Fire Tribe Gets Hot

FRI, 11/26

This year, I'm going to put myself in the holiday spirit. No more procrastinating. I'm going to get out and enjoy all that the metro area has to offer.

That always sounds good in theory, but this year I'm serious. I'm channeling Hannibal, and I have a plan. One that involves fire and cocktails.

For the post-Turkey Day revelry, I'm going to fill up my Thermos with spiked hot chocolate, hop on the light rail and head to Littleton for the Candlelight Walk and Christmas Parade, which is really just an excuse to see grown men and women play with fire in public -- without being arrested.

During the summer, the Colorado Fire Tribe can be found most Sunday evenings practicing at Confluence Park, but in the winter the daredevils are much harder to find. Starting tonight at 5:30 p.m., a whole passel of them will be lighting their Kevlar wicks at the corner of Rio Grande and Main streets and creating fiery performance art. It's a lot like playing with sparklers on the Fourth of July, but with a hell of a lot more kick.

I love it when a plan comes together. -- Amy Haimerl

Holiday funds offer a boost to Ethiopia

For perfect holiday attire, wear your heart on your sleeve and a limited-edition HOPE bracelet on your wrist. Available only in Colorado, the African glass-bead-and-silver bracelets were assembled by students at the Medhame-Alem School in Yetebon, Ethiopia, with materials supplied by artists from across the United States. Only a thousand of the pieces were made. They're available at Trice Jewelers, 2025 South Colorado Boulevard, and sell for $100 each -- but every pretty penny goes to Project Mercy! That's the charity that provides health and nutrition outreach for thousands of people in Ethiopia and also supports the Medhame-Alem School, founded in 1977 by Marta Gabre-Tsadick and Deme Tekle-Wold. Give them a hand -- and top it with a HOPE bracelet. -- Patricia Calhoun

The West Is Best
MON, 11/29

Steve Weil thinks it's a tired old joke: "Western wear is in my jeans," he says, fearfully ejecting the line and fully expecting a groan. But in Weil's case, it's absolutely true. He followed his father and his grandfather into the family business, LoDo's Rockmount Ranch Wear, and it's no wonder he can, as he readily claims, sniff out a good vintage cowboy shirt from across the street.

Weil also cares about tradition: "During the golden age of Western wear, from the '40s to the '60s, Western shirts were just as wild and crazy as the cars with big fins and huge grills. And that's been lost: Everything's generic in fashion now."

Although he'd beg to differ ("Some of the collectors I've met know more about company history than I do," he notes), no one is more qualified to author a book on the duds than he is.

And he did: Weil will sign Western Shirts: A Classic American Fashion, a gorgeous coffee-table tome co-written with C. Daniel DeWeese, tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. For information, call 303-436-1070, and for more about the book, visit -- Susan Froyd

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd
Amy Haimerl