Westside Briefs:
Big Band Christmas Party Dec. 20

       The fourth annual Big Band Sunday Christmas Party will be Dec. 20 at the Colorado Springs Shrine Club, 6 S. 33rd St.
       Scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m., the show will feature trumpet player Bill Emery and his New Century Big Band, with vocalist Deborah LaPorta.
       The admission price of $15 ($11 for ages 65 and over) will include dinner. People are encouraged to bring a wrapped present to participate in the White Christmas Gift Exchange. Anyone bringing a non-perishable food donation for Care & Share will get $2 off the admission price.
       New Century specializes in dance tunes, with “lots of great seasonal and big band favorites,” Emery said.
       For more information, call 964-7977 or visit www.billemerymusic.com
       The Westside-based Trails and Open Space Coalition has traditionally held a “holiday hike” in late December; this year, the group has scheduled it on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31).
       The location will be Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Advance reservations are needed to join the hike, starting at 6:30 p.m., and space is limited, according to the Coalition's Vince Cloward.
       “The moderately difficult hike will follow a circular route through Red Rocks and provide wonderful vistas of the city as well as the unique rock formations,” he said.
       To reserve a space and to receive additional information, call the Coalition at 633-6884.
       In a follow-up to a get-together at the Old Colorado City History Center in early January this year, “Westside Celebrates” is a new, free public event scheduled Sunday, Jan. 10 of 2010.
       Plans are still coming together, according to Dave Rasmussen, a Westsider who is the lead organizer. He said two or more elected officials are likely to attend and/or talk briefly, as well as representatives of several clubs, groups or government entities whose service areas include the Westside.
       The History Center doors will open at 1 p.m., with a free program starting at 1:30 p.m., led off by the Westside Pioneer's Kenyon Jordan presenting the Westside “stories of the year,” according to Rasmussen.
       He said the plan is to give citizens a better idea of what's happening on the Westside and expose them to some people and groups they might benefit from knowing about. Joanne Karlson of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (the volunteer non-profit that owns and operates the center) added the thought that it would be an enjoyable way to start off the new year.
       Invitees include the Old Colorado City Library, local fire stations, police, schools, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), Westside Cares, service groups, Westside Community Center, Rock Ledge Ranch and the Friends of the Garden of the Gods.
       The event that spurred the idea was the five-year anniversary of the Westside Pioneer in January '09, hosted by the OCCHS and attended by about 150 people.

Westside Pioneer/press releases