A week before the holiday, I went to Denver for a day of Christmas fun, starting out at the annual Tuba Christmas Concert, now held at the DCPA, then moving on to the Denver Christkindlmarkt, before ice skating at the rink next door. The Tuba Christmas Concert is held every year in Denver, and before this year, was held at the park near the ChristKindlmarkt. This year it was held at the Denver Center for Performing Arts gallery, outdoors and free. Hundreds of people lined not only the ground, but looked out over the parking garage railings as well, hoping to see the mass of tuba, euphonium and baritone players. Valved trombones were also allowed, although none were there. In just the first couple of songs you heard classics like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Deck the Halls.” Tuba Christmas is held in not only Denver, but many of the largest Denver cities as well, such as Pueblo, Grand Junction, Fort Collins, and more.
The Denver Christkindlmarkt is on 16th Street Mall, across from the Clock Tower and is open November 16th – December 23rd every day, with hours varying depending on whether or not it is a weekend or holiday. There are more than 50 stalls selling all sorts of multi-cultural goods such as German gluhwein, Danish pastries, and Mayan art.
Right next to the Christkindlmarkt is an ice skating rink, which has skates for rental at $8.00 a pair. The rink is relatively small and is easily crowded by the mass of locals and tourists alike. The Zamboni turns on every hour, which keeps the ice relatively smooth. Although the ice is good, the skates are not the best. They are not even and give you no ankle support, so the edge is always digging into your skin. Another side effect of this is wobbly skates, which is not good when paired with plenty of young children that don’t know how to skate. They also seemed to have a problem distributing all of the skate-helpers, which many people needed. Even when there were more than 15 people crowded by the zamboni entrance asking for them, they refused to put the last few helpers on the ice. Overall, this was a good experience, especially if you go around lunchtime, so you can enjoy some traditional German food while having some fun on the ice.