The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
From the Rockies to the Races: Why College Students Are Joining the Celebrity-Packed  Kentucky Derby
From the Rockies to the Races: Why College Students Are Joining the Celebrity-Packed Kentucky Derby
April 24, 2024

The Kentucky Derby, often celebrated as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” transcends mere horse racing to become a staple of American...

Fort Collins’ holiday lights expected to cost $115,000

The holiday lights illuminating the streets of Fort Collins are expected to cost around $115,000 this year.

The lights are a Fort Collins tradition that started in 2007. The lights remain lit from Nov. 4 to Feb. 14.


The Downtown Business Association, Downtown Development Authority and the City of Fort Collins split up the cost to pay for the lights.

The DBA contributed $35,000 to the lights and raised some extra in order to host the lighting ceremony event. The DBA raised their money from sponsorships from Blue Ocean Enterprises, Cosner Financial Group, Eye Center of Northern Colorado, First National Bank and Blue Federal Credit Union.

This year, the DDA contributed $35,000 to the lights. Derek Getto, the programs administrator, said the project was estimated to cost around $105,000 for the city.

The city of Fort Collins also contributed $35,000. An additional $10,000 from the City of Fort Collins was contributed to cover any damage costs that may come up.

The city begins to hang the lights 6 – 8 weeks before the initial lighting ceremony. The city of Fort Collins has a contract with Swingle Lawn, Tree and Landscape Care, which is an independent contractor that hangs the lights for the city.

The cost of the community lighting display is expected to be similar compared to 2015.

Last year in 2015, the lighting display used 68,500 LED lights. It cost $115,000 to keep the lights on from dusk to dawn for over 100 days.

In 2015, the Downtown Business Association provided a $40,000 sponsorship which lowered the cost to $75,000 for the city. With about 155,400 residents, it cost about $0.65 for each resident for the entire season.

All of the lights that are strung up are LED bulbs. LED stands for light-emitting diode. This means that the lights specifically direct light in one direction unlike fluorescent bulbs that emit heat and light in all directions. This makes LED lights more energy efficient and sustainable compared to other light bulbs.


The lighting ceremony takes place every year and the city uses low-energy and sustainable lights.

“I think by going from traditional incandescent to LED lights that is showing a significant commitment to reducing the use of electricity,” said Mike Brunkhardt, the supervisor of the Parks Division. “That goes in line with our mission here at the city to try and provide top quality services with the least impact on the environment and the use of resources.”

The Downtown Business Association put the lighting ceremony together this year.

The ceremony took place on Nov. 4. The University Center for the Arts’ Chorus previewed some songs that will be in the holiday showcase, and there was also a saxophone quartet and a brass quartet.

The event began at 5:30 p.m. and the lights were “unveiled” at 6:30 p.m. Mary’s Mountain Cookies provided refreshments and Kilwin’s Chocolate handed out fudge to members of the community.

The lights illuminate the trees on Walnut Avenue, Mountain Avenue, Pine Street, Linden Street and inside Old Town Square and Oak Street Plaza. The lights can also be seen on College Avenue and from Laporte Avenue to Magnolia Street.

Collegian reporter Hailey Deaver can be reached at or on twitter @autumn_hail.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    thorsonofodinNov 16, 2016 at 6:33 am

    That is less than $0.70 per resident of Fort Collins. I think that is a great deal. I am an atheist and I love these lights! They make the whole of old town so festive during the darkest days. Yule tidings!