Wake-Up Call: DIA plays Scrooge

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Denver International Airport has the money to start planning a transformation of the Jeppesen Terminal into a massive mall (and move security screening to the perimeter) -- but it's put the Scrooge to its annual holiday entertainment, blaming budget constraints for the $50,000 cut.

For twenty years, the International Performance Series brought carolers, jugglers and other entertainers to DIA for the busy travel days between Thanksgiving and New Year's. But the the budget Grinch has stolen Denver's Christmas, silencing the performers who counted on the annual gig and leaving the travelers they were supposed to soothe on their own.

This weekend, the Indianapolis airport will host a karoake contest and two petting zoos -- one with instruments from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, another with adoptable animals. The Human Snow Globe will be singing at Nashville International Airport on December 16. And at Austin's airport, even TSA employees are getting into the act, presenting their own choral concert.

But at DIA, all you'll hear from them is "raise your hands" and "that's more than three ounces." And the national media has noticed.

"Budget constraints have caused some airports, including Denver International Airport, to eliminate live holiday entertainment," USA Today reports in a recent roundup of holiday entertainment (or lack thereof), "but airports in Boston, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia and many other cities will be presenting full schedules."

We're Scrooged.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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