It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas all along the Front Range, where some annual holiday light shows have already been switched on, with a slew of ceremonies slated for right after Thanksgiving. This weekend, you have plenty of opportunities to get into the spirit of the season, supporting good causes, seeing colorful displays...and taking a gander at a really Big Boy. Keep reading for five of the best free events around town over the next few days.
Opening Friday, November 22; Keg-Tapping Saturday, November 23, 4 p.m.
1515 Arapahoe Street
A traditional German Christmas market has returned to the heart of downtown Denver, where a village of wooden huts filled with local and international artisans now line the 1500 block of Arapahoe Street. There's live entertainment daily, along with plenty of food- and beverage-buying opportunities. The Christkindl Market, which opens officially on November 22, really gets down to business on November 23, with grand-opening ceremonies including a keg tapping at 4 p.m. Admission is free and hours vary; find out more here.
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Friday, November 22, through Monday, November 25
Hugo and Limon, Lincoln County
The world's largest steam engine, the Big Boy, has been chugging around the country this fall, and on Saturday, November, 23, it will pull into Lincoln County, with a stop in Hugo, then an overnight in Limon before Engine 4014 heads west at 8 a.m. Monday, November 25. Although Big Boy's Denver stay will not be open to the public, there are plenty of events in Lincoln County, starting with holiday shopping and trivia in Hugo on Friday, November 22 and an open house at the Hugo Union Pacific Roundhouse on Saturday, November 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Big Boy is expected to arrive at 1 p.m., then move on to Limon at 2 p.m.; there will be viewing and photo opportunities with the engine by the Limon Museum buildings through Sunday. Tours are free, and there's a free shuttle between the towns; there's also a $25 dinner in Limon on Sunday night. Get all the details at seelincolncounty.com, and track Big Boy here.
Firefly Fencing Tournament and Gala
Saturday, November 23, through Sunday, November 24
Denver Fencing Club, 1930 South Navajo Street
Get the point? Every year, the Denver Fencing Club chooses a different charity to benefit from its annual tournament; this year's beneficiary is Firefly Autism, which provides at-home behavioral therapy and clinical services for children and teenagers. The action starts at the Denver Fencing Club at noon Saturday, November 23, with a demonstration and open tournament; the bouts continue early on Sunday, November 24. It's free to come watch; there will also be a gala from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, November 24, at the Rackhouse, where donations are encouraged. Find out more here.
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Fall Author Tea
Saturday, November 23, 1 p.m.
RSVP for Address
Every year, Dr. Judith Briles, aka the Book Shepherd, holds an annual gathering for local authors, where they can do a "show and tell" presentation touting their books. This year, about twenty authors will be on hand, each given thirty seconds to pitch their work. “This is the seventh annual author autumn tea,” says Briles, “a free event for the public to meet and celebrate local authors in my home. A variety of hot tea, delicious food and wonderful books — what could be better?" Good question. Find out more here.
Cherry Creek Shopping Center Tree Lighting
Saturday, November 23, 5 to 7 p.m.
3000 East First Avenue
Cherry Creek Shopping Center will celebrate the start of the holiday season with its 29th annual tree lighting and after-party. Nick Ferguson of 104.3 The Fan will host the countdown to the lighting of the sixty-foot tree in the valet plaza, as guests enjoy complimentary holiday treats and entertainment by the Original Dickens Carolers. Following the lighting, the free party moves inside for live music by Spinphony, performances by an acrobatic aerialist...and shopping opportunities, of course. Find out more here.
And a Sunday bonus!
Nineteen Twenty, Style Showcase & Pop-Up
Sunday, November 24,11 a.m.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Lawrence & Larimer Clothing + Supply Co. (L&L) is launching its latest fall/Wwnter fashion collection, entitled Nineteen Twenty, with a fashion showcase and pop-up store inside the Ellie. This new collection will reveal the latest pieces from L&L, modeled by live mannequins and set to music by some of Denver's hottest DJs: Dee Jay Big Styles, KDj Above and CRL CRLL. You'll be able to shop the collection on-site, before limited edition items sell out. The event is free, and supported by The Next Stage NOW. Find out more here.
Know of a great free, upcoming event? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.