Mancos will celebrate this Christmas with two weeks of events in the Creative District, starting Dec. 1.
The festivities will begin with the Rudolph Run race and end with a baking workshop at Zuma Natural Foods on Dec. 12. Several Mancos art galleries will hold special exhibits and demonstrations throughout the month, and a few musical groups will hold concerts. The Creative District is promoting the “Mancos Old Fashioned Christmas” for the fourth year in a row, but several other organizations are also hosting events, including the town government, the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and the United Methodist Church.
Many of the events on this year’s calendar will look familiar to Mancos residents. As always, the city plans to conduct a tree lighting ceremony next to the Mancos Opera House on Dec. 1, which will be followed by the arrival of Santa Claus on a fire truck. On Dec. 8 and 9, the busiest days of the event, town residents can join in caroling and carriage rides, as in previous years. But Rena Wilson, a member of the Creative District’s board of directors, said several new things have been added to its program this year.
On Dec. 9 the Creative District, which includes the galleries on Grand Avenue and artists from all over the Mancos area, will hold a “holiday arts market” at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Main Street. Wilson said it will feature work for sale from many different artists, as well as booths for organizations like the Girl Scouts and the Chamber that don’t always have a visible presence downtown. The previous night, the District galleries will stay open until 8 p.m. for a “Grand Winter Nights” event, similar to the “Grand Summer Nights” held once a month earlier in the year.
Events like the morning market are intended to draw Christmas shoppers to the District, Wilson said.
“Because there are so many different events, it’s one of our busiest times,” she said.
One gallery, HelloZark Studio, will hold its first temporary pop-up show from Dec. 8 to 10, featuring 10 local artists and jewelry makers. Another, the Veryl Goodnight Gallery, will hold a special opening for an exhibit featuring vintage dolls on Dec. 8. Wilson said that exhibit is already getting some attention from residents. Several galleries will offer workshops and demonstrations of different art styles.
“I just saw someone the other night with two little girls, and they were pointing at the dolls,” she said. “It was adorable, and I know that’s why Veryl did it.”
For the more musically inclined, the Mancos Valley Chorus will perform three concerts at Mancos United Methodist Church, and local musician Ryan Barnum will play a concert at Mancos Brewing Company. Events designed for children include a storytelling hour on Dec. 8 and 9, and photos with Santa Claus on Dec. 9.
All “Old Fashioned Christmas” events are free to the public, but artists who wish to sell work at the holiday market will have to pay a $20 fee.