Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade

Families gather in the streets of downtown Laramie for the 2015 Christmas Tree lighting and Christmas Parade. The 2018 Christmas tree lighting and parade is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. today at First Street Plaza downtown.

The holiday season is in full swing in Laramie, and those wanting to get festive have plenty of opportunities to do so this weekend. Whether it’s the Christmas parade, caroling, visiting Santa or holiday lights, the variety of events downtown can help even the biggest Grinch get into the holiday spirit.

Downtown Christmas Parade

Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. today in the First Street Plaza, where the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a movie and popcorn night. Lasso Events and the Laramie Soup Kitchen will also be providing hot chocolate for movie-goers.

After the movie, residents and visitors are invited to the lighting of the First Street Plaza’s Christmas tree at 6 p.m. along with caroling by Indian Paintbrush Elementary School and Laramie High School students. Shortly after, the Christmas parade will stop by the First Street Plaza on its route around town.

Laramie Main Street director Trey Sherwood said the theme for the parade, Elf on a Shelf, carries throughout downtown.

“Each year we pick a theme and ask the businesses to decorate their windows with that theme as well as the parade floats,” Sherwood said. “This provides a fun, cohesive look for the holidays.”

The parade route goes south on Second Street, west on University Avenue, south on First Street, east on Garfield Street and then loops back north onto Second Street.

After the parade, those still in the holiday spirit can go to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, 104 4th St., to get warm and sing carols.

“I love that multiple organizations, both businesses and nonprofits, come together to host events like this for the holidays,” Sherwood said. “It demonstrates how special and caring this community is.”

Breakfast with Santa

To continue the festive spirit, the 13th annual Breakfast with Santa, a fundraiser for Hospice of Laramie, is taking place from 8 a.m. – noon on Saturday at the Laramie Plains Civic Center’s southern gym, located at 710 Garfield St.

A chance for families to eat pancakes, make crafts and take pictures with Santa, the event is a fundraiser for the Hospice of Laramie. Tickets for children are $6, while adult tickets are $3.

Holiday Tea Party

Following another Laramie tradition, the Women of the Moose lodge will be hosting their 8th annual Holiday Tea Party, with proceeds going to help fill Albany County School District No. 1’s backpack for Kids program and other charities.

A donation-based program, the Backpack for Kids program helps provide weekend meals to families in need. A donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children is recommended, but not required to attend the Tea Party.

The event is from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday at the Moose Lodge, located at 409 Third St, and features holiday treats and Christmas music by local artist Trevis VanLandingham’s Rock the House. There will also be a tea pot auction.

Ivinson Mansion

Sugar Plum fairies will be dancing over people’s head during the holiday open house at the Laramie Plains Museum, located at 603 Ivinson Ave.

Coinciding with the University of Wyoming’s performance of The Nutcracker, the Laramie Plains Museum’s event takes place from 3-6 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

Ivinson Mansion will be decorated with holiday spirit, and complimentary tours will be available as a gift to the “supportive Laramie community,” according to the museum website.

More holiday events can be found at www.visitlaramie.org/plan-your-trip/events-calendar or in the briefs section of the paper.

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