Where to go and what to do to celebrate the season

Christmas comes to Leadville too. Along with the ever-popular and secular New Year’s celebration, the holidays pair up as an excuse to party in the northern terminus of the Ark Valley. There’s scarcely a better place to go looking at lights than in the quiet alleys of downtown, or to ring in 2018 behind the foggy windows of the Scarlet. If you’re getting out of town, or happen to be lucky enough to live in Leadville, here’s what’s going down up at 10,000 feet elevation.

On Friday, Dec. 22, the Historic Pastime Bar & Cafe is holding an Ugly Sweater Party with a special dinner and signature cocktail. Don you now your gay apparel and have a chance at walking home with a prize in hand that will look great next to your other barroom trophies. The saloon in Leadville’s old red light district is a longtime night-life staple in Leadville and has lately been known to welcome the theatrical and shameless. “It’s like a wedding every weekend,” said one regular, referring to DJ Girl Play, who spins every Friday night including this one. Dancing, pool, dinner, drinks and a burning wood stove all this weekend at 120 W. Second St. Don’t forget your ID!

Saturday, it’s O2 by Periodic Brewing taking the ridiculous outfit stage, with a Onesie Party from 5 to 11 p.m. You’ll have a harder time trying to find an outfit in your uncle’s attic for this one – depending on your uncle – but if you can pull it off, it’ll grant a wristband at the door for all-night drink specials. O2 is Periodic’s second location at 401 Harrison Ave., known for their barbecues and fire pits, and predecessor to their newest satellite opening in Northglenn. Leadville’s signature brew is really good beer.

On Christmas Day, the only bar open is the legendary Silver Dollar Saloon. They’ll be serving a free dinner from 2 to 4 p.m. with the purchase of drinks, and if it’s anything like their Thanksgiving dinner, it’ll be a huge, family-style buffet. The Silver Dollar has been amping up its dinner menu, but it has always been an old, historically rich and welcoming bar, occasionally rowdy.

For New Year’s Eve, there are a couple options: Horizon Line plays the Scarlet stage, starting at 9 p.m. Horizon Line is a feel-good band with expansive energy “inspired by high country living.” The five-piece all-local band will perform original music and covers to a traditional Scarlet champagne toast at midnight. The Scarlet is located at 326 Harrison Ave.

Also on New Year’s Eve, Treeline Kitchen will host their own New Year’s Eve party from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tickets are $49 and include bottomless champagne, serious appetizers all night, party favors and reserved table seating. Regular dinner service will be available until 10 p.m. that night. The Treeline Kitchen is located at 615 Harrison Ave., Ste. A, and tickets may be purchased in person or by calling 719-293-2200.

Finally, Ski Cooper is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on New Year’s Eve. The big birthday party will be welcomed in by skiing and snowboarding all day before live music by Trading Fours starting at 4 p.m., birthday cake, balloons and the classic torch-lit skiing parade down the mountain to commemorate the 10th Mountain Division’s skiing soldiers who fought in World War II. Ski Cooper is Lake County’s one and only ski resort, known for wide open runs, affordable prices and Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub.

Closed on both Christmas and New Year’s days, but hosting holiday movie trivia on Thursday night, is Wilde’s Green Hour, the speakeasy-coffee shop-absinthe bar.

Also open from Dec. 26 clear through the 31st is The Leadville Bar & Grill, Leadville’s longest standing Mexican joint and record-breaking “Best Margarita” winner. It’s a little off the beaten path, but well worth the hunt at 715 Elm St. Doors open at 4 p.m. and happy hour lasts until 6:00. Call and make a reservation at 719-486-9930.

Finish off 2017 the right way and party safely. Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and peace be to Leadville.