A first look at Santa, seeing the star illuminating Flagstaff and watching an ice skating show — those were listed as highlights by the girls, 12-year-old Eve, 10-year-old Mary and 8-year-old Norrie.
“It's something we really look forward to,” their mother said. “It's so exciting. We just adore it.”
Today's annual event, produced by Downtown Boulder, Inc., drew a large crowd ready for a dose of holiday spirit to Pearl Street Mall.
Oklahoma's Cecyle Haley, visiting family in Louisville, came with a group that included four toddlers.
“As you can imagine, we're pretty excited,” she said. “We had to see the lights and Santa.”
The Boulder Chorale started the event by performing a selection of well known — “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” — and lesser known — “Here We Come A-wassailing” — carols, encouraging the enthusiastic crowd to sing and dance along.
Then came Santa, perched on the roof of the Boulder County Courthouse before magically appearing on stage a minute later.
The jolly old elf did the honors, turning on the holiday lights along the Pearl Street Mall and the Boulder County Courthouse, along with helping the Boulder Chamber of Commerce light the star on Flagstaff Mountain.
On the mall, the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District decorated trees with more than 35,000 LED bulbs and 300 lighted ornaments.
Once the mall was lit, the Fairview High School drum corps led the crowd to the Ice Rink at One Boulder Plaza for “Light up the Ice,” a holiday ice show starring local skaters. Following the show, the ice rink opened for a reduced price skate session.
“It's a good way to kick off the holiday season and fun for the kids,” said Broomfields' Jennifer Bragg, who came to the event with her husband and three children.