Small-Town America Offers Out-of-the-Ordinary, Extraordinary Holiday Celebrations -- Colorado Christmas comes alive in Mesa Verde Country®

Christmastime in the city can mean shopping, shows, and plenty of glamour. But for those seeking a small-town, old-fashioned holiday filled with charm and community spirit, southwest Colorado offers an out-of-the-ordinary experience. In Mesa Verde Country®, the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park, visitors will find – along with the park – two national scenic byways, one national forest, two national monuments, one tribal park and the largest archaeological reserve in the United States. December visitors will find small-town, old-time charm, no crowds, and stunning mountain and desert scenery.

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Cortez, Colo. (PRWEB) September 27, 2011

Christmastime in the city can mean shopping, shows, and plenty of glamour. But for those seeking a small-town, old-fashioned holiday filled with charm and community spirit, southwest Colorado offers an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

In Mesa Verde Country®, the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park, visitors will find – along with the park – two national scenic byways, one national forest, two national monuments, one tribal park and the largest archaeological reserve in the United States. December visitors will find small-town, old-time charm, no crowds, and stunning mountain and desert scenery.

Mesa Verde National Park – Luminaria Open House, Dec. 8, 4-9 p.m.

Named the best national park for families by Disney FamilyFun, Mesa Verde National Park is one of America’s greatest archaeological treasures. On Dec. 8, Luminarias will glow along the pathways throughout the Chapin Mesa headquarters area, a National Historic Landmark District, and along the trail to Spruce Tree House. Rangers will offer special evening tours of the house, one of the largest cliff dwellings in the park.

Musical entertainment will take place in the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum Auditorium throughout the evening. The museum itself, and the non-profit Mesa Verde Museum Association Museum bookstore, will be open until 9 p.m.

No park entrance fee will be charged after 4 p.m., and attendance at the open is free. Light refreshments will be available.

City of Cortez

  •     Holiday Craft Fair, Nov. 26 – More than 50 local artisans will present handcrafted wares at the Montezuma County Annex.
  •     Taste of the Season, Dec. 1 – Four Seasons Nursery will host the holiday event with entertainment, and local wines and food from area wineries and restaurants. A silent auction will benefit United Way of Montezuma County.
  •     22nd Annual Parade of Lights, Dec. 3
  •     Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 26 – The Cortez Cultural Center will host its annual event for bird-watching enthusiasts.

Town of Dolores – Christmas in Dolores, Dec. 1-20

  •     Dolores Dollars, Dec. 1-20 – Local merchants offer special promotions and cash prizes throughout the shopping season.
  •     Christmas Bazaar, Dec. 3 – The bazaar offers arts and crafts, food and prizes.
  •     Christmas tree lighting, Dec. 3, 6 p.m. – Santa will be on hand for the lighting, which will feature a Yule Log fire at Town Hall, and free candy, cookies and hot chocolate. Local businesses will remain open with special deals.
  •     Christmas lighting contest judging – Dec. 16
  •     Toy drive, Dec. 1-19 – Individuals can drop off toys for children in need at designated businesses throughout town. Distribution will take place Dec. 19-20.

Town of Mancos – Mancos Olde-Fashioned Christmas, Dec. 2-10

  •     Tree-lighting ceremony, Dec. 2 – Santa will attend, and be available for photos. The night also includes a Reindeer Run through downtown Mancos, a free kids’ Christmas movie in the community center, and celebrations at businesses throughout town.
  •     Community Christmas dinner, Dec. 9
  •     Gallery/artist receptions, Dec. 2-10 – The artist community of Mancos boasts more art galleries per resident than any other city or town in the country. Several artists and writers – including Veryl Goodnight and Louis L’Amour – maintain studios and homes in the area.
  •     Giving Tree – In the true spirit of the season, those in need can place an ornament on a tree in one of the designated businesses in town with a gift request. Individuals wishing to give can choose an ornament and make the donation of that gift. Distribution of gifts takes place the week before Christmas.

Mesa Verde Country® (http://www.mesaverdecountry.com)
Mesa Verde Country is the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. The towns of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos and Towaoc, and the entire Mesa Verde Country area, comprise the archaeological center of America.

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