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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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