Steamboat Springs holiday tradition lights up the night
If you go:
What: Light Up the Night community tree lighting
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25
Where: Routt County Courthouse lawn, 522 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs — With Thanksgiving dinner digested and leftovers wrapped up in the fridge, it’s officially acceptable to welcome the Christmas holidays. And on Friday, Nov. 25, Steamboat Springs will usher in the season with the annual Light Up the Night tree-lighting event on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and will last about half an hour.
“It’s a fast and furious event,” MainStreet Steamboat Executive Director Lisa Popovich said. “If you’re late, you’ll miss it.”
The ping pong ball drop is the first local tradition of the night. Members of the Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue drive a fire truck to the event, and, from the top of the ladder, pour 200 ping pong balls into the air.
The balls fall downward toward members of the eager crowd, who scramble to claim a bright white ball. Each ball is marked with a deal to a local restaurant or store, including a two-for-one margarita deal at Cantina and one free adult milkshake from Johnny B. Good’s.
“You literally take the ping pong ball to the business,” Popovich said.
Next, the lights on the Courthouse lawn tree will be lit. About 500 cookies and 50 gallons of hot chocolate, donated by local restaurants and bakeries, will help keep attendees warm.
The Emerald City Jewel Singers will lead holiday caroling, and lyrics to non-denominational songs, such as Let it Snow and Winter Wonderland, can be found at the MainStreet Steamboat website.
Santa will also be available for visits and photos for the first time of the season at his workspace in front of the Bank of the West across the street from the courthouse.
The entire event will be even brighter than usual, thanks to Steamboat Springs City Council’s allocation for funding for 49 trees worth of LED lights along Lincoln Avenue and local lighting company Christmas Decor’s donation of lights.
“Downtown will be more lit up than it’s been in a long time,” Popovich said.
The lights will twinkle on nightly through at least the end of ski season.
From the cookie donations to the contribution of a fire truck to the merchants of Lincoln Avenue who’ve volunteered to pay for the electricity powering the new holiday lights, “lots of little elves made this happen,” Popovich said.
“It’s a great Christmas story; it’s a great example of how our community comes together,” Popovich continued. “It’s a really good time to remind ourselves that we live in a place where we pinch ourselves every day — not just because it’s so beautiful, but because we live among such incredible people.”
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