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Elitch Gardens fireworks show lights up the night, but fizzles with some downtown residents

When Elitch Gardens first moved from northwest Denver to a new, city-subsidized home in the Platte Valley, the amusement park promised fireworks every night. But the real fireworks were set off by cranky neighbors worried about the noise, and the nightly shows fizzled. Now, sixteen years later, they're finally back.

The displays are designed to end a new, in-park lights-and-color show, Ignight, which debuted over Memorial Day weekend. The managers of the park, Herschend Family Entertainment, have been working with current Elitch owner CNL Lifestyle Properties to focus on "institutional excellence and improving things that affect every guest," spokeswoman Debbie Evans explained last month, and that includes upgrading the food, adding shows that are included with the cost of the ticket -- and giving the city a nightly fireworks display.

A few residents of Little Raven Street -- where there were no residents sixteen years ago -- haven't appreciated the gift, complaining to Elitch's management, councilwoman Judy Montero, and other city officials. But rather than ditch the show altogether, as previous managers did, the current Elitch's team has made accommodations. Even though the city's environmental department found the show's sound within Denver guidelines, the park has eliminated the "high percussive" fireworks that created the most noise.

But otherwise, the free show continues, illuminating the downtown skyline after 9 p.m. every night. Let there be light!

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Top 6 names for Gaylord hotel (and National Western Stock Show neighbor?) in Aurora."

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