This year will be the last time Mayor Mike Waid will emcee the Christmas Carriage Parade as mayor. The mayor of seven years and Parker resident of 19 years said he’ll miss being the voice of one of …
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This year will be the last time Mayor Mike Waid will emcee the Christmas Carriage Parade as mayor. The mayor of seven years and Parker resident of 19 years said he’ll miss being the voice of one of the town’s biggest events.
In addition to being the emcee for the Mayor’s Holiday Lighting and Christmas Carriage Parade, Waid narrates for the Parker Chorale Christmas Concert and even dances in the Nutcracker of Parker — a local take on the classic ballet.
“The holidays are one of my favorite times,” Waid said. “The holiday stuff is always a super fun time and in Parker, no one does it better.”
But, Waid said, he's more than willing to keep coming back.
“They’re always more than welcome to ask if I want to emcee it again as a citizen,” he said with a smile following a Nov. 18 council meeting.
Here’s a look at Parker’s holiday schedule:
Mayor’s Holiday Lighting
The annual celebration to ring in the Christmas season returns on Black Friday, Nov. 29, at O’Brien Park. The event is from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
For the first time this year, a live ice carving demonstration, courtesy of Ent Credit Union, will begin after the lighting. Opening ceremonies will begin at 5:30 p.m.
“Event goers will be able to stroll around O’Brien Park and take in the sights and sounds of the holidays and participate in a fun family-friendly scavenger hunt where they may even spot an elf in a tree,” Brooke Spain, event coordinator for the Town of Parker, wrote in an email. “The evening will conclude with a drawing for a 50-inch TV courtesy of Xfinity.”
As a tradition, a group sing-along of “Silent Night,” led by Waid and the Parker Chorale, will begin the event. Waid and town councilmembers will lead a countdown to the ceremonial lighting of O’Brien Park.
The Parker Chorale and local high school choirs will provide the entertainment with renditions of holiday favorites. Performers from the Colorado School of Dance will take the stage under the O’Brien Park Gazebo as well.
The kids will get to mosey around the park and meet different Christmas characters along the way. Six ice sculptures will be displayed around the park as well. Holiday food vendors will cater the event.
For more information, visit ParkerOnline.org.
Christmas Carriage Parade
The town’s central Christmas event is back for another year. The Christmas Carriage Parade begins Dec. 14 at noon. The annual parade shuts down most of Mainstreet and part of Victorian Drive for the all-equestrian parade. There will be plenty of horse-drawn carriages, wagons, surreys and stagecoaches marching through downtown and an appearance from Santa Claus to close.
This year, the town is offering a North Pole Experience Pass, an all-access pass to the town’s Christmas events, including the petting zoo, access to the Discovery Park Ice Trail and an hour of a reserved session at the “North Pole,” aka the Douglas County Library on Mainstreet. For residents, the pass is $20. For non-residents, $23. The pass is only available to kids ages 2-10. The last day for internet registration is Dec. 13 at noon.
Of that hour-long pass, patrons will get 30 minutes inside Santa’s workshop, which has milk and cookies, crafts, activities and magic with one of Santa’s elves, and 30 minutes of Storytime with Santa, which includes a free Christmas book that Santa can autograph. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras to take their own photos.
Discovery Park Ice Trail
Parker’s favorite holiday skating spot is back as well. Ice Trail at Discovery Park reopens Nov. 29. It will be open seven days a week at the corner of Pine Drive and Mainstreet. Hours are subject to change due to weather and special events.
The Ice Trail is a looped skating route that twists and turns through Discovery Park, reminiscent of a frozen river. There will be concessions, skate rental and restroom facilities.
For kids under 10, admission costs $6. Adult tickets are $8. Skate rental is $4. The town also offers a group rate of 10 or more guests for $7.50 per person with free skate rental. Patrons can also purchase a four-visit pass for $30, which also includes skate rental and can be used for any age and for multiple people. The pass does not expire.
To read more about the Ice Trail, visit ParkerRec.com/parker-ice-trail.
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