Irish festivities on tap

John Akal, Avenue Flashes

For many years we had a rather impish Irish Leprechaun living here in Golden. He hid under many disguises like a local bank vice president, but deep down, he was an Irish folk legend.

His name was Charlie O’Brien, and he was one of the founders of Denver’s big St. Patrick’s Day parade.

His Irish spirit was apparent in many Golden’s festivities, and I still remember one year back when he was managing a hotel in the area, that Golden had a parade happening but no bands in the line-up. So, what did Charlie do? He gathered his kitchen staff, handed out pots and pans and spoons and put them all on the back of a pick-up truck and made an impromptu rhythm band that was the highlight of the parade!

So, with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I always think of Charlie, and I’m sure many long time Golden residents will remember him also.

This year there is a bit o’ the Irish happening from 6-9 p.m. March 16 at Mount Vernon Country Club. It’s their Saint Patrick’s Day party and let me tell you, Peter Clampitt, the club manager, really knows how to throw a first class party.

There’s going to be one of their famous buffets featuring sweet and sauerkraut pork, corned beef and cabbage, chicken breast with apple/cherry chutney, pan seared salmon with raisin/caper butter, mustard scalloped potatoes plus broccoli and cheese pie. The food up there is always spectacular.

For entertainment, there will be live Celtic music with the Anam Chara band as well as the Heritage Irish Stepdancers. Anam Chara is Irish for “Soul Friend” and this group packs a lot of Irish soul into their performances. They feature traditional Irish instruments and vocals and will have you singing along all evening.

This is a family friendly event, so bring the kids along. The buffet runs $26.95 for adults and $13.50 for children 3-11. For more information and reservations give them a call at 303-526-0616 or visit

Carmina Burana

No, that’s not the newest cast member of “Jersey Shores.” It’s a wonderful musical interpretation of 24 poems that contemplate the joy, despair and fate caused by various excesses in life. Composed by Carl Orff in 1935-36 it is a very dramatic and colorful work that features the widely popular O Fortuna.

The Jefferson Symphony Orchestra will present “Carmina Burana” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the Green Center, 924 16th St. on the Colorado School of Mines campus. Feature special guests are The Evergreen Chorale and the Evergreen Children’s Chorale. Dr. William Morse with Evergreen Chorale director Christina Gaudreau and Evergreen Children’s Chorale director Elaine Sohrweid will conduct the performance.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 for seniors and they offer discounts for students and children.

To order tickets or for more information contact or 303-278-4237.

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.

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