Holiday lights have changed 2021

The full moon peaking through the trees on Bird Island at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

Thirty years ago I was a volunteer Docent at the Denver Zoo. In a fit of nostalgia I decided to help out with the brand new winter event The Denver Zoo had started called ‘Wild Lights’. I was recalling that for Flanders Music Thanksgiving late afternoon was the time we decorated the store for Christmas. I wanted to rekindle an old spirit so I agreed to stand outside of the giraffe house and say “Happy Holidays” to people as they walked by.

EE Ford house grounds 2021

That first year at the Zoo we had a couple hundred folks come through. Each year the crowds grew until thousands wanted to see the Zoo lite up. Each year I volunteered for more and more nights. Finally I was there pretty much the whole month of December. The Marketing department approached me and said, ‘hey, you are here all of the time, would you like to earn a few bucks and be in charge of running the event?’ For five years I managed Wild Lights in Denver. I loved it. [Our son Michael used to say, ‘Just give my Dad a little time and he will figure out how to be in charge.’]

Denise walking through a light tunnel at the EE Ford House 2021

I noticed that the volunteer Santa was wearing out and becoming a little too formal. Michael guessed it, I became the most talked about Santa in the Wild Lights history. I talked with kids, I talked with Moms. I never asked, “And what would you like for Christmas?” I did ask each kid, “And what have you done to put a smile on your parents’ face?” It was not unusual to have the entire line erupt in applause, after I loudly proclaimed: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

Lighting effects have come a long way in 30 years. Denise walking along the path at EE Ford House 2021.

On the second night of a Holiday ‘Starry Lights’ at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House close to our Michigan home, I wanted to experience a walk down memory lane so I talked Denise into going through the grounds lit for the Holidays. Effects are more complex and the syncing with music is fun. And, it is still bright colored lights on a cold evening.

It looks like someone is home at the Ford’s house
Interactive Starry wall
The trees came alive
Eleanor is ice skating again projected onto the house
Only need polar bears
It looked like the moon sprung a leak
Denise taking a picture of me taking a picture.
Overall, in my opinion nothing comes close to Wildlihts

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