No, don't light the candles yet. Mesa Verde National Park's actually birthday isn't until next June 29th, when it turns 100 years old. However, the park will kick off its centennial celebration in December when it hosts its annual Holiday Open House on the 8th. During the open house there will be live entertainment and the back-lighting of two of the park's most famous cliff dwellings with 4,000 luminaria.
Some question the appropriateness of using candles to light up the cliff dwellings at night. I have to wonder, though, if it doesn't actually create an appearance of how the dwellings appeared 800 years ago when their tenants lit fires to generate both warmth and light.
Anyway, the Spruce Tree House (which I've pictured, courtesy of a photo by John Bruce), and Cliff Palace will be illuminated on December 8th. Additionally, Arden Kucate and David Nighteagle, Native American flutists, will perform from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Sun Temple across from Cliff Palace.
Wish I could be there.
Centennial activities will run throughout 2006. You can check out the various activities and see when they're scheduled by visiting this site.