Santa will be rocking around the Christmas tree Friday night as part of downtown Durango’s traditional holiday kickoff event, Singing with Santa.
It will mark the 10th year the Business Improvement District has hosted the event.
This year, the event will be held in one location at Buckley Park. During past celebrations, participants would meet at TBK Bank and walk up Eighth Street and Main Avenue and then over to Buckley Park.
The event created a safety concern for the Business Improvement District because Main Avenue has remained open to traffic during the event.
“We’ve never closed the streets because it’s a giant shopping day,” said BID Executive Director Tim Walsworth. “We want people to be down here shopping and dining and eating and having fun.”
The Lisa Blue Trio will lead the caroling this year. Participants are advised to arrive at Buckley Park by 5:30 p.m. to enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies. Santa is scheduled to arrive at 6 p.m.
At about 6:15 p.m., families will help count down the lighting of the community Christmas tree, decorated with 1,100 lights. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cameras for free photos with Santa but are limited to two photos per family.
“Singing with Santa is our favorite event of the year,” said Tanya Clegg, BID spokeswoman in a news release. “We so enjoy bringing Santa to Downtown and lighting our Community Christmas tree.”
Singing with Santa title sponsor TBK Bank will host a tent during the event to connect community members with ways to help 15 local families this holiday season.
In partnership with Housing Solutions for the Southwest, TBK will share information about how the community can bring Christmas gifts to the 15 families. Walsworth said attendees are not advised to bring gifts for the families, but TBK will share information about how to help them during the holiday season.
Walsworth said the public may be asked to make donations or be given a list of items the families may need.
For the BID, Singing with Santa is a way to bolster support for local businesses heading into the holiday season. Walsworth said the event gives families the opportunity to check out downtown shops and businesses before it starts. He said the BID hosts events for community engagement but also to get people thinking about shopping local.
Walsworth expects about 1,000 people will attend the event.
“There’s still a little bit of pent-up demand for events that folks might have missed the past couple years due to COVID,” he said. “But we expect the park to be pretty crowded.”