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Starlighting festivities planned in Castle Rock

Holiday-season event is tradition that brings town together

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It's time again for the annual lighting of the star atop Castle Rock. This year's celebration features nonprofit booths, strolling entertainers, live entertainment, Santa visits and outdoor ice skating at Rink at the Rock.

Starlighting festivities run from 2-7 p.m. Nov. 18 in historic Wilcox Square. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m., with the lighting of the star happening about 5:30 p.m. The walking guide includes the event information.

Entertainment at The Emporium will be provided by Shauna Chanda and Darren Rahn at 2 p.m.; Biff Gore, “The Ambassador of Soul,” at 3 p.m.; and Hazel and the Hazel Miller Band at 4 p.m. and again immediately following the lighting of the star.

The 45-foot-tall electric star lights up the night from the week before Thanksgiving until the end of the National Western Stock Show in January. It has been a Christmas tradition in Castle Rock since 1936, with only one break from 1941-45.

When the country was committing all its resources to win World War II, lighting the star was not a luxury the town could not afford. When the war ended with the announcement of the Japanese surrender, the star was converted to a V for victory and people celebrated into the night on Aug. 14, 1945. The star was again illuminated Dec. 7, 1945, and it has been lit every Christmas season since. The star was rebuilt in 1949, and other repairs have been made to the structure in the succeeding years.

For more about the history of the star, or about the event, go to https://castlerock.org/castle-rock-starlighting/

Free shuttle rides

Many roads leading into downtown will be closed from 1-6 p.m. during Starlighting. Free shuttle rides will be offered from 1:30 to 8:30 p.m. Shuttle stops are at Douglas County High School, 2842 Front St.; Douglas County Fairgrounds, 500 Fairgrounds Drive; and Castle View High School, 5254 N. Meadows Drive.

Shuttles are location specific; make sure to get on the bus you arrived on.

In addition, parking garage levels 1-3 are open during the event, and a limited number of handicap spaces will be available at the Douglas County Building, north side.

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