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May 2015 • Online Edition

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Celebrity Santas, Global Markets And More Spice Up South Denver’s Holiday Season | Print |  E-mail

by Clement Clark Moore

The conscientious consumer’s “Think Global, Act Local” resolution can become a reality, if one knows where to shop.

TAKE A BREAK FROM THE COMMERCIAL MAYHEM and enjoy the season as the pioneers did, as Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St., hosts A Colorado Christmas, Sun., Dec. 5, noon-4p.m. on the banks of Cherry Creek. Enjoy games, Victorian holiday treats, carriage rides and more.

South Denver offers a variety of venues for the holiday shopper, whether he or she seeks handcrafted, holistic housewares or spendthrift stocking-stuffers. There’s a mall or market in this melange for everyone and many ways to enjoy the season with little or no outlay of cash.

Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 1st Ave. at Steele St., will once again present a full season of holiday fun. The mall will be transformed into an indoor winter wonderland, with the unveiling of a new holiday centerpiece, The Ice Palace. A beguiling snow and light show will take place inside a soaring 30-foot dome constructed in the mall’s center court, encircled with a series of arches and snow globes based on the much anticipated film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, due for release in theaters Dec. 10.

Your young ones are welcome to visit with Santa through Dec. 24 at no charge; picture packages will be available at varying cost. To make sure everyone at your abode enjoys the season, the popular Santa Claus & Paws invites creatures large and small – cats, dogs, birds, etc. – Sun., Dec. 5, 7-10p.m.

To keep the holiday spirit high all season, the Original Dickens Carolers will wander through the mall filling the air with cheer every Sunday through Christmas Eve, and daily the week of Christmas.

For information, call 303-388-3900 or visit www.shopcherrycreek.com.

Across 1st Ave. to the north, the familiar shopping district has renamed itself Cherry Creek North Pole for the holiday season. In addition to showing off its $18.5 million in streetscape and lighting improvements, the district will host a series of celebratory events including late night shopping, celebrity Santas, prize drawings and more.

To help the working public get their shopping chores done, many of the district’s nearly 400 businesses will host extended shopping hours until 8p.m. on Thursdays, Dec. 9, 16 & 23.

Kids and sports fans alike will have their pick of two of Denver’s most popular sports stars, who will don the big red coat and play Santa at the JW Marriott, 150 Clayton Lane. Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton will appear as Santa himself, Mon., Dec. 6, 6-7:30p.m., followed by the Denver Nuggets’ Chris “Birdman” Andersen on Sun., Dec. 19, 3-6p.m. Tickets to tell Christmas wishes to either celebrity Santa cost $10 and sell out early – sign up at www.CherryCreekNorth.com. Proceeds from Orton’s appearance benefit Champa House, a program of Denver Rescue Mission; resources raked in by Andersen benefit Alliance for Choice in Education.

To keep in touch with the latest plans, look in at www.CherryCreekNorth.com,

Old South Pearl Street beckons you to join your friends and neighbors for an old-fashioned holiday festival. WinterFest on Old South Pearl Street will be held Fri., Dec. 3, 5-9p.m. and Sat., Dec. 4, 11a.m.-5p.m., in the 1500 block south, between Florida and Iowa avenues.

WinterFest features the best of the 60+ vendors from this summer’s Farmers Market season; great food from Deluxe restaurant’s Deluxe Street Food Truck; holiday treats and beverages; a Christmas tree lot, wreaths and garlands; children’s activities and live music all day long.

Should clouds converge and temperatures drop, South Pearl will be lined with fire pits to warm your fingers and toes, and if you’d like to rest your legs, have a ride in the Box Elder Clydesdale horse and carriage while your presents are being wrapped.

Tree-lined Old South Pearl Street makes a wonderful setting for a winter celebration, snow or shine. For information, visit www.oldsouthpearlstreet.com.

By the way, to make your shopping even easier, Cameron Church, 1600 S. Pearl St., is offering two afternoons of childcare (kids must be 5 and older), for S. Pearl shoppers, Dec. 5 and 12, noon-2p.m. These Holiday Gift Workshops will keep your little ones safe and busy, while you whittle down your shopping list to a more manageable size. There is a $3 materials fee per child. Kids under 5 may participate with a parent in attendance.

While you’re in the area, take an hour or three and head over to the newly spiffed Antique Row shopping district for the remaining days of a Holiday Open House, Sat.-Sun., Dec. 4-5. Dozens of businesses from 400 to 2000 S. Broadway will be dressed for the season and anxious to tempt you with a limitless array of antiques, collectibles, furniture and home decor items of all sorts.

Details were still being decided at press time, but expect a variety of holiday frivolity in the form of edible treats, entertainment and plenty of good cheer.

The annual Antique Row Holiday Open House is always a good chance to take home a little present from the past. For information, visit www.antique-row.com.


HOLIDAY COOKIE SALES AND EXCHANGES ARE IN HIGH FAVOR: Epiphany Lutheran (shown above), 790 S. Corona St., will hold its annual Cookie Fair Sun., Dec. 12, noon-4p.m. – mix & match by the pound. Salem UCC, 5300 E. Florida Ave. (at Grape) cookie sale is Sat., Dec. 11, 8:30a.m.-1p.m.

Not only do we suggest you Buy Local, but we think it makes great sense to buy Made In The U.S.A. as frequently as possible. The Christian Indian Center, 501 S. Pearl St., will help you do just that during the last full day of its 21st annual Christmas Bazaar, Sat., Dec. 4.

Look for a variety of handcrafted products including arts and crafts, silver and turquoise jewelry, as well as baked goods, Indian tacos, mutton stew with frybread and roast mutton.

Bazaar hours are 9a.m.-6p.m. For information, call 303-733-3693 or visit www.denvercic.org.

One of our favorite family-oriented school events is the Denver Waldorf School’s annual Holiday Fair, set for Sat., Dec. 4, 9a.m.-3p.m., on the school grounds  at 940 Fillmore St.

The Fair will include traditional children’s craft activities such as beeswax candle dipping and ornament making, live musical performances, homemade food and over 30 artisan vendors offering unique handcrafted holiday gifts. Fresh Christmas trees and spectacular handmade holiday wreaths will be on sale as well as distinctive books and handcrafted toys. All can enjoy a free puppet show, horse and carriage rides and a holiday train for children. A professional photographer will be on hand to take child and family portraits.

Young ones who prefer to shop by themselves will love the Children’s Shop’s “no parents allowed” policy. Waldorf School seventh graders assist young ones in selecting, purchasing and wrapping the gifts they choose. All items in the Children’s Shop are donated by the community, and priced from $1-5.

To purchase Holiday Fair children’s activity tickets (for special activities) call 303-777-0531 or visit www.denverwaldorf.org.

Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St., was once a stagecoach stop on the Cherokee Trail – and Four Mile House stands as Denver’s oldest residence, built in 1859. This historic setting will celebrate the holiday season in both the Jewish and Christian traditions this year.

On Sat., Dec. 4, 6:30-9p.m., the park will hold a Festival of Lights, marking the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which runs Dec. 2-9.

The evening will begin with a traditional candle lighting ceremony for Hanukkah, followed by seasonal music sung by the Colorado Hebrew Chorale. At the conclusion of the performance, those in attendance will be invited to partake in a traditional Hanukkah meal followed by instructor-led folk dancing.

Admission to Four Mile Historic Park’s Festival of Lights (includes performance, food and folk dancing) is $18 for adults; $15 for students and seniors 65+; $12 for children 7-17; and free for kids 6 and under.

Experience Christmas in the pioneer spirit on Sun., Dec. 5, noon-4p.m., as A Colorado Christmas returns to the banks of Cherry Creek. Four Mile House will be festooned in holiday finery to set the tone for the day. The young of heart (of any age) will enjoy Victorian games, making gingerbread fantasies (an additional charge), chestnuts roasting on an open fire, stringing popcorn and cranberries and more.

While most activities are included in the $5 admission (seniors 65+, $4; kids 7-17, $3; free, 6 and under), horse-drawn carriage rides and tasty food and drink will be available at minimal charge. And should the weather turn blustery, never fear: Four Mile Park becomes a true winter wonderland under a dusting of winter white.

For information, call 720-865-0800 or visit www.fourmilehistoricpark.org.

For a refreshing twist on the season, take note that HaHo is no elfin joke; it’s the Holiday Handmade Homemade Market, held Sat., Dec. 11, 4-8p.m., at Green Spaces, 1368 26th St. The market is part of the Denver Relocalization Project; trade alternative local currency (available for purchase with your U.S. dollars) for food, produce and crafts grown or made in Denver homes and backyards. Vendors will display everything from wild yeast sourdough bread and handmade caramels and mead to draft dodger snakes (perfect for heat-leaking older doors) and handcrafted kids toys and games. Admission: any item you value to share, or suggested $5 donation. Find details at www.denverhhm.wordpress.com.

Give ear to much-loved holiday melodies in the brisk winter air when the University of Denver presents its annual Williams Tower Carillon Holiday Concert, Sun., Dec. 12, 3-4p.m., at the Ritchie Center – gather near the west-side steps, adjacent to the lacrosse and soccer fields, 2210 E. Asbury Ave. Admission is free; bring seating if desired. The concert features DU carillonneur Carol Jeckling Lens. Info: visit www.du.edu/events.

The 25th annual Winter Solabration beckons you to celebrate the season in old English style. This Yuletime celebration of Christmas and Solstice customs features storytelling, a mummer’s play, and sword and Morris dance performances, along with community singing, wassail and traditional American community dances for all.

The revelry takes place at the Highlands Masonic Center, 3550 Federal Blvd., beginning at 6p.m. on Sat., Dec. 18, and ending with the mysterious Abbot’s Bromley Horn Dance at midnight. For information, visit www.wsolstice.org or call 303-571-9112. Tickets are available at www.swallowhillmusic.org or 303-777-1003.

Finally, to add a skosh of Southwestern flair to the holidays, make your way to the historic Art District on Santa Fe for the annual Luminaries de Santa Fe light (i.e., candles in brown bags) display. Rather than doing a single night event, this year galleries all along Santa Fe Dr., from 5th to 11th Ave., and on Kalamath Dr. from Alameda to 11th Ave., will have the luminarias perched on their rooftops throughout the season, illuminating your evening with a lovely tradition no matter when you stop by.

For information, call 303-534-9740 or visit www.artdistrictonsantafe.com.
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