Walking into Chapungu Sculpture Park from Centerra’s ice rink, visitors are immediately surrounded by love — in the form of several heart-shaped arches that illuminate the path and welcome visitors to Winter Wonderlights, Visit Loveland’s annual holiday light display and weekend festival.

This is the tourism board’s fifth year hosting the event, which has continued to become bigger and better with each year as local businesses donate time and materials to make the lights and entertainment that much more impressive.

Visitor Services Manager Cindy Mackin said, “We do it for a great show, and we do it for the community and the people who are coming up to visit. And that’s the hope that people who are having visiting friends and relatives coming into town see that this is a fun, free place that they can come any night of the week and enjoy.”

A crew from Rythm EFX lifts the center of the Christmas tree into its upright position on top of the hill Tuesday, while setting up for this year’s Winter Wonderlights at Chapungu Sculpture Park in east Loveland. (Jenny Sparks/Loveland Reporter-Herald)

Approximately 80,000 lights fill the 10-acre section of the sculpture park, a design that event organizers have been planning since March, and brainstorming ideas for since last December. The light display is open to the public every night beginning at 4:30, while Wonderlights Live is their festive event held alternating weekends beginning this Friday.

The set-up for the weekend festivals includes the largest inflatable igloo in the United States, live musicians on the igloo stage, a musical light show with the 20-foot-tall LED tree by RythmEFX and appearances from Santa and his reindeer courtesy of The Promenade Shops at Centerra and Jessen Reindeer Ranch.

“Visit Loveland promotes people coming up and visiting Loveland all year round, but winter is not the busiest time for us. So we try and do these big destination events to market ourselves as a destination, in a time period where people typically wouldn’t be coming here. This whole event we wanted to use what we had and what we’re known for, which is our wonderful arts,” Mackin said.

Wonderlights Live also includes cookie decorating courtesy of Mary’s Mountain Cookies, princesses and characters from RJ’s Amazing Entertainment, glitter tattoos, balloon animals, arts and crafts and more for the whole family to enjoy.

Mackin said, “It’s exciting, and it’s fun, and we’re just like big kids.”

Visitors can enjoy the display lights starting at 4:30 p.m. every day through January 1, and the live festivities every other weekend starting this Friday.

If you go:

What: Winter Wonderlights

When: Wonderlights Live Weekends: 5 p.m. Nov. 15-16, 29-30 and Dec. 13-14. Lights on display Nov. 15 through Jan. 1.

Where: Chapungu Sculpture Park, Sky Pond Drive, Loveland.

Cost: Free admission, food trucks at cost during Live Weekends.

More info: visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights

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