Aspen gets into the holiday spirit |

Aspen gets into the holiday spirit

ASPEN – Aspen is getting into the Christmas spirit by staging an organized effort to spread holiday cheer for the next 12 days.

The 12 Days of Aspen begins Sunday and runs until Dec. 31, ending with a blow-out on New Year’s Eve in Wagner Park, complete with fireworks, a DJ and a bonfire.

The events throughout the week include new, free and nearly free activities, including ice skating parties, carolers, Santa appearances, sleigh rides, art events, theatre productions, and more.

The 12-day extravaganza is meant to make guests feel welcome and their trip memorable. The $16,000 effort is funded by the city of Aspen, the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission, and is organized by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. The Aspen Skiing Co. also is contributing to the effort.

“We wanted to do something around Christmas because there was something missing,” said Nancy Lesley, the city’s director of special events. “We needed to give [guests] a compelling reason to come back.”

The week kicks off on Sunday with free ice skating at the Silver Circle ice rink, pizza and a DJ.

The 12-day event marks the first time that Santa has spent quality time in Aspen. On Dec. 23 and 24, from 2:15 to 3 p.m. jolly Saint Nick will be taking turns on the Little Nell with anyone who wants to join. The Skico will run the Little Nell chair both days.

Later that afternoon, the Aspen Art Museum will be at the Aspen Gondola Plaza to help kids make ornaments, which can be taken home or hung on the Christmas tree nearby. It will be lit in the plaza on Dec. 23 and 24.

Festivities on New Year’s Eve have been extended. From 5-8 p.m., there will be ice skating at the Silver Circle rink and snowmaking at Wagner Park. At 8 p.m., fireworks over Aspen Mountain will begin. From 8:30 p.m. to midnight, there will be a bonfire and a DJ. Fireworks will be set off again at midnight.

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