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The holiday traditions enjoyed by generations of Salidans return this Friday, Nov. 25, book-ended by a parade and fireworks over Salida’s famous Christmas Mountain.

Parade of Lights

Santa hangs on to the rear of Salida T-1 ladder truck ready to light up Christmas Mountain. Merrell Bergin photo

The 2022 Parade of Lights leads off the evening festivities with a “Night of the Nutcracker” theme.  Co-sponsored by High Country Bank and the Salida Business Alliance (SBA) the parade will kick off at 6:00 p.m. from Alpine Park at 5th and F Streets and move down F Street to Riverside Park.

Parade watchers will enjoy seeing floats, costumed marchers, local merchants and service groups, and possibly equine family members (or other well-behaved animals).

While Christmas Carols ring out and are live-streamed, hot chocolate and cider will be served by High Country Bank and Salida Rotary at the corner of 2nd and F Streets.

Judges will award the First Place entry in each category $50 and a trophy. Santa Claus arrives to perform the magical lighting of Christmas Mountain as the 600-foot Tenderfoot Mountain is once again transformed for the holiday season.


Fireworks set over Christmas Mountain USA, at 2021 Christmas Parade. Merrell Bergin photo

The City of Salida Fire Department has scheduled a full fireworks display on Christmas Mountain immediately following the parade. The lighting of the mountain is looked forward to every year, which can be viewed from many vantage points in and around downtown.

Holiday Park and Holiday Open House

Holiday Park is open for all to enjoy the decorated trees, as well as a visit with Santa in the Rotary Bandshell, all in Riverside Park. Locals and visitors are also welcome to stroll up the riverwalk the short distance to the Salida SteamPlant after the parade.

Holiday Park features fully decorated and lit trees, on the banks of the Arkansas River in Salida. Merrell Bergin photo

To take off the chill at the SteamPlant, enjoy hot cocoa and apple cider, free cookies, and popcorn.

The Salida High School Choir is slated to perform there that evening, and, to make a full night of it, Salida’s downtown restaurants will also be open to feed the hungry.

Safety Notes

Safety is a priority for all involved for this family-friendly event. Accordingly, as Friday unfolds, Spiral Drive on Tenderfoot Mountain will be closed at the gate to ALL traffic—vehicle, bike, walking, etc. The Salida Fire Department asks that you be aware that biking trails crossing Spiral Drive on Tenderfoot will be closed as well to ensure the safety of all involved.

Finally, during the parade itself, please note that the SBA and High Country Bank (with support from the City of Salida) remind all attendees, that to keep everyone safe, there will be no handing out of candy or trinkets while the parade proceeds. The weather for Friday is at this writing expected to be sunny, but chilling down to the mid-twenties at parade time, so multiple layers and (warm and wacky) hats are encouraged.