A festive scene at a fire
Credit: Courtesy photo

The arrival of Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the holiday season, with families and friends getting together to share a meal and some great memories. And once dinner is over, what’s next on the itinerary? I have some options that will help you and your loved ones start the season off right.  

A “Winter Wanderland” at Cherry Creek North

An annual tradition gets even bigger this year, as Cherry Creek North’s Winter Wanderland returns with more happening than ever before. The 16-block area, located at 1st Avenue and University Boulevard, is beautifully lit up with holiday lights and features more than 300 local merchants who call the neighborhood home, meaning you’re bound to find what you need for even the pickiest recipient.  

Special events this year include the first Cherry Creek North pop-up holiday bar, the Mistletoe Lounge, and Saturday Night Lights. This runs the first three Saturday nights in December and allows guests to wander beneath 600 illuminated and musical trees throughout the neighborhood while enjoying a cup of free hot chocolate and other treats.  

For full information about all the special events and other details can be found at www.cherrycreekholidaymarket.com/

A historical way to start the season

The Tesoro Cultural Center welcomes the holiday season with its annual Farolito Lighting and Pinecone Ceremony at the Fort, 19192 Highway 8 in Morrison. The event will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26 and offers visitors an alternative to the more familiar tree lighting ceremony.  

According to provided information, the cultural center reenacts holiday traditions of the 19th century by lighting farolitos — paper bags filled with sand and illuminated with candles — and hosting a pinecone ceremony. For that portion, guests are provided with paper, pencils and pinecones so they can write something to someone who lives far away or has died. The message is tucked inside the pinecone and thrown into a bonfire.  

The event will also feature Christmas carols, Mexican hot chocolate, hot cider and biscochitos. For more information, visit https://www.tesoroculturalcenter.org/farolito-lighting-and-pinecone-ceremony/

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Kat Edmonson at Lakewood Cultural Center 

The holiday season is a time for tradition, but every now and then, it’s fun to shake things up and add some new flavors to the mix. And that’s just what you’ll get at Kat Edmonson’s Holiday Swingin’ concert, held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30 at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway.  

Edmonson’s music is a blend of jazz, cabaret and classic pop, making her the perfect fit to take on classics like “White Christmas” and “The Christmas Song” and add her own twist to the tunes. And according to provided information, the show also features “humorous anecdotes, philosophical musings and a love of film.”  

The performance will be a great holiday outing for all ages, so get information and tickets at Lakewood.org/LCCPresents

Annual Holiday Art Market returns to FAC

Getting a truly unique gift can be difficult during the holidays, especially with the dominance of big box stores and their advertising. But if you really want something handcrafted and made with care, the Foothills Art Center’s 48th Holiday Art Market is the place to go.   

This year’s market, held at the center, 809 15th St. in Golden, from Dec. 1 through the 29, features more than 80 Colorado artists selling more than 3,000 specially created items. No matter what your taste is, you’re certain to find something that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.  

Find all the details at www.foothillsartcenter.org

CJRO Shines a Light on Seasonal Classics

The Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra knows how to do the holidays right, and they’re going to prove it with their Holiday Hits from Stage and Screen concert, held at the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave. in Parker, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2.  

The performance will feature vocalists Robert Johnson and Marion Powers adding their own stamp to holiday standards like “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Christmas Time is Here,” all of which debuted on the stage, film or television. It’s a perfect concert for the entire family, especially with the flourishes the CJRO Big Band, led by artistic director Drew Zaremba, add to everything they play.  

Tickets are on sale at www.coloradojazz.org/concerts

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