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Downtown Durango kicks off the holidays

The Durango Business Improvement District and businesses in the heart of Durango have geared up for the busy holiday season. Here is a rundown of several events and promotions.

The holidays kick off in downtown with the annual “Singing with Santa” event. Join us the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) for this magical night in downtown Durango. Singing with Santa is sponsored by TBK Bank.

Meet between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. Friday at TBK Bank. Free glow sticks are available for the kids while they last. New this year are songbooks for Christmas caroling. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m. sharp. We will all follow Santa to Main Avenue north to Buckley Park, singing Christmas carols along the way. Once we are at Buckley Park, we will count down to the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree. BID thanks Eagle Crane for once again hanging the lights for us on the 100-foot tree.

After the tree is lit, free hot chocolate and cookies will be served, while they last. Hot chocolate and cookies are donated by Carver Brewing Co., McDonald’s, DoubleTree Hotel, Highway 3 Roadhouse, City Market, Zia Taqueria and Hermosa Café. Kids can take a photo with Santa, but parents should bring their own camera. Singing with Santa is supported by the city of Durango, Durango Party Rental, La Plata County Mounted Patrol and La Plata Electric Association. Visit DowntownDurango.org/singing-with-santa for details.

The Holiday Rewards Program also starts on Nov. 26. Thanks to the BID, Durango Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Colorado and Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center, you can get a reward for doing your Christmas shopping at local businesses. Shop at just about any BID or Chamber member business. Save your receipt for any purchase over $25. When your receipts at add up to at least $100, turn them in for a reward.

The rewards increase the more you spend. Spend $100 and earn a $25 reward. Spend $300 and earn a $50 reward. Spend $500 and earn a $100 reward. Rewards are gift cards to local businesses, and you pick your favorite from a list of 20 businesses. There are limits, rules, exceptions and other key information about the Holiday Rewards Program at DowntownDurango.org/holiday-rewards-program.

Noel Nite will be held Dec. 3. This year, Noel Nite is a merchant-led effort, and will offer deals, discounts and holiday fun at more than 80 businesses in and around downtown. The deals and discounts will be available all day, and most participating stores will stay open late until about 9 p.m. Log on to DowntownDurango.org/noel-nite for a list of participating businesses and their offerings the week of this year’s Noel Nite.

Our friends at Local First are running a Shop Local for the Holidays campaign. Local First will email shopping guides to people on their email list, and will partner with The Durango Herald on a Local Gift Guide that will be published in the newspaper and will be available online.

There are plenty of reasons to shop local, and lots of things coming to help you do it. Happy holidays to all!

Tim Walsworth is executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at timw@downtowndurango.org.