O'Brien Park was filled to capacity with festivalgoers Nov. 24 during Parker's annual mayor's tree lighting ceremony. The lighting of the tree kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and …
O'Brien Park was filled to capacity with festivalgoers Nov. 24 during Parker's annual mayor's tree lighting ceremony. The lighting of the tree kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and about 4,000 residents turned out to watch the illumination of the tree, enjoyed ice sculptures, treats from local vendors and a "Nutcracker" performance by the Colorado School of Dance.
Felicia Rouschard said she couldn't wait to bring her young son Matthew, 16 months, to see the lights.
“I've always wanted to bring my children here,” Rouschard said. “We come here every year and now, watching his face light up and how excited he gets, it really feels like Christmas now.”
Parker has plenty of family-fun activities planned for the holiday season, including the opening of the new ice trail at Discovery Park. The trail is 450 feet long and loops around the park like a frozen river, and is one of only a few in the country. Three large fire pits provide plenty of warmth for skaters, and hot chocolate is available for purchase at the concession stand. Skates are available for rent.
The Christmas Carriage Parade begins at 12 p.m. Dec. 9 on Mainstreet. The annual event includes dozens of horses and riders dressed in their finest holiday wear, and is followed by a farmer's market, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a petting zoo and pony rides for the little ones.
Downtown Parker also offers plenty of specialty shopping opportunities, as well as celebrated pieces of art throughout the town. Residents can take a self-guided tour through the public art displays using Otocast, a mobile audio app used by the Parker Arts Guild to help visitors learn more about the art and the artists.
The Colorado School of Dance will present the Nutcracker at the PACE Center Dec. 14-17, combining local talent with professional dancers and sets. Tickets can be purchased at www.parkerarts.org.