Aspen History: Lighting Up Aspen
“City Council buys 12 strings colored lights,” announced a headline in The Aspen Times on Dec. 13, 1951. “For the permanent decoration of metropolitan Aspen, the City Council has purchased twelve strings of gaily colored lights. The Mountain Utilities Company is donating the installation of these lights, so Aspen will soon be bright with color at night. The decoration will be useful for special events all year around, and especially gay for the Christmas holidays. Some progress is being made toward launching the big contest, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, for the best-adorned store and residence this Christmas season. Winning merchant and winning home-owner will receive an honor plaque from the C. of C., and loads of compliments from fellow townspeople. Mention has been made of the idea that stores might install small Christmas trees in the holes where flags are sometimes placed and light them up with colorful bulbs. If enough home-owners wanted to buy colored lights for exterior decoration, it is suggested that strings of outdoor lights might be procured at a special price. Interested residents are asked to phone Committeemen Tom Sardy, John Herron and Louis Wille.” This image, taken by Margaret Durrance, shows strings of lights near the Hotel Jerome in the late 1950s.
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