There’s nothing quite like Christmas lights set to music to start the holiday season.
The lights premiere at Conifer Community Church on Nov. 27 did not disappoint. Those in cars and those outside watching the 35-minute light shows were mesmerized by the 146,000 blinking red, blue, green and white lights — a fun time for the entire family.
“We want to share with the community the good news of Christmas,” said pastor Lance Swearengin as the first of four light shows began. “It’s just a festive experience at Christmas.”
Swearengin says he has spent many hours over the years watching the light display.
“When it first started 10 years ago, I watched it for hours,” he said. “Now I watch a few songs at a time while my car is warming up as I’m leaving.”
His family, including his teenage sons, come every year.
The lights are designed and installed on what is called “Christmas island” by Impact Christmas Lighting, whose owner Arman Prescott is heavily involved at the church. Prescott said this year the show had been refreshed with 12 songs, and the music is, as always, played over an FM radio station.
Prescott said people came from far and near to watch the premiere — some first-timers to the show while others are veterans of the event, which includes s’mores, hot chocolate, cookies, hot dogs and hamburgers, and for some, a visit with Santa.
Eight-year-old Kalina, who according to mom Whitney Goin likes anything that goes fast, asked Santa for a bright blue Bugatti high-performance car. Kalina said while she was too young to drive, she would happily allow her parents to drive her around in the sports car.
Goin, of Evergreen, said the Christmas lights premiere is a family favorite, and they come every year.
“It feels like a small-town mountain Christmas,” she said, explaining that the family stops in the parking lot several times in December to see the lights.
Friends Caitlyn Jenkins, who lives in Switzerland and is visiting family, and Liz Scott, of Boulder sat on a bench with their children, enjoying the music, the lights and being together.
“It’s lovely,” Jenkins said. “I’ve never been to anything like this. It’s my first holiday event of the season.”
Miriam and Aaron Johnston, who moved to Conifer six months ago, said the lights premiere was a good way to start off their first Christmas season here. The couple wanted to make sure they knew every song including “Run Rudolph Run,” “Carol of the Bells” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Feliz Navidad,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Amazing Grace.”
Aaron summed up the feeling of many in the crowd: “This is spectacular.”