Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: Knit wits on display

Visit Denver spent $50,000 creating a city-boosting window for New York City's Times Square last Christmas season. It was unveiled on Good Morning America by holiday-sweater Mayor John Hickenlooper, who cut the ribbon and subsequently cut up with the GMA team.

The display -- already a historic relic, since it shows Phil Anschutz's Winter Park Ski Train that shut down at the end of last season (a replacement is supposed to start chugging on December 27) -- is now in the window of the former Virgin Records at the Denver Pavilions. But Hickenlooper's sweater is not part of the show.

"No, he is not giving up his sweater for the holiday display," mayoral spokesman Eric Brown says of Hickenlooper. "With cold weather coming, he says he's going to use it to warm his slender torso."

Besides, his sister knit that sweater for him.

Last year, the background music was "Rocky Mountain High." Denver's also spent decades trying to convince people that the city isn't in the middle of the mountains -- but skiing was front and center in that display, which cost Visit Denver $50,000 to create and is currently residing in the window of the former Virgin Records space in the Denver Pavilions. But it also includes what's now some good, old-fashioned nostalgia, since the Winter Park Ski Train in the Phil Anschutz era is also prominently featured. (A new Rio Grande Scenic Ski Train is slated to start trips to Winter Park on December 27, Amtrak willing.) One thing that didn't make the trip from Times Square to the Pavilions: the ho.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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