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Kick off Christmas in Delta Saturday

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Delta's Parade of Lights arrives a week earlier this year, just in time for Small Business Saturday. The Delta Area Chamber of Commerce has planned a full slate of activities in downtown Delta Saturday, Nov. 26. This is a great opportunity to support local merchants who pride themselves on friendly, hometown service and an eclectic variety of merchandise you won't find in the mall or online. The chamber suggests you skip the crowds and the long lines while supporting the independently-owned businesses that contribute to the community year-round.

In addition to sales and giveaways, a kids' scavenger hunt and kids' crafts are being offered. To participate in the scavenger hunt sponsored by ARC of Western Colorado, pick up a game card available at many Main Street retailers. After kids have completed the scavenger hunt, they can turn their cards in at the chamber office at 3rd and Main. Every participant will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card and other goodies.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a kids' craft area will be set up on the banquet room at CB's Tavern. Delta High School students will monitor activities so parents can do some shopping on Main Street.

Parents also have an opportunity to win some great prizes, simply by entering the drawings in participating stores. Darnell Place-Wise, chamber director, says there are gift cards of $25, $50 and $100, plus train tickets for the Durango-Silverton Railroad.

At Westminster Hall, 4th and Meeker, an ugly sweater workshop will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. to benefit Young Life. The workshop is free with the purchase of a sweater at 2nd Edition or Raising Hope; otherwise, the cost is $5 per person or $10 for a family.

Santa will be available for photos at Good Vibrations, inside the Columbine Mall at 326 Main Street, for a small fee. Columbine Mall is also hosting music by David and Tamara Hauze during the day.

Beginning at 4 p.m., Main Street will be closed to set the stage for the parade. About the same time, you might begin to spot groups of carolers. These talented vocalists are choir members from Delta High School.

While you're waiting for the parade to start at 6 p.m., keep warm with a chili supper at St. Luke's Church, 5th and Palmer, or the macaroni and cheese cookoff at the Doghouse Espresso.

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. stop by St. Luke's for an eat-in or take-out bowl of chili for $3. Add a tortilla and hot drink for $5.

The macaroni and cheese cookoff benefits the Abraham Connection homeless shelter. Doghouse Espresso, 449 Main Street, has graciously offered to host the event, which begins with tasting at 5 p.m. A $5 donation per person is suggested. Tasting is open until 6:30 p.m. Winners will be announced at 6:45 p.m.

With the closing of Main Street, a stage will be erected in the Wells Fargo parking lot. The high school show choir, a barbershop quartet, Beth Williams and some of her students will provide holiday music until the start of the parade at 6 p.m.

The theme of this year's parade is "A Kickoff to Christmas." The colorful lights, festive floats and holiday cheer are sure to get you in the mood for Christmas. The parade is always a family-friendly event, and this year it's going to be even better with a tree lighting ceremony to cap the festivities.

The chamber has handpicked a 10-foot blue spruce from Don Koppes' tree farm in North Delta. With the help of City of Delta parks crews, the tree has been balled and burlapped. After the tree-lighting ceremony it will be planted in one of the city parks.

Santa will flip the switch and light up the tree for an event that's anticipated to become a hometown holiday tradition. Elementary students have been invited to create ornaments for the tree.

The chamber says it may take a few minutes for all the parade participants to make their way back to 5th and Main, where the winners of the parade and the business lighting contest will be announced. In addition to decorating their windows, downtown merchants who have trees in front of storefronts are encouraged to string lights on those trees. City crews have already been out hanging wreaths and greenery, turning Delta into a winter wonderland just in time to kick off the holidays.

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