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After a year of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Salida’s holiday traditions have returned with renewed energy and plenty of reasons to celebrate this year. For a county and a town that welcomes visitors, this is excellent news for residents and the business community alike.

Christmas Mountain USA in Salida with historic caboose in foreground at F Street turnaround. Merrell Bergin photo

Salida’s Holiday Parade of Lights

Hosted by the Salida Business Alliance, the Parade of Lights is back this year on its traditional day; the day after Thanksgiving, on November 26. It will start on Fifth Street and continue down F Street to Sackett Street and showcase many local businesses and organizations.

Santa will be joining the Salida Fire Department’s float this year, where he will light S Mountain from the fire truck, officially transforming it into Christmas Mountain for the season.

Holiday Park

In 2020, the Salida Sunrise Rotary Club (SSR) took over managing the beloved Salida tradition of Holiday Park. Starting on Thanksgiving and lasting throughout the holiday season, Riverside Park is transformed into a winter wonderland where residents and visitors can stroll sidewalks lined with elaborately decorated trees.

An organization, business or individual sponsor each tree. All funds raised from these tree adoptions help provide scholarships to Salida High School students and local individuals pursuing higher education. This year’s event includes a Polar Express theme and for the first time, a do-it-yourself photo opportunity will be set up at the park’s bandshell.

Santa will not meet with individual families in Holiday Park for safety reasons but will spread cheer nonetheless. Downtown shops and galleries will stay open for extended hours, and local restaurants and bars will be bustling.

Christmas Mountain will Shine over the City

Salida’s iconic holiday light display, nicknamed Christmas Mountain, will once again shine over Salida throughout the holiday season. This 750-foot-tall Christmas tree, made of more than 4,500 brightly colored LED bulbs, is the largest Christmas tree in Colorado and officially transforms Salida into Christmas Town. It’s been a local tradition and holiday attraction since 1989.