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Light the night Friday for the holiday season

November 26, 2014

The streets and buildings of Downtown Denver will light up for the holidays during the center city’s Grand Illumination starting at 6 p.m. Friday.

Hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights and entertainment will mark the festive occasion from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building, including the 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, the D&F Tower and more. The following details the places to enjoy the illumination of Downtown Denver.

Light the Lights City and County Building – One of the holiday season’s longest running traditions, the 9NEWS Light the Lights event, takes place at the City and County Building, when one of the most popular holiday lighting displays in the region will once again transform this historic building.

Performers will entertain the crowd from 6 to 7 p.m., including MIX, The University of Colorado Denver’s elite a cappella group; CU Buffoons, the oldest a cappella group at the University of Colorado at Boulder and SOAR, a youth and adult choir offering the opportunity for at-risk youth to be mentored by adult performers. Benjamin Wood, baritone with the Boulder Opera Company, will perform the finale.

The City and County Building lighting display is entirely lit with LED lights and uses an estimated one-third of the energy it did in previous years. The building will be illuminated at 5:45 p.m. nightly through Jan. 25.

A dramatic light display set to holiday music will play at 5:45 p.m. each night.   At 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, volunteers will play holiday tunes from the historic bell tower. A special bell session will play at 7:14 p.m. Dec. 24 for the “Bells for Peace” organization as part of an effort to have bells around the world play “Silent Night” to honor the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Eve truce during World War I. Bells in each country will be played at 7:14 p.m. in their respective time zone.

Denver Union Station – Beginning at 6 p.m., there will be special events at Denver Union Station, presented by LoDo District, Inc. and sponsored, in part, by Comcast.  Entertainment will include local a cappella singers, the Mistletones, a visit from Dinger Claus (the Colorado Rockies Mascot decked out in holiday uniform) and much more. At 6:30 p.m., a countdown will mark the lighting of a 35-foot Douglas-fir tree. Sparkling lights also will illuminate the historic Denver Union Station in the heart of Lower Downtown.

16th Street Mall – More than 100,000 energy-efficient LED lights will turn the 16th Street Mall into a beautiful promenade, lighting more than 200 trees along the 1.25 mile length of the Mall.  Highlights along the 16th Street Mall include Denver’s historic D&F Tower, adorned with LED lights, wreaths and bows and Skyline Park featuring trees with more than 50,000 lights.

14th Street – Along 14th Street, more than 180 trees will be decorated with nearly 25,000 white LED lights, enhanced by more than 32,000 brightly colored LED lights in trees on Curtis (green and blue)  California (red, gold and orange), and Larimer streets (green and purple).

Two of Downtown Denver’s major retail destinations, Larimer Square and the Denver Pavilions, will be illuminated with festive décor and will host holiday entertainment and special events throughout the season. The sparkling canopy display over Larimer Square features nearly 4,000 lights.

In addition to the lights, visitors to Grand Illumination can sing along with the Jingle Singers who will be playing five colorfully painted pianos along the 16th Street Mall as part of the Your Keys to the City program.

Grand Illumination is a collective effort of the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Downtown Denver Events, Inc., 9NEWS, the City & County of Denver, the LoDo District, Inc., Comcast and the Regional Transportation District.


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BMW Championship at Cherry Hills snags three top awards

November 26, 2014

For an unprecedented third year in a row, the BMW Championship was named the PGA TOUR’s Tournament of the Year at the TOUR’s Tournament Meetings on Thursday in La Quinta, Calif.

The award was one of three earned by the 2014 BMW Championship, which also won the “Best On-Site Staging” and “Best Advertising Campaign/Promotional Idea” awards for this year’s tournament at Cherry Hills Country Club.

Conducted by the Western Golf Association, the 2014 BMW Championship continued to raise awareness and support for the Evans Scholars Foundation, the WGA’s 84-year-old sister organization which has been sending caddies to college since 1930.

The penultimate event in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the BMW Championship was one of the top attended tournaments on the PGA TOUR in 2014, attracting more than 125,000 spectators to Cherry Hills.

“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I am delighted to congratulate the BMW Championship for the special recognition it has received with these three awards,” said Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR executive vice-president and chief of operations. “The tournament staff should be extremely proud of its hard work and for being recognized as the PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year for the third consecutive season.”

Benchmarks achieved by the BMW Championship in 2014 – in the areas of revenue growth, charity integration, event advertising, host club and community support, title sponsor integration and player and caddie hospitality – were all significant factors in the event being named Tournament of the Year, TOUR officials said.

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Black Friday bargain at Lone Tree Arts Center

November 26, 2014

On Black Friday this Friday, buy regularly priced tickets to a December show at Lone Tree Arts Center and get a $10 ticket to see “Conjure”, a lighthearted comedy about a magician who must, with the help of the audience, bring back his loving, dead assistant to perform the magic show of a lifetime.

To qualify for the special deal, patrons must buy tickets in person or via phone at 720-509-1000 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

December shows:

Dec. 3 – Cowboy Christmas with Sons & Brothers and Buckaroo Poet Waddie Mitchell;

Dec. 7 – Big Band Christmas with the CJRO;

Dec. 11 – Colorado Symphony: Holiday Brass;

Dec. 13 and 14 – Nutcracker by Classical Ballet of Colorado;

Dec. 18 to 24 – Home for the Holidays;

Dec. 27 and 28 – Conjure.

The Lone Tree Arts Center is located at 10075 Commons St. in Lone Tree. Visit www.lonetreeartscenter.org or call 720-509-1000 for more information.

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Zagat picks Denver bakery on hottest bakeries list

November 26, 2014

Zagat, the national publication and website whose editorial team curates the best restaurants and nightspots in 18 cities worldwide, recently released its picks for The 12 Hottest Bakeries Around the U.S.

And among that coveted 12 is Maria Empanada, an Argentinean bakery in Platt Park. Here’s what the editors said: 

“At this captivating Platt Park Argentinean bakery, which opened in spring, owner Lorena Cantarovici turns out the city’s most celebrated empanadas, their gold-tinged crusts enveloping everything from olives and scrambled eggs to sweet corn and spinach. And that’s not all: her tartas and Spanish tortillas are objects of beauty too, as are the sweet medialunas and dulce de leche roll cake.

“Must-Order: Our advice would be to order one of everything, but the classic ground beef, egg, pepper and olive empanada, medialunas (the Argentinean equivalent of a croissant) and the creamy spinach tarta are highlights.

Maria Empanada is located at 1298 S. Broadway; www.mariaempanada.com; 303-934-2221.

See the rest of Zagat’s Hottest Bakeries at www.zagat.com/b/the-12-hottest-new-bakeries-around-the-u.s#10.

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Skate date? The Southwest Rink is ready for skaters

November 26, 2014

The Southwest Rink at Skyline Park, sponsored by Southwest Airlines, opened Tuesday for Denver residents and visitors to take to the ice.

The Rink is located near the intersection of 16th and Arapahoe streets next to the historic Daniels & Fisher Tower.

The Southwest Rink is free to skate, with $2 skate rentals, and is open through Feb. 16.  Visit www.southwestrink.com for rink hours of operation, programming and special events.

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Pretenders make a shop stop at Rockmount

November 26, 2014

Rockmount Ranch Wear’s retail store at 1626 Wazee St. has long been a celebrity magnet for rock ‘n roll royalty who make a visit mandatory during Denver gigs.

Saturday was no exception when The Pretenders stopped by while on tour. They picked up some shorts and invited the Rockmount gang to the gig at the Paramount Theater.

Rockmount Ranchwear owner Steve Weil, right, with members of the band, The Pretenders.

Rockmount Ranch Wear owner Steve Weil, right, with members of the band, The Pretenders.


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Swing by Sullivan’s for Wednesday drink deals

November 26, 2014

Before the Thanksgiving madness erupts, take a break today during Swingin’ at Sullivan’s at 1745 Wazee St. for a $7 menu including appetizers, wine and signature cocktails.

Live music will help put you in the mood to face turkey day.

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

November 26, 2014

Eavesdropping on me to you, dear readers: “Happy Thanksgiving to all!”

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Please support this column

November 26, 2014

Want to see this column continue? Want to advertise your business here? Call Trisha today at 720-985-6947 or e-mail her at trilind@hotmail.com.


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