White Christmas, bright Christmas

People marveling at the fairy lights.

Ogden’s Christmas Village Gala and the Holiday Electric Light Parade welcomed the holiday season for the local community. The parade was on Nov. 26, but the village can be enjoyed throughout the rest of the holiday season. This year’s theme is “Shine Bright.”

The festivities started early in the morning with the annual Santa Run before the parade. Participants ran, walked and jogged down Washington Boulevard dressed in their best Santa Claus attire.

After the Santa Run, the Holiday Electric Light Parade brought in the holiday spirit.

Ogden City works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation every year for the parade and hosts a child as their grand marshal for the annual holiday parade. This year, Make-A-Wish helped honor 8-year-old Jack Fronk as the grand marshall. Jack was celebrated in his float alongside his family throughout the Holiday Electric Light Parade.

After the parade finished, the Ogden community enjoyed the annual firework ceremony on the amphitheater stage to celebrate turning on the Christmas Village lights for the season.

While the parade marks the start of the Christmas season in Ogden, the Ogden Christmas Village will be up for community members to explore throughout the remainder of the year. Christmas Village can be found in the downtown Ogden municipal gardens near the amphitheater and municipal building.

There is much to see within the village, from the Weber State University Alumni House to Santa’s Workshop. Santa will be in town to greet children and fill families with Christmas cheer starting on Nov. 30.

Jill Walker, WSU Alumni Relations, helped create this year’s Make Ogden Purple display at the Christmas Village.

“The Alumni Association has had the village house since 2013,” Walker said. “One of the anchor missions of the university is community. This is a tremendous community-based tradition that is exciting to get to be a part of each year.”

Walker also said the Alumni Association had Alumni Council members at the Christmas Village handing out 3D Weber State glasses for community members to view the fireworks.

“All of the houses have something beautiful to contribute to the collective village,” Walker said. “Our house has a Make Ogden Purple theme and has some cute snow persons out shopping and enjoying a magical winter scene. Make Ogden Purple has been an important initiative to help build college town pride within the community. It was fun to incorporate that intent into our cottage.”

The community members make this annual event tradition to bring in the holiday season.

“The lights are my favorite part about Christmas in Ogden,” Rachel Micheal, an Ogden resident, said. “They are beautiful. I love grabbing a hot chocolate from the kiosk on the corner of 25th by the old hotel and then walking around with my friends. This is a part of what I think makes Ogden unique.”

The Christmas Village and Electric Parade brings families and the community together, allowing them to share their joy for the holiday season.

“My favorite part of Christmas in Ogden City is the sense of tradition and community that it creates,” Walker said. “I grew up visiting the village each year and now, as an adult, I take my own family each year.”
WSU students enjoy seeing the university involved with the community and being a part of the Christmas festivities.

Tyler O’ Toole, a WSU student, said that he appreciates WSU being a big part of the Ogden community.

“I feel like Ogden and Weber State are pretty festive when it comes to Christmas,” O’Toole said. “It’s cute and fun. I recommend that people check out the stuff that Ogden puts on. It’s super fun to grab a marshmallow hot chocolate from the Grounds for Coffee shop on 25th street, then go look at lights!”

On top of participating in the Christmas Village, WSU is putting on its 37th Annual Holiday Concert presented by Weber State University’s Choirs, Symphonic Orchestra and Flute Ensemble on Dec. 4.

WSU will also be hosting “Here Comes Santa Claus!” In collaboration with Onstage Ogden and the Utah Symphony, hosted at the Val A. Browning Center.

“We invite folks to attend the ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ performance with the Utah Symphony on Dec. 12,” Walker said. “We will be hosting a pre-show holiday social in the Lindquist Alumni Center that evening with hot cocoa and desserts.”

The event’s goal is to allow everyone to enjoy music on stage, with a joyful sing-along closing the concert and a special appearance from St. Nicolas himself.

The events in Ogden aim to bring the community together during the holiday season. Whether they enjoy the Electric Light Parade, the Christmas Village, WSU Holiday Events or visiting Santa Claus himself. There are many events that bring together families and the community in the magic of Christmas.

“In a time of year when it gets darker earlier, and the air is bitter and chilly, it’s nice to have the village and parade to bring warmth and light to a cold time of year,” Micheal said.