Denver: Where outdoor Christmas lighting tradition began

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Denver Christmas lights
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Denver: Where outdoor Christmas lighting tradition began
In 1914, D.D. Sturgeon, founder of Sturgeon Electric, wanted to give his ill son some Christmas joy, so he wrapped his pine trees with electric bulbs dipped in red and green paint. His neighbors loved the idea and soon joined in themselves.
The traditional holiday light display is blurred as it illuminates the Denver City/County Building late on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The traditional holiday light display illuminates the Denver City County Building late on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(CM) xmasLights_cm The giant Christmas light display the Wortham Winter Wonderland, 1582 Meyerwood Circle, (on the right) in Highlands Ranch on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(CM) xmasLights_cm The giant Christmas light display the Wortham Winter Wonderland, 1582 Meyerwood Circle, in Highlands Ranch on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
XMAS LIGHTS--12-7-01--The lighting display at 10472 Moore Court in Broomfield features handmade dioramas depicting scenes with Santa on either side of the driveway. Christmas lights. DENVER POST STAFF/GLENN ASAKAWA PAGER: 303-826-2771; HOME: 303-666-5104 (Photo By Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA,C0--CHRISTMAS LIGHTS--Over 15,000 Christmas bulbs decorate a house at 1995 Jamaca St. in Aurora Saturday evening. THE DENVER POST/ANDY CROSS (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DEC 16 1953, DEC 17 1953, DEC 14 1980; A bright glow surrounds Denver's handsome city and county building as electricians make their first full-scale test of the Christmas lighting for this year. The test was made Wednesday night and workmen are rushing preparations on the rest of the display. Beginning Monday, the lights will be on nightly.; (Photo By Cloyd Teter/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DEC 17 1972; Christmas Lights are on again at Denver's city and county building; A Denver tradition that goes back almost 50 years was continued Friday night when Mayor Bill McNicholas flipped a switch that turned on 35,000 red, green and blue Christmas lights. The lights will be on every night from 6 to 10 p.m until Jan. 20. Wilbur Latham, director of the Christmas lighting display for the last17 years, said the annual lighting of the City and County Building was conceived by city electrician named John Malpide in 1923.; (Photo By John Prieto/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DEC 29 1972, DEC 30 1972; Christmas Lights shine on Carolers at civic center; Hundreds of youth attending the Great Plains Youth Conference for Lutheran Church in American caroled near City and County Building Thursday night. The meeting opened Wednesday at the Albany Hotel and ended Friday. Several hundred youth from 13 states attended the conference which had as theme 'Jesus and People in the 70's.'; (Photo By Ernie Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Long exposure of an lit-up outdoor Christmas tree in the snow. City lights of Denver in background. See all my Christmas Images Here:
Denver's City and County Building decorated for the holidays. The display is a holiday tradition that dates back to 1935.
Denver City and County Building with Christmas Lights. ProPhoto RGB.
Downtown Denver at Christmas. Gas and Electric Company's building decorated with lights.
Christmas lights shaped like an elephant, Denver Zoo Lights, Denver Zoo, Denver, Colorado USA
Christmas lights shaped like elephants, Denver Zoo Lights, Denver Zoo, Denver, Colorado USA
Denver City Hall decorated for Christmas.
Downtown Denver at Christmas. 16th Street Mall decorated with holiday lights.
Looking down 17th Street in Downtown Denver to Union Station, illuminated for the Holiday season, Denver, Colorado USA
Blossoms of Light , one million lights illuminating the Denver Botanic Gardens during the holiday season, Denver, Colorado USA
Holiday lights along historic downtown Littleton, Littleton, Colorado USA
Holiday lights along historic downtown Littleton, Littleton, Colorado USA
Blossoms of Light , one million lights illuminating the Denver Botanic Gardens during the holiday season, Denver, Colorado USA
Blossoms of Light , one million lights illuminating the Denver Botanic Gardens during the holiday season, Denver, Colorado USA
Downtown Denver at Christmas. Denver's City and County building decorated with holiday lights.
A stand of fruit trees is lighted in blues, greens and reds to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
Historic farm decorated with Christmas lights.
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(KDVR) DENVER - As long ago as 1907, when merchants put green and red bulbs in street lights along 16th Street, Denver has been known for outdoor holiday flair.

But in 1914 when D. D. Sturgeon-founder of Sturgeon Electric-wanted to give his ill son some Christmas joy, he wrapped his pine trees with electric bulbs, which were dipped in red and green paint.

For many historians who keep track of such things, they refute the idea that New York City may have had outdoor lighting before Denver.

"If they had lights before 1907, then maybe they were first," said Dr. Tom Noel (Noel get it) aka Dr. Colorado. "But from all we have found lights first went outside in Denver."

The neighborhood around the old Sturgeon homestead on West 34th Avenue continues to hold the tradition near and dear, and as was the case 100 years ago, many in metro Denver seem to go "Chevy Chase" when putting up displays for the holidays.

And remember, don't take your lights down until after the Stock Show, as we like to keep 'em up 'til the cowboys ride into the sunset!

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