Photos by Sarah Fish
On Friday, from 5-9 p.m., the Gardens on Spring Creek will celebrate their 7th annual Garden of Lights event, during which time the gardens will be lit with thousands of LED lights in celebration of the holiday season.
Attendees can stroll through the volunteer-decorated gardens and enjoy the night’s scheduled events for a suggested donation of $2 per person.
According to volunteer coordinator, Charlotte Boney, this Friday will offer an exciting night featuring an opening ceremony with Mayor Weikunat, a performance by the Poudre High School Jazz Band and a special unveiling of the Purple Coneflower Trio light instillation.
In celebration of their tenth anniversary, the Gardens on Spring Creek’s staff have designated the purple coneflower as the commemorative flower, Boney said. To tie this flower into the light show, the Gardens’ partner sponsor, Gallegos Sanitation, designed and constructed a unique Coneflower Trio Sculpture that will officially be lit on Friday by Fort Collins mayor, Karen Wietkunat.
“Mayor Weitkunat has opened Garden of Lights for the past several years,” Director at the Gardens on Spring Creek, Michelle Provaznik said. “This year she will light the new sculpture, Purple Coneflower Trio, recognize the artist and talk about the tenth anniversary of the Gardens.”
Following the unveiling of the new light instillation, The Poudre High School Jazz Band will perform to set the tone for a night of beautiful lights, mulled cider and community engagement.
“The Garden of Lights offers an opportunity for families and friends to take part in an activity unlike anything else in the area,” Boney said. “During the weekends guests can visit with Santa, listen to holiday music and enjoy warm drinks.”
This year, staff predicts over 16 thousand people will attend the Garden of Lights, which will be open from Dec.5 through Jan. 4. The Gardens will also be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas night, New Years Eve and New Years night, offering a fun and cheap activity for festive holiday nights.
“What excites us most about Garden of Lights,” Provaznik said, “is that it attracts such a diverse population to our botanic garden, including multi-generations of families, seniors from neighboring assisted living facilities, groups of CSU and high school students and yes, date night.”
Many CSU student plan on attending the ceremonies, or visiting the gardens over Winter Break.
“I’ve never been to the light show at Spring Creek, but I’ve heard good things about it,” said Allison Horn, CSU senior communications major. “I’m planning on going this Friday; I’m excited to see it.”
Important to the success and beauty of the Gardens on Spring Creek are the dedicated and hard-working volunteers.
“Last year volunteers contributed around six hundred hours to Garden of Lights,” Boney said. “The show would not go on without their help.”
For this year’s event, the staff is still actively recruiting volunteers to help out. If interested, contact Volunteer Coordinator Charlotte Boney.
Collegian A&E Writer Caitlyn Berman can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CaitlynBerman.