‘Light Up Dolores’ and shop locally for Christmas

With Thanksgiving under its belt, Dolores is marching into the Christmas season with enthusiasm.

Anyone who shops at participating businesses between Nov. 26 and Dec. 21 will be eligible to win Dolores Dollars in two drawings, scheduled for Dec. 14 and 21.

Shiela Wheeler, of the Flying Pig, is putting together a “Light Up Dolores” movement to promote Dolores for the holidays.

In conjunction with the “Christmas in Dolores” shop local promotion, businesses are banding together to light up the Christmas season with clear Christmas lights that can be used throughout the year.

The new lights will be illuminated for the first time on Dec. 8. Santa will turn on the tree lights at the Galloping Goose and Town Hall at 5:30 p.m., and merchants will turn on theirs as well. There will be a “Yule log” for warmth, and hot chocolate, cookies and candy for the whole family.

The annual Christmas lighting contest will be judged on Friday, Dec. 14. The winners will receive cash prizes, so be brainstorming your best displays!

Two shopping extravaganzas are scheduled for Dec. 1. The Dolores Community Center will host its annual Christmas bazaar from 4 to 8 p.m., with more than 50 booths offering fun and unique gifts for everyone.

The “Fourth Street Girls” at the Ginger Jar, Rivers Edge, Terri’s Hair and Nails, and Art Girls Studio and Quilting will host a tea from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 1, for munchies and great deals.

On Dec. 13 at 6 p.m., the Dolores Library will offer “Storytelling with Santa” for preschoolers only.

From now until Dec. 14, the annual Dolores Toy Drive organized by Dolores Christian Child Care, Party Lite consultant Laurie McGuire, Bees in a Bonnet, Mary Kay consultant Laurie Shearer, will accept new, unwrapped toys at various locations around town. Drop-off points include Dolores Visitor’s Center, Dolores State Bank, Riverside Convenience Store and the Ponderosa.

Volunteers will distribute the toys on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Farther afield, the Cortez Cultural Center’s annual Christmas bazaar at the Montezuma County Annex in Cortez will be held tomorrow, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Cultural Center board, staff and volunteers are working hard to keep the Center afloat, so visit the bazaar to show your support, register for door prizes, and shop for handmade items and franchise projects.

Mesa Verde National Park’s annual holiday open house will be held Thursday, Dec. 6. Visitors can view the luminarias and enjoy refreshments prepared by the park’s concessionaire, ARAMARK.