Symphony and super art scene closes Golden’s summer

Column by John Akal
Posted 7/30/19

The Summer of 2019 is rapidly coming to a close. I know, it’s just the first week of August, so we should have plenty of time left to enjoy the season, with lots of warm days ahead, right? Well, as …

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Symphony and super art scene closes Golden’s summer


The Summer of 2019 is rapidly coming to a close. I know, it’s just the first week of August, so we should have plenty of time left to enjoy the season, with lots of warm days ahead, right? Well, as with everything, our seasons are not what they used to be. Summer seems to be particularly altered by outside circumstances that have nothing to do with the weather, equinoxes, solstices or even growing cycles of plants.

See, once upon a time, our seasons were determined by where our planet happened to be in the journey of its annual circumnavigation of the sun and angle of rotation. More specifically, the start of each season is marked by either a solstice (for winter and summer) or an equinox (for spring and autumn). A solstice is when the Sun reaches the most southerly or northerly point in the sky, while an equinox is when the Sun passes over Earth’s equator. Because of leap years, the dates of the equinoxes and solstices can shift by a day or two over time, causing the start dates of the seasons to shift, too. So, in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is supposed to be from about June 21 to September 22, give or take a day.

But, that didn’t line up too well with the actual weather patterns that determined farmer’s growing seasons. This came into play back when a great number of people were farmers and needed their kids around to help with the growing and harvesting work on the family farm. School schedules were set up to give the kids a Summer break so they were able to work on the farm. Traditionally, that was from about Memorial Day to Labor Day. So, that meant schools were out all of June, July and August and that became what most of us Baby Boomers considered Summer, then it was back to school for the Fall semester in September.

But, times have changed and so has the school schedule. There just aren’t as many family owned farms around anymore, and the majority of people in this country have nothing to do with agriculture, except for eating it. As a result, other school breaks got longer or more numerous, and schools stared summer breaks later and ended them sooner. So, nowadays, you can count on kids going back to school in about the middle of August, and once that happens family Summer activities tend to taper off pretty quickly. People start to go into “Fall mode” once that happens. I mean, even NFL football games start in August.

So, it’s about time for you to plan on attending what is the annual final big festival event of the Summer here in town. It’s the 29th Annual Golden Fine Arts Festival and it’s happening August 17 and 18. It’s produced by the Golden Chamber of Commerce and is free to attend. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

That’s right, it has been going on for almost three decades and has become a pretty prestigious juried art show right in the heart of our historic downtown. It features all types of fine art from artists all across the country. They all have to submit an application and the 136 available spots are approved by a panel of professional artists before they get the green light to show there. They also compete in nine different categories for cash prizes as well as Best of Show and Best of Colorado honors. Those kinds of awards go a long way in an artists career as they can lead to better gallery showings and ultimately higher value for their work down the road. The artists will have plenty on display and for sale. Some of them will actually be creating works on the spot so you can watch them work as well. Overall, it a really great experience with some amazing artists that you can chat with and appreciate.

There will also be live music and other entertainment, food and drink vendors, beer and wine gardens and special children’s activities. They set it up along Clear Creek on 11th Street, just west of Washington Avenue.

The Festival always comes to a conclusion with a free concert in Parfet Park, just across Washington Avenue, with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra. It starts at 6:30 p.m. so you can bring a picnic basket and enjoy the music on a blanket or lawn chair. They will be featuring familiar favorites and festive fanfares. The Orchestra will be conducted by Associate Conductor Steve Mallinson with guest vocalist Rick Hass.

So plan on attending this. It’s a great way to end your summer.

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


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