Welcome the holiday season with Keystone’s Winter Carnival and lighting of River Run Village

Enjoy a visit with Santa, live music, the Salida Circus and more

Keystone’s annual Winter Carnival and lighting of River Run Village returns this weekend. The festivities start at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26.
Jenise Jensen/Keystone Neighbourhood Co.

With snow on the ground and ski resorts continually opening more terrain, the winter season has arrived. Keystone is planning to welcome the colder weather with its annual Winter Carnival and lighting of River Run Village this weekend.

The festivities begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at the village as well as at Warren Station Center for the Arts, located at 164 Ida Belle Drive. The family-friendly party has various activities all afternoon and evening to keep the celebration going.

Warren Station will be open until 6 p.m., providing free face painting, crafts, a free photo booth and — while supplies last — free hot cocoa. The bar will also be open for cider, handmade cocktails and drink specials.

The venue will be the place to catch Frisco Funk Collective playing an assortment of holiday-themed tunes. The band has done holiday shows off and on throughout the years, and they were meant to perform at 10 Mile Music Hall last winter until certain band members caught COVID-19, but this will be their first time performing at the Winter Carnival.

They haven’t simply carried over last year’s planned set. Instead, they have curated a list of traditional songs like “Silver Bells,” “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Let It Snow.”

“This is a lot of families and kids, so we want it to be accessible and enjoyable for them,” bassist Tyler Easton said.

However, they’ll still be putting a unique spin on things. The band is known for jazz-like interludes and will use the opportunity to experiment.

“We take songs that would normally be a traditional song and have you dance and have you groove and kind of get into an exploratory space where we can really do some fun things with it.” Easton said.

Other songs may not be explicitly tied to the holidays, but they’ll be clever with song titles that have red and green in the name — or they will play their Frisco Funk original “Hope,” or Keller Williams’ “Floatin on the Freshies.”

“We try to pull songs from the catalog that fit with the Christmas theme,” Easton said.

Meanwhile, folks can also head outdoors to the village for more events. The big guy himself, Santa Claus, will be available for visitors from 3-5:15 p.m., and kids can drop their letters into the North Pole mailbox. The Salida Circus will have entertainment from the snow queen and her juggling elves within the village as well during that time frame.

If Warren Station’s goodies weren’t enough, fresh cookies from Mountain Top Cookie Shop and hot chocolate from Steep Brewing & Coffee Co. will be up for grabs from 4:15-5:15 p.m. while supplies last. Additionally, the Summit Choral Society will perform holiday carols from 4:15-5:15 p.m.

The magic culminates with the lighting of the holiday tree and Keystone Neighbourhood Co. will be handing out holiday glow sticks to help light up the village. Meant to invoke the warmth of the holiday, the lighting of River Run will occur at 5:15 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Easton said. “It’s going to be fun.”

The Summit Choral Society will perform holiday carols during Keystone’s annual Winter Carnival and lighting of River Run Village Saturday, Nov. 26. Other entertainment includes Frisco Funk Collective and the Salida Circus.
Jenise Jensen/Keystone Neighbourhood Co.

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