Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light

DENVER — If you haven’t seen it, there’s still time. This year’s holiday lights display at the gardens features over 1 million lights and an interactive LED light show. The LA Times recently listed Blossoms of Light as one of the “..best displays of Christmas lights in the West“. This annual holiday lights extravaganza features some new elements, and includes the grand illuminated O’Fallon Perennial Walk and the Romantic Gardens.

Don’t miss:

  • Gazing at the twinkling lights through our popular HoloSpex glasses
  • Interacting with a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights
  • Warm drinks and tasty treats
  • Enjoy your stroll through Blossoms of Light while sipping a warm beverage in your souvenir mug

At the end of the twinkling Blossoms of Light pathway, visitors arrive at the Lumenscape: a massive lighting display that reacts to interactive instruments and recorded music. Nearly 15,000 individually-programmed LEDs dance in an array of lights that fills the entire UMB Amphitheater, offering an experience that is as mesmerizing as it is unique.

For a behind-the-scenes look at how the Lumenscape came to be, we talked to the founders of AudioPixel, the Boulder-based company that collaborated with the Gardens to develop the installation.

Tell us a little bit about AudioPixel.
AudioPixel primarily builds installations utilizing audio-reactive and interactive LEDs. We’ve built projects on our own, but we’ve also helped artists and groups build large-scale art installations, developed custom software used at nightclubs, and designed lighting for dozens of multi-day music festivals. We have also ventured into controlling pyrotechnics, fountains and robotics.

How did you decide on the design for the Lumenscape?
We had a lot of ideas going into the project, but we always knew we wanted an array of LEDs large enough that we could run elaborate, 3D visuals. In the end, we found that the vertical strips of LEDs spaced about six feet apart capture just enough area for your mind’s eye to fill in a complex image without being too bright or overbearing.

What was the biggest challenge in this process?
The amphitheater itself posed many unique challenges: we had to avoid sprinkler systems, create stands for areas where we could not stake into the ground, and design a grid that factored in grassy slopes and other obstacles. Nearly three miles of wires are used in the installation, which pushed our known expectations of how far electric current and data could travel to the LEDs. Plus, it was no small feat to design a reliable, watertight, outdoor installation in the dead of winter that would be ready for hundreds or thousands of visitors to view each night.

What was your favorite part of developing the Lumenscape?
The ability to expose this kind of art to a wider audience is a huge privilege. Most often, work of this nature is seen at exotic festivals or underground events that cater to a niche audience. The 38-day duration of this exhibit and its location at Denver Botanic Gardens make it accessible to the community and the general public. We’ve also loved watching the whole exhibit come together, and we can see the success of the project on visitors’ faces when they play with the instruments at the kiosk.

How did you get into the kind of work?
In the early 2000s, there weren’t many options for artists to program with light using existing software, so we just decided to do it ourselves. We studied “new media” at CU Boulder (ATLAS), RMCAD, and Emerson College in programs that encourage creativity and attempt to close the gap between engineering and the arts. More recently, demand has grown and the price of LEDs has dropped, which gives us more opportunities for large-scale projects.

What are some of the other major projects you’ve worked on?
We transformed a large, flatbed truck into an audio-reactive LED display that we’ve taken to various music festivals, including Burning Man, Arise, and Apogaea. We’ve worked with some of the biggest names in electronic music and, for the past eight years, we’ve collaborated on sound stages and art projects at Burning Man and local Maker-Faire DIY events.

Blossoms of Light is open every night 5:30-9 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 1. Purchase tickets online or at the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center. Groups of 15 people or more can purchase discounted tickets by calling 720-865-3584.

1007 York Street | Denver, CO 80206 | 720-865-3501 | Map

 

The post Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light appeared first on North Denver Tribune.

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Elitch Gardens in Denver: A History

            Elitch Gardens Amusement Park in Denver has undergone various location and name changes since its inception over a century ago. Commonly known as "Elitchs" to Denver locals, the park has become an important part of the longstanding history of Denver entertainment, and bringing meaning to the popular slogan "Not to See Elitch's is not to see Denver."

Elitch Gardens started out as farmland on 38th and Tennyson in Denver, Colorado. In 1890, John & Mary Elitch purchased 16 acres and opened Elitch Zoological Gardens, a petting zoo. Several years later, they added Elitch Theatre, which became the starting place and host of the oldest summer stock theatre in the United States. Elitch Theatre held summer stock theatre annually from 1897 until its close in 1987.

The first hint of a modern amusement park arrived at Elitch Gardens back in 1904 with the construction of its first roller coaster, called the Toboggan 8. A carousel soon followed the roller coaster in 1906. The carousel never went out of style-it is still in operation today at an amusement park in Burlington, Colorado. The Toboggan 8 roller coaster, however, did not last quite that long.

New ownership brought modernization in the start of the 20th century. John Mulvhill, who bought Elitch’s in 1916, added a Wildcat roller coaster in 1922, designed by the same company as the park’s original Toboggan 8. In 1928 a new carousel arrived, and it is still providing a musical ride for kids at Elitch’s today. Despite the exciting new roller coasters and other attraction additions, the zoo portion of the original Elitch Garden’s remained in place until the 1930s.

During the Big Band and swing era of the 1930s, touring national musical stars frequented the new Trocadero Ballroom. It quickly became a hot spot for concert radio broadcasts nationwide. Around this time, the zoo portion of Elitch’s was replaced by gardens and more adult rides.

As strange as it seems today, the early amusements catered mostly to adults. The amusement park made its first attempt at rides for children in the 1950s with Kiddieland. Kiddieland gained popularity quickly and grew to include a variety of entertaining rides, from child-size motorboats to a miniature car track with a gas station for kids to “fill up their tanks.”

Skee-ball and arcade games made it to Denver’s Elitch’s in the 1970s, replacing the once beloved Trocadoro Ballroom. Soon after, more exciting rollercoasters appeared throughout the park. The same Philadelphia Toboggan Company who designed the park’s Toboggan 8 and Wildcat brought the Mister Twister in 1964. The new rides pushed Elitch Gardens to the edge of it’s available land, creating a need for a new location in the 1980s.

In 1995, Elitch Gardens moved to its current downtown Denver location next to the Platte River Valley, making it one of the few downtown amusement parks in the country. The park made a brief stint as a Six Flags, from 1997 to 2006, after which new ownership changed the title back to “Elitch Gardens.” The “Elitch’s” portion of the amusement park’s name stayed with it for over a century, through more than 5 owners, because a stipulation in the original contract drawn up by Mary Elitch stated that the name was never to be changed. Today, downtown Denver’s Elitch Gardens has 6 roller coasters and a waterpark.

For a place to stay, the Courtyard Denver Downtown offers a hotel package deal that includes 2 tickets to Elitch Gardens. The Denver hotel is a short bike ride or quick 5 minute drive from the Elitch Gardens Amusement Park.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lauren_Lawton

            

John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together (full album)

Just thought I’d share something with everyone for the holiday. This is the full album of John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. It’s really good…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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