TIMNATH – You don’t need a one-horse-open sleigh to enjoy an evening Christmas ride in the countryside.
NoCo Winter Wonderland, a drive-through holiday light experience that raises operating funds for the nonprofit Colorado Youth Outdoors, features Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves and Candy Cane Lane, depicted along a one-mile-long, 15-minute drive on CYO’s 220-acre property near Larimer County Road 5 and Kechter Road, south of Timnath and on the southeastern edge of Fort Collins.
Continuing each night from 5:15 to 8:30 p.m. through Christmas, NoCo Winter Wonderland includes 19 light features totaling 500,000 lights – or double that if you count the reflections off the 12 ponds located along the tour. True to the spirit of the CYO mission, there are even light displays of five Colorado big-game species and a fly-fishing Santa along the route.
Tickets, at $25 per car, support Colorado Youth Outdoors in its efforts to connect both kids and adults with outdoor experiences. Funds are needed for operating expenses and scholarships, which go to 25% of program participants.
NoCo Winter Wonderland is the culmination of six months of work, with approximately 350 volunteers donating nearly 700 hours. Twenty-three local businesses sponsor the display, covering expenses to ensure that the event is a fundraiser.
Presenting sponsors are the Erion Foundation and High Country Beverage. Gold sponsors are Swire Coca-Cola, Flood and Peterson, Solace Meds, LPR Construction, Scheels, Colorado Iron and Metal, Baessler Homes, the Jack and Lindsay Cantley family, the Freitag family, Sunstate Equipment, Bullhide 4×4, Advance Tank and Construction, and the Timnath and Windsor locations of Les Schwab Tires. Silver sponsors are Connell Resources and Dellenbach Chevrolet. Bronze sponsors are Xcel Energy and KCI Construction. Mission sponsors are Big Deal Company/No DUI Larimer, the Town of Timnath, Kevin Witter Feature Design, The Human Bean, Street Media Group, Old Elk and Otterbox.
Colorado Youth Outdoors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was created in 2001. Its mission is to build relationships and bring kids and parents closer through traditional outdoor recreation. To help accomplish this, CYO integrates the words Participate, Appreciate, Communicate, and Dedicate into its recreation curriculum. The nonprofit works to incorporate PACD into all activities, which include spin and fly fishing, archery, camping, shooting sports and nature play.