Christmas is a Golden time of year.

Olde Golden Christmas begins at 6:30 pm on December 2, 2016, with the candlelight walk. Thousands of citizens and visitors start at the Foothills Art Center, and carol their way down Washington Avenue, candles in hand, to the Golden Visitors Center where local merchants and civic groups greet the revelers with hot cider, egg nog, cookies, activities, exhibits and more to instill warmth and good Olde fashioned Golden Christmas spirit. The mayor flips a switch, and thousands of lights on Washington Avenue, at the Visitors Center and along the Clear Creek Trail illuminate the night to the crowd's cheers, oohs and ahs.

Along the way and afterwards, businesses and groups sponsor special events and sales. Every year, Santa Claus is seen enjoying himself at venues up and down the avenue. And why not? Golden's Candlelight Walk is renouned as the best way to begin the holiday season.

The celebration will continue at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 3, 10 and 17 when shoppers will line the streets to watch the Olde Golden Christmas Parade wind from the Golden Visitors Center up Washington Avenue. The parade features tractors, fire engines, dog carts, mounted Santas, marching bands and more. Meanwhile, shopkeepers offer treats, music, cider, hot chocolate, visits with Santa and bargains. Dogs pull kids in carts, and there are free horse drawn carriage rides through town. Enjoy live theatre and choirs in the evenings.

Meanwhile, back at the visitors center, visitors can mail letters to Santa, buy merchandise to support local civic organizations, and share open house refreshments with old friends and new.

So skip the malls, and experience the magic of a traditional holiday celebration. Welcome to an Olde Golden Christmas !