avenue flashes

January is cowboy time 'round Golden

Column by John Akal
Posted 1/1/19

Happy New Year to all. I know, you heard that from everyone a few days ago, but I want to chime in too and wish everyone a terrific 2019. Next year we get to ring in this century’s version of …

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avenue flashes

January is cowboy time 'round Golden


Happy New Year to all. I know, you heard that from everyone a few days ago, but I want to chime in too and wish everyone a terrific 2019. Next year we get to ring in this century’s version of the “Roaring 20’s.” I’m not sure what that’s going to bring with it but I’m hoping for flappers, speakeasies and a resurgence of hot jazz. I missed the last go-round of that by about thirty to forty years.

Now that the “Holidays” are over we can take advantage of another annual tradition that nobody seems to recognize. It’s national “stay home and get some rest” week. Let’s face it, these last couple of months were kind of exhausting. They are every year. I plan on taking few days to get reacquainted with my T.V. remote control. I think the first week of January is the reason that slippers and robes continue to be popular Christmas presents. You just want to slip into those when you get home from work and chill out for a few days.

But fear not, there’s a slew of fun events on the horizon for the second half of January. Here in the Denver metro area it’s a tradition to leave our lights and decorations up until after the Stock Show ends later in the month. We sort of shift from honoring Old World traditions to focusing on our Western heritage. There aren’t a whole lot of places in the world that have a parade of livestock downtown or park a champion steer in the lobby of one of it’s most exclusive hotels. The National Western Stock Show is still one of the biggest attractions we have every year. It starts on Jan. 8 and runs through Jan. 27. You can find out everything you need to know about that by going to their website at www.nationalwestern.com.

While Denver has always been home to the largest stock yards in the area and thus, has always hosted the stock show, here in Golden, we pride ourselves on being the place “WHERE THE WEST LIVES.” It’s right there printed in all capital letters on the welcome sign above our main street. If you look at the history of all the towns in Colorado, Golden was once the epitome of “the wild west”. It’s the place where everyone stopped to get their supplies before heading up to the gold rush and was a pretty rowdy little town for a while. Think about it for a minute. Adolf Coors didn’t just build a brewery here because he found a good source of spring water. He also saw plenty of potential customers. Yup. Howdy folks, welcome to Golden!

So, with that in mind it’s fitting that Golden is the host of the 30th Annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It always runs at the same time as the Stock Show, but strives to take you back in time with a lot more history and authentic flavor. It’s going to be running from Thursday, January 17 through Sunday, January 20. This takes place at the American Mountaineering Center located at 710 10th Street right here in Golden.

The Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering is much more than just poems about the old west, it reenacts the way cowboys would gather around the campfire after a long day on the trail and amuse themselves with tall tale story telling, sing-along music and of course poetry about what they were experiencing. They didn’t have radios, televisions or smart phones. They had to entertain themselves and each other. So, the gathering has all of that. Western folk music, famous story tellers and of course, some of the most renowned cowboy poets working today.

They have things split up into daytime and evening performances with a different show and schedule each day. Thursday night has a sampler show of one number from each performer and starts at 7:30 p.m.. Friday and Saturday are split up into daytime and evening shows. The daytime shows run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the evening shows start at 7:30 p.m.. Then there’s a Sunday afternoon show from 1-3 p.m.. They will also be preparing a chuck wagon campfire cooking lunch of stew, cornbread, cobbler dessert and that infamous trail coffee available for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m..

Tickets run anywhere from $15 to $75 depending on the show, day or evening and seating. There is also a full weekend pass available for $160. Your best bet is to check out their website for all your options. You can find it at www.coloradocowboygsthering.com or by calling (720) 213-6446. Boots and hat are optional.

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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