The Sedona Northern Lights show will be presenting the largest 3-D mapping ever on a natural landscape in the U.S. on the side of Camelhead Rock at the top of the hour at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. from Thursday, Dec. 14, through Sunday, Dec. 17.
The show is a joint presentation by the city of Sedona, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and the Sedona Arts Center, which chose to co-host the show to kick off its 60th anniversary beginning in 2018.
We encourage all our residents to go see the show sometime over this weekend. The presentation is a rare chance to see a dramatic light show on the side of a cliff that overlooks Uptown.
For longtime and new residents alike, the show offers a rare opportunity to see the familiar rock formation come alive at night in a whole new light, literally.
The projectors are not simply blasting a flat image onto the rocks as if it were a movie screen, but take into account the curves, crevices and outcroppings on the cliffs. Thus, light aimed at a concavity is transmitted from one projector a hundreth of a second before light from another projector, hitting a protrusion so that the final image is in sync and aligned perfectly for viewers.
At this point, the only threats are rain, prescribed burn smoke or fog, none of which are predicted to occur in the next few days.
PaintScaping has already done work similar to this, projecting shows onto the ski slopes of Big Sky Resort in Montana for the Samuel Adams brewing company as well as smaller projects on buildings in Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Chicago.
We were able to see a preview of the show PaintScaping will be projecting for residents and it looks like it will be amazing.
Sedona hotels and resorts are booked up, even those across town far from the presentation site, with many visitors stating to hotel staffers that they are in town exclusively for the show.
Hopefully, they will stay more than just one night, taking advantage of local restaurants and retail shops, contributing to the local economy just before the end of the holidays.
These tourist visits come at a time of year when the city is historically slow, adding bed tax and sales tax revenue to the city’s coffers right before the end of the calendar year.
Do something a little out of step this weekend and schedule a time to catch the show around plans for dinner or night out on the town.
Don’t let the naysayers stop you from seeing the show.
The light show only lasts for six to seven minutes, far less time than if an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter was searching for a stranded climber on a cliff face or a hiker on a trail.
The show will be projected on the side of a cliff on the edge of the city where no large animals make their home — at last count, Sedona has zero mountain goats to disturb, most birds have flown south for the winter and year-round birds living that close to the city are already acclimated to all the lights in the city proper.
Sedona also won’t suddenly lose its International Dark Sky Association certification for a short performance celebrating the holidays.
We will do our best to capture the show for our print and online readers in case you’re out of town. But if you’re here, there are dozens of locations from Uptown to Gallery Row, as well as a few points in West Sedona that oversee Camelhead Rock.
We have provided a map of these locations on Page 1A of today’s newspaper and on our website, redrocknews.com, and our Facebook page.
Tune your radios to KYBC 96.3 FM and AM 1600 for music to accompany the light show. Music will also be broadcast at some of the selected viewing areas.
If you miss the show, you’ll be sorry come next week when it will be the talk of the town.
Christopher Fox Graham
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