Christmas is a Golden time of year.

Olde Golden Christmas begins each year with a candlelight walk on a Friday evening* in late November or early December. 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 continues at 11 a.m. every Saturday morning (except Christmas Eve) in December when shoppers 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 !

*The 2013 Candlelight Walk will be on Friday, December 6 beginning at 6 pm. The walk will begin at Foothills Art Center, at 15th and Arapahoe Streets and will end at the Golden Visitors Center. Check here for updated information when it becomes available. Groups who will sponsor events in conjunction with the walk should submit details using the "Submit Event" Button on the main Events Page.