Switches getting flipped for tree lighting events in Aspen, Roaring Fork Valley

Staff report
Crowds fill the courtyard at the St. Regis in Aspen for the annual tree lighting.
Courtesy photo

Trees are starting to light up in the valley as the holidays draw closer, and this weekend is a big kickoff for a number of tradition tree lightings and holiday celebrations in the area.

The first of the tree lightings is Friday night at the Snowmass Chapel as they light up the forest around the chapel. The seventh annual event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be on hand as 40 trees light up the night sky.

In Carbondale, the First Fridays event this month is Light Up Carbondale with the event starting at 3 p.m. as Santa’s helpers will be at the Launchpad, and the large tree on Main Street and Weant Boulevard (near the Forest Service building) will be lit up about 5:15 p.m.

Light Up Willits starts at 4 p.m. Friday at Triangle Park, and the evening will include horse-drawn wagon rides, carolers, visits with Santa and other activities.

The switch will be flipped Saturday night on one of Aspen’s tallest and oldest trees at the historic Sardy House, which is on Main Street across from Paepcke Park. The 35th annual event starts at 6 p.m. and will include students from the Aspen High School choir as well as the middle and high school bands playing on the porch.

The weekend events conclude Sunday with the seventh annual tree lighting at the Little Nell, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this season. There will be live holiday music in the living room from 4 to 5 p.m. and then tree lighting in the courtyard is from 5 to 6 p.m.

The holiday vibe continues next week at the school district with the choir and band performances.

The Winter Choir Concert for the middle and high school singers begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the District Theatre. The Aspen School District bands’ concert at the District Theatre is Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. with the fifth-grade band followed by the middle and high school band concert at 6:30 p.m.

Next weekend, downtown Basalt will light up with its Merry on Midland celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at Lions Park. The afternoon will include ornament making hosted by The Art Base.

In Aspen, the St. Regis will light up its 30-foot tree in the courtyard Dec. 14 its eighth annual event. The event, which includes their tradition of Champagne sabering, runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the tree lighting set for 5:30. The evening will include live music and the Aspen duo Boo Coo.

Aspen Chapel’s annual service of Lessons and Carols is 9:30 a.m. Dec. 15 and features the chapel’s 32-voice choir. They will sing music from around the world as well as accompanying traditional carols sung by the congregation.

The choir is comprised of both professional and amateur singers who devote many weeks to learning new works as well as perfecting some old favorites. The service is open to all at the chapel, which is located at the Castle Creek exit of the roundabout.

Hanukkah begins at sundown Dec. 22, and the annual community menorah lighting and Festival of Lights are in Basalt that evening. The Aspen Jewish Congregation will host the event, which starts at 5 p.m. near the fountain at Triangle Park in Willits.

In Aspen, the Chabad Jewish Community Center will host its Gelt & Dreidel Drop at 5 p.m. with the help of the fire department. The chocolate coins will be tossed to the children from one of Aspen’s fire trucks. A Chanukah dinner will follow at the center (435 W. Main St.).