Unity in the ’Hood

The first night of Kwanzaa is given to the principle of Umoja, or Unity, and Denver’s African-American community will kick off the celebration with family activities today from 2 to 5 p.m. and a Grand Kinara Lighting at 6 p.m., all at the Blair-Caldwell Library, 2401 Welton Street. From there, a parade will lead from the library to a First Night Celebration at the Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre, 119 Park Avenue West. It’s a joyous celebration, and everything is free.

Not far from Five Points, the Denver Zoo is a great place to continue the week-long celebration. The zoo’s Kwanzaa events start today and continue nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. through December 30, and the menagerie of African animals — from the lions and hyenas of Predator Ridge to the nearly human gorillas of Primate Panorama — provide the perfect backdrop to storytelling, live African dance, drumming and music. Zoo Lights is going strong this week, too, with refreshments, carousel rides and other features; the Kwanzaa activities are included with the Zoo Lights admission price of $6 to $10. For more information about the zoo’s celebration, go to www.denverzoo.org. Find a complete schedule of continuing Kwanzaa week events at www.brotherjeff.com/, and check out for details on Denver Public Library programs starting tomorrow.
Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2012


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