Story and Photograph by Chancey Bush
As the sun set behind the mountains, darkness settled over downtown Littleton — but not for long. More than 1 million twinkling lights illuminated the trees and the glowing smiles of eager youngsters waiting for an early glimpse of Santa Claus.
The holiday spirit swept over Littleton as thousands gathered downtown on Friday night for the 30th annual Candlelight Walk and Tree Lighting tradition.
Hot cider, music and much holiday cheer were shared with families and friends, as flickering lights from candles could be seen along the sidewalks and children’s laughter echoed through the trees. The celebration started at the courthouse as Santa made his way down Main Street. One special child’s name was drawn by the jolly elf to help light the town Christmas tree.
Bradford Auto Body, Colorado Business Bank and Western Welcome Week sponsored the enchanted evening. Jennifer Rhea, vice president of Western Welcome Week, served free hot chocolate and cider during the celebration.
“This is another fun event where everyone comes together and makes Littleton feel special,” Rhea said. “It’s a sense of community and a sense of holiday festiveness.”
Melanie Schiff, mother of three, agreed.
“The kids loved it, and we will be back next year,” said Schiff.
Janet Simpson has been volunteering for the event for four years.
“It helps you get energized for Christmas,” said Simpson. “It is one of my favorite things that I volunteer for the city.”
Walt and Sue Iverson have been coming to the Candlelight Walk and Tree Lighting for more than 25 years. Even with their children grown, they still love to view the lights and embrace the Christmas spirit — though Walt’s attention to detail remained on duty.
“This year I only spotted four lights that were burned out,” he said.