The Buena Vista Christmas opening day concluded with the joining of Buena Vista first responders, businesses and community members in the annual Parade of Lights.
“I think the importance of this day is that we incorporate every aspect of town that we can,” said April Kali, the executive assistant with the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce. “We include businesses and individuals who are not members (of the Chamber of Commerce) because we want town-wide participation and unity.”
Kim Delorne, who’s family owns a private ranch in the Buena Vista area, rides her horse in the parade nearly every year.
“Its fun to decorate ‘em (the horses) once a year,” Delorne said, “It shows your Christmas spirit and gets all of the locals together [to do] something fun.”
Kali sees the togetherness the Christmas opening and Parade of Lights inspires in the community. “I think the importance of this day is that we incorporate every aspect of town that we can.” Kali emphasized. “We include businesses and individuals who are not members (of the Chamber of Commerce) because we want town-wide participation and unity.”
Kali was encouraged by the communities participation in the parade, and with the Christmas Opening in general.
“We [have] a fantastic turnout” Kali said. “I had ten organizations sign up ahead of time (to participate in the parade). However, more come that don’t sign up.” Kali said. “I would say that we are going to have around twenty organizations here tonight [to participate].”
Kali said the Chamber of Commerce contacted the local and county first responders to let them know they are welcome to join in the parade. She was quick to acknowledge the Buena Vista Police Department, Chaffee County Fire and EMS services for their participation.
“The police have been fantastic today; giving Santa an escort down Main Street” Kali said. “The fire department and EMS were fantastic as well.”
The Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center staff, who were participating in the parade for the first time, were excited to come together for the event.
Laura Abeyta, the business office supervisor for the HRRMC, spoke to the importance of being a part of the community, and not only a business in the community.
“What we at HRRMC are trying to provide is proper healthcare, but also engage in activities like this,” Laura emphasized. “What we need to do is make it known that we are there as neighbors, and as people that live in the community. We are here to help, but we are also here to be a part of the community.”
Phil Puckett, the Buena Vista Town Administrator, is happy to see events like Small Businesses Saturday, the Christmas Opening, and the Parade of Lights occur so close together.
“It’s neat to have the Christmas Opening this time of year that kicks off the season.” Puckett said. “And now, with Small Business Saturday being a week apart, I would anticipate the [BV Chamber of Commerce] and businesses continuing to tie these two things together to make it a week-long focus (on the holiday season).”