Promises, Promises

New Yearís Eve still has plenty to offer the undecided.

Another year is about to go belly-up, and the deadline for New Year's resolutions is here. Don't bother dragging out last year's list; the last time you looked at that was the day you made it. It's time to start anew, and several December 31 events offer unique ways to bring in 2005 while carving out an oath or two.

Hoping for world peace? Enlighten your day with a little global om-ing for harmony at the First Divine Science Church of Denver, 1400 Williams Street. The Pre-Dawn Meditation is an hour-long think-in synchronized with churches and metaphysical mosques around the world. Sleepyheads may want to set two alarms, because the doors to First Divine open at 4:45 a.m., with the mass mull beginning promptly at 5. A potluck continental breakfast will follow the silent symposium. Call 303-322-7738 or visit www.dvscdnvr.com for information.

If you're looking to confront the skeletons in your closet or are just in the mood to pester some poltergeists, then plan to attend Ghost Hunting 101 this afternoon at the historic Hearthstone Inn, 506 North Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs. Christopher Moon of Haunted Times magazine will scare up some fun at a seminar on the craft of probing the paranormal. The workshop starts at 2 p.m. and costs $40 per person. Guests can choose to stay on for the Ghost Hunter Experience, which includes a four-course dinner and a spirited search for deceased inhabitants of the inn. A midnight champagne toast is included; for tour and lodging prices and information, call 1-719-473-4413. It's sure to be a terror-ific start to your 2005.

Derek Rippe

Fulfill the promise to reclaim your waistline while leaving 2004 in the dust at the Resolution 5K Run & Walk; now in its twentieth year, it's the oldest New Year's Eve gallop in Denver. The race begins at the southeast end of Washington Park (Franklin Street and Mississippi Avenue) at 6 p.m.; registered runners will receive a long-sleeved T-shirt, refreshments, and entry in drawings for various prizes. Fees are $18 to $25; proceeds benefit the Family Resource Center. Call 303-635-2815 or visit www.active.com.

Pen-pushers might pledge to add a little spice to the dawning new age at the Annual Erotic Poetry Festival, a wild wordfest celebrating a decade of yearly gatherings of bawdy bards and babes. The festival heats up tonight at 7 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, with belly-dancers setting the stage for the risqué rhymers. Admission is $6; call 303-294-9281 or go to www.mercurycafe.com for details.

Affirm your passion for the arts with some orchestral maneuvers in the dark during A Night in Vienna II. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor Adam Flatt will whisk you away to the city of romance as they perform Viennese favorites by Mozart and Johann and Josef Strauss. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Boettcher Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets; call 303-292-5566 or www.coloradosymphony.org for tickets, $15 to $63 (student and senior discounts available).

Finally, test your pact to practice patience at the fireworks show on the 16th Street Mall. For the third year in a row, the Downtown Denver for the Holidays program will light up the sky with two ten-minute blasts -- once at 9 p.m. and again at midnight. Call 303-534-6161 or visit www.downtowndenver.com for more information. Just be warned that overzealous, overjoyous and parking-meter-irked crowds pack the pedestrian mall for both shows, so be sure to get there early -- and bring your earmuffs. Better yet, bring a room reservation, pop the cork on a bottle of the good stuff, and blow off binding yourself to any resolutions. There's always next year, right?

 
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