Experiencing downtown on Friday and Saturday evenings

Golden Weekends offers extended shop hours, carriage rides, live music

Posted 6/26/19

Temperatures lingering barely above 50 degrees and scattered rain showers on June 21 did not stop those participating in Golden Weekends from having a good time. “I love the feeling that Golden’s …

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Experiencing downtown on Friday and Saturday evenings

Golden Weekends offers extended shop hours, carriage rides, live music

Posted

Temperatures lingering barely above 50 degrees and scattered rain showers on June 21 did not stop those participating in Golden Weekends from having a good time.

“I love the feeling that Golden’s alive and that people love to be here,” said Donna Owen, owner of Avenue Gifts and a member of the Downtown Golden Merchant Partners, which puts on Golden Weekends. “Merchants enjoy having the foot traffic downtown in the evenings and people enjoy the casual atmosphere, safe environment and friendly merchants.”

In its second annual year, Golden Weekends is a new way for residents and visitors to experience downtown on Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer. It is organized by a group of local business owners calling themselves the Downtown Golden Merchant Partners with sponsorship from the city and the Downtown Development Authority.

Entertainment includes live music on street corners and free carriage rides provided by Clear Creek Carriage Company. Downtown businesses stay open until 8 p.m. and some will offer specials, such as in-store demonstrations, samples, meet-and-greets, wine tastings, etc.

Though the rain cancelled the horse-drawn carriage rides on June 21, they will be offered during the rest of the summer, said Margaret Blaha, owner and operator of Clear Creek Carriage Company.

“I love getting to share my hometown with visitors,” Blaha said. “It’s fun watching people slow down and truly soak in and appreciate Golden when they’re on the carriages and engaging with us about our town.”

Blaha added that she enjoys telling the stories and providing the history about Golden to people who participate in the carriage rides.

Mark and Joy Johnson of Castle Rock brought their family member Denise Roberts of California on June 21 because the last time they had visited Golden was for a concert in February.

“We wanted to check it out in the summertime,” Roberts said. Golden “is unique for its stores and shops, and its historic areas. It’s a famous town.”

Trevor Toms of Denver, who was performing a solo act of acoustic Americana rock-and-roll, took shelter from the rain under Avenue Gift’s awning so he could still perform on June 21 — even though the gig was technically cancelled.

But he had been looking forward to it, he said. Toms grew up in Wheat Ridge and still enjoys visiting Golden, he said.

“It’s nice to hang out in Golden on a Friday night,” Toms said. “It’s great to play on a stage, but this is a lot more relaxed.”

Jim Hecker of Golden and Marty Hecker of Lakewood — brothers who make up the band Chasing Goats — wasn’t about to let the rain get in the way of their only Golden Weekends gig this summer.

“We really wanted to play, but the rain gods took away our opportunity” to do the gig in the streets, Jim Hecker said. So, the brothers told Miners Saloon manager Hannah Villarose that they had all their equipment, were ready to go and would play for free. “They said, come on in,” Jim Hecker said.

And it was fun to provide some live music to the people in Miners Saloon, Marty Hecker added.

Villarose agreed. “It gave the saloon a great, rainy day feel.”

Promoting visitation and enhancing downtown Golden’s ambiance is why the Downtown Golden Merchant Partners put on Golden Weekends, said Pam Eggemeyer, owner of Spirits in the Wind Gallery and a member of the Downtown Golden Merchant Partners.

“Golden Weekends was very successful last year — people enjoy coming to Golden in the evenings,” Eggemeyer said. “Now there’s more than just dining in the evenings. People can shop after hours, meet friends; and see and experience Golden. That’s what it’s all about — experiencing Golden.”

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