OCCA turns on lights for Christmas season, announces schedule of activities for Santa

       The Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) commercial group has announced its plans for Christmas.

A view west along the south side of Colorado Avenue shows one of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) garland lights that Springs Utilities volunteers recently wrapped around light poles in the shopping district, as well as the multicolored lights in the large spruce "Christmas Tree" at the corner of the Old Town Plaza. The OCCA plans to turn its Christmas lights on nightly through the holidays. A special lighting ceremony has been scheduled for Nov. 24 in Old Town Plaza, although at presstime no request for the plaza's use had been presented to its governing board.
Westside Pioneer photo

       These include the traditional Santa Claus in the Bancroft Park cabin starting Friday, Nov. 27, as well as Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 5 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Thunder & Buttons.
       The OCCA also has started turning on its strands of multicolored lights in the large spruce tree beside Old Town Plaza and on garlands wrapped around poles between 24th and 27th streets along Colorado Avenue.
       An “official Old Colorado City Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony” is scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 4 p.m., in the parking lot of the Old Town Plaza at 25th Street and West Colorado Avenue. However, approval for this activity is still needed from the Old Town Plaza board (see adjoining story).
       OCCA gives the title, “It's Christmas in Old Colorado City” to its promotions for the holiday season.
       An added Santa perk this year will be the offer of a free 5-by-7 photo for each child who visits him, according to OCCA President Charles Irwin. An Old Colorado City photography business will process each photo over a one-hour span, thus giving visitors a chance to visit the shops while they wait, he said.
       Santa's dates in the cabin will be Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 5-6, 12-13, and 19-24. The times will be noon to 5 each day except Christmas Eve, when he will get off at 4 p.m.
       Irwin thanked Colorado Springs Utilities volunteers for recently putting up the OCCA's garland lights. The lights on the spruce tree had been left up since last year. To be on the safe side, Irwin said that board members recently checked for problems in the tree and found no electrical issues (despite the year-long exposure) except for a plug that had to be replaced because of “squirrel damage.”
       Irwin had previously announced that the OCCA would have less money to spend on Christmas this year because of tight finances. However, he said the group experienced significant saving in bringing in a new Santa.
       In related Old Town activities... The Unforget-table Images photography business, 2501 W Colorado Ave #109, will provide free services through Dec. 10 for “all military families with deployed family members,” a press release states.
       Also, the Colorado City Creamery, 2602 W. Colorado Ave., will be a Westside turkey drop for Care and Share. “Bring a turkey to the Colorado City Creamery during the week of Nov. 16 and receive a single ice cream cone for free,” a press release states.

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