Lakewood Hosts Return of Christmas Camp with Chance to Check Out ‘Emotional Baggage’ – CBS Denver
LAKEWOOD, Colorado (CBS4) – If you enjoy all things Christmas, you need to make sure your vacation plans include a visit to Camp Christmas at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park.
Last year, Christmas camp was set to go completely virtual, but camp director Lonnie Hanzon wasted no time preparing for an in-person experience this year.
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Work began as soon as the camp closed last year, but Hanzon said it was not until around May or June for the deal between Lakewood, Hanzon Studios and the Denver Center for Performing Arts to be made to move into the Park.
âA six-acre living museum with 15 historic buildings, six of which you can visit,â is the setting for the camp, Hanzon said.
Hanzon started out by using all of the materials that previously made up the Christmas camp at the Stanley Marketplace in 2019. âWe added a few thousand packages, a mile of garland, some 100,000 lights and more.â
But he didn’t completely give up on the virtual world when he moved to Lakewood Park. âThere are a lot of pieces from the virtual world that we transfer to the real world like the Sweetsville studio and the Sweetsville dinner. “
While you can experience the entire camp outside, there are a number of cabins that you can also enter as you are wearing a mask.
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âWe are in Gift-Arama which is all gift. This sort of proves the point, you can’t judge a book by its cover but you can giveaways by its gift wrapping.
You will also find Beauty Camp and the Pink Room which had room to expand in its new digs.
âThe light show is now in the farmyard. We’re making a gingerbread display at Sweetsville Studio. There is a carousel that anyone can ride for free. So there are a lot of different new activities, âexplained Hanzon.
He said the extra bedroom was wonderful. âIt’s safe for people. Santa Claus meets people on the weekends, but he has his campsite, so he’s outside and away from people so the kids can see Santa Claus. It really turned out to be a wonderful place.
And it’s a chance to learn. âIn the Visitor Center, three is the Camp History Museum which sort of begins with Stonehenge and gives you a little history of this thing we now call Christmas.â
But for Hanzon, the real experience of Camp Christmas is making sure visitors really get into the spirit.
âWe try to create a space at camp for people to come in, release the stress of the holiday season or recognize them. We have emotional baggage control from the start. My hope is that people can remember and rekindle the spirit and find it somewhere here at the camp.
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