Sutter’s Fort to host light show Thursday showcasing Swiss origins

Sutter’s Fort will be illuminated Thursday night as part of a Swiss artist’s projection light show that will be touring all 50 states by 2020, showcasing sites that have historic connections to Switzerland.

Gerry Hofstetter and his team will be lighting up the walls of Sacramento’s first settlement from 7 to 8 p.m. as the 14th stop of their Light Art Grand Tour USA, which will be visiting monuments from every state in the country between 2017 and 2020, according to Hofstetter’s website.

Linsey Fredenburg Humes, the executive director of Friends of Sutter’s Fort, a nonprofit organization that works with the park, said the monument was chosen because of the historical significance of the site, which has strong Swiss roots.

Sutter’s Fort was originally called “Nueva Helvetia,” Latin for “New Switzerland,” and will be the only California stop on Hofstetter’s tour, Humes said.

“It’s a huge honor for Sacramento and a huge honor for Sutter’s Fort because its putting Sutter’s Fort on the same platform as Mount Rushmore, Mount Vernon, some of the other really significant historical sites in the United States,” Humes said.

The light show will include projected photographs of Swiss founder John Sutter and designs emphasizing Sacramento’s Swiss origins.

Hofstetter said it is impossible to be an artist without understanding one’s country and its cultural roots.

Sutter’s Fort officials said the event is free to the public and suggested L and 28th Street would provide the best vantage of the light show.