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May 2015 • Online Edition

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Bright Lights, Crisp Nights – Shop Big Or Small, But Buy Local | Print |  E-mail

by Ed Schott

Bouyed by Thanksgiving Day weekend weather better suited to flag football than snowshoeing, Denver families and businesses alike are in full preparation mode for the coming December holiday season.

STUDENTS FROM THE DENVER WALDORF School beckon you to join them in welcoming the holidays, Sat., Dec. 1. All kinds of festivities will take place throughout the community in coming weeks.  

Whether you’re looking to cross off the final items on your holiday shopping list, or hoping to join friends and neighbors for some Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/New Year’s fun, a full slate of holiday celebrations await.

Cherry Creek Shopping Center welcomes young, old and in-betweeners to the magic of the center court Ice Palace Experience, every day through Christmas Eve.A magical snow and light show will beckon visitors to the soaring 30-foot-high Ice Palace dome, with the surrounding arches and snow globes featuring the prehistoric herd from the soon to be released family film, Ice Age: Continental Drift. Santa Claus will also be on hand daily during regular shopping center hours, to hear kids’ holiday wishes, and pose for the requisite holiday shot for the family collection.

A Sign Language Santa will be in residence Thur., Dec. 6, 9a.m.-2p.m. to continue the tradition of providing deaf and hard-of-hearing children with a special time of their own. This year participating children will be able to see and “hear” a preview of Ice Age: Continental Drift through on-screen signing interpretation via new picture-in-picture technology.

Lest the family critters feel left out, Santa Claws & Paws will welcome all creatures great and small for a photo shoot with Mr. Claus, Sun., Dec. 9, 7-10p.m. Cherry Creek has teamed up with the Colorado Avalanche for a special visit from Bernie, their impressive St. Bernard mascot.

Visit shopcherrycreek.com or call 303-388-3900 for information.

Northward across 1st Ave., the 16- block retail paradise of Cherry Creek North beckons you to meander the multitude of shops and restaurants lining the streets from University Blvd. to Steele St., 1st Ave. to 3rd Ave.

Marketing director Kristi Omedahl notes the district will be bedecked in “updated and enhanced lighting,” in keeping with its recent multi-million dollar renovation. A variety of special activities will be hosted by stores throughout the eclectic and inviting retail area. For details, call 303-394-2904 or visit cherrycreeknorth.com.

If you’ve picked up The Profile hot off the press, hoof it over to the 23rd annual Christmas Bazaar, sponsored by the Christian Indian Center, 501 S. Pearl St., held Fri., Nov. 30, 10a.m.-6p.m. and Sat., Dec. 1, 9a.m.-5:30p.m. You’ll find arts and crafts items, silver and turquoise jewelry and more. To keep energy levels high, there will be traditional mutton stew, frybread, Indian tacos and baked goods. Roast mutton will be featured on Saturday only. For information, call 303-733-3693 or visit denvercic.org.

Also Nov. 30 & Dec. 1, check out the happenings on modern-day Antique Row, and “Bring Home A Little Present From The Past” when the Antique Row Merchants Association hosts their Holiday Festival along the 1100-1800 blocks of S. Broadway.

Stores throughout Denver’s grandest boulevard will be chock-full of antique furniture, lighting, jewelry, books and other collectible treasures with special sales going on through the weekend, and holiday food and drink for all.

Kids will have the chance to meet, and have their picture taken with live Christmas reindeer – antlers and all – in the parking lot of Turn of the Century Antiques, 1475 S. Broadway. Petting is encouraged, but riding is not permitted.

Visit antique-row.com or call 303-722-8700 for information. 

Our good friends at First Christian Reformed Church, 1814 S. Emerson St., take up an international theme as they host a Global Bazaar on Sat., Dec. 1, 9a.m.-3p.m.

Vendors will tempt you with fair-trade, handmade items from around the world, with the hope of raising awareness of and funds for local and international mission-based organizations and projects. Live entertainment will brighten the day, and plenty of holiday treats will be available.

All proceeds benefit the ministries represented at the Global Bazaar. Details, call 303-733-4936.

The South Pearl Street shopping district has moved decidedly into the 21st century as its roster of shops and restaurants continues to grow in variety and quality. But when it comes to the holidays, South Pearl joyfully celebrates the season as it has for decades. Take time to join friends and neighbors for Winterfest, Fri., Nov. 30, 6-9p.m., and Sat., Dec. 1, 11a.m.-5p.m., in the 1500 block of S. Pearl St.

Winterfest will kick off on Friday night with horse & carriage rides, a live appearance by Father Christmas, mulled cider (adults only) and roasted chestnuts (no age requirements), and – new this year –the street will be closed to auto traffic on Friday to create a safer environment.

Festivities move into high gear Saturday with live music and some favorite vendors from the summer farmers markets as well as additional gift booths, ready-to-eat food, spiced beverages, horse & buggy rides and the return of Father Christmas.

For information, call 303-734-0718 or visit southpearlstreet.com.

The 5th annual Shop For A Cause market takes place Nov. 30, 4-7p.m. and Dec. 1, 10a.m.-4p.m. at Denver First Church of the Nazarene, 3800 E. Hampden Ave. The event will host 40 local and international vendors (some fair trade) whose goods support education, women’s empowerment, and poverty eradication in Denver and across the globe.

This year’s event includes handmade items – scarves, hammocks, etc. – from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Denver, and live entertainment, local catering, and a guest speaker. For information, call 815-440-2891 or visit 1010project.org.

Celebrate as families did in pioneer days, when Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St., revels in A Colorado Christmas, Sun., Dec. 2, noon-4p.m. In the days of yore, Christmas was a time for elegant dress and elaborate decorations. Get a taste of how your ancestors might have made merry as you play Victorian games with Father Christmas, create your own gingerbread fantasy (additional charge), sample chestnuts roasted on an open fire, string your own popcorn and cranberries for the Four Mile Tree and much more.

Adult admission is $5; military w/ID and seniors (65+), $4; youth 7-17, $3; Park members and children 6 and under are free.

Also at Four Mile Park, celebrate the traditions of Chanukah in Festival of Lights, with candle lighting, music, food, Israeli folk-dancing instruction, and a performance by the Colorado Hebrew Chorale, Mon., Dec. 10, 5:30-8:30p.m. Call to pre-purchase tickets: $5-10, kids 6 and younger free. Info/tickets, call 720-865-0800 or visit fourmilepark.org.

The Denver Waldorf School always welcomes the holiday season in high style, and the school’s Holiday Fair returns for its 38th annual run Sat., Dec. 1, 9a.m.-3p.m., at 940 Fillmore St.

Children can enter into a variety of holiday-related games and activities, including crafts (making beeswax candles and elf houses, cinnamon-scented ornaments, etc.). Also slated: festive music, a puppet show for younger celebrants and free horse and carriage rides for all.

Handpicked vendors will offer imaginative handcrafted gift items, Christmas trees and beautiful handmade holiday wreaths will also be for sale. Youngsters will like the “Kids Only” shopping area, with all items priced at $2 or less, including gift wrapping. As always, the Waldorf School Holiday Fair will have plenty of food options for the energy-deprived.

Entrance to the fair is free; children’s activities will run 9:30a.m.–2:30p.m., for a small fee: $7 for three activities (great for children under 7) and $16 for unlimited.

For information, call 303-777-0531 or visit denverwaldorf.org.

It’s always a treat to experience the abundance of galleries, studios and shops making their home on the Art District on Santa Fe. Chicano Humanities & Arts Council (CHAC), 772 Santa Fe Dr., will welcome the season with an opening reception for Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe & The Christmas Mercado Annual Show & Sale, Fri., Dec. 7, 6-10p.m. Find handmade, unique gifts made by a wide range of local artists, including santos, prints, jewelry, pottery, photography, sculpture and painting, and arts honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint beloved of many throughout the Americas. The Mercado runs through Dec. 22 in CHAC Norte gallery. Info:chacweb.org or 303-571-0440.

Whether Jewish or not, your tribe will enjoy Temple Micah’s 5th annual Top Latke Cook-off & Hanukkah Party, Fri., Dec. 7, 5:30p.m., at Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St. Aspiring chefs, vying for honors and prizes, will each craft 150 masterful pre-cooked traditional or innovative pancakes, about two inches in diameter, to bring to the golden-brown showdown.

Non-cooks can taste and vote on best latke, savor a light dinner and admire creative balloon sculptures, all to be capped by a candlelighting service plus Top Latke band concert at 7p.m. Admission for the Top Latke Cook-off & Hanukkah Party is by RSVP only at micahdenver.org or by calling 303-388-4239. Space is limited; prices range from $20/person to $55 for a family admission.

While a bit outside our normal stomping grounds, we like the looks of the Denver Handmade Homemade Holiday Market, returning to Green Spaces, 1368 26th St., Sat.-Sun., Dec. 8-9.

Saturday’s portion of the festivities is an evening market (4-9p.m.) featuring 25+ vendors, a premium vegan food banquet and live music; the Sunday afternoon (noon-5p.m.) event offers a similar array of vendors – many different from the previous day – a holiday brunch buffet and a build-your-own Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar.

The HAHO Holiday Market focuses on offerings from prepared dinner foods, produce and baked goods for your consumption, to handmade jewelry and accessories and various arts and crafts excellent for holiday gifts.

There will also be a Give/Take table that allows guests to trade their own crafts with other market-goers. Cost of admission is either a $2-5 donation or a thoughtful re-gift for the Give/Take table. If you donate on Saturday, you can come on Sunday for free. Details: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit denverhaho.org.

While wandering up north, consider stopping by EarthLinks’ (2838 Larimer St.) second annual Holiday Open House, Sat., Dec. 8, 10a.m.-4p.m. EarthLinks is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996, providing a work program for people who are homeless and low-income to learn skills and create Earth-friendly craft products that sustain people, animals and the planet.

The Open House provides a way for these resilient craftspeople to present their creations for purchase; crafts range from floral bookmarks, cards, candles and bowls to bat boxes, Bee Works soap, and chic dog coats made from reclaimed materials. Live music will be provided noon-1p.m. To learn more about EarthLinks and/or the event, visit earthlinkscolorado.org or call 303-389-0085.

The Lowry community celebrates the season with the Lowry Winter Festival, Sat., Dec. 8, 3-6p.m. in Lowry Town Center, E. 2nd Ave. and Quebec St. The Festival is presented by the Lowry Town Center Merchants and Lowry Community Master Association.

Town Center shops will offer holiday specials all day long, so you can shop during the Winter Festival or shop early without the kids. Visit the tented and heated Winter Wonderland, visit with Santa 3-5:45p.m., take part in children’s craft activities, and enjoy hot drinks and snacks.

Enjoy Lowry’s lights from a jingle-belled horse-drawn carriage ride. Head over to the Eisenhower Chapel for musical performances featuring Machebeuf High School, the Logan School, the Colorado Free University Quartet and roving holiday carolers. To cap off an evening of entertainment, Santa will join in the fun at the chapel at 5:45p.m. to hand out holiday treats.

For information, call 720-583-5262 or visit thelowrytowncenter.com.

Looking for a way to make holiday gift giving have an even deeper meaning? Consider the Washington Park United Church of Christ (400 S. Williams St.) Alternative Gift Fair, slated for Sundays, Dec. 9 & 16, 11a.m-1p.m. Gifts of jewelry, comestibles and wooden crafts support families and non-profit organizations working both here in Denver and abroad. Lunch will also be available for purchase. 

For information, call 303-777-5304 or visit washparkucc.org.

Music will provide the sparks for a festive vegetarian Shabbat dinner in celebration of Chanukkah, Fri., Dec. 14, 4:15p.m., at the Mizel Museum, 400 S. Kearney St. Musician and ethnomusicologist Sheldon Sands will lead a wide-ranging exploration of the rich tapestry of Jewish music.

Chanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. This year Chanukkah is celebrated Dec. 9-16.

The price for Shabbat dinner is $30 for Mizel Museum members; $36 for non-members. To reserve a seat, call 303-749-5014 or visit mizelmuseum.org.

The festivities continue as Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape St., hosts a Hanukah Hoopla celebration on Fri., Dec. 14. This family-friendly event begins with a menorah lighting and worship service, 5:30p.m., followed by dinner at 6:15p.m., which will include latkes made by the Sisterhood and activities for young children.

At 7p.m. attendees will be treated to a concert featuring Steve Brodsky and Friends, with Rabbi Joe Black. Dinner reservations are required by Dec. 12. Make reservations and pay online at EmanuelDenver.org/hoopla.

For more information about the Hanukah Hoopla or Temple Emanuel, call Susie Sigman, 303-388-4013 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

It’s been several years since we’ve heard the harmony of Christmas carols coming from the Washington Park Boathouse, but now, thanks to Washington Park Rec Center and Denver Parks and Recreation, this beautifully renovated historical structure by Smith Lake will be vibrant once again with holiday music.

Singers of all ages and singing abilities can gather on Thur., Dec. 13, 5p.m., to celebrate the holiday season through a community sing-a-long of holiday favorites, followed by cookies and hot chocolate and a visit from Old St. Nick.

Gather your courage, your family, and join friends and neighbors at the Boathouse for an evening of good cheer.

For information, call 720-865-3402 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

This winter solstice – will it be the End-of-the-World-as-We-Know-It? Maybe the beginning of a new earth? A new creation? For a thoroughly unique tilt at the holidays, make time for the 27th annual Winter Solabration, Sat., Dec. 22, beginning at 6p.m. at the newly refurbished Temple Events Center, 1595 S. Pearl St.

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, ending with the mysterious Abbot’s Bromley Horn Dance at midnight. Remember to bring a potluck dessert or snack to share.

Tickets for the Solabration are: adults, $27 through Dec. 16; teens/students, $19; children 6-12, $9. Adult prices rise to $33 a week before the event. For info, visit wsolstice.org, or purchase tickets in advance at Denver Folklore Center, 1893 S. Pearl St.
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