This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

 Thursday, December 25

More than 200 volunteers are expected to show up today to help the Salvation Army serve up a piping-hot holiday dinner to hundreds of metro Denver's homeless people and families in need. The meal will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Exhibit Hall B of the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street. To make a donation to the Salvation Army or to find out about volunteering, call 303-861-4833 or visit www.imsalvationarmy.org.

Friday, December 26

Waltz into 2004 with the final performances of The 
Nutcracker.
Waltz into 2004 with the final performances of The Nutcracker.

To celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa, several Denver organizations are planning special activities. At 6 p.m., the Denver Kwanzaa Committee will light the twelve-foot tall Grand Kinara on the corner of 26th and Welton streets in historic Five Points. Check out www.brotherjeff.com for details. Also at 6, People's Presbyterian Church, 2780 York Street, is presenting the free program What Is Kwanzaa?, which uses film and hands-on demonstrations to explain the African-American holiday's phrases, symbols and seven basic principles. Babysitting is available; call 303-297-9071.

Have you checked out Loveland's new Central Hockey League studs yet? Tonight the hard-skating, hard-hitting Colorado Eagles will take on the Corpus Christi Ice Rays, with the puck dropping at 7:05 p.m. at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland (5300 Southeast Frontage Road, just off the Crossroads Boulevard exit on I-25). For tickets, $16, and information, call 1-970-686-SHOT or visit www.coloradoeagles.com.

Saturday, December 27

Christmas has come and gone, but you can still dance over to Tchaikovsky's classic winter wonderland, The Nutcracker, with its exciting fight scene between the Nutcracker Prince and the Mouse King and the enchanting Waltz of the Flowers. The ballet will be performed at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, today at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from $20 to $74 and are available at 303-830-TIXS, 303-623-0106 or www.ticketmaster.com. For more on The Nutcracker, go to www.coloradoballet.com. After tomorrow's 2 p.m. matinee, Clara, Fritz, Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy will disappear into the Land of Snow -- until next holiday season, that is.

Get ready to laugh out loud at the fast-paced antics of Dave Testroet. The comedian and blues harmonica performer will headline shows tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at the Wits End Comedy Club, 8861 Harlan Street in Westminster. Tickets are $8, and there is no minimum drink order. Call 303-430-4242 for details.

Sunday, December 28

Tonight is your final chance to enjoy Fully Committed, TigerLion Works' hilarious look into a day in the life of an out-of-work New York actor in charge of taking reservations at a bustling Manhattan eatery. Actor Tyson Lien, who tackles all forty harried and hungry characters, will get to rest after tonight's final booking of Fully Committed at 8 p.m. at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors. (The show is not recommended for kids under age twelve.) Call 303-443-2535 or go to www.thedairy.org.

Monday, December 29

The Golden Pioneer Museum is celebrating the cold white substance covering Colorado's high and low country with the exhibit Snow Days: A History of Winter Sports. An exploration of the origins of skiing, ice-skating, sledding, snowboarding and even snurfing, Snow Days comprises historic photographs, Norwegian wooden skates and more. The show stays up through April 19 at the museum, 923 Tenth Street in Golden. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and children ages six to eighteen, and free for children ages five and under; guided tours are available for $1 with advance reservations. Call 303-278-7151 or visit www.goldenpioneermuseum.com for information.

Tuesday, December 30

Get in the New Year's spirit with a special production of Bovine Metropolis Theater's improv extravaganza On the Spot. In the style of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show features four actors and a moderator who must use suggestions from the audience to guide the performance. Tonight they'll be riffing on everything from New Year's Eve celebrations gone terribly wrong to holiday nightmares. Bovine Metropolis Theater is located at 1527 Champa Street; tickets for the 9 p.m. all-ages show are $17. For further information, call 303-758-4722 or log on to www.bovinemetropolis.com.

And while you don't want to party too heartily tonight, who could pass up an evening with hip-hop's "everyday brothers," Blackalicious? Hot on the heels of the release of their fourth CD, Blazing Arrow, Blackalicious, along with the Procussions and DJ Idiom, will be at Boulder's Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at 303-443-3399 or by visiting www.foxtheater.com or www.ticketmaster.com. For tomorrow night's 9:30 p.m. show, the price will go up to $35, and those attending must be at least 21.

Wednesday, December 31

Get a head start on today's festivities with an early-morning Peace Meditation on the theme of world peace and global unity at First Divine Science Church, 1400 Williams Street. The activity is timed to coincide with noon Greenwich time, so doors will open at 4:45 a.m. The free hour-long meditation will be followed by a potluck Continental breakfast. For more information, call 303-322-7738. Peace be with you.

If you're looking for something a bit more saucy, spice up your New Year's Eve with two hours of steamy sentences at the Mercury Cafe's annual Erotic Poetry Festival, where fifteen poets and tribal belly dancers are sure to heat things up. As if that weren't enough, the chef is offering a special menu, DeVotchKa will be jammin' in the Jungle Room, and the David Booker Swingtet and Extasis will be playing from 10 p.m. to dawn. Admission to the Erotic Poetry Festival is $5; cover for DeVotchKa's is $10; and the David Booker Swingtet and Extasis together cost $20. All-inclusive entertainment tickets ($30) can be purchased in advance. The Mercury is at 2199 California Street. For a complete schedule, call 303-294-9281 or go to www.mercurycafe.com.

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