Holiday Festivities Abound In Telluride

Decorated with colorful ornaments, white lights, fresh garland and red bows, Telluride sets the stage for a picture perfect holiday vacation. From skiing with Santa to a torchlight parade to festive parties, Telluride offers an action-packed line up of holiday events for the whole family.

The town of Mountain Village lights up with holiday cheer during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 19 in Heritage Plaza. Students from the Mountain School sing carols adding to the festive ambiance while merchants in the Mountain Village encourage last minute Christmas shopping with special discounts throughout the evening.

Santa visits the Telluride Conference Center (in the Mountain Village) from 1- 4 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, and 23 for free holiday pictures. All the good little boys and girls can take photos with good ole St. Nick and his elves atop an antique sleigh.

After taking their picture with Santa, children can indulge their sweet tooth decorating holiday cookies Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 20-21 from 1-4 p.m at the Telluride Conference Center. Sugar cookies, frosting, and a variety of colorful sprinkles will be provided at no charge. Refreshments are also available.

What would the holidays be without those traditional holiday songs? The music gets rolling during WinterSing, Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m at the Conference Center. Telluride’s finest performers serenade the audience with seasonal favorites. Tickets can be purchased at www.tellurideticket.com

Music afficiandos can also enjoy the Sheridan Opera House’s 2003 Holiday Concert Series, starting Saturday, Dec. 20 with the earthy sweet acoustic sounds of Tuck & Patti. Saturday, Dec. 27, brings songstress Kelly Hunt to the Opera House with her unique mix of stimulating soul and passion. Shawn Colvin lights up the stage on Sunday, Dec. 28 with a night of story telling and smooth acoustic sounds. Peter Cincotti returns to the Sheridan Opera House Monday, Dec. 29 with a show stopping piano performance. A very special performance by Yugoslavia concert pianist Marina Arsenijevic on Tuesday, December 30 benefits the Just For Kids Foundation.

Over the holidays, Santa flies his sleigh to the Telluride Ski Resort for his annual ski vacation. On Dec. 24 and Christmas Day, Dec. 25, Santa carves up the slopes on Lift 1, 4 and 10 and will hand out candy to everyone who has been nice. Before he heads back to the North Pole, Santa will be available for photos at Gorrono Ranch the day before Christmas from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Christmas Eve festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the Torchlight Parade. Skiers illuminate Telluride’s slopes as they carry torches down Coonskin and Telluride Trail. There are many great places in town to view this glowing parade including Pacific Street, Main Street and Columbia Ave. Guests can test their luck at Telluride Academy’s Casino Night, Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The Wyndham Peaks transforms into a swanky casino for this pre-New Year’s celebration which benefits the Telluride Academy. Tickets are $100 per person and $200 per couple. Babysitting is available at the Mountain School for $40 per child, multiple child discounts apply. Call (970) 728-5311 for more details.

With a wide variety of events on New Years, guests might have difficult time deciding how to celebrate the start of 2004. The action begins at 6 p.m. with a torchlight parade on both sides of the mountain. A spectacular display of holiday fireworks follows at 7:15 p.m. in Mountain Village. The

Sheridan Opera House hosts a New Year’s Eve Gala at 9 p.m. This Sheridan Arts Foundation fundraiser includes a performance by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, dancing, champagne, hors d’oeurves and dessert. Tickets are $100 per person general admission and $500 per couple for reserved balcony tables. Partygoers gather on Main Street just before midnight to ring in the New Year with live music on the courthouse steps.

The celebration continues New Year’s Day at Gorrono Ranch, Telluride’s mid mountain restaurant where guests enjoy Bloody Mary’s while relaxing on the sunny deck of Gorrono Beach.

Skiers and riders dreaming of a white Christmas can take advantage of the Holiday Spirit package which includes six nights lodging and five days skiing starting at $866 per person. Price includes daily continental breakfast and apres ski, valid Dec. 25, 2003 through Jan. 4, 2004 (tax not included, some restrictions apply). For reservations, call 866-287-5016 or book a customized package at tellurideskiresort.com. For more information about events, contact Telluride and Mountain Village CVB at 970-728-3041 or the Telluride Ski Resort at 970-728-7432.

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