Denver: Where outdoor Christmas lighting tradition began

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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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