Mountain Mix

December 2015 Mountain Mix – The Best of All the Rest

December 1-January 4
Santa’s North Pole Adventure & Santa’s Lighted Forest Train
Santa returns to pass out more presents and treats on Santa’s North Pole Adventure trains at the Georgetown Loop Railroad through Jan. 4. Join Santa and his helpers aboard decorated, enclosed, heated coaches on weekends through Dec. 14, then daily through Dec 24. After the holiday, from Dec 26 though the Jan. 4, except Jan. 1, Santa comes back and to pass out goodies to the little ones. Santa’s Lighted Forest Train is offered evenings through December and allows riders to relax from shopping endeavors and enjoy beautiful, synchronized holiday music and light show in the forest above Georgetown with Santa and his helpers in enclosed, heated coaches. Visit or call 888-456-6777 for more information.

December 3
Author signs, discusses new book
Dr. James Pickering discusses his new book, “The Rocky Mountain National Park Reader,” shares its highlights and signs copies in an Estes Park Museum program, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. The book looks back upon many of the important people and events of Rocky Mountain National Park’s first century as well as ahead at several of the pressing issues with which the park’s current and future stewards must contend. It is available for sale in the Estes Park Museum Shop, 200 4th St. in Estes Park. For more information, visit or call 970-586-6256.

December 5
‘Earth Analogs’ presentation
The Coal Creek Canyon Sky Watchers meeting on Dec. 5 at the Coal Creek Canyon Improvement Association Hall, 31528 Hwy. 72, features “Earth Analogs: Using What We See Here to Explain What’s Out There” by local Sky Watcher and NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador John Williams. A space buff since he was a boy, Williams will take participants on a tour of the geology of the solar system using stunning imagery of Earth and images from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Viking, Cassini, Galileo and Voyager. The conditions found on other planets can also help explain what could happen on Earth. Sky Watcher Leonard David will also provide a brief monthly update on current international space exploration missions. Telescopes will be out, weather permitting. Visit to learn more. To get on the list for future meetings and Star Parties, e-mail or call 303-494-7677 to leave a message with e-mail or phone number.

December 5-6
Demo Days
Winter Park’s free Ski & Snowboard Demo Days, Dec. 5-6, features some of the best manufacturers in the industry giving skiers and riders a chance to try new equipment. A variety of manufacturers will be on hand at the base of the Zephyr Express lift to introduce new products. Participants must be 18 years or older with a valid drivers license, or with parental consent. Registration takes place from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and demos are in one-hour increments. For more details, contact the Winter Park Guest Information Hot Line at 970-726-1564 or visit

December 7
Colorado-Big Thompson Project presentation
The Estes Park Museum’s Curator of Collections Naomi Gerakios Mucci shows recently digitized footage of workers on the Colorado-Big Thompson Project at the next Meet Me @ the Museum event on Dec. 7 at 1:30 p.m. The massive water project collects and delivers more than 200,000 acre feet of water each year from melting snow in the upper Colorado River basin west of the Continental Divide. The project moves water through a 13.1-mile tunnel beneath Rocky Mountain National Park to more than 640,000 acres of farm and ranch land and 860,000 people. The Estes Park Museum is located at 200 4th St. in Estes Park. For more information, visit or call 970-586-6256.

December 8
Merry & Bright Christmas Shaker Cards
Learn to create handmade “snowglobe meets Christmas” cards that “shake, sparkle, and shine with fun.” The Merry & Bright Christmas Shaker Cards class, Dec. 8 from 5-7 p.m. at the Georgetown Heritage Center, 809 Taos Street in Georgetown. Participants will create 18 fabulous, yet easy, shaker cards. Learn to stamp and assemble three designs including a shaker joy card, a snow-filled tree card and a merry and bright star card. There will be enough supplies to complete six of each design. The class is $10 and materials are $40. Register in advance or learn more at, call 303-569-0289 or e-mail

December 12
Wildlife and Winter Hike
Join Boulder County Parks & Open Space volunteer naturalists for a hike at Heil Valley Ranch Open Space, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon, to observe seasonal changes and to discover how wildlife in the foothills prepares for winter. Participants will learn about behavioral and physiological adaptations to the shortening days and cooling temperatures, and also look for signs of wildlife that are active year-round. For additional details, visit, call 303-678-6200 or e-mail

December 13
Sugarloaf Holiday Fair
Support the volunteer fire department while browsing the handmade arts and crafts from more than 20 local artisans at the Sugarloaf Holiday Fair, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the lower Fire Station No. 2, 1360 Sugarloaf Road. The free event also includes a bake sale, children’s activities and a silent auction. For more information, e-mail

December 16
Celebrating Jane Austen
Teens and Adults can celebrate Austen Day with a screening of the movie “Becoming Jane,” starring Anne Hathaway as the witty and lovestruck Jane Austen, at the Estes Valley Library, 335 E. Elkhorn Ave., on Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. “Becoming Jane” is the untold romance that inspired the novels of one of the world’s most celebrated authors. There will be tea and Austen-inspired treats, too. Visit or call 970-586-8116 for more information.

December 19
Santa visits A-Basin
Celebrate Christmas a few days early with the A-Basin family on Dec. 19. Santa will be making an appearance from 10 a.m.-noon in the base area and taking turns with his elf and anyone who wants to join him on the slopes. The Summit Chorale Society will also be spreading cheer throughout the Base Area Plaza and A-Frame with Christmas carols. Visit or call 888-272-7246 to learn more.

December 19-20
Winter Solstice ceremonies
Join The StarHouse ministers, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. to honor the turning of the season at the annual Winter Solstice celebrations. Through song and dance and the dark quiet, attendees honor and bring balance to ourselves and the planet at the adults-only event, Dec. 19, at The StarHouse, 3476 Sunshine Canyon. A Family Solstice takes place at The StarHouse, Dec. 20 from 4-5:30 p.m. The event is a cozy, family-friendly,and low-key celebration with a Solstice story, yule log, snacks and hot cider and paper lanterns to take home. All ages and all kinds of families are welcome to join the circle as StarHouse honors this seasonal deepening and welcome to winter. Events are open to the public and cost $15. Visit or call 303-245-8452 for more details.

December 19-January 3
Christmas in 1915
This holiday season, from Dec. 19 to Jan. 3, prepare for a journey into the past when the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park goes back in time to Christmas in 1915. Guests who stay during the holidays will “travel back in time” to the early days of pioneering and exploring the Rocky Mountains. Participate in creating family keepsakes by learning about preservation, craft your own ornaments, snowshoe into the national park, listen to history lessons, take your family photo in our vintage postcard cutouts, go on a guided RMNP centennial hike, watch history reenactments, and tour the Estes Park Center to see and learn from many history photos on display. To reserve a stay, call 888-613-9622 or make a reservation online at

December 24
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, Dec. 24, is one of the most beloved Winter Park traditions. The free event begins with Christmas carols around the bonfire at the base of Winter Park Resort, next to the Zephyr Lift at 4 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders begin their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus and his helpers. A fireworks display and snowcats adorned with Christmas colors light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation to conclude the festivities. Immediately following the show, at 6 p.m., visitors may attend Christmas Eve interdenominational services in the lower level of the Balcony House and Catholic Church services in West Portal Level 4. Before the parade, from 1-5 p.m., hang out with Santa in the Village Gazebo, listen to Christmas carols performed live by What the Dickens? Carolers!, enjoy make-and-take holiday ornaments and a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Santa himself. Visit or call 970-726-1564 for more information.

Donate food, gifts, more to Blue Santa program
Every holiday season, the Blue Santa program collects non-perishable food, gifts and hygiene products for disabled, shut-in and elderly Estes Park community members that need a little extra holiday cheer. Sponsored by the Estes Park Police Department Auxiliary, it is anticipated the program will assist 60 to 80 people, and it’s not too late to nominate someone in need of assistance.

Blue Santa donations will also be accepted Nov. 9 – Dec. 7 at the following locations: The Estes Park Senior Center, The Estes Park Visitor Center, Bank of Colorado, The Country Market in National Park Village, Estes Valley Library, Med X, Rocky Mountain Health Club, Rocky Mountain National Park, Bank of Estes Park, Premier Members Credit Union, Safeway, Estes Park Medical Center, U.S. Bank, Rambo’s Liquor, Animal Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Discount Liquor, Mountain Dew Liquor, Spur 66 Liquor Store, Good Samaritan Society – Estes Park Village and Estes Park Town Hall. More locations will be added, and many locations will collect monetary donations that allow the Police Auxiliary to purchase food and gifts to supplement donated items. Every penny donated will be used to fund items for Blue Santa recipients. Donations will be delivered Dec. 12 to all Blue Santa recipients.

To nominate a disabled, shut-in or elderly community member in need, please contact Commander Corey Pass at 970-577-3828 or

For more information, contact Commander Corey Pass at the Estes Park Police Department, at 970-577-3828 or To receive Town news in your email inbox, visit More Town news is available at or

Originally published in the December 2015 issue of the MMAC Monthly

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