With all of the lights, sounds and street-side crowds of last night, many would presume that the tourists have arrived, that high season commenced. Upon closer examination (through the eyes of a quasi-Telluride local), however, the events of last night were nothing more than those of a 20-year-old tradition.
Noel Night occurs annually on the first Wednesday of December, enticing locals with special discounts, extended shop hours and of course, free samples. We felt like we were lost in a Costco; everywhere we looked we found mini-cups of malted wine, toothpicks with quartered sausages and little bowls of organic ice cream. For the bargain hunter or window shopper, Noel Night is heaven.
Of course, with consumerism, commercialism and all of the other “isms” that plague Christmas time, many would see the event as simply a way for stores to increase sales. To us, it was a night for the locals, one last chance to wander the streets of Telluride and taste ciders and eggnogs with friends before the hectic busy season arrives.