Things to Do in Denver When It's Dead

The Mile High City starts the new year with a world-class whimper.

Early January 1, the Denver Police Department announced: "We were not expecting major problems such as a repeat of the incidents that followed the Super Bowl, but we were definitely prepared." And then some.

This embarrassing excess ignited the current fireworks. After initially trying the "next year is the real millennium" defense, the city has fired a few salvos of its own. In Tuesday's memo asking for new ways Denver could celebrate New Year's, Hudson whacked the media for failing to follow its own January 1, 1901, lead (as evidenced in contemporary headlines) that the new century always begins in '01. (Hudson's own December 27 announcement of the Celebrate 2000 site, however, noted that it had arrived "in time for the millennium.") And in response to those party-poopers from First Night Colorado, the twelve-year-old event that canceled all but the New Year's Eve fun run (1,500 runners and one policeman) because of what its officials called a lack of city support ("The Runaround," December 30), Webb offered this to a reporter: "Only people with weak egos are embarrassed. Denver is a world-class city. We're not going to be judged on whether we had a party on New Year's Eve."

Not by the world, maybe: Denver didn't even register on the global radar Friday night.

No, Denver isn't Paris, or Cairo. We're not a world-class city -- and we just keep proving it. Still, Denverites are good at making our own fun. But that wasn't an option in LoDo Friday night.

For over two decades, Westword's office was located in lower downtown -- before Coors Field turned the area into a mammoth sports bar, before anyone thought to slap it with the nickname "LoDo" -- even before anyone dreamed that locals would one day flock to Larimer Square. Since our recent move to the Golden Triangle, I'd spent much of December missing that old lower downtown, the one filled with dusty warehouses and history and endless opportunity. I didn't think I'd miss what LoDo had become: an outdoor funplex where people fight for parking spaces and places in line during Jägermeister shot nights.

After waking up in Loserville, though, I missed even that. Better luck next year. BYO fireworks.

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