It's the time of year when festive lights brighten thme chilly dark, on streetlights, houses and businesses.
If you make the short trip up South Cheyenne Canyon, you also can take in the colored lights adorning the canyon leading up to The Broadmoor Seven Falls. Visitors must park in The Broadmoor's East Lot and take the shuttle to Seven Falls. Tickets will be available at the Seven Falls Ticket Booth once guests arrive by shuttle.
Saturday, the holiday lights will return to Seven Falls with a family-friendly celebration that starts at noon.
"We're calling it a winter lights day. It's not just focused on that minute of lighting the lights," said Sasha Burke, director of operations for The Broadmoor Seven Falls. "There are lots of family-friendly activities, including Santa, who will be with us every Saturday until Christmas."
Among the activities:
- The Seven Falls Elf Squad will distribute give free candy canes and glow sticks to children all day. An Elf Scavenger Hunt runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with candy and prizes.
- Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Outpost from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for photos.
- Kids can write a letter to Santa at the Canyon Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Two of Santa's reindeer will be at the park above the Canyon Pavilion from 2 to 4 p.m.
- Chipster, the Seven Falls Chipmunk, will be out and about from noon to 6 p.m., greeting families.
- Complimentary hot chocolate will be available at the base of the falls, 3 to 6 p.m.
- The food truck at the Canyon Pavilion will serve soups, grilled cheese sandwiches and hot beverages, noon to 6:30 p.m.
"Based on the fact that the canyon is over three-quarters of a mile long, there is no set place for a ceremony. The Seven Falls Winter Lights will come on at 5:30 p.m.," said Burke, who has worked at The Broadmoor for 23 years and has been director of operations for Seven Falls for a year.
This will be the second year for colored lights on the falls, with a focus on green and blue lights. Before last year, the lights were white.
"When the colors returned to the falls, it was great - it felt like this was the way it should be," Burke said.
After Saturday, the lights will come on every evening at 4:30 on the days Seven Falls is open: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's a good idea to call ahead if the weather looks icy.
"We do like the fact that we are open snowy days. But if the road leading up to the falls is slippery, we will close. Definitely call ahead. It all depends on the limitations in the canyon that day," Burke said.
Her advice: Wear proper shoes and be prepared to walk a little when you visit.
"We will have our lights on every night, so if you can't make it Saturday, the beautiful lights will be on all winter, through Feb. 25," Burke said.
If you'd like to view Seven Falls (as well as The Broadmoor and Cloud Camp) from the comfort of home, visit the 24-hour webcam feed: broadmoor.com /media-gallery/webcam
MICHELLE KARAS, THE GAZETTE, 476-1602, MICHELLE.KARAS@GAZETTE.COM