Adam Uhernik is concerned about Christmas in July.
The Pueblo County Commissioners’ public information officer and organizer of the 2019 Pueblo County Courthouse Lighting Ceremony needs to raise $25,000 from private citizens and corporate sponsors by Sept. 1. That’s because Uhernik needs time to order the lights for the annual Christmas lighting ceremony scheduled for Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. The event marks the start of the holiday season in Pueblo and is held at the Historic Courthouse square on West 10th Street.
This year’s $25,000 goal is $15,000 more than what was raised through citizen and corporate sponsorship last year – the first year the event was funded entirely with private money.
“The amount is a little bit higher this year because, as we try to do more with the event, we need to replace our Christmas decorations and get more LED lights for the trees/bushes outside,” Uhernik. “This year we are also making history as we are testing temporary LED lighting on the Courthouse.”
The LED lights, which are computer controlled and programmable to various color combinations, will stay up for a week or two after the ceremony. Those LED lights are expected reflect red, white and blue during the National Anthem and throughout much of the event.
Uhernik said that the cost for the annual ceremony should come down to about $15,000 in 2020 and thereafter because the LED lights will be reused.
One thousand, five hundred people showed up at last year’s ceremony, which featured a five-minute fireworks display from the courthouse roof for the first time. Fireworks synchronized to music also will be part of this year’s show.
“This year we are hoping to double the amount of people who attend the lighting,” Uhernik said.
The 2019 ceremony will be themed to honor service members and veterans in keeping with the Pueblo’s “Home of Heroes” slogan.
“During last year’s event, when we honored first responders, I heard from several community members that it would be cool to honor service members and veterans in 2019,” Uhernik said. “So I took the idea from those community members. Our military deserve special recognition for all of the sacrifices they make to protect our freedoms here at home.”
The ceremony will also feature the inside of the Historic Courthouse, which will be festooned with many Christmas decorations. “A 25-foot Christmas tree will be the key center piece as people walk into the rotunda,” Uhernik said.
Before the Nov. 26 ceremony, there will be bounce houses, a DJ, and a display of military vehicles on the courthouse grounds starting at 4 P.M.