While the Avalanche isn't exactly living up to its past standards, there's another iced-up troupe at McNichols that certainly is. The perennial band of cartoon bladers in Disney on Ice hits the rink tonight, giving fans their annual fix of fun without the fisticuffs of Big Mac's usual inhabitants. The show will feature Mickey and Minnie doing double axels and an appearance by the Disneyized version of Hercules, who skates through a set of gospel-tinged music geared for all-ages consumption. The show starts at 7:30 tonight and Friday; Saturday's slots are noon, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday's shows are at 1 and 5 p.m. For more info call 303-830-TIXS. Tickets start at $10.
The Community Christmas Caroling Celebration tunes up tonight at the Washington Park Boathouse. Now in its fourteenth year, the open-to-the-public singing session is hosted by St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and covers a wealth of traditional holiday tunes. Songbooks will be provided, and all levels of crooners are welcome. The rejoicing runs from 7 to 8 p.m., ending with refreshments by the shore. The park is located at 701 S. Franklin St.; call 303-698-4962 for more info--and bring your own gator repellent.
The Denver Gay Men's Chorus begins its yearly run of holiday performances tonight with Celebrate the Season. The show features the 100 voices of the DGMC roaring through a list of seasonal numbers under the direction of David M. Price. This year's program also includes a special appearance by local theater starlet Trina Magness. As an added bonus, the unique voices of the Planina Balkan Women's Choir opens the show, making this a one-of-a-kind evening of multicultural Christmas cheer. The music soars tonight and tomorrow at Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St.; the first notes fly at 8, and tickets are $10 to $20. The show repeats on Tuesday, December 15, at First United Methodist Church in Boulder. For more info, call the DGMC hotline at 303-832-3462.
Fifty years ago yesterday, the United Nations signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was designed to aid all of the world's people in gaining the most basic individual liberties. But the people of Tibet cannot enjoy those freedoms because of oppression from the Chinese government. Tonight you can do your part to help by attending the World Music Concert for Tibet. The night will offer performances from half a dozen international artists, all of whom are donating their time. The list includes pianist Peter Kater, composer and musician Nawang Khechong, classical Indian dancer Aparna Ramaswamy and others. The fundraiser takes place at the Boulder High School Auditorium, and proceeds go to the Tibetan refugee settlement in Orissa, India. Advance tickets ($14) can be purchased at Twist & Shout records in Denver and the Boulder Theater; tickets at the door are $19. Boulder High is at 1604 Arapahoe Ave. Call 303-499-4168.
Since launching his career back in the early Sixties, John Hammond has been a standard-bearer of the blues, bringing his brand of three-chords-and-the-truth to fans around the globe. His solo shows have endeared him to blues hounds who savor his gritty slide work and singing, along with his focus on the genre's more rustic forms. Tonight he makes a one-man appearance at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, where he'll perform cuts from his current release, Long As I Have You, which features Little Charlie & the Nightcats and onetime Denverite Washboard Chaz. Local blues artist Vicki Taylor opens, the testifying starts at 8, and tickets are $13 to $15. Swallow Hill is located at 71 E. Yale Ave., 303-777-1003.
Feeling the strain of the holiday retail blitz? Check out of it all at Barr Lake State Park with today's Birds in December program. Area birding wiz David McElroy leads a tour of the Barr's environs, where you'll catch glimpses of the lake's year-round feathered residents and ease that pressure along the way. The session flies from 9 to 11 a.m., and admission is free. Barr Lake is located at 13401 Picadilly Rd.; get the details at 303-659-6005.
When Slim Cessna's Auto Club folded recently, you could hear local country fans weeping all over town. Well, out of the ashes of this tear-jerking breakup, the band's members are rising back to life. While Slim rehearses his new outfit for an upcoming return to the stage, tonight the Auto Club's co-frontman/songwriter, Frank Hauser Jr., debuts his new group. The Frank Hauser Junior Combo hits the Lion's Lair, where Hauser will unveil new tunes and a new lineup that includes the much-missed skills of bassist Kevin Soll, late of 16 Horsepower. The show begins around 9, there will be at least one opening act, and the cover is $3. Get details at 303-320-9200.
Can your aura use a little adjusting? Is your astral not projecting? If so, carry your ailing self to today's Holiday Holistic Health Fair, where a caravan of natural healing options will soothe you back to good health. Sponsored by the Boulder Healers Association, this get-well fest will offer touch therapy, aura and energy clearings, vibrational essences and a rainbow of other alterna-treatments. There will also be oodles of like-minded products on hand for the cosmic souls on your Christmas gift list. The event takes place at the Depot, 2275 30th St. in Boulder, and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details call 303-776-7882. Admission is free.
Start the week with a creative jolt by attending Gallery M's current exhibit of photography by the late Margaret Bourke-White. The first female photographer for Life magazine, she clicked the mag's debut cover and went on to become a camera ace for the publication for decades. Forty-nine of her photos are now on display at Gallery M, which serves as the exclusive Front Range outlet for Bourke-White and other famed Life shooters. The contemporary fine-arts house is also selling copies of a recently released book of Bourke-White's work. Gallery M is located at 290 Fillmore St. and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 303-331-8400.
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This evening, Park Meadows mall presents A Celebration of Lights, a family-style affair that marks the start of Hanukkah. The event will include the candle-lighting of the menorah, a sing-along led by Steve Brodsky and his Mah Tovu band and loads of seasonal fellowship. The night is sponsored by the Central Agency for Jewish Education of Colorado and HealthOne Rose Medical Center and starts at 7 p.m. in the mall's Dining Hall. Park Meadows is located at 8401 Park Meadows Center Dr. in Littleton; get details at 303-321-3191.
The Famous Monsters may not yet live up to their lofty handle, but it's not for lack of show-womanship. The trio of costumed "supermonster surf chicks" (which includes White Zombie co-founder Sean Yseult on lead guitar) pounds out a reverbed blend of psycho-garage grunge that should thrill fans of the Cramps, Deadbolt and their ghoulish peers. Tonight they'll be dropping A-bombs from their new release, In the Night, which features such menacing ditties as "Murder Beach U.S.A." and "Vampire Cosmonaut." The assault takes place at the Bluebird, with local rockers the Down-N-Outs opening the bill and the Monsters hitting the planks at 9. Tickets are $6. The Bluebird is at 3317 E. Colfax Ave.; call 303-322-2308.
This time of year, the finer parts of the city all seem to glow with glaring color and electric gleam. But now one of the seedier parts of Denver is getting the string-of-lights treatment. Karle Seydel, among the Ballpark District's most effective cheerleaders, has just finished overseeing efforts to illuminate the saplings in the 2000 and 2200 blocks of Larimer Street, with lights put up by the residents of alcohol rehab center Step 13. According to Seydel, the multi-colored orbs represent the all-encompassing ethnicity and demographics of the area, one of the last undeveloped (and some would say unspoiled) parts of downtown D-Town. Is this a sign that the District may soon resemble its upscale neighbors to the south? "Hey, this is skid row, and we don't want to lose our grit," Seydel says. "The bums really love the lights.