In this season of joy, giving and community, the Boulder Creek Business Association (BCBA) embodies those elements as it collaborates with the Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks District (BCRPD) to present the 2023 Winter Festival.
In years past, each agency would host its own events, but this year, the two wedded their fun into one large party set for this Saturday, and it’s the beginning of a wonderful new tradition in the San Lorenzo Valley town.
Karen Edwards, president of the BCBA Board of Directors, noted that the BCBA has hosted the annual “Santa Comes to Town” celebration for decades.
“We coordinate with the Boulder Creek Fire Department—they pick up Santa from a secret location in town where he parks his sleigh and lets his reindeer have the night off. Then, members of the volunteer fire department give Santa a lighted ride through town and deliver him to the main event happening on Forest Street,” Edwards explained. “There he greets the crowd and leads the countdown to the lighting of the town tree. In years past, the BCRPD has also hosted the Winter Boutique, where vendors and local artists are set up and Santa takes photos with kids and families.”
Beginning this year, said Edwards, the BCBA invited the BCRPD to merge those two events into the brand-new Winter Festival.
“We also teamed up with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF is another legacy group in Boulder Creek) to participate in the celebration,” Edwards said.
The Dec. 2 event will begin at 1pm with music, vendors, a food court, a petting zoo, DIY crafts and more. There will be activities both on Forest Street and inside the IOOF building. Santa is expected to arrive around 5:30pm, with the tree lighting at 6pm.
Live music will be provided by three bands throughout the event: the San Lorenzo Valley school jazz band, the Buffalo Blues Band, and the Dirt Rakers. Organizers estimate that the event will end at 7pm.
Edwards said there will be plenty of activities for youth of all ages to enjoy, including making snow globes, New Years Eve crowns, paper snowflakes, pinecone bird feeders and more.
Even Ol’ Kris Kringle himself took a minute to reflect on the celebration: “I always look forward to visiting Boulder Creek! I can’t wait to see the crafts made by the kids. I’m also looking forward to seeing the animals at the petting zoo courtesy of Horse Sense and 4H!”
Some activities—the petting zoo, DIY crafts and photos with Santa—are ticketed. Otherwise, the event is free to all, and the organizers hope that all locals seeking the spirit of the holidays will attend. Tickets are available at bcba.net/events.
In the spirit of the season of giving, event planners are offering donated tickets. Anyone wanting to donate tickets to a family in need can do so online. Families must contact the BCBA either by phone (831-217-3643) or by email ([email protected]) to claim the tickets.