This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s the one week that brings out the kid in all of us as Boulder City ushers in the holiday season with a flurry of festive activities. I can’t wait.
How can you not look forward to it? There is something for everyone. There will be music, lights, families, shopping and even time to reflect on the meaning behind Christmas. I’m sure even Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch could find something to like.
Aside from the colder temperatures, or perhaps because of them, you can feel it in the air. There’s a sense that something big is just around the corner.
Maybe it’s because of all the decorations sprouting up throughout town, but it just could be the accumulation of people’s anticipation of holiday traditions that has folks smiling more and seemingly happier.
Just days after the start of December, the city ushers in the month’s celebrations with tonight’s Luminaria and Las Posadas. Re-creating Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Christ, the event draws a standing-room-only crowd.
While the other events are more social, this one allows time to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and community. It’s that sense of being together and sharing something special that is part of the reason why spending the holidays in Boulder City makes us so giddy with joy and why we don’t make plans to be anywhere else this week.
To top it all off, Santa Claus makes his big appearance in town.
He’ll stop by Frank Crowe Park on Friday night — accompanied by Mrs. Claus and Jingle Cat — to help light the town’s giant Christmas tree.
This year, the tree should be especially beautiful. I happened to run into the city’s electrical crew — Frank Apeceche, Damon Butler and Jarrod Lindquist — as they were setting up the lights, and they told me they had been working on a new design for the tree this year.
After an unfortunate incident that removed the top of the tree, they arranged to have a tree-shaped topper created. Now, under the giant star will be a conelike structure with strands of lights hanging down.
The lights on the tree will be hung vertically, while the trunk will be wrapped in lights as well. It should be spectacular and when lit at night will look like the entire tree — including the missing top — is decorated for the season.
Saturday is the big day. From early in the morning until well after sunset there will be holiday festivities galore.
The Doodlebug Bazaar is one of my favorites, and I know I’m not alone in this. The creativity of the crafters is inspiring, and I know I will be sure to find that one-of-a-kind item that will make the ideal gift for a particular somebody.
Then the day ends with Santa’s Electric Night Parade and the boat parade at Lake Mead. Despite the sometimes-chilly temperatures, the enthusiasm of participants and spectators alike warms the heart and soul. There’s just something about seeing cars, floats, bands and equestrians marching down the street that makes all the worries of the world disappear.
Shopping followed by parades. I’m in heaven.
Of course, there will be plenty of candy canes and hot chocolate served throughout the celebrations. And s’mores, too.
Indulging our senses and letting the spirit of the season remind us of the childlike wonders of the holiday is why there’s no better place to be this week.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.