Column: Ringing in the festivities in Golden

John Akal
Posted 11/29/22

I trust everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful day that we celebrate every year with friends and family, so I hope that yours was special and memorable.

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Column: Ringing in the festivities in Golden


I trust everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful day that we celebrate every year with friends and family, so I hope that yours was special and memorable. At least I hope it was be one you’ll remember fondly, and not the one you always think about where you put the turkey in the oven but forgot to turn it on or something like that. Of course, once Thanksgiving has passed, it leads to another annual tradition…Shopping for gifts for the rest of the holidays in the season! Oh, joy.

OK, as every content creator on the Internet says at the beginning of their videos after a lengthy introduction, “let’s get right into it.”

First off, although you’ve been seeing and hearing the term Black Friday, that’s pretty much become a thing of the past. You probably didn’t notice any news crews out in front of major retail stores reporting on the long line of people camping out on the sidewalks so they could get a great deal on something expensive once the store opened at the crack of dawn or whatever. Almost all of those stores have started offering their Black Friday deals two weeks before Thanksgiving, so you can leave your tent and sleeping bags in the closet. That takes the pressure off of jumping into your shopping before your Thanksgiving dinner had a chance to settle.

But, that still leaves you wandering around the mall, or perpetually surfing the web looking for just the right gifts for people. Now, for some folks, that’s a lot of fun, but for others…Not so much. The crowds can be overwhelming and reading the totally contradictory reviews about an item online just makes you more uncertain as to whether to hit “buy” or skip the whole thing. But fear not, I always have a solution to this dilemma, but this year I have something a little extra special on the menu!

So, let’s start with my favorite. The Foothills Art Center’s 47th annual Holiday Art Market which is running through Dec. 29. The entire museum becomes a marketplace filled with hand crafted items from some of the best artists in the region. And by that, I mean over 100 artists will have things on display and for sale. You can find everything imaginable including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, photography, handmade clothing and textiles, multi media art, ornaments, cards and amazing whimsical things that you won’t even be able to describe. If finding something unique and memorable is one of your priorities, this is the place to shop.

It’s located at 809 15th St. in Golden and open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday- Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit or call (303) 279-3922.

The next thing on the menu is this year’s kick off to Olde Golden Christmas that always begins with the Golden Candlelight Walk on Dec. 2. If you haven’t been to this one, you should definitely put it on your “to-do” list. It starts at 6:30 p.m. with everyone gathering in front of the Foothills Art Center on Washington Avenue, which will be closed for a few hours for the Walk. Then folks proceed down the Avenue led by Santa, with lit candles in hand, singing carols until they get to Parfet Park where the Holiday Village will be set up. There, you will find a stage with live entertainment, starting at 5 p.m. as well as some vendors offering hot cider, holiday ornaments and Diamond Doughnuts. Many of the shops along Washington Avenue will be open along with more hot cider, cocoa, and outdoor cafes to enjoy as well. At the conclusion of the walk, the “switch” for Golden’s 50,000-holiday lights along Clear Creek and throughout downtown will be flipped, marking the official start to the holiday season. 

This is something you and your friends and family can participate in by either joining the walk or just hanging out downtown. You can wander down the paths by Clear Creek and check out the lights, do a little shopping at our local businesses and drop by the Golden Library for some extra activities going there as well. But be aware that this thing draws about 10,000 people every year so plan on getting there early to find parking and dress warm, it will be chilly at night. You can find out more information by heading to Happy Holidays to all!

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. He can be reached at

Golden, holiday, events, Christmas


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