Holiday shoppers will rejoice at the fact that the Steamboat Springs annual Holidays in the Rockies event will happen over the course of not one, but three Saturdays this December. The event returns in person this year in a new location at the Depot Art Center, formerly held at Strawberry Park Elementary School.
Hosted for 30-plus years by Steamboat Creates, the organization is looking forward to bringing the event back to the Depot.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to bring it in-house and into this historic building,” said Sylvie Piquet, program director for Steamboat Creates. “We can also share exposure with the participating vendors as well as the local artists who are exhibiting in the gallery.”
Twenty vendors — selling jewelry, clothing, photography, paintings, books, honey, candles and more — will be featured each weekend and some vendors will attend multiple Saturdays.
Kristen Pappas, owner of Alpine Bee Candles, has participated in the event for two years and is looking forward to its in-person return this year.
“I really hope to reconnect with customers and vendors I’ve met in previous years, and make some new friends, too. I also hope to sell a lot of candles and help spread some holiday light,” she said.
Her booth will feature their all-natural, locally sourced beeswax candles in five different sizes.
“I’ll be bringing lots of seasonal scents like Warm Cider, First Frost and snickerdoodle, but will have an assortment of our other scents like florals, fresh scents and soothing scents as well, for shoppers to choose from,” she said.
Local author Mandy Miller will sell copies of her latest book, “States of Grace.”
“Holidays in the Rockies is such an opportunity for creatives and local artisans,” Miller said. “For shoppers, it means very unique gifts. And for local creatives it means a new audience for our offerings.”
Miller stresses the importance of shopping local.
“I think it’s important to shop local,” she said. “The problem is when people are on a tight budget like so many of us, shopping locally simply means it costs more for things that can be bought online cheaper. But – shopping locally means so many different, unique options, not just the run of the mill things, so that is where we can make a difference. And that often means local artisans who are not online, so it’s a win-win in my view.”
This year’s event will also feature a bar, a kids craft area with a free activity for kids, access to the gallery exhibits, a raffle to win several different gift baskets, and of course, a visit from Santa. He will be seeing visitors 1:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 18, as well as 2:30-3:30 p.m. Dec. 11. There is also a station where children can write letters to Santa and mail them.
Live entertainment includes caroling from the Yampa Valley Choral Society and the Emerald Mountain Strings program will also play a few songs.
Holidays in the Rockies will kick off this from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and will also be held Dec. 11 and 18 at the same times.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.