By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) – For 31 years, the 126-year-old Brown Palace Hotel and Spa has held their annual Champagne Cascade. For the first time, they sold tickets to the upper floors which benefited the Historic Denver.

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“We kick of the holiday season with our champagne toast, it’s to bring out and bring on the holding season.”

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Tim Wolfe is the general manager of the historic hotel and spa, so far the event has raised $10,000 for the nonprofit.

“It’s one of those legendary events that happen annually that people have been coming for years and years and years.”

And the event is as lavish as the venue.

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(credit: CBS)

Six thousand champagne glasses meticulously stacked into a pyramid, a small band plays holiday favorites, and even Santa is on hand to light the chandelier.

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The champagne bottles for the cascade are opened using the Napoleonic tradition of sabering.

“It’s not as easy as it looks,” said Dennis Dinsmore.

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For 30 of the 31 years, the man behind the saber or the stacking of the glasses at the Brown Palace has been Dennis.

“If you don’t hit it just right, two things can happen, one it won’t pop, and the other it can explode.”

So he prepares the bottles along with his son, Matthew, who has been joining his dad each year since he was 8 years old. This year Matthew brought his son, Parker, who is now 8 years old.

“It’s a unique tradition handed down, gives us an opportunity to have a little fun doing it.”

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He hopes one day, Parker will also be able to saber champagne bottles like the two generations before him.

“It’s a wonderful tradition, it’s unusual,” said Dennis. “I hope they have a good time, enjoy the holidays and enjoy the Brown Palace.”

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Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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