'A big celebration with a small-town feel'

Events with Santa, candlelight walk and more make Golden perfect for the holiday season

Posted 11/14/18

Be it the lights along Washington Avenue, the decorations that merchants put up or the family and community festivities, Golden is the place to be for the holidays. “What makes it so special is …

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'A big celebration with a small-town feel'

Events with Santa, candlelight walk and more make Golden perfect for the holiday season


Be it the lights along Washington Avenue, the decorations that merchants put up or the family and community festivities, Golden is the place to be for the holidays.

“What makes it so special is that Golden brings the whole community together — all ages and all walks of life,” said Laura Padgett, captain of the Golden Elves, a volunteer group that participates in holiday events in and around the Golden area. “It's a big celebration with a small-town feel.”

The holiday season will soon be here, and Golden is offering up traditional favorite celebrations and some new events sure to provide family and community fun.

“These Golden events provide so many of the things we want our holidays to be made up of — warmth, love, family, community and goodwill toward others,” Padgett said. “All the things that matter.”

Holiday Art Market at Foothills Art Center

The 44th annual Holiday Art Market at Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., opened Nov. 15 and runs through Dec. 30. It offers gift ideas from a number of different mediums, created by more than 100 Colorado artists. www.foothillsartcenter.org.

Theater at Miners Alley Playhouse

Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., is presenting two holiday favorites this year — “A Christmas Carol,” running from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23; and the Miners Alley Children's Theater's "The Story of the Nutcracker" from Nov. 24 to Dec. 22. www.minersalley.com.

Be a Tool 5k Elf Run

The fifth annual Be A Tool 5k Elf Run takes place beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 24.

Proceeds from the race benefit the Be A Tool/Neighborhood Rehab Project, which hosts an annual day of service in Golden, Arvada, Englewood and Idaho Springs for homeowners who need help to complete projects that keep their homes warm, safe and dry.

Starting line for the race is underneath the welcome "Howdy Folks" arch in downtown Golden. The route will wind through downtown Golden and end at 13th Street and Washington Avenue.

The run is family-friendly, and festive entire is encouraged. Online registration is now open, but runners can also register in person on race day. Registration fees will vary.

Nov. 24 is also Small Business Saturday, so there will plenty to do in downtown Golden following the race.

For more information, visit www.beatool.org and click on the Be a Tool 5k Elf Run icon which will link you directly to the event on www.runningguru.com.

Candlelight Walk

A holiday favorite that has been a tradition in Golden for 31 years, the Candlelight Walk takes place Nov. 30.

Gather at about 6 p.m. at Washington Avenue and 15th Street, aka the top of the hill. At about 6:30 p.m., the crowd — generally of thousands — will walk down Washington Avenue to 10th Street, caroling, with candles in hand. Following the walk, Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan and Santa Claus will Light the Lights with a Golden child. The Golden Fire Department will display the giant wreath on a fire truck. City-sponsored fireworks cap the night.

Candles for the walk may be purchased at the event, or attendees can bring their own. The Golden Lions Club will serve free, warm cider, and some downtown merchants may have cookies or other goodies as refreshments along the way.

The Golden Visitors Center will host Santa Claus and the popular Leadership Golden tree ornaments will be available for purchase. The ornaments are also available at Avenue Gifts, 1212 Washington Ave.

All events are free and open to the public. https://goldenchamber.org/olde-golden-christmas.

Golden Elf Academy

The Golden Hayride and Goldmine Cupcakes are teaming up to offer the second annual Golden Elf Academy.

Two sessions of the academy will be offered on Dec. 2 — at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. — in the Marquez Hall lobby on the Colorado School of Mines campus in Golden.

“This is a great family event that will give the children something they'll remember forever,” Padgett said. “It gives the kids permission to laugh and have fun and play with the elves, and each other.”

The class consists of singing songs, learning some dance moves, decorating a cupcake with Mrs. Claus, arts and crafts with the elves and forming an Elf Kazoo Band.

Graduates of the class will be sworn in by Santa, officiating them a Golden Elf.

Golden Elf Academy graduates will also be invited to participate in two different events taking place on Dec. 8. One is marching as an elf with a parent or guardian in the Olde Golden Christmas Parade, which begins at 10:30 a.m. The second is to perform as the Elf Kazoo Band at 1:30 p.m. at The Goosetown Event Center Christmas Block, 514 Ninth St.

The recommended age group for the Golden Elf Academy is 10 and under. A parent or guardian should accompany their children.

Admission is $15 per child and can be purchased online at eventbrite.com. Search key words “Golden Elf Academy.”

Olde Golden Christmas Parades

Another favorite community event is the Olde Golden Christmas Parades, which take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the first three Saturdays in December — 1st, 8th and 15th.

Each of the parades will feature different and unique entries, said Carol Ann Bowles, head organizer of the Olde Golden Christmas events for the Golden Chamber of Commerce.

Floats and personalities include Colorado School of Mines' Marvin the Miner, the Storm Troopers, Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley and, of course, Santa Claus, to name a few. The grand marshals for the Dec. 1 parade will be Table Mountain Inn's Frank Day and Chris Brown, and Steve Kurtz of the city's streets department and Shawn Springer, along with his family, from the city's parks department.

"These are old-fashioned, hometown holiday parades," Bowles said. "I think we all need to be able to break away from everything — politics and technology — for a day and enjoy an Olde Golden Christmas."

The parade route is along Washington Avenue and is free to attend. https://goldenchamber.org/olde-golden-christmas

Santa at the Smokehouse

Santa's been “in the house before,” said Carrie Preister, the events, sales and fun manager at Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse, but this new event will offer children much more than the traditional sit-on-Santa's-lap-experience.

“We're thrilled to host this magical lunch with the grand marshal of the parades — Santa himself,” Preister said.

The Santa at the Smokehouse lunches are offered following each of the Olde Golden Christmas Parades, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1, 8 and 15 at the Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse, 1122 Washington Ave.

Tickets are required for the lunch and may be purchased online through the Golden Chamber of Commerce: https://goldenchamber.org/olde-golden-christmas.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for children under the age of 12. Children under age 2 are free. The price includes a meal for each ticketholder and some one-on-one time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will make their way around the room, visiting with each family. Attendees will be seated in a special room in the restaurant.

“This will be a great event for children and their families to experience in their hometown,” Preister said. “It will make the magic of the holiday season a little more real.”


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