Street Seen: Tinsel Town

NORTH DENVER — Thanksgiving weekend kicked off the official holiday season. It started with a Turkey Trot around Sloan’s Lake to make room for the Big Bird later that day. But, the true spirit of the entire community came together when the Big Guy came riding into town on Small Business Saturday.

Small businesses throughout the Highlands issued passports to shoppers to encourage shopping local & small, thinking outside of the big box for unique and clever gift ideas. 32nd Ave. merchants featured specials throughout the weekend. Cobblers Corner created a Scavenger Hunt for patrons to discover new gems in Sunnyside. The Tennyson Berkeley Business Association launched their annual Passport Crawl with over 25 participating businesses through December 3. To get shopping mojo going, the Midwestern Saloon on Tennyson hosted Breakfast with Santa and fed the throngs with Mr. Claus pancake lookalikes.

Pine scented the air with fresh cut trees from the Elitch Carousel and Little Man’s Tree Lot on the Plaza, as people picked and hoisted their fresh green loot atop cars. Little Man is even offering a home delivery this season to take the sweat out of sweet memories.

Festivities wafted through the streets as neighborhoods counted down for the big tree lighting ceremonies. Tennyson’s tree was lit up with 200 guests at Cesar Chavez Park enjoying photos with Santa, face painters and kids crafts.

In LoHi the once “little & local” Holiday Lights event has turned into a huge community gathering with over 2,000 attendees. With a neighborhood-wide spirit of giving it was supported by the LoHi Merchants, HUNI, LoHi Marketplace, 5280 Church and restaurants throughout the hood. Clydesdale hay rides, tiny ponies, Christmas carols, candles and dancing Horas in the street were led by Anya Thompson of the Music Train. And, of course, pictures with Santa…that made the usual lines at Little Man feel short.

The Highland United Methodist Church tree lighting was postponed on Sunday as blustery winds blew down the huge tree, followed promptly by the TBBA’s Tennyson Street tree. Which begs the question, “If a tree falls in the Highlands can anyone hear it?” Apparently the answer is “Yes.” Niya Diehl and Grant Giengrich, owners of Local 46 and el Camino got the SOS call and helped with Brad Laurvick’s team and neighbors to try and resurrect the tree. It underscored the true meaning of Christmas. Give the gift of your presence. The presents will follow.

Elfin frivolity at the bookbar on Tennyson Santa family photo by the Bravo Photo Booth Santa group photo by the Bravo Photo Booth Cutting fresh trees on the Little Man Plaza. LoHi merchants hosted Clydesdale hayrides  at the Holiday Lights Holidays at Little Man Plaza LoHi’s annual Tree Lighting Santa on Tennyson Street Midwestern Saloon served up festive Santa Pancakes. Merchants and shoppers at Tennyson's bookstore Second Star to the Right enjoyed the good cheer of shopping small, the antidote to Black Friday. Cobbler's Corner Shop Small hosted a scavenger hunt highlighting some of the new businesses in the Sunnyside neighborhood Tree Down on Tennsyon Tree Down at Highland Square.

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North Denver Tribune

Denver Wecomes Barack Obama and Democrats to Town

The Democrats will all gather en masse in Denver, Colorado this week to toot their political horns and promote hysteria in their quest for the Presidency come November. It should be a hoot to watch as varied groups with diverse and conflicting interests attempt to state their case political platform be damned. It will be great pageantry to say the least. The liberal press will go nuts – more than they already unabashedly have – in their promoting of nominee Obama. There will be no letup in this love affair for days on end. Brace yourselves.

By seemingly incredible happenstance, Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in a hard fought primary season and won the right to represent his party in the national election. One year ago that was thought not even a remotely possible outcome. Until perhaps January or early February of this year, Hillary Clinton and her indomitable ‘machine’ was deemed the inevitable winner outright with no real serious, although numerous, contenders. It was ordained and readily agreed to by most pundits and pontificators that Hillary really just had to go through the motions, would undoubtedly be the nominee, and would most probably be the first woman President.

Then along came this relatively unknown character, Barack Obama, still wet behind his Senate ears, with his quieting manner, smooth talking ways, and positive message of change in Washington and this nation’s direction. In perhaps the greatest underestimation of an opponent in American political history, the Clinton’s, as a team, stumbled and bumbled their way to defeat as Barack steadily gained ground until it was obvious to many by late March that he would win. And win he did – handily so although Hillary seemed to gain some momentum at the end of the race as she prolonged, unnecessarily and some said selfishly, the battle for her own credibility’s and ego’s sake. Too late. The proverbial turtle had once again prevailed.

Now it is Barack’s time, his stage to occupy, his message to deliver. He is planning to give a Chinese Olympics style show complete with an outdoor arena seating more than seventy thousand people when he gives his acceptance speech Thursday evening. All eyes will be on him. His speech will be polished, long, and full of promises. It will be a testament to his being the first serious, credible black person to ever aspire to and succeed in obtaining such lofty political status. It, without doubt, is a historical moment for America. Barack knows this and will capitalize on it. He is a compleat speaker of words which stir, quips to remember, and soothing oratory. Barack Obama will be on stage in front of most of America – supporters and detractors alike – as well as the world. He will make the most of his time in this spotlight.

As an aside, ‘To the victor go the spoils.’ – most of the time. Amazingly, it seems that Hillary and Bill combined may be given – or grab – more speaking time than Barack? How did that slip by the Obama planners? Perhaps they are allocating a set time limit, but do they really think anyone is going to get out the ‘hook’ when Bill, after arriving customarily late, goes way over his allotted time as he self-promotes without shame, as he relives his own glory days, as he somewhat reluctantly endorses Barack. (Oh no, it is widely known that Bill has not at all calmed down nor lost much of his famous temper when it comes to his belief that somehow Hillary was cheated out of the nomination. Will that come through in his speech?)

Watching Hillary speak will be quite interesting to say the least. Will she enthusiastically endorse Barack, turn her delegates loose without conditions, and limit her own self – congratulations as the nation’s first credible woman candidate for our nation’s highest office? Don’t bet on all three occurring. That wouldn’t be ‘Clinton’ in nature. She certainly didn’t show that much enthusiasm in June when she conceded the race, sorta.

These past nineteen months have brought to us a preposterous amount of political drama and surprise here in the United States. There have been nasty times, an incredible amount of money collected and spent, and it has been exhausting for both candidates and the electorate in general. Now we are down to the final seventy odd days before pulling the lever which will decide the nation’s leader for the next four – possibly eight – years. Much is at stake, much to be gained or lost, possibly much peril in our future if we make the wrong choice.

Barack Obama will be making the case this week, more so than ever before, of his being the ‘right choice’, that despite an inordinate amount of popular opinion to the contrary he will be ready on that infamous moment Hillary Clinton referred to as ‘Day 1’, that a vote for him is a vote for change in Washington and, by inference, our daily lives and our nation’s current problems. We’ll know the outcome soon enough – and the results of our vote almost immediately after the winner takes office.

Major Dennis Copson is retired from The United States Marines and is a resident of Oceanside, CA where he is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Nature’s Big Bud Worm Castings, Inc. He is also a freelance writer. More info is available on his website