Western Welcome Week wows Littleton residents

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By Ramsey Scott

Littleton has a lot to offer.
And most of it is on display this week as Western Welcome Week gets into full swing.

The celebration of all things Littleton has been going on since 1929 and this year features more than 40 events, ranging from classic-car shows and concerts to rubber duck races and some special guests from Australia.  
A new event added to this year’s festivities was Sunday’s Littleton Criterion bike races. Waves of racers of various skills rode through an 0.8-mile figure-eight track in the heart of downtown Littleton, capped by an 80-minute professional race Sunday evening.
If you missed out on any of the activities last weekend, fret not. An extensive lineup remains for the rest of the week and weekend to keep you entertained. Here are just a few of the highlights for the rest of the celebration:

• Hawk Quest Family Night, 6:30-8 p.m. at Carson Nature Center, 3000 W. Carson Drive. There is nothing more magestic than a bird of prey flying across the western skyline. Get a rare up close and personal look at an eagle, falcon and owl and see a trained hawk in action Tuesday night. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for 16 and younger. For more information, visit www.sspr.org/nature. To register, call 303-347-5999.

• Carousel of Music, 5 to 8 p.m. at Geneva Lake and Park, 2255 W. Berry Ave. The longstanding event will feature performances by the Colorado Honor Band and the Denver Concert Band, along with a chance to get wet. An inflatable water slide will be set up in the park, and canoe and paddle-boat rides on the lake will be available for $1 a ride.

• Bega, Australia, Welcome Party, 10 to 11 a.m. at Bega Park, 2250 W. Main St. A delegation from Littleton’s sister city, Bega, Australia, will be officially welcomed to town with an 18-piece band and a celebration of the two cities' more than 50 years of friendship. The delegation will be in town for 10 days while the members enjoy the sights and sounds of Colorado.
• Taste of Western Welcome Week, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Littleton Center. If you’re going to be celebrating everything Littleton has to offer, you can’t forget about the food. The Taste of Western Welcome Week will feature samples from local restaurants like the Old Mill and Brewery, Romano’s, JaJa Bistro and Wild Ginger, along with several others. The night will also feature a silent auction to benefit the charities Western Welcome Week helps sponsor. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Call 303-794-4879 for more information.

• Littleton Jazz Festival, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Arts Center. Even cowboys know how to groove.
The Littleton Jazz Festival will feature several national jazz acts, including the Latin-influenced Neil Bridge 7+ and the big-band sounds of After Midnight. Tickets are $25. For more information on the show and tickets, visit www.townhallartscenter.com.

• Littleton Firefighters' Children’s Parade. Registration starts at 7:45 a.m. at Bega Park, 2250 W. Main St.; the parade starts at 8:45 a.m. Nothing says civic pride like a parade. Kids will have a chance to walk or roll through downtown Littleton during the annual parade. Participants can either walk the parade route by themselves or with their favorite furry pet, or ride their bikes, skateboards, in-line skates, wagons or electric-powered vehicles. For more information, call 303-95-3800.

• Homecoming Reunion Luncheon, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Littleton Museum. Whether you remember the first Western Welcome Week celebrations or you’re new to town, stop by the museum on Sunday to meet your neighbors and connect while enjoying a self-guided tour of the museum. Tickets are $20, and space is limited. For tickets, call 303-795-3950.

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.