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Features

  • Even man’s best friend deserves a refreshing dip in the pool during the dog days of summer.

    Foothills Park and Recreation’s Deer Creek Pool near South Garrison Street and West Chatfield Avenue closed its season Sunday by letting the canines take over for the last two hours of the day. Dozens of dogs and their human companions took to the water for some fetching fun.

  • On a bright Sunday morning, the amphitheater at Red Rocks Park is filled with people working out and jogging in the seating area before an afternoon concert. As visitors walked toward the museum at the Denver Mountain Parks property, they passed a statue of a Civilian Conservation Corps worker representing the effort required to build the popular venue flanked by iconic sandstone formations.

  • Five years after a humble beginning with five students and a chicken coop for a classroom, a South Jeffco teacher has helped establish a school in Kenya that 122 youngsters now attend.

    Julie Donohue Manuel, a first-grade teacher at Shaffer Elementary School, has worked at the school during her summer break for the past five years. She also has raised funds for the school and other projects benefiting the Maasai community in Kenya.

    “What we do every year is basic,” Julie told the Pathfinders in Evergreen on July 22.

  • Littleton is rolling out the welcome mat for 10 consecutive days.

    The celebration of all things Littleton features events throughout the city that give families a chance to have fun and reconnect with friends. Highlights include a barbecue and fireworks show at Sterne Park and the Western Welcome Week Grand Parade on Aug. 15.

    The Littleton tradition, in its 87th year, started as a homecoming party for the city, said Joan Facchinello, a volunteer with Western Welcome Week and a former executive director.

  • A Columbine High School graduate is making a documentary about how the shootings on April 20, 1999, have affected the adult lives of her classmates.

    Filmmaker Laura Farber was a freshman when two student gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher. Farber, who now lives in Minneapolis, hopes her film, “We are Columbine,” will change public perception of the school, as well as show how the horrific event affects the lives of former students today.

  • There’s nothing like listening to an orchestra play as the sun sets — the beauty of a violin, the dignity of the French horn, the sound of a battery of cannons firing in unison.

    At Clement Park on Saturday evening, the 4th Artillery Band, whose members dressed in Civil War-era attire, performed Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” which calls for cannons to be fired in the score.

    And boy, were they fired. Volley after volley sounded as the band played on.

  • Clement Park was filled with Irish music, food and art last weekend. And just outside the gates of the Colorado Irish Festival was a celebration of the sporting side of Irish culture.

    The Denver Gaels hosted an invitational tournament for other Irish sports clubs from across the country at the park’s sports fields. Clubs from as far away as Atlanta and Portland came to play hurling, camogie, and men’s and women’s Gaelic football.

  • Overcast skies and a few raindrops weren’t enough to dissuade thousands from celebrating the long Independence Day weekend in South Jeffco and Littleton.

    The Foothills Park and Recreation District’s Red, White & You celebration on July 3 at Clement Park and Littleton’s Fourth of July festivities at Cornerstone, Belleview and Progress parks drew massive crowds to eat, play and watch the massive fireworks displays that capped off each night.

  • A sunny Saturday morning in Morrison provided the moment 3-year-old Gus Solomon had been waiting for: time to ride the train at Tiny Town, the mountain area’s enduring mecca of miniatures.

    Gus lives in California but has visited Tiny Town a couple of times when his parents have been in town. The Solomons had arrived in Colorado a few days earlier.

  • Area resident Cindy Elliott was so excited about Bike to Work Day that she doubled the length of her morning commute on June 24.

    “This is the perfect morning for a ride,” said Elliott, who had stopped at a breakfast station on the Mary Carter Greenway near West Belleview Avenue and Prince Street on the way to her job in Highlands Ranch. “We’re riding 7 miles this morning. Usually my commute is a 3-mile trip, but we decided to go for a longer ride since it’s Bike to Work Day.”

  • The future of rock was on display at Clement Park on Saturday. And the future looks bright.

    The three bands that took the stage at Foothills Park and Recreation’s Battle of the Bands gave the audience of a couple hundred a show and proved a musician doesn’t have to have a driver’s license to know how to rock.

  • The Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield joined gardens across the nation to celebrate one of the most important players in the life of plants: the pollinators.

  • The staging area was packed with warplanes spanning the entire history of winged combat. A World War I-era biplane sat next to a sleek F-16 fighter jet, which shared a hangar with a P-51 Mustang, the classic U.S. World War II fighter plane.

    It was an impressive display of military power, even if the planes were only a foot tall.

  • A dance studio on West Quincy Avenue is walking through the steps to a rezoning in hopes of continuing to operate in its current location.

    True Dance Academy at 8950 W. Quincy Ave., across the street from the federal prison, was granted a “home occupation” exception in 2009 by the Board of Adjustment that permitted the dance lessons if the owner lived on the property. But business owner Shelly Trujillo now is seeking a zoning change, since she has not been living there.

  • By Cat Elsby, for the Courier

    In 2009, a group of 10 local teenagers set out to clean up the skate park at Clement Park in South Jeffco. They swept the concrete, painted over the abundant graffiti, and restored their skateboarding sanctuary.

    Fast-forward to the present, and that same group is now the subject of Nick Bruso’s skateboarding film, “The 8th Layer.”

  • Volunteers from across the country were in South Jeffco last week to help with the next phase of construction for the Veterans Monument at Ken-Caryl Ranch.

    The monument, which is being installed at the southeast corner of Crestone Mountain Drive and Sangre de Cristo Road just north of Shaffer Elementary School, is being built by a group of veterans and volunteers.

  • Babysitting is the first real job for many young adults — but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.

    Because of the challenges and responsibilities involved in caring for little ones, the Red Cross is committed to providing training for teens in everything from dressing a minor cut to performing CPR.

    “It gives the parent a peace of mind that the babysitter has gone through training,” said Glen Bernard, a Red Cross instructor trainer. “The babysitter knows how to handle an emergency situation.”

  • Disco lights and bedazzled skaters danced across The Edge Skating School’s home ice last weekend in a spring performance worthy of Caesars Palace.

    “Viva Las Vegas” was the theme of this year’s show at The Edge Ice Arena, where about 50 students of all ages showed off their figure skating skills to proud families and friends on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The show included six acts, each set to music from a different era in Las Vegas history.

  • No donkeys were in evidence at last weekend’s rehearsals for the Foothills Ballet Program’s spring performances.

    But the tiniest dancers, some as young as 6, remained understandably confused by the production’s title.

    “It’s funny … the kids keep looking for a donkey because they think the name of the ballet is ‘Donkey Ho-tee,’ ” said Regina Smith, arts coordinator for the Foothills Park and Rec District.

  • The music ranged from Timberlake to Sinatra as the younger prom-goers made memories, and the older ones recalled their younger days.

    The dance floor at Willowbrook Place was packed Saturday as members of the poms team from Dakota Ridge High put on the prom for residents of the memory care facility in South Jeffco. More than two dozen students mingled with about 40 of the facility’s residents while tunes kept the dance floor teeming.