Castle Rock's Starlighting ritual promises to be memorable in 2012, with the town's new ice rink set to open the same day the town heralds the holiday season.
Starlighting is Nov. 17, in a tradition that dates back to 1935. The lighting of the Christmas star that sits atop the rock monument that gives the town its name began in the pre-World War II era and continues this year with a holiday-themed play, live puppet shows at the Philip S. Miller Library and nearly 20 entertainment venues throughout the day, said Pam Ridler, president of the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce.
The Starlighting celebration begins around 2 p.m., with free hot chocolate, visits from Santa Claus, free carriage rides through downtown Castle Rock, roving Christmas carolers, the reading of the Starlighting poem and a performance of “The Star of Castle Rock,” an original piece by the Castle Rock Historical Society.
The event is set to feature the opening of the Rink at the Rock, Castle Rock's ice rink and the latest addition to downtown Castle Rock.
Admission to the ice rink will be free during Starlighting, said Rick Stucy, chairman of the downtown development authority. The authority began construction on the rink in September and, one week before Starlighting, was ready to pour ice on the rink, Stucy said.
“It's all really coming together, we love the facility, the canopy is just gorgeous,” he said. “It turned out even better than I thought. Everyone is just really excited.”
The authority bought 200 pairs of skates for rental, has lockers available for visitors to secure personal items and will have a trolley available to move visitors to and from the downtown parking structure, Stucy said.
The official Starlighting ceremony commences at 5 p.m. and will include a 30-minute fireworks display.
Starlighting entertainment schedule
• 1-4:15 p.m. — Santa's Workshop at the Wilcox Administrative Building, 300 Wilcox St.
• 2-6:30 p.m. — Hot chocolate, ornaments - Chamber Booth at Wilcox Administrative Building
• 1-3:30 p.m. — Free puppet show, story time, historic Starlighting display at Philip S. Miller Library
• 2-4:45 p.m. — Free hay wagon rides at 3rd and Perry streets
• 2 - 4:45 p.m. — Carriage offering free rides at 4th and Wilcox streets
• 2-5 p.m. — Ongoing entertainment throughout downtown Castle Rock
• 2-6:30 p.m. — Nonprofit booths with holiday crafts and treats for sale/giveaway between 3rd and 4th on Perry Street
• 2-4:45 p.m. — Free trolley rides from the Philip S. Miller Library
• 2 -7 p.m. — Chili supper at the fire station
• 5 p.m. — Starlighting Ceremony at Wilcox Administrative Building
• 5:30 p.m. — Lighting of the star, with 77th anniversary spectacular and fireworks
Starlighting street closures
The following streets will be closed from 1:30-7 p.m. Nov. 17
• Wilcox Street between 3rd and 5th streets
• 4th Street between Jerry and Perry streets
• Perry Street between 2nd and 5th streets
• 3rd Street between Wilcox and Perry streets
• 4th Street between Wilcox and Perry streets