MONTE VISTA— Peace and joy were felt in Monte Vista over the weekend. The annual holiday festival was held with the theme “Bringing the peace and joy back to Christmas.”
The two-day festival began on Friday morning with a community pancake breakfast and ribbon-cutting at Kids Connection. The ribbon-cutting unveiled Kids Connection’s new sign at the facility. A surprise was held as it was revealed the building had been named “Kids Connection at the Bryning House” in honor of Bob Bryning who has been an instrumental key in obtaining funding for the new facility.
The first of two days of an arts and crafts bazaar began on Friday afternoon at the Valley Church of the Nazarene. In addition to the many unique gifts available, the Grinch was spotted spreading holiday cheer and posing for photos with children.
On Friday evening, the festival continued with the ugly sweater dodgeball tournament. The fun event was held at Ski Hi Park and hosted by the Monte Vista Recreation Department.
Saturday morning began with breakfast at Stars and Strikes. Santa Claus made an appearance throughout the morning. On Saturday afternoon Kids Connection hosted Santa’s Workshop where children kindergarten through fifth grade were able to enjoy making crafts and playing Christmas games.
On Saturday evening the events became more festive, and downtown Monte Vista became brighter for the Christmas season. The Memorial Tree was lit in memory of Madison Archuleta. This year’s tree lighting was more significant as it was reported that the event’s normal organizer Manuel Archuleta had recently been in an accident but was thankfully alive and recovering.
Adams State University’s choral group 68 West also made the evening even more special by performing Christmas carols for the crowd gathered by the tree. They performed Christmas favorites, such as “Silent Night” and “Hallelujah.”
After the tree lighting the parade of lights was held through downtown. This year’s parade also saw a bigger crowd attendance and was made more unique by having a different route and ending at Monte Vista High School. At the end of the parade Santa Claus arrived and waved to excited children.
A tailgate party was then held at Monte Vista High School. Santa Claus quickly stopped by on his way to Kids Connection and fireworks lit up the night sky.
The North Pole then made a stop at Kids Connection. Children enjoyed visiting with Santa Claus and taking a photo with him. There was also face painting and refreshments for all to enjoy.