Lots of volunteers have combined their energies to produce one of the largest holiday events in Woodland Park. The City of Woodland Park Lighter Side of Christmas Parade brings friends and family to Midland Avenue in Downtown Woodland Park to enjoy the “lighter” side of the holidays. The 35th annual parade will take place this year on Saturday, December 2 and kicks off at 6 PM with the theme “Woodland Park’s Nightmare Before Christmas” as we celebrate this holiday favorite. Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king, decides to change up his boring routine frightening people in the “real world” and plotting to take over Christmas after he discovers Christmas Town.
This year’s beneficiaries for funds raised include the Rotary Club of Pikes Peak in Woodland Park, which has served the community for the past thirty years. A service club that works on projects that will benefit the local community and other communities worldwide, some of the current club projects include sponsor for the Children’s Literacy Site in Woodland Park and help with tutoring, delivering dictionaries to area third grade students, helping with the annual bell ringing project to benefit Teller County Salvation Army, providing annual scholarships for high school seniors in Teller County and donating to and participating in the Rotary Champions event.
The Divide Mountain Explorers are the second beneficiary this year. They are a non-profit, unaffiliated, grass-roots, local youth adventure and community service program. Much like their former team label, they “Pride Ourselves in Creating Adventurous Experiences, Encouraging Youth Leadership Opportunities, and Providing Community Service to Teller County and the Surrounding Area!” Over 26 local kids currently participate in the program.
The Lighter Side of Christmas Holiday Treasure Hunt kicks off following the first clue that came out on November 17th. A new clue is revealed to LSOC Platinum Sponsors (listed on the webpage and a week delayed on the Facebook page) every Friday for those treasure hunters searching for the hidden pumpkin. Stop in and visit these businesses each week for clues. Whoever finds the little pumpkin will receive a holiday basket valued at over $1000 with gifts provided by local businesses.
Other LSOC events include the annual LSOC Gingerbread House Contest. The Rampart Range Library District is hosting the competition again this year at the Woodland Park location. Houses can be dropped off between November 30th and December 2nd. Peoples Choice voting takes place through December 10th. Houses will be on display through December 16th. Information is at www.lightersideofchristmas.com
Mike’s Crazy Hat Contest, sponsored by Williams Log Cabin Furniture, is held the night of the parade. In honor of Mike Williams, the Crazy Hat Contest allows for parade goers to get creative with their holiday decorations, on their hat!! Williams, an avid sponsor of the parade, passed from cancer in 2009 and the event is held each year in his memory. The parade awards and Crazy Hat Contest take place at the Ute Pass Cultural Center following the parade at 7 PM.
The City of Woodland Winter Day in the Park with annual Tree Lighting annual event in Memorial Park starts on Friday, December 1st at 3:30 – 5:30 PM followed by the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting from 5:30 – 6 PM. For more info visit www.city-woodlandpark.org