Olde Golden Christmas celebration kicks off Nov. 30

Avenue Flashes, John Akal
Posted 11/19/12

I have to say, I have always loved a parade. My earliest memories involve standing on Washington Avenue with my dad holding my hand watching the …

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Olde Golden Christmas celebration kicks off Nov. 30


I have to say, I have always loved a parade. My earliest memories involve standing on Washington Avenue with my dad holding my hand watching the Mines Homecoming parades go by and hearing the thunder of the drums and the blast of the brass.

I remember all the cool creative floats and the flags and the pretty girls twirling the batons and most of all, the festive feeling that always accompanied them. Back then it seemed like there was always a parade somewhere to mark every holiday — St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, all the New Years Day bowl game parades, and of course the biggest one of all, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Eventually this led to my participation in uncountable parades with high school and college marching bands and then doing it five days a week when I played with the band at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Parades have been a tradition in Golden for a long time, but when Christmas rolls around, we do things a little differently here. We don’t have “a” parade, we have four of ‘em! That’s right, four Christmas parades!

It’s all part of our annual Olde Golden Christmas celebration scheduled to start with a Candlelight Walk on Friday, Nov. 30, and then continue throughout December with activities and events sure to warm everyone’s hearts, even if it’s snowing outside.

For those who haven’t experienced this, it’s really one of the best seasonal events around with plenty of opportunities to actually participate in the events yourself.

The Candlelight Walk starts at 6:30 p.m. on the top of the Washington Avenue hill at the Foothills Art Center and is open to anyone who wants to participate. Santa leads it down the street, and it ends in front of the Golden Visitors Center with a ceremony lighting the holiday lights along Clear Creek. That opens the gateway to a real Christmas adventure.

Stroll down the trail to the Golden History Museum, which will be open and featuring people in period clothing and usually someone playing one of those vintage organs they have, then continue across the bridge to the Golden History Park and the Astor House Museum, where you can see reenactments of how early Golden settlers spent the holidays, and along the way they will have cider and eggnog, cookies and chestnuts roasting plus a performance stage with carolers and dance groups set up in front of the Golden Visitor’s Center. The best thing? It’s all free!

But that’s just the beginning. Every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22 there are events slated, and did I mention parades? Yes, there are four of them, every Saturday at 11 a.m., Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, and I know that they are always looking for new participants, so if you have a group or something that you think would be a great addition to the parade lineup give them a call at the Visitors Center at 303-279-3113, and I’m sure they will be happy to hear from you.

In addition to the parades, there will be free horsedrawn carriages and Newfoundland dog cart rides, carolers, free refreshments and shopping specials all over downtown Golden.

This is all sponsored and organized by the Greater Golden Chamber of Commerce, and it does a fabulous job every year.

There are really way too many things going on all month to put in this column, so take a few minutes, grab a cup of hot chocolate and go to one of these websites for a complete list of events www.goldencochamber.org or www.visitgolden.com/events/olde-golden-christmas.html

Great concerts, too

Once the sun goes down, the curtain goes up here in Golden, and there is one special holiday themed event sure to make the season festive.

The Golden Concert Choir will present “Christmas with a French Flavor” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Golden First United Methodist Church, 1500 Ford St.

The concert will include “The Shepherds’ Farewell to the Holy Family” by Berlioz, “O Nuit” by Rameau, “Christmas ... in about Three Minutes” (which isn’t French, but is a light and fun arrangement of no less than 23 carols) and the highlight of the show, “Christmas Oratorio” by Saint-Saens (in English).

This is a great choir, they always put on a top-notch show, and I highly recommend adding this to your holiday to-do list. You can get tickets at the door or in advance by going to www.goldencommunitychoirs.org/concerts/christmas-with-a-french-flavor.

You can follow that up the next afternoon, Saturday, Dec. 2, with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra’s Traditional Holiday Concert conducted by Dr. William Morse at the Green Center on the Colorado School of Mines campus. Showtime is 3 p.m.

This year’s concert will feature Shay Burns, soprano and Brian Stinar, tenor. In addition to traditional favorites, they will be presenting Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. They are also having a silent auction and wine reception.

To order tickets and for more information go to www.jeffersonsymphonyorchestra.org. or give them a call at 303-278-4237.

Happy holidays everyone!

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 multimedia production.

golden, candlelight walk, golden chamber of commerce


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