Freezing temperature, heartwarming tradition

Christmas lights 2010
Christmas lights 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The weather may be gloomy, but holiday cheer will brighten the streets of Denver this weekend.

The 39th Annual 9NEWS Parade of Lights is taking place today at 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday in Downtown Denver.


According to CSU Marching Band Ensemble Coordinator Copper Ferreira, Cam the Ram will be joining Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa.

The band will be the opening act leading the rest of the procession of floats and musical acts with a medley of familiar Christmas music. According to Ferreira, they plan on reserving a special encore for alumni in attendance.

“We hope the spectators are entertained,” Ferreira said, “and that we help them get into the holiday spirit and Ram Pride.”

According to Alto Saxophonist Olivia Todd, a sophomore soil and crop science major, the marching band is a celebration of love for music, fun people, teamwork and rewarding outcomes from all of their hard work.

“Last year’s show was cold, the group was happy and we loved to be there,” Todd said. “Our band director is already calling it ‘The Coldest Parade You’ll Ever March In.’”

Todd, who has also been an audience member at past Parades of Lights, said it feels much longer while marching as part of it rather than just watching it. The big difference lies with being entertained versus doing the entertaining.

According to Lauren Tong, a sophomore food science and human nutrition major, she went to the parade last year when the band was playing at Eaglecrest High School, her alma mater. They marched in the cavalcade.

“It was really cold,” Tong said.

Despite this, Tong said she would go again, since it is a good time to stand alongside the extravagant spectacular with friends. Her alma mater, Eaglecrest High School, happens to be walking the route once more this year.

The parade is an icon of Denver’s cultural history. It is where the families of Colorado have gathered to create memories and begin the celebratory season together. They come from all over to give recognition to the talented and hardworking student bands who have participated in a time-honored local custom for decades.


General admission is free. For tickets to the grandstand seating in front of the illuminated City and County Building, buy tickets through Ticket Horse. You can call 1-866-461-6556 or purchase them at any Dick’s Sporting Goods location.

Another way to sustain this community function is to donate to the host, the nonprofit Downtown Denver Events, Inc., via or during the affair itself.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Hunter Goddard can be reached at