Welcoming in the Winter Season

Last night was the kick off to the winter season with a multitude of festivities and a complete and utter lack of Fahrenheits. Let’s just say that by the time I was heading home, I was about 80% sure I would be down a toe or two. Nonetheless, the family had a great time and we got to participate in some neat stuff. Primarily the breakdown of the day consists of:

-A Santa Claus run
-A Parade
-A bunch of sleazy politicians making speeches to curry favor among the masses
-Lighting up “Christmas Village”

One of the coolest things about Ogden is that in the winter season until around the first of the new year they run “Christmas Village” which is a huge model city made of 4’x 8′ “houses” for a variety of local groups/businesses. They arrange them around City Hall on historic main street and light up the tress and buildings in the most Christmassy way possible. Normally, I’m a bit of a Grinch around this time of year as by all accounts I’ve been having to hear Christmas music for at least a month already at my retail job. But something about this place takes me back to my younger years when I was slightly less salty about everything.

Growing up, we had a thing in Clovis, NM called “Shots.” It was some guys house/yard that he went bananas decorating every year. It was like the spirit of Yule threw up all over the place. It was also however, the coolest thing in the universe. Why? Well aside from the petting zoo, and the little train you ride around his property, people were just happy and decent when they were there. There seems to be substantially less asshole behavior when you’re being smothered to death with yuletide joy et al.

So Ogden’s local “Christmas Village” is about the closest thing to that one can really get. And what’s better, I happened to have some photos of it!

The evening started around 4:30 with the “Santa Run” which is a race of some distance which I would guess is a 5K given the winning time was around the 14 minute mark. From what I understand there were between 7-900 Santa’s running in the race which seems reasonable given the line of them three blocks long towards the start. Behold the madness at the corner of 25th:


There were of course a few over achievers. My buddy and I called them the Cross-fit Santas and like we expected the three of them ended up being the first few to finish. Figureing they’d be done pretty quickly I got positioned so that I could snap some shots of the first few people who came through the gate and was pretty happy with how they came out.


While this gentleman wasn’t actually the first to cross the line, I believe he was the actual winner as the first fella to cross skipped one or two of the turns and came in at an insanely fast time. I will credit him with this: He was pretty sure he skipped a leg of the run and went back to do it correctly, fessing up to his mistake. Good sportsmanship was in full force. However, the fella above who won the race had the advice of “Don’t ever do this.” to a few of his buddies at the finish line.

Of the 3 Cross-fit Santas, one of them who was probabaly no older than 17 managed to come in a solid third:


Sadly all of my shots of the second place finisher, a young lady we’re pretty blurry or had a staff volunteer dive in front of my camera. So if you’re reading this, contact me and I’ll take your picture!

I wanna take moment as well to share a photo of a younger runner who really impressed me. By the 3 block point they seemed to be struggling pretty hard and started dropping layers. Their form was awful and I thought this evening was going to end pretty poorly for them. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. They ended up finishing in the top ten and I couldn’t be happier to have seen it happen. So whoever they are. HUGE props to them for their effort:


Of the other runners, there was what looked like a father/son team that came in right before the large groupings who made for an awesome photo finish of their competition. You could tell that the last block they were both hustling to beat the other and it made for a pretty cool shot:


After the Santa run was the parade which was both awesome and long. I always remember parades growing up being fairly short lived with a dozen or so floats and a mess of disappointment. This one however was quite the opposite. Most of the shots were fairly blurry or the lighting was bad, but I did get one of one of the horseback riders I was pretty happy with:


After all that was said and done, we sat around for a bit by a heat lantern to warm up and listen to what felt like every mayor and city council person within a 300 mile radius take turns wishing us a Merry Christmas and asking if we were cold. The joke wasn’t funny the first time, it wasn’t gonna be funny on the 12th either.

After some banter to get the kids involved with a spiel about the Grinch stealing the lights, Christmas village was brought to life under a sky of fireworks. It was pretty sweet. I managed snag a panorama of the west side of the village. I do apologize for the mediocre quality on the stitch. I’ll probably have a better one up and running tomorrow evening. So if you feel like it, drop by my Flickr and take a look.

CV pano-2

All in all, it was a great night and we had a good time even through the bitter cold. As always, until next time, Thanks for reading!


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