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After several years of searching for a possible signature event during the holidays, Sedona may have found one. Residents and visitors are encouraged to mark Thursday to Sunday, Dec. 14 to 17, on their calendars for something organizers expect to be enjoyable for the whole family.

Sedona Northern Lights — which will be the country’s largest projection show on a natural canvas — will help showcase “Sedona’s profound beauty, thriving arts scene, dark skies and enchanting landscapes.” But it was announced this week that while the show will last just a few minutes at a time, the prep time will take much longer.

A release from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce said 3-D projection mapping is a high-tech method of turning objects — often irregularly shaped — into display surfaces for video projection. “An undertaking of this magnitude involves the testing and aligning of 14 individual projectors to get the images perfect,” the release stated.

“Testing and alignment will take place on [Monday to Wednesday] Dec. 11 to 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. During this time, people can expect to see lights appearing and disappearing on different quadrants of the mountain.

The ending result of this testing phase will be a transformation of this natural landscape into the USA’s largest natural 3-D light painting experience.” The event is co-hosted by the chamber, city of Sedona and Sedona Arts Center. This large-scale show will be visible from all of Sedona and Gallery Row, with five-to-six-minute art projections taking place at the top of the hour from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event will also serve as a prelude to the Sedona Arts Center’s 60th anniversary celebration. The show will be projected on Camelhead Rock — next to Snoopy Rock. Those attending can tune to KYBC 96.3FM and AM1600 in their car or on a radio for holiday music to accompany the light show.

However, it is not available via live streaming on a smartphone application due to time delay.

“As with other 3-D mapping projects, this could be quite the creative spectacle,” said Kelli Klymenko, marketing director for the Sedona Arts Center. “There’s practically no limit to what can be done visually on such a large natural canvas. I expect it to be festive and artistic, to say the least.”

For more information and to see viewing locations and other event-related activities and offers, visit SedonaNorthernLights.com. 

Ron Eland can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 122 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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