OGDEN — Ogden’s Christmas Village is now open, welcoming area holiday enthusiasts until the new year rolls around.
The village officially opened for business Saturday night, immediately following Ogden City’s annual Holiday Electric Light Parade and Santa Fun Run. Braving frigid temperatures and a fresh blanket of snow after last week’s storms, thousands of spectators gathered along Washington Boulevard to take in the parade and opening ceremonies. Temperatures hovered near the mid 20s during the evening.
Dozens of floats and vehicles, all illuminated with Christmas lights, traveled down the boulevard from 22nd Street to 27th Street.
Susan Fowers said she’s been attending the Christmas Village ceremony for some 50 years.
“I’ve been coming for so long, when I started, they did this during the day,” said Fowers, who was posted up with her family on Washington and 24th Street. “It was warmer then, but the cold isn’t bothering us too bad tonight.”
Like Fowers, Tara Solorio has also attended the event for years.
“It’s a yearly tradition for us,” she said. “It’s fun to see how it’s gotten bigger and better every year.”
Before the parade, hordes of people dressed in Santa costumes ran down Washington. A man dressed in little more than shoes, shorts and a Santa hat led the pack by a considerable margin.
Melissa Berrett-Yurth ran in the Santa race with her two young sons.
“I think the best part is probably the milk and cookies aid stations,” she said.
Ernie Terrazas was named honorary mayor of Christmas Village. A 50-year resident of Ogden, Terrazas worked for Ogden City for nearly 40 years, before retiring in August of 2018. He finished his career with city as the Structural Maintenance Supervisor for the Parks Department.
Terrazas was involved with organizing the Christmas Village for his entire stint with the city. He remembers with humor the many small mishaps and technical difficulties experienced in the nearly four decades working on the village, but he told the Ogden City Council his favorite memory was seeing children’s faces light up during the lighting ceremony.
“I spent a lot of years here working, doing Christmas Village,” Terrazas said. “It was a lot of fun. (I was) probably a pain to a lot of people on the committee and stuff, but it was an honor.”
For 57 years, the downtown Christmas display has served as the backdrop for holiday time in Weber County.
According to Ogden City’s website, this year’s village features 67 holiday-themed cottages, sponsored and made by members of the greater Ogden community. The theme for this year’s festivities is “Are you Yeti for Christmas?” Yetis are hidden in the cottages for visitors to find as they explore the displays. Visitors can vote for their favorite cottage at christmasvillage.ogdencity.com.
Christmas Village has operated in Ogden each year since 1962. Arranged around the Ogden Municipal Building, 2549 Washington Blvd., the village is open daily, from 5 p.m. to midnight.