County getting ready for the holidays early

Just one day after Halloween, Pueblo County was already getting ready for Santa.  On Wednesday, November 1, Pueblo County inspected and replaced the 466 lights on the dome of the Historic Courthouse and nearly four thousand mini multi-colored lights were strung on the trees.  An additional 10 colored lights will be positioned to reflect down on the building from the eves of the Historic Courthouse and two spotlights will illuminate the main entrance for the holidays.   
 
Pueblo County is getting into the holiday spirit early in hopes of getting the community into the giving spirit early. The free Historic Courthouse Holiday Lighting Ceremony is going to kick off a family entertainment gift card drive to benefit foster families and help change the way kids experience foster care. 
 
Individuals and businesses are invited to donate family entertainment gift cards, such as gift cards for bowling, museums, the zoo, miniature-golf, athletic facilities--basically any activity that families can enjoy together.  Anyone interested in donating before the Historic Courthouse Holiday Lighting Ceremony should contact Paris Elliott, Pueblo County Community Information Manager at 719-252-8550 or elliottp@pueblocounty.us.
 
The Historic Courthouse Holiday Lighting Ceremony will be Friday, November 17, from 6 - 7:00 p.m.  The lighting ceremony is free and open to the public, regardless if one was naughty or nice.  After the lighting ceremony, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available to pose for pictures and selfies with families and children.  Visitors will also be able to enjoy holiday songs performed by student choirs, hot chocolate, cookies and an ornament station for the children to create their own ornaments to take home. 
 
The family entertainment gift card drive will run through January 1.  Additional collection sites will also be announced the day of the Historic Courthouse Holiday Lighting Ceremony on November 17.  Toys, cash or checks cannot be accepted at this time. 
 
The family entertainment gift card drive is part of a nine-month foster parent recruitment effort that was launched during the Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival and will wrap up after Mother’s Day.
 
The decorations inside the Historic Courthouse will also emphasize the importance of family. District 60 and 70 elementary school art students are making ornaments representative of their favorite family activity.  The Colorado Heart Gallery's Foster Family Recruitment Banners will be on display inside the courthouse. And, in honor of the foster parent recruitment effort, Walmart generously donated a 12-foot Christmas tree to be displayed in the Rotunda of the Historic Courthouse this year as well as years to come.