Town of Telluride: Holiday Prelude Kicks Off Noel Night

Town of Telluride: Holiday Prelude Kicks Off Noel Night

HP 2013 11x17 Poster_0Big holiday doings begin this week in town and continue in the region over the next few weeks til Christmas

Telluride’s beauty is legendary. Our little Victorian-era town with its one main drag is studded with charming shops, excellent restaurants and watering holes that run the gamut from martini-classy to muddy boots rustic. Around us, the mountains stand sentinel, protective and massive in their own rough-hewn grandeur. As busy as Telluride can become in heights of its summer and winter seasons, there are times when few make the excursion to shop, explore and marvel. Local merchant Ted Wilson and a dedicated group of fellow creative thinkers are working hard to change that.

While the group shares a concern for the challenges merchants face this time of year, what they discovered in their brain-storming sessions leading up to Noel Night (this Wednesday, December 4) and the Second Annual Holiday Prelude, was the desire to share Telluride’s beauty and charm – especially when we’re dolled up for the holidays – with visitors from around the region.

“I think it goes well beyond trying to get people up here to spend money,” Wilson says. “It’s a period of time where we can illuminate Telluride, not only literally, but figuratively as well. The Holiday Prelude is an excuse for us to showcase our town. Not only for its storybook setting, but also our unique character and unique people. For those of us fortunate enough to live here, Telluride is an incredibly special place. The Holiday Prelude is, simply, a desire to make Telluride just as special for our guests.”

Locals look forward with great anticipation to Noel Night, an entire day (sometimes more, depending on the merchant) of discounted shopping, delicious, complimentary food and drink, with Colorado Avenue’s street lights and shop fronts dressed to the nines. What Wilson and his merry band of volunteers conspired to do was to expand the merriment and good cheer that Noel Night instills so effectively.

While some of the committee’s ideas will not come to fruition (Santa arriving on a hang glider – not yet, anyway), Wilson was impressed with the level of creativity and enthusiasm that was brought to the table. In fact, the work leading up to Holiday Prelude was his favorite aspect of the series of events.

“I put together a Holiday Prelude committee to help pull it all together and when we meet and talk, it’s never about economic value or speculation (or studies) on how many visitors the Prelude will draw,” Wilson said. “It was great working with these talented, creative people whose only real desire is to transform the town we love into one of the coolest Christmas towns in the country. It’s a matter of pride! And piece by piece, we’re going to do it, even if we’re all old and decrepit. And if you know of anyone who has a hang glider and Santa suit we could borrow …”

Noel Night is a joyous affair, well-loved not only for its plentiful bargains and tempting snacks, but for the feeling of what seems like the entire community milling up and down the sidewalks. Even non-shoppers can join in the fun, perhaps by catching one of the six free screenings of “The Wizard of Oz,” at the Nugget Theatre both Wednesday and Thursday evenings, or waiting for their shopaholic friends at a favorite tavern or eatery.

Thanks to Wilson and his band of elves, Noel Night is just the beginning.

As the weeks unfold, Wilkinson Public Library is hosting card-making and cookie-decorating sessions. At the Telluride Historical Museum’s annual Wilson Mesa trek to the historic Schmid Ranch, you can meet, Santa, cut your own tree, and take in the stunning beauty of the surrounding mountains. The Sheridan Arts Foundation is staging the beloved family classic, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The Telluride Arts Holiday Bazaar offers hand-made, artisanal creations throughout the weekend, December 6-8 in the Telluride High School cafeteria.

There’s a ski burn and the official unveiling of the unique Ski Tree in Elks Park Friday, December 6. On Saturday, December 7, Mountain Sprouts Preschool’s annual Winter Chill fundraiser takes place at the Elks Lodge from 6:30-9:30 p.m. (Links and more info below.)

In other words, Telluride turns on the charm all month long, not just Christmas week. Wilson, along with the Holiday Prelude committee (Daiva Chesonis/Between the Covers, Adam Smith/Telluride Watch, Emily Coleman/Telluride Tourism Board, John Wontrobski/Telluride Parks & Rec), Kate Jones/Telluride Arts, and Paula Ciberay/Wilkinson Public Library), are confident that – along with the numerous events and activities all month long – Holiday Prelude in Telluride will become a cherished tradition.

For a complete Holiday Prelude schedule:

For the Nugget Theatre schedule:

For Wilkinson Public Library events:

For Telluride Historical Museum hours and events:

For Town of Telluride recreational activities and ice rink schedule:






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