There is simply no better way to get into the holiday spirit than a visit to Colony Christmas, which takes place this weekend in downtown Palmer. The entire community comes together to make it one of the most memorable weekends on the calendar.

From a parade of lights and fireworks to craft fairs and outdoor events, Colony Christmas is a family-friendly holiday celebration that has something for everyone. A majority of the events take place within walking distance of downtown.

Even Scrooge would have a hard time not being festive in Palmer this weekend with all the holiday cheer being spread. You'll find festive lights, decorated trees and even Santa Claus himself. Around every corner in Palmer, there's a holiday event taking place this weekend.

Those looking for locally made gifts this holiday have a wide range of shopping options. In addition to the many downtown merchants that will be open, there are craft fairs taking place at the United Protestant Church, Palmer Depot, Mat-Su Senior Services, Klondike Mike's and the Mat-Su Borough Gym.

On Saturday, kids will enjoy the Make a Marshmallow Snowman event at the Palmer Moose Lodge from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the free kids games from noon to 3 p.m. at the Palmer Depot. There are other events taking place at various venues throughout the day.

Two new events this year will prove to be very popular. The "Running of the Beers 5-ish K" will start from Bleeding Heart Brewery at 4 p.m., with participants walking, biking or running to the Alaska Picker location (562 S. Denali St.). Alaska Picker is then lighting up the Palmer Water Tower for the first time in recent memory.

The biggest event, however, starts at 5 p.m. as the Parade of Lights makes its way through town, with floats appropriately decorated with holiday lights. Grab a hot cocoa or a coffee and get there early to get a great seat - but don't leave when the last float passes, because 15 minutes after the end of the parade, an amazing fireworks display lights up the sky.

Events continue on Sunday. For a complete schedule of events, visit the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce's web site HERE.

Make sure you come on down to Palmer this weekend. Check out some of the fun from last year's event: