Celebrating a Long-standing Holiday Tradition in Southern Teller

Dear Editor:

The 2023 Gold Camp Christmas Holiday Headframe Lighting annual event is well underway; this tradition would not be possible without several individuals and groups who deserve a huge thank you.

The event is 20 plus years old and is sponsored by Newmont Cripple Creek & Victor, Southern Teller County Focus Group (STCFG), Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation, Cripple Creek District Museum, Black Hills Energy, and the City of Victor.

This event, which is a self-guided tour, runs weekends Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, requires several days of preparation in the fall months and hours of volunteer work during the event. Volunteers from Newmont and the STCFG plan the event, place generators and coordinate volunteers to staff the sites that require generators. In addition, volunteers manage several sites that are hard line powered.

Thanks to Newmont management, who allow access to the mining sites and donates all the gas, lights, and most of the power for the project. Thanks to Shawn Tomlinson, Robb Gray, and Jody Keel of Newmont who make this happen every year.

Thank you to Black Hills Energy for assisting with a bucket truck for the light replacements.

Thanks to our anonymous donor, who 20 plus years ago, donated several generators for this project; thanks to care and maintenance by JET Service, most of them are still running.

Thanks to the community volunteers who brave the cold, wind and snow to start generators and check power connections: Shawn Tomlinson, Gary Horton, Kim Lottig, and Jon Zalewski, Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation and Cripple Creek Fire Department staff. Thanks to the Cripple Creek District Museum for powering the Gold Sovereign.

Each year we receive a variety of thanks from locals and visitors alike – everyone who lives and visits here loves seeing the colorful decorations high on the mountains above our towns and, without your assistance and support of our fundraising efforts, the holidays around the mining camp would be much darker.

If you are interested in donating to this project or the STCFG’s Trails of Gold, please visit STCFG.com.

Self-guided tour maps of the lighting can also be found at STCFG.com.

Thanks, and Happy Holidays to all!

Ruth Zalewski

Southern Teller County Focus Group