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Couples marry, renew vows at Red Rocks

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By Deborah Swearingen

On a warm, sunny Valentine’s Day, dozens gathered at the top of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

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Some wore veils and carried bouquets, while others dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. But all ventured to the park for the same reason – to share their love on the day dedicated to it.

The Red Rocks Mass Wedding and Vow Renewal ceremony is hosted yearly at the park by former radio personality Uncle Nasty, also known as Gregg Stone. Though he is no longer associated with a radio station, Stone has continued the tradition.

Prior to the ceremony, live music played as couples congregated in between the rocks. Patti Murtha and Damian Lemak of Westminster have been renewing their vows at the event for years. Both wore Mickey Mouse ears and dressed formally for the event.

“It’s so much fun,” Murtha said. “It is a great way to spend a Valentine’s Day.”

Dressed in a red suit, Stone shared words of humor and inspiration before the couples clasped hands for the vows.

“Right now, the love and happiness you are generating here at the top of Red Rocks Amphitheatre is beaming powerful, felt by everyone in Denver. As solid as the rocks that surround us now, visible from the International Space Station … in Greeley,” Stone said, inciting laughter from the crowd.

He talked of love and devotion, responsibility and vulnerability, calling marriage a public declaration and demonstration of love

and commitment.

“This commitment is not restricted by race, religion, gender or the puny laws of man,” Stone said. “Marriage is about love, and love always wins.

“Every marriage marks the existence of a unique relationship between two people who have agreed that they are vulnerable and that they’re better together than they are by themselves.”

Under the shadow of a large red rock and the clear, blue Colorado sky, couples held hands and promised to love and cherish one another. The vows were equal parts silly and sweet, and couples of all ages took part.

A tear streamed down Jeweldine Kastman’s face as she embraced her husband, Ian, at the event’s end. The Longmont couple had not attended the Red Rocks mass wedding before, and it was a complete surprise for Jeweldine when she found out Ian made plans to go.

“This was just perfect,” she said with a smile.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.