Golden games geared for peaks and creeks enthusiasts

John Akal, Avenue Flashes

Here in Golden we sometimes like to do things a little differently.

Our unique location and natural resources lend themselves to events that would be impossible in other places.

A great example of this is coming up soon — The Golden Games. This is a three-day event scheduled Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, and will feature competitions with kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and fly fishing.

There will also be a slack line running across the creek for anyone who wants to give walking on that a try.

Basically it’s centered on sporting events you would do in or over our mountain rivers and lakes.

Most of the Golden Games will be held in the Lions Park/Clear Creek Whitewater Park area at the west end of 10th Street with the exception of the Stand-up Paddle Flat Water Competition, which will be held at Soda Lakes near Morrison.

In addition to the competitions, there will be vendors booths, music, a clinic on kayaking and even a pub crawl Friday night through downtown Golden.

Admission to all events as well as the kayak clinic is free with entry fees for the competitions ranging from $25 to $30.

This is going to be one of those “beach vibe” kind of weekends for the entire family — meaning not having to spend an arm and a leg to have a great time enjoying things that are a lot of fun to watch. The events are great for those who love to take photos too.

Registration is encouraged at or you can register in person at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 17. The rest of the events will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Friday’s downtown pub crawl starts at 8 p.m.

For more information and a complete schedule go to the above website. There are lots of great photos from last year’s event there as well.

And one more thing — don’t forget the sunscreen.

As long as you are pub crawling

Drop by the Golden Hotel’s Bridgewater Grill and check out its namesake new brew, Bridgewater “Nitro” Brown Ale.

Although the name kind of sounds like something that would blow you off a barstool, it’s actually called “Nitro” because they use nitrogen in the carbon action process that is supposed to make a creamier product.

This ale is produced by the Arvada Beer Co. and its description of how it tastes is: “Bridgewater “Nitro” Brown Ale starts with a light sweet malt aroma with a little toffee and nutty notes.

The Nitrogen will give you a creamy head and help deliver the nutty and caramel aromas to your nose.

This beer is nicely balanced between the English hops and the English malts — not too sweet and not too much hop bitterness, a perfect blend and overall a very sessionable beer.”

OK, I’m not sure what that all means but it sounds like something worth trying.

If this beer tasting is your kind of thing, check out the Bridgewater Grill’s Colorado Beer Tour Dinners. Find out more at

For more information on what’s going on at the Golden Hotel, just call them at 303-279-0100 or visit

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.