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#PostSnaps Dec. 8

New picks every Sunday!

Weekend Planner December 6–9

Friday Afternoon Club: Frank Martin

5 p.m. Friday — Frank Martin is an Americana singer-songwriter awarded for his songwriting and performances at the Telluride Troubadour Contest and Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase in Lyons.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs | Free with the Friday coupon from the Post Independent for up to four people after 4 p.m.

Light Up Carbondale

5 p.m. Friday — Carbondale Parks and Rec Department and Carbondale Arts invite everyone to light up Carbondale and welcome Santa. The lights on the trees lining Main Street will come on when Santa reaches the 4th Street Plaza. There will be carolers, free hot chocolate and cookies.

Fourth Street Plaza, 400 Main, Carbondale | Free

Annual Cup Auction & Labor of Love

5:30 p.m. Friday — Fundraisers with bidding from 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Coventure, 201 Main St., Carbondale | Free

Legacy Dance Company Holiday Dance Spectacular

6 p.m. Friday — Featuring dancers ages 2 and up presenting holiday-themed dance pieces.

St. Stephens Catholic Church, 1885 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs | $5

Celtic Christmas Concerts with Jerry Barlow

6 p.m. Friday (Rifle); 2 p.m. Saturday (Parachute) — Traditional Christmas music will be interspersed with Barlow’s current repertoire of pieces. He will fill in the history, legend, and humor behind the music.

Rifle Library, 207 East Ave.; Parachute Library, 244 Grand Valley Way | www.gcpld.org | Free

First Friday Artists Reception

6 p.m. Friday — Five local artists will display their work for the month of December. Light refreshments will be served.

BookCliffs Arts Center, 1100 E. 16th St., Rifle | Free

CMC’s Sopris Theatre Company: ‘The Veil’

7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday — A defrocked priest, a haunted house, a séance gone awry and a 17-year-old girl forced into marriage to save her mother’s estate — these are all part of Conor McPherson’s “The Veil.”

Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley New Space Theatre, 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs | $18/adults; $13/seniors, students, CMC employees and graduates

Symphony in the Valley Presents: The Nutcracker Strikes Back

7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday — Twirl into the holiday season with sugar plum fairies, toy soldiers, flutes, waltzing flowers, and the occasional storm trooper. Symphony in the Valley pairs with talented local dancers as they Strike Back. Also a free show at the Ute Theater at 8 p.m. Saturday.

New Hope Church, 880 Castle Valley Blvd., New Castle | $10-$52

TRTC presents The Doyle and Debbie Show

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday — Lowbrow inspiration becomes hilarious high entertainment in this three-actor country music satire. Like Spinal Tap with a twang. Through Dec. 21.

Thunder River Theatre Company, 67 Promenade, Carbondale | 970-963-8200 | adult (40+) $30; 20/30-something (ages 20-39) $20; full-time student (with ID) $15

Music at the Library: Joyous Holiday Sounds in Song

5:30 p.m. Sunday — Student musicians from the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra will perform traditional songs for the holiday season. This family-friendly concert encourages singing along and welcomes children of all ages.

Basalt Library, 14 Midland Ave. | Free

Candlelit Concert w/ Leah Song of Rising Appalachia

6:30 p.m. Sunday — An intimate evening of acoustic music, poetry and supporting community with Rising Appalachia’s Leah Song. Sit back and experience this intimate gathering in the sacred Kiva.

True Nature Healing Arts, 100 Third St., Carbondale |$48

Mountain Madrigal Singers bring sounds of Christmas season

For many in the Glenwood Springs region, the Christmas season begins with the familiar melodies and intricate harmonies of traditional Christmas music being sung by a choir.

It is perhaps for this reason that the Mountain Madrigal Singers, now in its 39th season of providing Christmas-themed concerts, has become such a popular part of the Christmas season in Glenwood.

The all-volunteer choir will perform its first of four concerts tonight at the Glenwood Church of Christ starting at 7:30 p.m., then will give a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday before finishing its season with 7:30 p.m. performances Dec. 14 and 15.

This year’s theme, “Sounds of Bethlehem Joy,” hints at program pieces like “The News in Bethlehem Town,” a men’s piece called “Bethlehem Spiritual,” and of course, “Bethlehem Joy.” But the choir will also perform more familiar songs like the madrigal “We Three Kings,” as well as a medley called “Jolly Jingle Christmas” that includes everything from “Deck the Halls” to “O Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bells” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

“We’ll run the gamut from traditional a cappella pieces to group pieces with musicians — we have drums, guitar, bass and two pianists, one of whom also plays violin, cello and harp,” said Cliff Keen, who is in his 20th season with the Mountain Madrigal Singers.

Keen said that the choir begins rehearsing once a week starting in August, which gives its singers ample time to meet the choir’s goal of memorizing every song they will perform.

“It really makes the performance much better,” Keen said. “If (director Laura Porterfield) changes direction we can change with her.

“It makes the songs much better, and we have a lot more fun because we are able to throw in some choreography.”

The concerts generally fill up, Keen said, so it’s a good idea to arrive early.

“We have people that come in from other parts of the country that came to our concert (the first time) by accident to spend time with their family,” he said. “And now they’ve changed their schedules to come and visit their family when we’re doing our concerts, just so they can hear us sing.”

jbear@postindependent.com

New Castle to illuminate Saturday at Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off

New Castle has back-to-back holiday events scheduled this weekend beginning with a performance from Symphony in the Valley on Friday, followed by a holiday tree lighting and chili cook-off Saturday.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday Symphony in the Valley will perform The Nutcracker Strikes Back at New Hope Church, 880 Castle Valley Blvd. 

Composed of local musicians who share a passion for classical music, the orchestra will perform holiday music with a touch of “Star Wars.” 

“We wanted to bring out the ‘Star Wars’ main title theme,” Kelly Thompson, Symphony in the Valley conductor and music director, said. “As well as get everybody in the Christmas spirit.”

Tickets for Friday’s performance can be purchased in advance online or at the door the day of the show.

Symphony in the Valley will perform two shows in Rifle at the Ute Theater on Saturday and Sunday as well. 

Following Friday’s performance, the town will host its Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off Dec. 7 in Burning Mountain Park – 450 W. Main St. – from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The family-friendly event sponsored by Alpine Bank and the New Castle Chamber of Commerce will offer free photos with Santa, hot chocolate, live music and a spectacle of holiday lights.

Saturday’s music lineup includes performances by Liberty Classical Academy’s Choir, Riverside Middle School’s Choir and Oran Mor. 

According to special events coordinator Debbie Nichols, the town, with the help of New Creation Church, has already turned on countless holiday lights at the old schoolhouse next to Burning Mountain Park.  At 6:35 p.m., following a countdown, the town will illuminate its holiday tree. 

Saturday’s event also features a chili cook-off that already has over ten competitors signed up. 

Additionally, while the Holiday Tree Lighting remains free and open to the public, for $7 attendees can taste and judge the various red and green chili entries as well. 

 “We are just hoping to have a beautiful weekend full of people being able to get out in the evenings and do nice holiday type of events,” David Reynolds, New Castle town administrator said.

mabennett@postindependent.com

Western Garfield County celebrates a Hometown Holiday

With less than three weeks until Christmas, the holiday spirit is shining bright in western Garfield County as Rifle prepares to host the sixth annual Hometown Holiday Friday and Saturday.

Organized by Your Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce located in Rifle the event brings thousands to the community to enjoy local business, crafts, music, sleigh rides, fireworks and more.

“People come from all over to look at the parade of lights in the evening,” Chamber CEO & Director Tanya Doose said.

“Because we are a regional chamber of commerce we are reaching out and involving Silt and Parachute this year. It is the first year we’ve done that – normally it has been a Rifle Hometown Holiday.”

Made up of multiple events including window display contests, scavenger hunts, Christmas Bingo, pictures with Santa, Christmas caroling, a craft fair, ornament making, hayrides, a bonfire, and a performance of the Nutcracker.

Multiple venues in close proximity to downtown shops are involved, including Garfield County Fairgrounds, Centennial Park, the Ute Theater, the library, and Brenden Rifle 7 Theaters.

Doose said the event began through collaboration with the Chamber and Johnson Construction in 2014.

“The importance in this day and age, when everything is online shopping, e-commerce is great, but I think that bringing the community together for a free event to boost the local economy is awesome,” Doose said.

“It gives the city the old time vibes of a small town that people in the community cherish.”

The fireworks will be back this year after rave reviews for last year’s show.

“It was such a huge hit last year, that this year we have the addition of fireworks again,” Doose said.

The favorite event of Hometown Holidays is the Parade of Lights down Railroad Avenue which kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Also new this year, mayors from all three communities will participate in the tree lighting in Centennial Park before the 15-minute fireworks display.

The night winds down at Brenden Theater where the parade floats gather for the bonfire with s’mores, hot cocoa, and snacks.

On the other side of Railroad Symphony in the Valley will present a rendition of the Nutcracker at the Ute Theater at 8 p.m.

“People just congregate, and I think that’s the community spirit that people really love about it,” Doose said.

kmills@postindependent.com

#Postsnaps December 1

New picks every Sunday!

Hotel Colorado’s 30th annual lighting ceremony to illuminate Glenwood Springs Friday

When the Melville family purchased the Hotel Colorado last year, they were adamant about keeping the historic hotel’s annual holiday lighting ceremony intact.

“It was a commitment they made to continue it,” Christian Henny, Hotel Colorado general manager, said. “They had heard from folks in town about how important the lighting ceremony and fireworks are to the community.

Shortly after 7 p.m. Friday, Marian Melville, Henny and Santa will lead the thousands expected to attend the lighting ceremony in a countdown.

Then, at 7:15 p.m., with one flip of the switch fireworks will light up the sky as over 500,000 holiday lights illuminate the Hotel Colorado simultaneously.

“The towers with the American flag and the Colorado flag, in front of those balconies, that is where the fireworks get shot from,” Henny said.

According to Henny, crews started setting up for the lighting event nearly three months ago.

And, while the fireworks and holiday lights serve as the ceremony’s headlining act, there’s even more to the festivities, which begin at 3 p.m. with a live ice carving demonstration by Paul Wertin in the hotel’s courtyard.

“He’ll be showing off his skills carving ice in front of everybody.” Henny said. “Some of it will be with a chainsaw and some of it will be with hand tools.”

Symphony in the Valley will also perform two 45-minute sets in the hotel’s grand lobby beginning at 5 p.m. and again at 7:45 p.m.

Additionally, Santa will host three different meet-and-greets in the hotel’s Devereux Ballroom at 3:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

“Santa does need a couple of breaks,” Henny laughed.

The lighting ceremony is free to all and features a main stage on Sixth Street that has continued to grow since its inception three decades ago.

“We are really proud that this is the 30th anniversary of the lighting ceremony,” Henny said.

With chilly temperatures expected Friday, Boy Scout Troop 225 will sell hot cocoa and cookies in the hotel’s courtyard too.

According to Henny, in addition to the fireworks display and over a half-million holiday lights, the community celebration features 62 Christmas trees, four Santa figures and three talking reindeer.

Additionally, Henny said the holiday lights typically stay up until the first week of January.

mabennett@postindependent.com

Need a turkey trot fix? Plenty of area pre-Thanksgiving dinner adrenaline options to choose from

Glenwood Turkey Day 5K

The annual Glenwood Springs Turkey Day 5K returns for a 33rd year, starting at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club, 193 Sunny Acres Road, also known as “The Hill.”

Race-day registration begins at 9 a.m. in the clubhouse at the golf course. Participants can still pre-register for $15 by contacting any member of the Glenwood Springs High School swim or cross country teams; or, $25 by going to the race website at turkeytrot5kgws.com

Proceeds benefit the swim and cross country teams. Food and drink to follow the race.

Rifle Turkey Trot

The annual Rifle Turkey Trot 5K takes place at Cooper Field in Deerfield Park, 182 E. 30th St., Rifle.

On-site registration for the Thanksgiving Day event opens at 7:30 a.m. with the Little Gobbler Trot beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the Turkey Trot at 9 a.m.

The 5K costs $30 for individuals and $80 for families or teams of five. Proceeds benefit the Rifle High School Track and Field program.

Carbondale Huffin’ for Stuffin run, cyclocross

Carbondale Parks and Recreation and Aloha Mountain Cyclery sponsor the Huffin’ for Stuffin’ Thanksgiving morning 5K or 2.5K walk/run and Turkey Cross bike races at the North Face Park on Meadowood Drive in Carbondale. 

The running races start at 8 a.m., followed by the bike events. The races are for all ages and intended to be non-competitive. Costumes are encouraged.

There will be prizes for first, last and middle 5K racers. The grand prize goes to the middle place 5K racer. There’s also a bonfire and snacks afterward.

Pre-registration at carbondalerec.com, or on the day of the races for an extra fee. A canned food donation for Lift-Up earns a $5 discount. For bike race registration only, contact Aloha Mountain Cyclery at 970-963-2500.

Basalt 5K Gobble Wobble

The annual Basalt 5K Turkey Trot takes place at 9:30 a.m. at Basalt Elementary School, 151 Cottonwood Drive, Basalt.

The family fun run/walk winds through Elk Run. There’s also a 1-mile course that will be marked if participants elect not to run the 5k route.

Register here. Entry fee is $20 for adults, $10 for children, or a ‘family entry’ (up to 5 participants) for $50. 

#Postsnaps November 24

New picks every Sunday!

Glenwood author’s latest book chosen for prestigious International Youth Library listing

A baby’s first laugh is a special celebration within the Navajo Nation, where Glenwood Springs author Nancy Bo Flood has lived and taught in recent years.

“Whoever can make the child laugh for the first time is considered to have a special relationship to that child for life,” Flood explained. “A laugh is considered sacred and healing, and something that makes a baby fully human.”

The tradition is celebrated with a formal First Laugh Ceremony, which is an important time of sharing and bonding for Navajo families.  

Flood shares that tradition in the children’s picture book, “First Laugh — Welcome Baby!”, which she authored with Rose Ann Tahe and was illustrated by Jonathan Nelson. 

Now, it’s being shared globally.

The book was chosen as one of 200 international books to be featured on the White Raven List by the International Youth Library near Munich, Germany.

Founded in 1949, the IYL publishes its annual list of recommended titles from all regions of the world that meet the standards of literary quality and principles of cultural education. 

This year’s White Ravens’ catalog features titles in 37 languages from 59 countries.

“First Laugh” tells the story, in words and pictures, about a family whose members take turns doing silly things to try to make the baby laugh.

Flood recently returned to Glenwood Springs with her husband, Bill Flood, after they had taught and worked on the Navajo reservation for 20 years.

While there, she met Tahe, with whom she co-authored “First Laugh,” and Nelson, a graphic designer from Hogback, Arizona. It’s his first picture book.

Sadly, Tahe died shortly before the book’s publication.

“I initially met her when I was teaching for Northern Arizona University on the reservation, helping teachers who were working toward their advanced degrees,” Flood said.

Tahe was working to obtain her reading instruction certification, and was part of a writing group that Flood started for those interested in writing children’s books.

“She grew up in a very traditional, very remote area and was fluent in both spoken and written Navajo,” she said of Tahe, who also was working to bring more children’s books to the reservation.

“First Laugh” was not initially translated into Navajo, but Flood hopes that may be a possibility in the future.

Another of her works, a Navajo calendar book titled, “Navajo Year — Walks Through Many Seasons,” is translated in Navajo via CD audiobook.

Others of Flood’s books are reservation-based, including “The Hogan that Great-Grandfather Built” and “Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo.”

She was also the official water author for the University of Utah for a period of time, during which she wrote “Sand to Stone and Back Again” and “Water Runs Through This Book.”

The International Youth Library was started by a German woman after the devastation of WWII as a way to promote peace and for children to gain awareness of different cultures.

“First Laugh” was also chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection, is a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, a 2018 Southwest Picks of the Year, a New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, and a Bank Street Best Book for 2018.

It is available locally at Glenwood Toys & Gifts in downtown Glenwood Springs, and online at www.nancyboflood.com.

Flood is currently completing her new book, titled “I Will Dance,” about a young girl with cerebral palsy who wants to dance. 

Books by Nancy Bo Flood

Nancy Bo Flood has published almost 20 titles, including:

Young-adult novels: “Warriors in the Crossfire,” “Soldier Sister, Fly Home” and “No-Name Baby”

Non-fiction: “Sand To Stone” and “Water Runs Through This Book”

Collections of re-told legends: “Pacific Island Legends” and “Micronesian Island Legends”

Picture books: “The Navajo Year” and “The Hogan that Great Grandfather Built”

All of her titles can be found at www.nancyboflood.com.