Multitude of seasonal events on Westside

       The Christmas season will offer a range of entertainment opportunities on the Westside.
       The most prominent events are:
  • Christmas Stroll in Old Colorado City, Nov. 29.
  • Candlelight Tour at the Bear Creek Nature Center, Dec. 5.
  • Full Moon Hike at the Garden of the Gods, Dec. 5.
  • Holiday Tour of classic B&Bs and other locales, Dec. 7.
  • Holiday Evening at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, Dec. 13.
  • Additional activities in the OCC Historic Shopping District (weekends until Christmas).
  • Musical/stage performances by students at Westside public schools (various December dates).

    Colorado Springs Victorian Society singers were among the entertainers at the first-time Christmas Stroll in Old Colorado City in 2013 and are scheduled for an encore at this year's event Saturday, Nov. 29.
    Westside Pioneer photo

           For the second straight year, people are invited to walk casually through Old Colorado City on the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving.
           That's another way of saying that the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group is once again sponsoring the Christmas Stroll. Planned Nov. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m., it will offer performers, historical characters and different activities along seasonally decorated Colorado Avenue between 24th and 27th streets. Most of the stores should be open.
           A list from event organizer Pam Gressett includes the following for the Stroll:
           - Old Town Plaza - Ross Trottier (guitarist).
           - Strolling - Old Colorado City Library carolers, historical characters and Colorado Springs Victorian Society singers.
           - Bancroft Park - Miss Kiddee & Friends (interactive kids' activities).
           - 2400 block, south side, Pikes Peak Youth Ringers (live music).
           - 26th and Colorado (northwest corner) - William Wallbaum (guitarist).
           - Institute for Cultural Communicators Chapters from the Mountain Area acting and drama team (Jives Coffee Lounge).

           The library singers are schedued to join the event from 5:30 to 6 p.m., climaxing a cookie-decorating activity starting at 4 p.m.
           Last year's inaugural Stroll proved popular, with hundreds of visitors on the Old Colorado City streets.

           Bear Creek by Candlelight
           An annual fundraiser for the Bear Creek Nature Center, “Candlelight” will be Friday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. Included will be music performed by Peppergrass, live animals, family activities, refreshments and a “candlelit trail walk along Bear Creek with Santa Claus,” a press release states. A donation of $3 per person, $10 per family is requested at the door.

           Full Moon Hike
           This annual guided walk, scheduled on the full moon during the holiday season, covers about two miles of trail in the Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch. This year, it will be Friday, Dec. 5.
           A fundraiser for the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center and the Trails and Open Space Coalition, multiple guided hikes will be offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting place is the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center, 1850 N. 30th St.
           Donations are requested.

           Holiday Tour
           Five Westside locations, plus three in Manitou and one downtown, will be ready for visitors Sunday, Dec. 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the 20th annual Holiday Tour to benefit the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).
           All the locations will be historic - either in building age or in what used to be there - and decorated for the occasion.
           Tickets cost $15 before Dec. 1 and $20 after that. For more information, call the Old Colorado City History Center at 636-1225.
           Of the five Westside locations, three are new to the tour:
           - 2South Wine Bar, 2 S. 25th St. (1891, the Templeton House, once the private home of Colorado City developer Henry Templeton).
           - Old Colorado City Welcome Center, 2324 W. Colorado Ave. (1899, formerly a grocery store and residence, now the OCCA headquarters and tourist greeting facility).
           - Lorig's Western Wear, 2612 W. Colorado Ave. (1904, originally Jacob Schmidt's Saloon).
           Westside sites returning to the tour are:
           - Old Town Guesthouse, 115 S. 26th St. (1997, built with brick to mirror the 1890s city jail/city hall on the site that had burned down in 1990).
           - Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St. (1890, built as a Baptist church; the OCCHS bought it and turned it into a museum/ meeting hall/ bookstore in 1997).

           Other offerings on the tour will be the:
           Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast (B&B), the Historic Onaledge B&B, Rockledge Country Inn, Red Crags B&B, all in Manitou; and the Hager Home in downtown Colorado Springs.

           Holiday Evening
           An annual celebration of old-time Christmas, Holiday Evening will be at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Saturday, Dec. 13 from 4 to 8 p.m.
           Admission is $8, with discounts for seniors and children, which includes all activities and house tours. The 230-acre ranch is off Gateway Road at 30th Street.
           An 1800s-style St. Nicholas will be in the Carriage House. Also featured, according to the ranch calendar, will be “jingle-bell wagon rides, old-time musical entertainment, lantern-light tours to the 1860s homestead cabin, blacksmithing demonstrations, a barn dance, Victorian celebrations in the 1880s Rock Ledge House and Edwardian festivities in the 1907 Orchard House.”

           Other OCC seasonal
           Also sponsored by the OCCA, activities including Santa, kids' games, occasional street music and carriage rides will be Nov. 28-30 and from then on every weekend, plus Christmas Eve.
           Each of those days Santa will be in Bancroft Park's Garvin Cabin, with an opening time of 11 a.m and ending time of 4 p.m. (except Dec. 24 at 3). There are fees to visit Santa and to take carriage rides.

           School shows
           Each of District 11's Westside schools will present seasonal student musical performances in the weeks leading up to the end of the first semester Dec. 20.
           Below is a chronological listing. Except where indicated, all shows are free and at the respective schools.
           Dec. 4
           6 p.m., Midland Elementary, 2110 W. Broadway St. Band and orchestra.
           7 p.m., Coronado High, 1590 W. Filllmore St.. Orchestra.
           Dec. 5
           6-8 p.m., Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning, 2510 N. Chestnut St. Winter festival.
           Dec. 9
           6:30 p.m., Holmes Middle School, 2455 Mesa Road. Orchestra.
           7 p.m., Coronado High. Jazz band.
           6:30 p.m., Jackson Elementary, 4340 Edwinstowe Ave. Musical (grade 5).
           6:30 p.m. Bristol Elementary, 890 N. Walnut St. Musical - “The Nutcracker” (grades 3-4).
           Dec. 10
           6:30 p.m., Holmes Middle School. Concert band.
           Dec. 11
           6:30 p.m., Howbert Elementary, 1023 N. 31st St.. Band and orchestra.
           7 p.m., Coronado High. Wind ensemble.
           Dec. 15
           6:30 p.m., West Elementary, 25 N. 20th St. Band and orchestra.
           6:30 p.m., Holmes Middle School. Choir.
           Dec. 16
           6:30 p.m., West Middle School, 1920 W. Pikes Peak Ave. Choir and orchestra.
           7 p.m., Coronado High. Choir. $3 beforehand (tickets available at school business office), $4 at door.
           Dec. 17
           6:30 p.m., Jackson Elementary. Band and orchestra.
           7 p.m., Holmes Middle School. Jazz band.
           Dec. 18
           6:30 p.m., Howbert Elementary. Winter program, “December Gifts” (grades K-2), at Coronado auditorium.
           6:30 p.m., West Middle School. Band.
           Dec. 19
           1:45 p.m., Bristol Elementary. Seasonal singalong.

    Westside Pioneer article