022, Saturday 3rd December

The BV chocolate walk
All day Saturday 3 Dec and Sun 4 Dec
To enter, purchase a card through the BV Chamber of Commerce for $1 per card.
Pick up your playing cards at the chamber offices just off East Main Street between November 29th and December 2nd. Or playing cards are also available at the Heritage Museum (December 3rd only).

Ugly sweater 5k

Participants in the Ugly Sweater 5k will receive a ticket upon registration. This “sweet” event takes you on a stroll through beautiful Buena Vista. Get a special chocolate treat when you enter each participating store, gallery and restaurant. Once you’ve visited all the stores, you can return your game card to the BV Chamber for a chance to win CASH prizes donated by local businesses:

  • First Place: $500 from Mary Kale, Full Circle Real Estate
  • Second Place: $250 from Mona Bellantonio, Full Circle Real Estate
  • Third Place: $100 from Amber Gaston, Full Circle Real Estate.

Photos with Santa Claus
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sat. Dec. 3 at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum
Santa has teamed up with the BVHS Yearbook Club! Grab your seated and digital image for a suggested $5 donation.

Prepare your smile – sessions are approximately three minutes per family (not child). Please allow some time after your session as the BVHS Yearbook Club also offers deductions at an additional cost. Sponsored by the First Colorado Land Office.

Chili cook off
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sat. Dec. 3 at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum.
When the room fills with the scent of perfectly seasoned meat and beans, you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts at the BV Heritage Gift Shop. Most importantly, everyone can taste as much chili as they can eat and cast their vote for the winning recipe.

As the day draws to a close and the votes are tallied, one lucky person will be crowned the winner of ALL bragging rights.

Santa’s favorite workshop
10am to 4pm Sat 3 Dec at BV Heritage Museum

Whether you’re a year-round local or just up for a visit, a stop at this wonderland of unique gifts can satisfy all the special “kiddos” in your life, regardless of their age. This holiday workshop is presented by the Cloud City Toy Store.

Holiday Craft Fair
10am to 4pm Sat 3 Dec at BV Heritage Museum
This is the place to browse the creations of local artisans and find unique Christmas gifts for your friends or family – or even just for yourself.

Local author fair
12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sat. 3 December at the BV Public Library
This is the place to discover and celebrate local authors. Bring your holiday shopping list and meet published authors, buy autographed copies and enter a book raffle.

Ugly sweater 5k and fun run
Fun run from 10:00 am Sat. 3 December and a 5 km race from 10:30 am. m on the southern Main
Come out in your ugliest vacation sweater as you explore the city on foot. When you’re done, the bravest will follow with a dip in the Arkansas River for the Polar Plunge.

All 5K runners will receive a Chocolate Walk card. The youngest children (0-5 years) are invited to canter around South Main in the Fun Run, which takes place before the 5K. All young participants will be rewarded with a special holiday prize.

At the Fourth Annual Polar Plunge on December 4, 2021, a brave diver falls into the Arkansas River. Photo by Hannah Ham.


Polar jump in the Arkansas River
12:00 p.m. Sat. Dec. 3 at South Main River Park
Why settle for silver when you can get cold?

Recreation director Earl Richmond described the jump as a “marquee event”.

Test your courage with a freezing jump
while supporting toys for Buena Vista High School student council Tikes. No exercise is required, but a warm towel should probably be handy.

Featured Image: The Santa Claus float is a key feature of Buena Vista’s Christmas Parade, which heralds the city’s holiday season. Photo by Henry DeKam.

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