Falling about halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, there is Valentine's Day. When the days are cold and the nights still come early, the holiday can be a bright spot in the season—especially when celebrated with not only our sweethearts but our children, parents, neighbors, and friends. For one weekend only, the downtown Carbondale section of the Rio Grande trail will fill with light—and valentines of all kinds are invited to enjoy the uplifting spectacle together with the community.
"Light the Night with Love" is presented this year by the Carbondale Creative District, KDNK Community Radio, and True Nature Healing Arts. From 5-7:30 p.m. on February 11 and 12, attendees should plan to bundle up and stroll along the trail, which will be illuminated with special farolitos designed by locals in honor of their loved ones. (Also called luminarias, these candlelit paper lanterns are a traditional fixture in Southwestern holiday and wintertime festivities.) Poetry readings, performances, artist installations, and other surprise delights will also brighten the path as participants make their way through town.
"This event brought so much joy to those who experienced it last year, we are excited to bring it back," says Amy Kimberly, executive director of Carbondale Arts. The route begins at 4th Street and Main, and includes a path through True Nature's gardens before ending past the Clay Center. The True Nature section, Kimberly notes, "will really add immense beauty and performance space" to the walk.
Attendees can expect an array of light-filled artistry by local creatives, including pieces like "The Luminous Mandala" by Nico Heins and Corey Miller, "Neon Winter Wonderland" by Hannah Beal, "Ice Luminaries" by Thomas Barlow, "The Flames of Love: Sacred Dance" by CoMotion, and more. One particularly heartening installation is titled "Love Letter", by artists Zakriya Rabani and Esther Nooner.
"This Love Notes project will bring support, love, and healing to LGBTQ youth in the Roaring Fork Valley by inviting community members to share affirming messages of support for youth," Kimberly says. The messages will then be combined "into a mosaic to be displayed in school lobbies and libraries across our valley during LGBTQ Health Awareness Week/Month in March 2022."
Proceeds from "Light the Night with Love" will benefit the Carbondale Creative District and KDNK.
For complete details, visit CarbondaleCreativeDistrict.com. Tickets ($20/adult, $15/minors and seniors) are available for purchase online.