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Outside » Outside Features

Glow By Tube

Blacklight Blast sets Sunriver aglow

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Shawn Cannon has a glowing secret. With a hearty laugh, the recreation director for the Sunriver Owners' Association (SROA) freely admits that she is a "blacklight addict" who becomes overly excited about staging blacklight events. She says her colleagues sometimes have to temper her enthusiasm.

Cannon has good reason to be excited, as the SROA now prepares for its second year of staging the "Blacklight Blast" at the SHARC, the Sunriver Homeowners' Aquatic & Recreation Center. The "Blacklight Blast" is an inner-tubing event that began last year with two sessions that sold out quickly, so Cannon and her colleagues decided to increase the number of options this year.

But her "addiction" is not limited to tubing. Cannon has produced many events using blacklights, including dances and even volleyball games. She started her obsession years ago by bringing after-hours excitement to the putting course at Sunriver, with each hole silhouetted by glow sticks and using flashing gold balls.

Blacklight and glow lighting opens up a whole new world for nighttime recreation, Cannon explains, adding that people are drawn to the color, which she describes as "a glowing black-purple haze on a white background." She says it's an even more spectacular sight when there's a snowy background.

A laser light show on the hill is a popular highlight of these downhill events. The hill to the top is black-lighted, producing a glow that frames the entire tubing hill. And those who participate are given glowing necklaces that she says "tend to light things up" with the movement up and down the hills. All lighting, including the laser show, is produced by Bend's Flip Flop Sounds, which features a DJ and a full evening of music to enjoy while sliding down the hill. The "Blacklight Blast" also presents unconventional opportunities for family photos.

While Central Oregon has been getting its fair share of snow this year, there are no worries if the snow does melt. The tubing runs are designed for use with or without snow, although the black light glow takes on different dimensions.

So with Cannon's admitted addiction to black and glow lighting events, what does she have up her sleeve for the future? She says she has nothing specific in mind but admits that you can do just about anything with blacklights to make it more fun and really interesting.

The tubing hill at the SHARC is open daily from 10 am to 3 pm through Jan. 3. Please note that personal sleds are not allowed. The entire SHARC complex encompasses 22 acres and includes a tot pool and sand play area, cafe, picnic area and picnic pavilion, playground, basketball court, bocce ball court, year-round tubing hill, and an outdoor amphitheater.  For the holidays, you can get your glow on at the SHARC's Blacklight Blast.

The next event is Dec. 26, followed by a popular New Year's event on Jan. 1. Additional blacklight slide events are planned for Jan. 16, Feb. 6, and Feb. 13.

Blacklight Blast

Various dates

6:30-8:30 pm, SHARC, 57250 Overlook Rd, Sunriver, OR 97707

$12 members, $15 non-members (price includes tube rentals and unlimited runs)

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