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Blossoms of light at Denver Botanic Gardens

Daily Staff Report

DENVER – One million sparkling lights draped in designs will illuminate the plants and hardscape features throughout more than 17 acres of Denver Botanic Gardens. Each night includes special seasonal entertainment, and hot beverages and snacks will be sold. New HoloSpex 3-D glasses will be available for $1, which transform the dazzling lights into shimmering snowflakes. Exhibit runs until Jan. 22 from 6-9 p.m. It’s $8 for adults, $6 for member adults, $4 for senior members and youth members, free for children 3 and younger. Denver Botanic Gardens is located at 1005 York St. Strings in the Mountains announces its holiday concert seriesSTEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Celtic and jazz fiddler Jeremy Kittel performs in Steamboat for the first time at Strings in the Mountains’ annual gala holiday concert Dec. 28. Kittel, a U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, performs traditional as well as original Celtic music with excursions into jazz, bluegrass and classical music. The Jeremy Kittel Trio performs at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Conference Center Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket holders are invited to a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:30 p.m. Open seating is $45 and reserved seating is available with a $500 donation. Tickets are currently on sale at Strings in the Mountains. Call 970-879-5056 or visit http://www.stringsinthemountains.com for more information.Strings in the Mountains Music Festival presents music with a focus on chamber music, in an intimate setting, fostering an appreciation for music and stimulating the cultural, educational and economic environment of the community. The Arvada Center presents the 17th annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry GatheringARVADA – The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities presents the 17th Annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering Jan. 12 through Jan. 15. This four-day event features a line-up of 38 performing groups from 15 states, Canada and Australia who capture the spirit and lifestyle of their western heritage through poetry, song and verse. During the gathering, cowboy poets, western balladeers and yodelers bring to life the joys and hardships of modern ranch life, from driving cattle during the 1880s to waiting behind the chutes at the rodeo. International performers at this year’s gathering include Milton Taylor, who is considered the premier “bush poet” in his native Australia, and Academy of Western Artists honoree Doris Daley, a cowgirl poet from Canada. This year’s gathering will also feature instrumentalist, singer and recording artist Skip Gorman, making his Arvada Center debut. Closer to home, seventh-generation Coloradoan Jon Chandler, cowboy singer Bill Barwick and singer/guitarist/yodeler Liz Masterson, will perform during the weekend.The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Tickets for the cowboy gathering range from $12-$26. For more information, call 720-898-7200 or http://www.arvadacenter.org/cowboy. Nikon wants baby photosWith the holidays approaching, parents will be snapping quite a few photos of their precious little pride and joys. Nikon is hosting their third annual “Pride and Joy” baby photo contest from now until Dec. 31.To enter, upload your favorite photo at prideandjoybaby.com. The winner will receive a $25,000 savings bond and will be featured in an advertorial in LIFE Magazine. All finalists will receive a Nikon Coolpix Family Pack and all participants will receive a free 5×7 print from Best Buy ImageLab.$5 from every entry fee goes directly to Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, which benefits children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. The contest is nationwide and open to all children ages 36 months and under. Go to prideandjoybaby.com for complete details.Aspen Filmfest Announces Selections for the 15th Annual Academy Screenings ASPEN – Aspen hosts the 15th annual Aspen Filmfest Academy Screenings from Dec. 19-Jan. 1 at Harris Concert Hall. This “festival of a film series” offers a sneak peek at features, documentaries and top talent that will have everyone talking come Academy Awards time.Many of the 21 films in this year’s Aspen Filmfest Academy Screenings series have already garnered critic attention as well as significant Oscar buzz. Highlights include releases like “Memoirs of a Geisha,” (based on Arthur Golden’s internationally acclaimed novel); “Terrence Malick’s The New World,” starring Colin Farrell; and the latest “Merchant Ivory” collaboration; “The White Countess” with Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson. Western film lovers should also keep an eye out for Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” in which he also stars.For more information and a complete Aspen Filmfest Academy Screenings program, visit http://www.aspenfilm.org. Tickets go on sale Dec. 12 through the Wheeler Box Office. Vail, Colorado


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