Weekend Christmas celebrations running ahead of cold front

Colder weather, mountain snowfall forecast for Sunday

Local fire and rescue trucks lead the 2016 Parade of Lights down Main Street in Cortez. Enlargephoto

The Journal

Local fire and rescue trucks lead the 2016 Parade of Lights down Main Street in Cortez.

Several holiday events are planned for Cortez and the surrounding area on Saturday, a day before a cold front is expected to arrive in Western Colorado.

The biggest is the Four Corners Board of Realtors Parade of Lights, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. The parade’s theme is “Back-Country Christmas,” and the grand marshal is Osprey Packs. The National Weather Service predicts a mild evening with no precipitation.

The Cortez Cultural Center will also hold its annual “Festival on the Plaza,” starting at 3 p.m. with cookies, hot beverages and gift shop discounts. The tree lighting will be at 5:30 p.m. The Sunflower Theatre will hold two performances of “A Christmas Carol” by the Hampstead Stage Company, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Both are sold-out.

In Dolores, the Community Center will hold a Christmas Bazaar starting at 8 a.m., featuring goods from about 50 vendors.

Mancos will begin its “Old Fashioned Christmas” celebration with a tree lighting on Friday night. On Sunday, the Mancos Valley Chorus will perform a holiday concert at 3:30 p.m. at the Mancos United Methodist Church.

The National Weather Service station in Grand Junction has issued a severe weather alert for the weekend, predicting a cold front that will move into northwestern and west-central Colorado starting late Sunday. The announcement predicted precipitation beginning on Sunday, with snow possible at 9,000 feet elevation and above. The heaviest snow is expected early Monday morning, by which time it could fall on some valley floors.

As of Friday afternoon, the high temperature forecast for Saturday was 49 degrees, and the low was 31 degrees. Temperatures are expected to drop to 19 degrees in Montezuma County on Monday and Tuesday as the cold front arrives.