Hello Christmas!

Castle Rock Transforms Festival Park into a Winter Wonderland.


Image via Donna DeBacco

Vendor tents light up the Starlight Market event. Festival Park Starlight Market, Castle Rock, Colo., Dec., 4, 2020.

Christmas called, and Castle Rock answered with a resounding “HELLO Christmas!” by hosting Festival Park Starlight Market on Dec. 4 and 5 from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. The town of Castle Rock, Jay Kim, Aidan Westbrook, from local organizers of the event, and Castle Rock’s residents, let it be known to all who attended the event that nothing, not even COVID, was going to steal the spirit of Christmas. 

At the park entrance stood a towering Christmas tree. Shiny ornaments of all sizes and colors danced around the giant branches while a shimmering star that topped the tree seemed to touch the evening sky. Families used the tall giant as a backdrop for photos. Tents strung with twinkling lights hung above vendors whose handcrafted items ranging from rustic wood signs, Turkish blankets, and beer can art to jewelry, macramé, candles and homemade treats were spread across tables and dangled from displays.

As visitors milled around the park wearing warm knitted hats and gloves to shield them from the biting chill, Ian Wagner’s voice floated above the chatter and giggles as he sang Christmas songs and played his guitar. People climbed aboard the horse-drawn carriages to tour the town where the trees and streets were wrapped with lights. As frigid as the evening was, nothing dampened the warmth of the event. People gathered around the glowing firepits while little ones jumped up and down as they held their parents’ hands. Hungry Festival Park visitors waited in line, choosing between Italian cannoli from Godfather Cannoli’s truck or something savory from The Comforts of Home food truck. Matthew Anderson, the owner of Manderwood Designs, said, “This show was by far the coldest, but I think it was the most fun; we even saw a marriage proposal happen right in front of us.” He said the Festival Park Starlight Market was a great way to end their first year in business.

For two days, Castle Rock transformed Festival Park into a winter wonderland. Danielle Gary, the owner of Mountain Cat Candle Co., said, “People came out in force; we couldn’t have asked for it to go better.” Gary said they sold through almost all of their holiday fragrances. Both Anderson and Gary said, working with Jay Kim and Aiden Westbrook from Local was an incredible experience.

Festival Park

300 2nd St., Castle Rock, Colo.