It's the most wonderful....and downright busy...time of the year!  Downtown Laramie will be filled with fun holiday events and celebrations that make Laramie a truly unique place to be during this busy time.

This year's tree lighting is set for Friday, December 2nd at the First Street Plaza, at the corner of First Street and Grand Avenue.   The official tree lighting will take place at 6 PM.  The plaza will also be a perfect spot to take in all the light and beauty of the Gem City Starlight Christmas Parade when it winds its way through its route For those of you who need a reminder, you can check out the route with this document here.   If you're interested in joining the fun of the Christmas Parade, you can also use this document to register an entry.

According to Trey Sherwood from The Laramie Mainstreet Alliance, those attending the tree lighting can enjoy hot chocolate from volunteers of The Lincoln Community Center from 6 to 7:30 that night.  The Bikini Run (limited to those over 21) will start at 7 pm.

Cowboy Humorist and large animal veterinarian, Baxter Black is scehduled to put on a show at the Laramie Plains Plains Civic Center at 7:30 that night as well so there will be a lot going on around Laramie.

Kids of all ages will have the opportunity to get their pictures taken with Jolly Ol' St. Nick on Saturday, December 3rd.  The Dowtown Laramie Business Association and the Laramie Plains Civic Center  will be your hosts on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Several downtown business have open houses and special events planned as well during the lead up to Christmas.  

Make plans to attend the vendor fair at the  Laramie Plains Civic Center from 10 to 4 p.m on December 3rd. 

Events are planned almost daily from the beginning of December right up to Christmas Eve itself.  We will have coverage of all the downtown Laramie events on our sister site, Laramie Live, so check it often for all the holiday events and festivities.

One of the more exciting events for businesses around downtown will be a lighting/decorating contest amongst the merchants.  There will be judges on the streets of downtown Laramie on December 1st from 4:30 to 6 PM.  Winners will get the final results the next night at the First Street Plaza after the parade.

Judges will look for the following: originality, creative use of merchandise, design, use of theme and overall appearance. Please keep in mind, judging will take place in the evening so be sure to consider how your window looks at night.

Categories are:

Best Use of Theme

Best Use of Theme

Most Original

Creative Use of Merchandise

Best Design

Most Welcoming

Best Overall

One more note, You're invited to have your kids write letters to Santa and have them dropped off at one of three mailboxes at First Interstate Bank, the Laramie Plains Civic Center or the Laramie Boomerang offices.  They'll be accepting letters between November 29th and December 16th.

There will be many events this Holiday season, and I think that Laramie does an excellent job in making this time of year the most special.  I'm looking forward to the lights and warmth of another Holiday Season in Laramie.