This year’s celebration will again include: hot chocolate, non profit booths, strolling entertainers, live entertainment and of course Santa will be present for photos and visits. Don’t forget to enjoy the Rink at the Rock, an outdoor ice skating rink in downtown Castle Rock as well.
2019 Castle Rock Starlighting
Saturday, November, 23, 2019
Time: 2 PM to 7 PM
Historic Wilcox Square – Downtown Castle Rock
The Starlighting ceremony will begin promptly at 5:00 pm and the lighting of the Star will be at approximately 5:30 pm, it may be earlier.
Santa will be available for visits at the PS Miller Library 2-4 pm and at the Fire Station 2-6pm.
This event is presented by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Be Sure to View the Full Entertainment Schedule Tab For The Complete List of Entertainment!
Huge Crowds Expected! Take a Free Shuttle Ride: 1:30 PM to 8:30 PM:
Douglas County High School
NORTH PARKING LOT
(2842 Front Street)
Douglas County Fairgrounds
(500 Fairgrounds Drive)
-RED SHUTTLE – Sponsored by Castle Rock Development Company
Briscoe/Alexander Bldgs Parking Lots at Castle Rock Adventist
SOUTH PARKING LOT
2350 Meadows Blvd Suite 300 (Please do not park in emergency or hospital parking lots.)
Please consider taking a shuttle from one of these locations.
Note: Shuttles are location specific, make sure you get on the bus you arrived on.
Parking Garage on Jerry/Third Streets
Parking Garage 1,2, & 3 levels – Open Parking during the event.
Limited Handicap Parking (First Come/First Serve) at the Douglas County Bldg South Side of the parking lot.
PLEASE NOTE: Many roads leading into downtown will be closed from 8 am – 9 PM.
View Event Map
Wilcox Street 5th to 3rd
4th Street Jerry to Perry
Perry Street 5th to 2nd
3rd Street Wilcox to Front Street
NEW THIS YEAR: Cars will be TOWED & IMPOUNDED at the owners expense.
Non Profit , Dance and Singing Groups are invited to participate in this well-respected community event to spread the word about their organization/program. If you meet all of the terms/conditions criteria you may submit your information to be considered for our upcoming event. Every great event of course needs great food! If you have a fabulous food truck and would like to feed our hungry crowd, please apply below!
Call the Chamber for more info at 303-688-4597.
Entertainment Groups-Contact Jason@castlerock.org
Non Profits – Register Here
Food Trucks-Register Here
History of the Castle Rock Star
Castle Rock is named for a large geological formation which looked to early travelers to the area like a castle on a hill. A special tradition has been observed in the town every Christmas since 1936. It has a 45 foot tall electric star which lights up the night in the town from the week before Thanksgiving until the end of the National Western Stock Show in January. The star has been a symbol to people in Castle Rock for over 80 years.
In 1936, the United States was experiencing the Great Depression.
Millions of people were out of work. There was also a drought in those years which became known as the “Dust Bowl”. Farms throughout the middle part of the country saw their crops dry up and their soil blow away. In Castle Rock, the Douglas County Fair, the community’s main annual festival, had been held only sporadically since 1930. Like people throughout the country, the citizens of Castle Rock were losing hope because of the poor economy, and the town was badly in need of a boost.
Someone heard that people in nearby Palmer Lake were talking about building a star. Community leaders in Castle Rock jumped on the idea, thinking that the star would draw travelers’ attention. They hoped people would stop in town on their travels along what was then busy Colorado Highway 85-87.
George P. Stewart owned “The Rock” in 1936, and he was happy to donate the land on which the star could alight. Men from the Works Progress Administration, who may have been staying at the local Civilian Conservation Corps Camp designed the star. Both the WPA and the CCC were federal programs designed to put Americans to work during the Depression. Forty foot steel rods were ordered from Denver and paid for with donations from the Town Council. Volunteer firemen carried the rods up
Castle Rock (no mean feat, there was no road or trail up the 290 foot tall rock then) and welded them together with gas donated by two local businesses. The manager of the local electric company donated some poles and helped string the electricity with wire donated by the Mountain States Telephone Company. When they were finished, the forty foot tall star with nearly 100 light bulbs shone from the top of Castle Rock. The star was lit around 5 pm and extinguished at midnight every night throughout the Christmas season, and burned all night on Christmas and New Year’s Eves. The star was lit every year from 1936 until 1941.
In 1941, the country was committing all its resources to win World War II, and the star was a luxury Castle Rock could no longer afford. Rationing of electricity did not allow the star to be lit, but the structure remained on top of the rock, a symbol of the sacrifices that everyone in the country was making. On August 14, 1945 the war was finally over. That night, the star was converted into a “V” for victory as people celebrated into the night at the fire station. The star was lit on December 7th of 1945, and it has been lit every Christmas season since. The star was completely rebuilt in 1949 in an effort to make it safer and sturdier, and there have been other repairs made to the structure in the succeeding years.
In 1965, a new group of community leaders, led by Mrs. Anne McConnell, started a ceremony for lighting the star. The programs included speakers from the Town of Castle Rock, choirs from the Air Force Academy and local churches, and a parade. In 1966, Mrs. Helen Lowrie Marshall, a Denver poet, wrote a poem called “The Star of Castle Rock” to commemorate the star. The poem was read at most of the starlighting ceremonies and published in the local newspaper throughout the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.
During the early 1970’s, the energy crisis briefly threatened the star lighting, but the tradition continued. For about 11 years, the ceremony was held at the Douglas County Courthouse. In 1978, the courthouse was destroyed in a fire. The starlighting was then held for a number of years on the “courthouse square”, where a new administration building for the county was constructed.
In 1999, the starlighting moved to the steps of the new police station on Perry Street in Castle Rock. After both the 1998 and the 1999 Super Bowls, the lightbulbs in the star were replaced so that they showed blue and orange in celebration of the Denver Broncos victories.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the star was lit for several weeks. The organizers of the Starlighting Ceremony chose a patriotic theme for their celebration, complete with flags on all the advertising for the event.
In 2015, the star was again lit with orange and blue bulbs to celebrate the Denver Broncos Superbowl 50 win over the Carolina Panthers. Information provided by Douglas County History Research Center
Thank You for your Help! Please view shifts/times below and sign up today!
Standing out in a crowd of competitors is no easy task, and it’s getting more difficult all the time. Contact the Castle Rock Chamber today to learn about the exciting sponsorship opportunities we can offer your business. Email Pam Ridler or give her a call at the Chamber (303) 688-4597.
2017 Starlighting Commemorative Ornament
Get your very own piece of Castle Rock memorabilia today. Purchase gifts for family and friends.
All items will be available for pick up at the Chamber Monday-Friday, between 9:00 am & 5:00 pm.
Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
420 Jerry Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
View More Items and Order Online Here
Come stroll & shop our local stores around Historic Wilcox Square.Visit with non profit organizations and sponsor booths. Grab a cup of hot cocoa from the Chamber booth, visit Santa and take advantage of all of the fun, free activities and entertainment.
We highly suggest taking one of 3 Free Shuttles Downtown.
MAIN STAGE (Corner of 4th/Wilcox):
John Saunders Band @ 2PM
Biff Gore @ 4:45PM
Ceremony begins @ 5PM
LIGHT THE STAR, we will light the star at approximately 5:30PM
HUGE FIREWORKS DISPLAY FOLLOWS
Main Stage: John Saunders Band 2PM & Biff Gore @ 4:45PM
The Emporium: Live Music 2-7PM
Strolling Entertainers around the Square
Patriot Pros Kids Zone – (Wilcox Bldg Parking Lot)
Summit Church Bounce House – (4th Street between Jerry/Wilcox)
Olinger Dignity Memorial & KLOVE – Petting Zoo & Letters to Troops (Jerry St/4th)
Santa Visits Castle Rock!
Visits w/Santa (Firehouse 2-6pm & Library 2-4pm)
Rink at the Rock Grand Opening
Support the Chamber!
Purchase Hot Chocolate @ the Chamber Booth!
(Spiked & Virgin) We will have Wine & Beer Too!
Time: 2-6 PM @ 2 Chamber Booths on 4th & on 3rd Streets (between Wilcox/Perry)
Proceeds benefit Castle Rock Chamber Starlighting fund
Purchase Commemorative Starlighting Ornaments at the Chamber Booth
on 4th St (between Wilcox/Perry)
Or purchase Ornaments ONLINE- They are a special and unique, one of kind holiday gift!
View Starlighting Entertainment Schedule
2019 Community-Wide STOREFRONT DECORATING CONTEST
We can make the 2019 STARLIGHTING the most festive event of the season for all of Castle Rock!
Decorate your storefront or building in time for Starlighting on Saturday, November 23, 2019
A certificate and collection of commemorative ornaments will be awarded to winner of each of the following categories:
• Best of Show
• Best Use of Lights
• Most Creative
Winners will be announced at the Starlighting Ceremony and in the Local News Publications and websites.
Judging will be November 21st after 5:30pm. Register Your Business Location Here to be considered.
We invite you to join the Castle Rock Chamber on Saturday, November 23rd for a day full of fun activities, culminating in the Starlighting ceremony at 5:00 pm. The lighting of the Star will be at approximately 5:30 pm followed by a fireworks show.
Help keep this wonderful tradition alive with your generous support.
Although any donation is appreciated, $100 or more will promote your family or business as a Friend of Starlighting on our website along with other Starlighting sponsors. A commemorative certificate and letter of thanks will also be mailed to you.