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Lighting ceremony sparks holiday cheer in Old Town

Lynn+Tesson+and+Les+Sunde+embrace+after+a+dance+at+the+Downtown+Holiday+Lighting+Ceremony+in+Old+Town+Square%2C+Fort+Collins.
Collegian | Cait Mckinzie
Lynn Tesson and Les Sunde embrace after a dance at the Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony in Old Town Square Nov. 3.

Halloween has come and gone much more quickly than most realize. With the cooler weather and the expiration of fall, it feels appropriate to start thinking about the holidays.

Holiday lights bring tremendous amounts of joy during the holiday season, and on Friday, Nov. 3, the City of Fort Collins hosted the Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony in Old Town Square.

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The event started at 5:30 p.m. and ran until 7 p.m. There was free admission, and droves of Fort Collins citizens came to watch. To make the ceremony even more festive, live music played throughout the duration of the night.

Justin Schwendeman, a Fort Collins resident in attendance, said the light show is something Fort Collins should be proud of.

“Yeah, I think it’s one of the things that you want to show off about Fort Collins when you’re here,” Schwendeman said. “It just has, like, a different ambiance and feel.”

He also went on to talk about the season’s joy.

“It gives you something to look at and brings that sense of joy,” Schwendeman said. “And it gets darker later in the day, and it’s just something nice to look at.”

With the recent daylight saving time change, it feels like winter is fully upon the Fort Collins community. The Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony came at a perfect time as dark skies and nighttime occur earlier.

Grace Marroquin, another Fort Collins resident, said the holiday lights are a major attraction during the holiday season.

“Absolutely, it’s beautiful,” Marroquin said. “When we have people come in from out of town, we always make sure we come to Old Town. The show, the malls — it’s just so pretty.”

Having the holiday lights brings the public eye to Old Town.

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Mike Brown, a senior supervisor with the Fort Collins Parks Department, is responsible for contracting the service provider for the light installation. He mentioned how beneficial the ceremony is for holiday commerce in Old Town.

“Obviously, the beauty of the holiday lights really transforms the downtown into a very unique and memorable setting that draws crowds,” Brown said. “It brings people to restaurants and bars and our retail businesses. It’s just a great community center for everybody to come and enjoy the beauty and the uniqueness of the downtown district.”

The holiday lights are a great opportunity for Fort Collins residents and visitors to go to Old Town and spread holiday cheer. This ceremony has even gotten the attention of the neighboring community.

Bob Manfred made the drive from Loveland to Old Town for the event. He had nothing but good things to say about Old Town Square and the holiday lights.

“The lights that they put up all through Old Town, I mean, when you start to see them, you feel like you’re in Disney world,” Manfred said. “I think they’re doing a great job.”

The holiday lights in Old Town get the community excited for the upcoming season of cheer. The City of Fort Collins puts a huge amount of effort into the ceremony, and the residents really appreciate the event.

Reach Jack Fillweber at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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