I feel like a kid again. I’m giddy with excitement and can barely contain my enthusiasm.
And it’s all because I get to ring in the holiday season in Boulder City.
I hadn’t even been in Boulder City for a month when all the holiday activities kicked off last year. It was fun and festive. This year’s events are something I have been looking forward to for weeks — or, dare I say it, months.
My excitement began building as I watched the holiday decorations go up in windows and on streets throughout town. It’s kind of like staring at all those presents under the tree and having to wait until Christmas when all the family is together to open them.
But Boulder City offers several presents for residents, and they don’t have to wait any longer to enjoy them.
The festivities get underway tonight with the Luminaria and Las Posadas. For the evening, the city’s Recreation Center will transform itself in time and place as it takes those attending on a journey with Mary and Joseph through Bethlehem as they seek a place of rest and welcome the birth of their son.
Presented by United Methodist Church with participation from local school choirs, the evening should set the stage for the next few days’ festivities.
Friday brings two holiday light ceremonies.
First is when Dale Ryan and Dyanah Musgrave turn on the lights at their home on Fifth Street for the first time. Although it is not an “official” event, practically everybody in town swings by their home sometime in December to see the decorations.
Santa Claus and Jingle Cat will help with the countdown at 5:30 p.m. when Ryan will flip the switch on. Although not many people notice — perhaps because they are blinded by the beauty and wonder of the decorations — he then goes up on the roof and waves to the crowd.
Then, there’s the tree lighting ceremony in Frank Crowe Park. There’s something magical about seeing a beautiful tree filled with twinkling lights.
The event includes an appearance by Jingle Cat, who always livens up the scene, along with musical entertainment and hot chocolate.
That’s a combination that can’t be beat, unless of course, you add in Saturday’s festivities.
There is so much to see and do, starting with the 40th anniversary of the Doodlebug Bazaar presented by the Community Club. I know the ladies in the club have been working diligently for months making plans for the event that fills both gyms at the city’s recreation center and spills out onto the sidewalks surrounding the building.
In the late afternoon — at 4:30 p.m. to be exact — Santa’s Electric Night Parade kicks off. Now I’ve seen my share of parades in my lifetime, and been in several, but this is one of the best.
It reminds me of Candy Cane Lane, a neighborhood near where I grew up that featured blocks of homes decorated for the holidays — except in this case the decorations pass by you and there are no traffic jams.
Fortunately, it looks like the weather will cooperate.
Temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-60s and there doesn’t seem to be any chance of rain , according to three weather forecasts I consulted.
It was so cold last year that even Santa, who makes his home at the frigid North Pole, had to take refuge indoors, cutting short his annual picture party at Bicentennial Park.
The celebrations continue with the American Association of University Women’s annual Home Tour next Saturday, as well as the multiple runs by the Santa Train at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
But more than all the lights, pageantry and parades, celebrating the holiday season in Boulder City harks back to a simpler time and generates a spirit of camaraderie. Smiles abound and friendships blossom. People go out of their way to help others.
You could compare Boulder City to Dr. Seuss’ Whoville. Not even the Grinch could dampen their spirits. And I doubt there’s much that keeps the city’s residents from celebrating either.
I encourage you to take time from your busy schedule to attend at least one of the celebrations in town. I guarantee it will be worth the effort.