South Fork prepares for Christmas cheer

File photo The annual Yuletide Celebration in South Fork is set for Nov. 24 at the South Fork Visitor Center. The following day will feature the annual South Fork Winterfest hosted at the Rio Grande Club and Resort.

SOUTH FORK — With the Thanksgiving holiday only weeks away, towns throughout the San Luis Valley are setting their sights on the coming season and South Fork is getting ready to host its annual Yuletide Celebration and Winterfest.

The annual event began several years ago during the very first days that the South Fork Friends Foundation was formed. During that time, it was initially called the Friends of South Fork until they combined their efforts with those by the Greater South Fork Community Foundation and thus the South Fork Friends Foundation was formed.

The group works with several different organizations in and beyond the South Fork Community to bring opportunity to the area and to support different events like the Yuletide Celebration and Winterfest. Funds raised during these events are then given to community projects such as the new ice-skating rink/basketball court.

One of the first events held by the organization was the South Fork Parade of Lights and Yuletide Celebration and in the years since its inception, the event has grown into something the community looks forward to each year.

The weekend starts with the annual South Fork Kiwanis Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23. The event runs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and includes a full-course meal, to-go orders, and a chance to give back to the community with a coat and food drive.

The following night visitors are invited to come and participate in the Yuletide Celebration. The park surrounding the South Fork Visitor Center is adorned with lights and is transformed into a winter wonderland on the evening of Friday, Nov. 24. The event features the lighting ceremony at dusk, refreshments, entertainment, and a visit from the jolly old man himself! Santa will be adding to his Christmas wish list throughout the evening.

The next morning on Nov. 25, visitors are encouraged to head over to the Rio Grande Club and Resort for the annual Winterfest, which is a wonderful opportunity to get out and do some holiday shopping without having to worry about the crowds in larger communities. The Winterfest features local artists and vendors with unique wares and a great place to find that perfect gift for family and friends.

These annual events are a great way to get the holiday spirit rolling so come on out and join in the fun! For more information or a full schedule of events, visit or by visiting the South Fork Friends Foundation on its Facebook page.