Boulder didn’t get to gather for its annual late November holiday lights celebration, and youngsters won’t get to visit St. Nick on the Bricks downtown.
The originally planned Lights of December motorcade has since been canceled due to rising coronavirus cases and a fear on the part of organizer Downtown Boulder that it would be too difficult to prevent people from gathering.
Still, despite the cancellations, plenty of events will continue this holiday season, albeit hosted virtually or in a different manner than previous years.
Downtown Boulder and the Parks and Recreation Department partnered to create a self-guided holiday lighting tour called Snow Much Fun that takes people through downtown and the Civic Area. Downtown Boulder also is hosting Letters to St. Nick and Find Freezie Bingo where participants can win a $25 gift card from participating downtown businesses by finding five “Freezie” snowmen and hitting bingo.
“It’s such a great way to support our local community and enjoy that holiday feeling while staying safe,” Downtown Boulder Vice Presidents of Events and Marketing Anna Salim said.
Likewise, the Boulder Jewish Community Center is hosting a number of virtual events that are free and open to all. The annual Menorah lighting, typically downtown on the Pearl Street Mall, will now be done in someone’s home and streamed online on Dec. 10, the first day of Hanukkah.
For those at the Boulder JCC, it was important to continue hosting celebratory holiday events, given the atypical year.
“Celebrating and bringing people together for holidays and building community is an important part of what we do at the Boulder JCC,” Senior Director of Programs Nancy Lipsey said.
Nine months into the pandemic, the Boulder JCC has learned a lot about hosting virtual events. Virtual cooking classes have been a big success, so the center will be hosting several Hanukkah ones.
“We’ve figured out what works in the virtual sphere,” Lipsey said. “We’ve applied a lot of those lessons for the programs we’re doing for Hanukkah.”
Downtown Boulder created a page highlighting other community events that will be held virtually or in a COVID-safe manner “to make sure people feel like they have that opportunity to do holiday festive things even in this environment,” Salim said.
In addition to events at Boulder JCC, Grace Commons Church is hosting several events such as a virtual Christmas Art Show that is ongoing until Jan. 2, a virtual Glory of Christmas concert on Dec. 19 and the “Silent Night Howl” on Dec. 24 in which people are invited to light a candle and sing Silent Night or let out a howl on Christmas Eve.
For a full listing of community holiday happenings, visit boulderdowntown.com.