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A Happy 2017 New Year to you from Golden


A good friend of mine’s Father passed away over the Christmas holiday. It wasn’t really unexpected as the man was 105 years old. When you make it to that age people tend to celebrate your life rather than be sorrowful. That’s an accomplishment in itself that very few people ever achieve.

Imagine what he witnessed in his lifetime. He was born in 1911. Automobiles were just starting to show up on roads, airplanes were made out of wood and canvas, you bought gasoline at a hardware store, people still used horses to plow fields and pull street cars as well as for basic transportation. Trains ran on steam power, street lights were gas. Electric power, telephones and light bulbs were just beginning to appear.

He lived through World War I and II, the Korean war, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the other wars in Afghanistan and Iraq plus all the skirmishes in between. He witnessed air travel progress from biplanes to landing a spacecraft on Mars. He saw the entire development of computers, from simple adding machines to modern Smart Phones and experienced the birth of movies, radio and television. The man lived through 18 Presidents. The cultural changes, music and fashions, education systems and advances in science and medicine and almost mind boggling. It’s just an amazing thing to ponder. Very few people have ever personally witnessed that much change in the world they were born into and that is definitely something to celebrate.

So, as we move forward into a New Year, that may give all of us a bit of inspiration. What wonders are ahead? What does 2017 have in store for us and what’s the world going to be like 105 years from now?

Truthfully, I have no idea. Hopefully it will be awesome. But in the meantime we have one thing coming to pass that I can predict with 100 percent confidence and that’s New Years Eve and the biggest party night of the year!

Most of us aren’t going to be making it to Times Square. A little closer is the big street party on the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver for those who like to stand out in the cold and watch fireworks. They have two shows, one at 9 p.m. and another at Midnight.

But, if you’d rather stay here in Golden, don’t worry, there’s a whole lot of options happening here as well.

The Briarwood Inn, Bridgewater Grill in the Golden Hotel, Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar will be hosting a New Year’s Eve dinners with special menus and packages to suit the occasion. If you are looking for a romantic way to toast the New Year, these are good bets.

If you want to add a little bit of music and entertainment to the night then check out the New Terrain Brewing company that will be celebrating a little early, from 6-9 p.m. with dinner and music by Thunder and Rain. Wrigley’s Chicago Bar and Grill will be presenting a special dinner package featuring steak and lobster plus live music by Kicked to the Curb into the New Year.

If you want something a little bit different, check out the Denver Kickers club’s Polka Party featuring Jim Ehrlich and the Polka Mates from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

If you just want to dance the night away and party to the max, head to the Buffalo Rose where they have two bands performing, My Blue Sky with Gunslinger followed by the Austin Young Band.

And for something really unusual, Miner’s Alley Playhouse will be presenting an 80’s New Wave New Year with a tribute to David Bowie by Captain Quirk and Friends. 80’s attire is encouraged for this one.

So, have a safe and very happy New Year and I’ll be back at you next year … which is also next week.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com


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