(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The long-awaited holiday tradition in downtown Colorado Springs has finally arrived.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Acacia Park with the return of the annual Acacia Holiday Celebration.

“It’s the whole environment that makes it feel like it’s time to start celebrating and be jolly,” said Carrie Simison, marketing and communications director for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs.

Several local speakers gave a few words including Mayor Yemi Mobolade and other city officials. Then, a local band, Dustbowl Refugees, spread some holiday cheer on stage while several trees throughout the park lit up.

  • The Dustbowl refugees provided live entertainment during the event.
  • Nov. 17 was the official grand opening for skate in the park.
  • People came out in droves to enjoy Colorado Springs' outdoor rink.
  • The tree lighting in Acacia Park was one of the higlights of the night.

“I think it feels like that small town kind of Hallmark movie feel about it like, ‘Oh yeah, the holidays are starting’,” exclaimed Michelle White, who has attended the annual holiday celebration three years in a row.

This day also marked the official grand opening of Colorado Springs’ only outdoor skating rink.

“I think people love that,” Simison said. “Being outside, strapping on some ice skates, and of course, we’ve got gorgeous weather. So, you can be out here and enjoying yourself and not freezing your fingers off, looking at the peak and just really having a great time.”

The skating rink is located on the northwest side of Acacia Park, at 115 East Platte Avenue, and will run from Friday, Nov. 10 until Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024.

A full schedule, including hours and special events, is available at DowntownCS.com/Skate.