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Celebrate Seven Weeks of Winter in Ouray

Ouray’s WinterFest is a seven-week holiday season of fun events and promotions to celebrate the start of the winter and holiday season in Ouray. Winterfest spans the period between Thanksgiving and the 23rd Annual Ouray Ice Festival in January, with different major activities happening every weekend, as well as many other events throughout the week. During this busy time of year let WinterFest and Ouray be your relaxing, friendly and spirit-filled getaway from the stress of the holiday season. Whether you are a local or a visitor, we are here for you with friendly shop owners, unique treasures for your loved ones, great treats, soothing sulfur-free hot springs, soft beds, and unique winter culture and adventure for the whole family!

Keep up with all the WinterFest events on our Facebook Page and the Ouray County Community Calendar.

Friday, December 1st: Community Christmas Tree Lighting with Carols and Hot Cocoa, 6pm, Corner of 7th Avenue & Main Street
Celebrate the start of the season with the Community Christmas Tree lighting, caroling and cocoa.

Friday, December 1st: Parents’ Night Out Fundraiser, 6:00 – 8:30 PM, Downtown Ouray
Let us take the kids for a couple of hours so you can enjoy dinner at one of Ouray’s wonderful restaurants before the craziness of the holidays kick in and help raise funds for PATT at the same time! Childcare for ages 3 and up will be provided in the MPR Room at Ouray School from 6-8:30 with all donations going to PATT (Parents and Teacher’s Together). Parent’s will need to sign their child in and out, so please come upstairs with them. Light snacks will be provided.
Please call the following restaurants for reservations and let them know you are with Parent’s Night Out!:

  • The Outlaw (50% back) – (970) 325-4366
  • Bon Ton (50% back) – (970) 325-4419
  • Coachlight (50% back) – (970) 325-4361
  • O’Briens (50% back) - (970) 325-4386
  • Ouray Café (50% back) - (970) 325-4523
  • Goldbelt (25% back) - (970) 325-7323
  • Buen Tiempo (20% back) – (970) 325-4544
  • Ouray Brewery (15% back) – (970) 325-7388

Friday, December 1st: Noel Night - Downtown Ridgway, 5-8 pm, Downtown Ridgway
Join the Sherbino and most-all of the Ridgway Downtown businesses for a wonderful celebration of community, fun and holiday cheer! Specials, Special Events and more! AND... don't miss the Sherbino's Annual Fundraising Calendar Debut that night at the Sherbino: "The Faces Of Ridgway" ($25 ea) The parade starts just after 5 pm (Route: Hwy 62 - right to Lena, left onto Clinton, left up Cora, left onto Hwy 62, back to Railroad Street).

Friday, December 1st: The North Fork Duo: Mike Gwinn & David Snider, 7pm, Sherbino Theather, Ridgway
The Sherbino welcomes The North Fork Duo: Mike Gwinn and David Snider to celebrate Noel Night. The Mike Gwinn/David Snider Duo bring together the combined musical experience of over 50 years of performing, recording, composing and touring. Mike and David bring a wealth of musical experience and a great song list to every performance.

Saturday, December 2nd: Yule Night in Ouray!
Some shops open late, serving holiday cheers, Downtown Ouray, Ouray Christmas Parade, 6pm, Ouray Main Street, Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Ouray Elks, 6-9pm, Ouray Elks Lodge
Enjoy a day on the town and show your love at a local small business for your holiday shopping, with some shops open late and serving holiday cheers

  • 5:45: PM: Parade line-up at bottom of 8th Ave.
  • 6:00 PM: Christmas Parade. Cash prizes for Best in Show (announced at the Elks following the parade)! Help Ouray County EMS fill the ambulance for the Ouray Community Food Bank. Bring canned & dry goods along to share with those in need and the elves of the Ouray County EMS will load the ambulance with good tidings of great joy!
  • 7:00 PM: Yule Night at the Ouray Elks

The Ouray Elks have arranged for children to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus after the parade – about 6:15 pm after the parade at the lodge at 421 Main Street. They can tell Santa all about their holiday wishes and have free pictures taken. There will be a Nativity Scene in front of the Lodge. Before and after the parade the Elks will have Bowls of Chili with toppings for $5 with free refills as well as Corn Dogs for $2 each. “This has become a holiday tradition,” said Elks spokesman Jim Pettengill. “Santa arrives during the parade on a fire truck, and the kids can visit right afterward. We email free photos to the families a few days after the event. The whole family can also enjoy chili and corn dogs starting at 5:30 at the lodge, with $5 chili and $2 corn dogs. Kids under 5 eat for free! Yule night in Ouray is a great kickoff for the holiday season, so come share a great evening with your neighbors, Santa and the Elks.”

Saturday, December 2nd: Karaoke at the Coachlight, 8pm-2am, Coachlight Restaurant
Come join us for Karaoke with James Knesel once again up in the Tavern!

Saturday, December 2nd: Beyond Paint: Acrylic Art Techniques with Kellie Day, 10am-3pm, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
$150. There are so many acrylic products beyond paint. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with the Gels, grounds and mediums available, this class will get you going. Join us for a day of pouring, scraping peeling and painting. We’ll create 3-4 “mini-projects” where you can create works of art like never before. If you like painting with acrylics, these are all tools that can enhance your current painting. Blow your socks off with techniques like acrylic-encaustic effects (without hot wax), making acrylic skins, transparent pours, creating textures with acrylic grounds, and combing all of this with painting. Have fun, get jiggy, and open your mind to the infinite possibilities of acrylics! Price includes all materials. Class size is limited to 10 students so pre-registration is highly encouraged!

Sunday, December 3rd: Weehawken Family Gingerbread Workshops, 1pm, 3:30, Ridgway Elementary School
Buckets of candy, oodles of frosting, sticky fingers, heaps of smiles, and a kajillion sugar-coated photo ops. That just about sums up Weehawken Creative Arts' annual gingerbread house decorating event, offered every December to families from all over the region in either Ouray or Ridgway. For over eleven years, Weehawken has presented the "Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Workshops" and this fun, memorable family event serves over 30 families and is a wonderful holiday tradition.
Families must reserve a house in advance ($15 each) and will arrive to the Ridgway Elementary School on December 3rd to find a fully assembled house that just needs the magic of imagination and decoration. Once families check-in, they peruse surreal tables of candy and goodies that can be added to the structures with oodles of frosting. As a team, families decorate their house and then get to take the house home for enjoyment during the holiday season. Additional donations are gladly accepted and appreciated for this program as it runs well over $1000 to provide the service to participants.
Both of the 2017 workshops are set for Sunday, December 3rd in Ridgway: one will run from 1:00-3:00 pm a second session will run from 3:30-5:30 pm. Registrations will be accepted starting November 15th and will be taken until the spaces are filled.
Registrations are taken through Weehawken Creative Arts by phone at 970.318.0150 or online.Register for the 1:00 PM Session; Register for the 3:30 PM Session

Tuesday, December 5th, Colorado Gives Day, all day, online
Colorado Gives Day is a day to celebrate our amazing nonprofits and a chance to donate to your favorite local organization.

Wednesday, December 6th: Ugly Xmas Sweater Merry-oke (Karaoke), 9pm-1am, Silver Eagle Saloon
Ugliest sweater prize!!

Thursday, December 7th: Open Bard Featuring Danny Rosen, 6:00 PM, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway<br/ >Readings @ 6:30. $5 at the door. In 2008 Danny Rosen started Lithic Press, maker of fine books of poems. In 2015 he opened the Lithic Bookstore and Gallery, an independent bookstore in downtown Fruita, Colorado, specializing in poetry, science and books on local, regional, and natural history. Danny spent many years as an itinerant climber before his desire to learn about the rocks he was climbing on led him to study geology at the University of Wyoming. Most of his career was spent working in geology, astronomy, and science education. For many years he gave astronomy presentations in schools throughout western Colorado in the portable Western Sky Planetarium. Part of each year between 2003 and 2008 he ran an observatory and taught astronomy and geology in Namibia in southern Africa. His full length collection of poems entitled, Primate Poems, was published in 2016.

Friday, December 8th: Wine Dinner at Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast featuring Garrett Estate Cellars, 7-9pm, A Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast<br/ >A 5-course Wine Dinner featuring the culinary talents of Sara Sharpe of the Secret Garden and local wines by Garrett Estate Cellars. Reservations required by December 2nd. Dinner tickets are $60 per person, a combination ticket for the dinner and the Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is $75 per person.

Friday, December 8th: dZi presents: "The Last Honey Hunter," 7pm, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
The dZi Foundation is excited to present The Last Honey Hunter and an evening that delves deep into the making of this incredible documentary. Hear from the film’s producer (and dZi Nepal Country Director) Ben Ayers and dZI President Jim Nowak about dZi’s important work in this region.

Saturday, December 9th: Ouray Wine, Chocolate, & Cheese Festival, 1950s Car Hop Theme, 6-9pm, Ouray Community Center
Join in for the 9th Annual Wine, Chocolate, Cheese Festival. 1950's Car Hop Theme. A fun night of mid-century style, dancing with “Take Five” and tasting your way through Colorado wines, chocolates and cheese. Show your friends and family some local love and finish your holiday shopping here with regionally made edible and artistic gifts. Supports the Fortuna Tierra Club! Tickets available online ($25) and at the event ($30).

Tuesday, December 12th: COMEDY SPORTS N'SHORTS IV, 7pm, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
Curtain at 7 pm. Students only $5. Adults by donation. The Ridgway High School Theater Department presents: "Comedy Sports N' Shorts 4" - a zany evening of unpredictably hillarious improv. Featuring the RHS Improv Troupe, "Always Acting Up".

Wednesday, December 13th: Every Wednesday Movie Night at the Wright, 7pm, Wright Opera House/a>
Produced in partnership with the Ouray Public Library, these weekly films are free to attend but donations are appreciated. Concessions and beverages are available for purchase during the show.

Thursday, December 14th: Telluride Gives Day, all day, online
Telluride Gives Day is a day to donate to your favorite local non profit.

Thursday, December 14th: Alpine Bank & Hockersmith Law Holiday After Hours, 5:30-7:30pm, Alpine Bank
Alpine Bank and Hockersmith Law bring you a Holiday Chamber After Hours Celebration December14 at 5:30pm. Food, Fun Libations and Prizes! Holiday Attire Contest! Candy donations joyfully accepted for the Ouray Elks Santa Delivers Program. Free for anyone to attend.

Thursday, December 14th: ARTbar: Gorgeous Growlers with Ann Cheeks, 6-8 pm, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
Create a gorgeous, one of a kind growler to keep or give (what a cool gift!) Starting with a blank, clear growler and glass paint, we will come away with a unique, funky reusable work of art that happens to hold beer. $45 dollars for the "Gorgeous Growlers" Art Bar includes all supplies and one drink of choice. At Weehawken and Sherbino's ARTbar we strive to provide a positive, creative outlet in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Our hope is to inspire the community to discover their imaginative side and cross the bar into other dimensions of creativity. The classes we offer require no experience (and of course, liquid inspiration will also be available!). Open your door to creativity and give it a shot! $45 includes instruction, all materials, a drink AND you'll go home with your very own masterpiece!

Friday December 15th & Saturday, December 16th Ouray County Players’ Live Holiday Radio Show: Miracle on 34th Street, 7:30 pm, Wright Opera House
This year's performance of Miracle on 34th Street follows the 1948 Lux Radio Theater script. Directed by Nancy Nixon. Music by Nancy Ziglar. Sound Effects by Dan Preston and crew.

Friday, December 15th: Sherbino Open Mic Night, 5:00-9:00 PM, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
$5 suggested donation. Sherbino open mic nights are for songwriters, musicians, and all around music enthusiasts in the community. All ability levels and ages are encouraged to share their artistic talents. Entry for the event is free (donations are greatly appreciated) and a beer and wine cash bar will be open throughout the night. Those who would like to participate will sign up upon arrival. Two mics and two speakers will be provided, if you would like more, go ahead and bring it....there's room on the stage! Come share, meet, and support others who share in the passion for creating and expressing through songwriting/music at Sherbino open mic nights.

Saturday, December 16th, All About Me, 8pm-1am, Silver Eagle Saloon
Colorado conga rock. D.J. mixing it up all night. Drink specials & games & good times!

Saturday, December 16th: MSP Films: "Drop Everything," 7 pm, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway<br/ >3,2,1.... dropping. Matchstick Productions – the powerhouse that brought you award-winning classics like CLAIM, THE WAY I SEE IT, and DAYS OF MY YOUTH – is proud to introduce the funniest, most action-packed ski movie of 2017: DROP EVERYTHING, presented by Under Armour. Following an artful, narrative-driven 2016 film release, the team at Matchstick took a decidedly more lighthearted approach that returns the focus to the featured athletes and world-class action. DROP EVERYTHING features the world’s preeminent freeskiers along with quick-hitting comedy, stunning locations, a potent soundtrack, and stellar cinematography. DROP EVERYTHING is an unexpected, fun-filled adventure through the world of freeskiing – join Matchstick Productions for the ride along with Mark Abma, Markus Eder, Eric Hjorleifson, Michelle Parker, Sammy Carlson, Cody Townsend, Elyse Saugstad, Tanner Rainville, Chris Rubens, Aaron Blunck, Sander Hadley, Connery Lundin, and more! Watch the trailer here!

Tuesday, December 19th: PATT Pasta Bar & Holiday Goodies Sale, 5:30-7pm, Ouray Community Center
Great food and fun! Sponsored by "Parents & Teachers Together," don’t miss this chance to dine on pasta cooked by local celebrity chefs and bid on holiday cookies, cakes and treats for your incoming guests.

Wednesday, December 20th: Every Wednesday Movie Night at the Wright, 7pm, Wright Opera House<br/ >Produced in partnership with the Ouray Public Library, these weekly films are free to attend but donations are appreciated. Concessions and beverages are available for purchase during the show.

Friday, December 22nd: Santa Delivers Stocking Stuffing Party, 6pm, Ouray Elks Lodge

Saturday, December 23rd: You Knew Me When Live, 5-8 pm, KJ Wood Distillers
YKMW live at KJ Wood Distillers in Ouray 12/23! They cannot wait to play in their new hometown! Join them for live music and great drinks from the distillery!

Sunday, December 24th, Santa Delivers to Ouray Children, Ouray, Enjoy special holiday dinners and services throughout Ouray.

Monday, December 25th, Christmas Dinners at Ouray Restaurants

Wednesday, December 27th: John Adams Band: John Denver Tribute Concert, 7:30pm, Wright Opera House
Relive the music of Colorado music legend John Denver on Wednesday, Dec. 27 as the John Adams Band performs an authentic tribute concert, serving up classic hits like “Annie’s Song,” “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy” just the way they were written, recorded, and performed by John Denver himself. Their motto with the music is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This show is co-sponsored by OCPAG and the Wright Opera House.

Sunday, December 31st: New Year’s Eve Celebration and Karaoke, 9pm, Ouray Elks Lodge 492, Ouray Fireworks, midnight, Ouray Main Street
Reserve a special New Year's Eve dinner in Ouray. Party at the Ouray Elks Lodge & watch the fireworks boom above Ouray's canyon walls at midnight.

Sunday, December 31st: New Years Eve with Cabin Dragon, 9pm-1am, Silver Eagle Saloon
Bringin’ in the New Year with Cabin Dragon!! No cover!

Sunday, December 31st: Sherbino's Annual New Year's Eve Celebration!, 8:00 pm, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway
It's the annual New Year's Eve celebration at the Sherbino --- this time, featuring the DJ stylings of DJ's Skip and Patty of KVNF fame! Dancing will ensue and dressing up can certainly be part of the fun! Watch the live televised ball drop east-coast time and stick around for ensuing ball-drops as the night rolls on!

Monday, January 1- Friday, January 5: John Hughes Film Festival, 7pm daily, 2pm matinee on Friday, January 6th, Wright Opera House
Celebrate the new year by going back in time with 1980’s classic films. A new John Hughes film every evening with a special matinee on Friday, January 5. Produced in partnership with the Ouray Public Library, films are free to attend but donations are appreciated. Concessions and beverages are available for purchase during the show.

Thursday, January 4th: Open Bard Poetry featuring Ellen Metrick and Erika Moss Gordon, 6:00 PM, Sherbino Theater, Ridgway

Saturday, January 6th: Kids’ Climbing College, 10am-2pm, Ouray Ice Park Kids’ Wall
The Kids Climbing College (KCC) is be a free opportunity for kids ages 7-17 to try the exciting sport of ice climbing. Held annually at the Ouray Ice Park Kids Wall, The KCC is a super fun way for youths to get a taste of this great local winter sport. The Kids Wall is a specially developed 40-foot high, 140-foot wide slab of ice located on top of the ice park with easy walking access. It features a dozen different routes with various levels of difficulty for all the kids. The KCC is first-come-first-serve, 10am – 2pm. San Juan Mountain Guides will provide harnesses, helmets, boots, crampons, and ice tools. Participants should bring: an adult to sign paperwork, warm clothes, gloves, winter boots/ski boots and warm hat (ski clothes work well for climbing). Participant’s families should park in the designated Ice Park Parking areas and walk up to the Kids Wall.

Sunday, January 7th: Ouray PARC WinterFest Games, Rotary Park Ice Rink, noon-3pm
Enjoy fun, free games on and off the ice at Rotary Park, organized by the Ouray Parks and Recreation Committee. Human Hungry Hippos & Slingshot on the ice! Broomball (BYOBroom!). Ice skate rentals will be free during the event and hot chocolate will be available.

Wednesday, January 10th: Every Wednesday Movie Night at the Wright, 7pm, Wright Opera House
Produced in partnership with the Ouray Public Library, these weekly films are free to attend but donations are appreciated. Concessions and beverages are available for purchase during the show.

Saturday & Sunday, January 13th – 14th: San Juan Skijoring, 11am-4pm, Ouray County Fairgrounds
This incredible event is designed to bring friends and family together for a weekend of entertainment in Ridgway, CO. Any Skier, Snowboarder or Rider is allowed to enter and partake in the thrills and spills of Skijoring, where a horse and rider pull a skier through an obstacle course for time and accuracy. Spectators will enjoy the action along with food and drink concessions both inside and outside. Yes, thats right we will have the 4H event center open with live footage from the event outside for those that need a quick warmup. This event is $6 dollars per day or $10 dollars for the weekend and kids 12 and under get in for free. A portion of net proceeds from the event will be donated to local scholarships.

Wednesday, January 17th: Every Wednesday Movie Night at the Wright, 7pm, Wright Opera House
Produced in partnership with the Ouray Public Library, these weekly films are free to attend but donations are appreciated. Concessions and beverages are available for purchase during the show.

Thursday, January 18th-21st: 23rd Annual Ouray Ice Festival, Ouray Ice Park, Ouray
The Ouray Ice Festival is held each January and is the annual gathering of the ice-climbing tribe and the main fundraiser for the Ouray Ice Park. For three days and three nights Ouray is an absolute ice climbing mecca; ice climbers, both novice and pro travel from around the world to celebrate the growing sport of ice climbing. During daily vendor exhibitions Festival attendees have the opportunity to demo the latest ice tools, apparel, and gear from the Outdoor industries leading retailers. Hundreds of spectators line the top of the Gorge on Saturday and Sunday to watch the world’s best ice and mixed climbing talent battle for the prize! And, with over 100 interactive and educational climbing clinics to accommodate every skill level, Festival participants are sure to have an experience to remember. Nightly events include multimedia presentations by leading climbers, music, food, dance parties and a live and silent auction overflowing with screaming deals of the latest outdoor gear! See the full schedule of events here

Winter Outdoor Recreation:
Ouray Ice Park: Opening mid-December (weather permitting)
Lee’s Ski Hill: Opening mid-December (weather permitting)
Vinegar Hill Sledding: Opening mid-December (weather permitting)
Rotary Park Ice Rink: Opening late-December (weather permitting)
Ironton & Uncompahgre River Trail XC Skiing: Opening mid-December (weather permitting)

WinterFest is supported by Alpine Bank, The Citizens State Bank of Ouray, Ouray Jeep Raffle, Beautification & PARC Committees & Ouray’s Small Businesses & Nonprofits

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