Holiday season officially starts in Steamboat Springs with Friday’s “Light Up the Night” community tree lighting |

Holiday season officially starts in Steamboat Springs with Friday’s “Light Up the Night” community tree lighting

Christmas lights adorn downtown Steamboat Springs.
Matt Stensland
If You Go… What: Light Up the Night community tree lighting When: 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 Where: Routt County Courthouse lawn, 522 Lincoln Ave.   Be on the lookout for:
  • The 36 multi-colored snowflakes on the center spruce tree
  • “The snowflake lights are new this year and we're praying they usher in lots of Champagne Powder this season,” said Lindahl.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There’s something about driving down Lincoln Avenue as it’s illuminated by an ambient glow of twinkling lights that proclaims the arrival of the holiday season.

With the flip of a switch, it’s here.

Following Main Street Steamboat’s community tradition, Steamboat Springs will officially welcome the holiday season at the annual “Light Up the Night” community tree lighting.

Bundle up, grab cup of hot cocoa, holiday cookie and a spot with a view as the count down starts promptly at 6 p.m. Friday on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

“When it’s cold, snowing and the lights go on, it just feels like Christmas and the holiday season is here,” said Dustin Lindahl, who was born and raised in Steamboat and is the owner of Steamboat Lightscapes. “I always love this time of year.”

At the Main Street Steamboat annual event, sing a few holiday songs, dive for ping pong balls that drop from the sky with specials from downtown merchants and you just might see a Nutcracker of a few Sugar Plum Fairies from the Elevation Dance Studios.

Santa will even make his first appearance of the season.

If Friday at 6 p.m. sharp doesn’t work for the busy schedule, there will also be a Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Hayden starting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the “Christmas Tree House” located on Fourth and Jefferson.

Using about a million LED lights each season, Steamboat Lightscapes is known for the display adorned on the large spruce trees of the courthouse lawn. Their team also lit up the 53 trees along Lincoln Ave.

“The lights over Yampa Street are definitely my favorite project this year,” said Lindahl. “That’s the only place in Northwest Colorado that I can think of where you’ll see lighting like that. It’s a perfect example of how lighting can completely change the atmosphere and feel after dark.”

During the holidays, Lindahl said lighting up large trees is their biggest request and for the past two years they’ve seen more requests for color, especially the LED blue, green and red.

“It seems like everyone gets a bit sad about the shorter days this time of year,” he said. “We love that with some lighting and the expertise of our team and specialty lifts, we can make the days feel a bit longer and brighter.”

The lights will have nights aglow through the end of ski season.


Steamboat Lightscapes tips on holiday lighting

“I feel like lights work harder in Steamboat than most places,” said Lindahl. “Many lights stay up for most of ski season and during that time they may see temps in the 60’s or well below zero. In that time they see wind, sun, snow and occasional rain. Not to mention abuse from snow bushed by plows or blown by snow blowers.”

  • Use high quality LED lights that are UL rated for outdoor use
  • Make sure to use outdoor extension cords and that electrical connections are tight and out of low spots where water can puddle, causing problems.
  • How and where you install the lighting is equally as important. Make sure to consider where snow is plowed, where ice dams form, where metal roofs shed their snow, etc.



To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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