The laser light show that explains the history of the area and the dam shows nightly through the season. It’s the largest outdoor show in North America and is something to see, newly updated in 2014.
What time does the laser light show begin?
The laser show is held nightly at Grand Coulee Dam as follows for 2015:
May 23 to July 31 at 10:00 p.m.
Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 at 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 to Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m.
The show is about 28 minutes in length. There is no admission fee. Call 509-633-9265 for more information.
How long is the laser show?
The laser light show lasts approximately 28 minutes, during which time colorful images created by the lasers move back and forth across the huge surface of the dam.
Where can I view the show?
The best locations are the seating area at the Visitor Center and from the park below the Visitor Center. These areas provide an outdoor sound system.
The town of Coulee Dam has a park — terraced and grassy for viewing the laser show — adjacent to the east end of the Columbia River bridge.
Other viewing spots: from Douglas Park in Coulee Dam; from Crown Point atop the granite cliffs above Lake Rufus Woods, access from SR174 towards Bridgeport.
The USBR broadcasts the audio portion of the laser light show nightly at 90.1 FM.
What is a laser?
Lasers are intense beams of light commonly used in medicine and science, but they’ve also found a niche as a high-tech, fast-moving form of entertainment. They are controlled by computers which, at Grand Coulee Dam, are in the Visitor Center.
Although a single dot of light, lasers can trace an image so rapidly it appears as a solid figure to the human eye.
The term laser is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is so commonly used now that the tradition of using capital letters for an acronym has been dropped.
How are the lasers used at Grand Coulee Dam?
As one of the largest entertainment laser projection systems in the world, and certainly the largest outdoor laser show in North America, the lasers at Grand Coulee Dam tell the story of the Columbia River and how its power was harnessed to provide multiple benefits to mankind, including electrical power, irrigation for farming and exciting recreational opportunities. As a result of the open process of scripting the show new in 2014, viewers will also understand the costs of building the dam — cost to wildlife, and to native peoples whose way of life was dependent on that wildlife, in particular, the salmon that no longer could continue upstream to spawn.
How much did the lasers cost?
With the original equipment in use since 1989, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioned a new show and new equipment. The equipment began operation in May of 2013, but projecting the new show began in May, 2014. Lumalaser, of Oregon, bid the project at $1.6 million.
How big are the laser images?
Pictures are beamed at the awesome height of nearly 300 feet.
How far do the lasers project?
The laser lights are beamed between 2,000 and 4,000 feet to the surface of the dam.