Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday

Ongoing Upcoming

Abbey kicks off New Year with DOWN
Broke Mountain rings in New Year
'Vera Drake' hits big screen

Submit items for On the Town to: 534 Main Ave., Durango, CO, 81301; fax: ( 970) 259-0448; e-mail: ; or fill out this form


Pongas, 121 E. Eighth St., hosts a singles, 8-ball pool tournament at 7 p.m. 382-8554 for details.

The Sound Liberation Peace Choir meets from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Heartlight Wholistic Health Center, 97 W. North St. in Bayfield. 884-9216 for details.

Scoot 'n Blues, 800 Main Ave., hosts the Open House Dance Party, featuring house and hip hop music, at 8 p.m. 259-1400 for details.

Durango Joe's, 732 E. College, presents Open Mic Night from 8:30-11 p.m. Sign-ups for the talent contest begin at 8:30 p.m. 375-2121 for details.

Steamworks, 801 E. Second Ave., hosts a Retro Pint Night with DJs spinning disco at 10 p.m. 259-9200 for details.

DJs El Beau and Irah spin music at the Summit, 600 Main Ave., at 10 p.m. 247-2324 for details.



New Year's Eve

Silverton Mountain hosts a New Year's Eve Retro Party beginning at 6 p.m. with retro fashions, a family style dinner, 40s of malt liquor, a costume contest and more. 387-5706 for details.

Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes play New Year's at Scoot 'n Blues, 800 Main Ave., beginning at 8 p.m. 259-1400 for details.

The Hot Strings, the award-winning bluegrass band formerly known as the Pagosa Hot Strings, plays a New Year's party at Carvers, 1022 Main Ave., at 9:30 p.m. 259-2545 for details.

The Frank Trio and several special guests will unveil new material for New Year's Eve at the Summit, 600 Main Ave., beginning at 10 p.m. 247-2324 for details.

Steamworks, 801 E. Second Ave., celebrates New Year's Eve with DJs Zen Ken spinning funk and roots, Menniz spinning hip hop and funk, and Hydro spinning Motown. The evening gets under way at 10 p.m. and includes free party favors. 259-9200 for details.



New Year's Day

Scoot 'n Blues, 800 Main Ave., hosts Saturday Night Live, "the world's best karaoke," starting at 8 p.m. 259-1400 for details.

The 8th Avenue Tavern hosts karaoke from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at 509 E. 8th Ave. 259-8801 for details.



Scoot 'n Blues, 800 Main Ave., hosts music from singer-songwriter Tim Guidotti from 6-9 p.m. 259-1400 for details.

Pongas hosts free pool after 6 p.m. at 121 W. 8th St. 382-8554 for details.

The Blue Moon Ramblers play bluegrass at the Diamond Belle Saloon, 699 Main Ave., from 7-10 p.m. 375-7150 for details.

The 8th Avenue Tavern hosts karaoke from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at 509 E. 8th Ave. 259-8801 for details.



The annual Silverton Bird Count takes place all day and is centered around the Avalanche Coffee House in downtown Silverton. The objective is to count and record every individual bird and bird species seen during one 24-hour period in a designated circle 15 miles in diameter, and anyone with an interest in birds is welcome to participate. 259-7198 for details.



Earthrise Community, Durango's first consensus-based co-housing community, holds an introductory meeting and open house at 6 p.m. including a potluck dinner. Earthrise members are preparing the site plan and designing the first building. 259-9488 for details.4

Tuesday Trivia takes place at Lady Falconburgh's, 640 Main Ave., at 8 p.m. 382-9664.

Scoot 'n Blues, 900 Main Ave., presents King Karaoke with Steve Kahler beginning at 8 p.m. 259-1400 for details.



Scoot 'n Blues, 800 Main Ave., hosts the Open House Dance Party, featuring house and hip hop music, at 8 p.m. 259-1400 for details.



The Durango Arts Center, 802 E. Second Ave., presents "Books and Beyond" beginning Jan. 4 in the DAC Art Library. The exhibit features books by local artists Tara Churchill, Maria Kompare, Bev Taylor and Janey Vann. The books explore everything from grandmothers and kids to the sun, moon and stars, and Frida Kahlo. An opening reception will be held Friday, Jan. 7. 259-2606 for details.

Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts, 680 Main Ave. "on the corner," hosts a preview exhibit of Durango artists who will have shows at the new gallery in 2005. The show will run through the end of December and featured artists include Ron Fundingsland, Carolyn Reeves Johnson, Mary Lou Murray, Jan Goldman, Eileen Fjerstad, Susan Tait, Katherine Barr and Ann Smith.For more information, call 247-9018.

The Children's Museum, 802 E. Second Ave., will be closed through Jan. 11 to change its exhibit. The new exhibit will be entitled, "Playing to Learn: Learning to Play," and is centered on the importance of healthy play for children. Volunteers are needed to help remove the existing exhibit and build the new one. 259-9234 for details.

The San Juan Mountains Association, San Juan Public Lands and Durango Mountain Resort are offering guided snowshoe treks at Durango Mountain Resort. The treks are held upon request and can accommodate groups or individuals. Free guided nature tours also are offered every Sunday during the ski season. Tours are 1`BD hours long and meet at 9:45 a.m. at the base of the Twilight Lift (#4). Skiers and boarders should have beginner to intermediate ability. Call 247-900, Ext. 147 for details.

The Children's Museum, 802 E. Second Ave., presents "Nature and Me" an exhibit about the indigenous trees in the area. Included in the exhibit is a puppet tree house, forest campsite, mini forest, bugs that help and hurt trees, video information about the effects of the Missionary Ridge Fire, a walk, and more. December is Gift Making Month at the Museum. Workshops on building music boxes, ornaments, birdhouses and more will be offered for a small fee throughout the month. 259-9234 for details.

The Open Shutter Gallery, 755 East 2nd Ave, continues to invite submissions for its community show "What is it?" - a show of abstract images by regional photographers on display Jan. 12 - Feb. 2. Applications can be obtained at Open Shutter Gallery, and work will be accepted until Jan. 5. Two photographs illustrating the theme of the exhibit must be submitted with each application. Call 382-8355 for details.



The 13th annual Southwest Business Forum takes place on the morning of Jan. 6 at Fort Lewis College.

Early Stages Productions, Durango's theatre for young people, will present "Life, Love and Laughter- a musical revue featuring local ladies of all ages" on Jan. 7 at the Diamond Circle Theatre. 375-7135 for details.

The Durango Arts Center kicks off the annual juried exhibit, the Four Corners Commission, on Jan. 7.

The Durango Fury, Durango's women's hockey team, challenges the Telluride Box Canyon Beavers to a double header Jan. 8 at 8:30 and 9:45 p.m. at Chapman Hill.

The local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host an action meeting on Jan. 11. 375-7822 for details.

The Green Business Roundtable meets Jan. 12 at noon in the Diamond Circle Theater at the Strater Hotel, 699 Main Ave. The featured topic is "The Basics of Hybrids" with speaker Mike Rockos of Hanson Honda.

Fort Lewis College Outdoor Pursuits will host a slide show and talk by Sean Isaac, world-class climber and adventurer, on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. in Noble 130.

The Children's Museum will reopen with a new exhibit on Jan. 12. The new exhibit will be called "Playing to Learn: Learning to Play" and is centered on the importance of healthy play for children.

The Durango Chamber of Commerce hosts its Annual Awards Celebration on Jan. 13. The theme of this year's event is "Together We Shine."

Jazz, funk trumpet player Carlos Washington returns to Durango with a Jan. 15 show at the Summit.

The Hesperus Ski Patrol will offer its first "A Common Sense Approach to Avalanches" school on Jan. 19, 20 & 22. 247-4617 for details.

The Silverton Avalanche School offers a Level 1 class from Jan. 21-23. for details.


Abbey kicks off New Year with DOWN
What: A "Black, White & Red" edition of the monthly club night
Where: The Abbey Theatre, 128 E. College
When: Friday, Dec. 31 beginning at 9 p.m.

The Abbey Theatre will usher in the New Year with a special edition of DOWN, the venue's monthly club night. DJ Brian Ess will again take over the Abbey this Friday, and the theme will be "Black, White and Red." Revelers are asked to come dressed in black and white attire "with just a splash of red." The first 200 guests will receive party favors and a midnight champagne toast.The event gets under way at 9 p.m.

When the doors open for DOWN, DJ A-Bell will typically spin the night's first song, while Ess welcomes the crowd. Gradually, the Abbey fills as people come and go, mingle, sit and dance. The dance floor starts to fill up and partygoers leave Durango behind. Repetitive short loops in the music morph against a series of themes. Drums and bass keep a relentless beat. And soon the Abbey Theatre is packed.

Ess, who is also a body piercer at Your Flesh Tattoo, does the graphic design, pays for the printing, rents the hall, hauls the gear in and out, and arranges the ambience, based on a different flower every month. And of course, he spins his music. "I play progressive house music the way I think it should be played," he said. "There are a lot of different styles I respect. But there is also an organic connection besides the music. If you study the philosophy of house music you'll find terms like 'Temporary Autonomous Zone.' I want to show the people of Durango some real fun."

For more information on this Friday's DOWN, contact the Abbey at 385-1711.


Broke Mountain rings in New Year
What: The return of the acclaimed bluegrass band
Where: Haggard's Black Dog Tavern, 10 miles east of Durango on Florida Road
When: Friday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m.

The stage is firing back up at Haggard's Black Dog Tavern for New Year's Eve as the Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band returns after a months-long hiatus. The band will be playing its brand of hard-driving, award-winning original bluegrass to bring in the New Year at the unique venue and will be joined on-stage by noteworthy musicians from around the state and country. The show begins at 9 p.m.

The band formed in January of 2002 when two musicians from North Carolina walked into Canyon Music Woodworks, picked up instruments and started jamming. A local dobro player was working that day, and they all got together later and picked the night away, and the Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band was born. The band includes: Anders Beck on dobro, Robin Davis on mandolin, Travis Book on bass, Andy Thorn on banjo and Jon Stickley on guitar.

The band's high-energy bluegrass has earned a respectable local reputation and strong local following. However, because of the Colorado-North Carolina split, local shows have been few and far between. "The New Year's show is our annual excuse to hang out, play some music and go skiing," noted Beck.

This Friday, the local audience will have one opportunity to catch the boys from North Carolina and Durango before they slip away to the Front Range for a couple of shows with members from the Yonder Mountain String Band. For more information, call 259-5657.


'Vera Drake' hits big screen
What: The newest film form English director Mike Leigh
Where: The Abbey Theatre, 128 E. College
When: Most nights at 6 & 8:40 p.m. through Jan. 13

"Vera Drake" will be larger than life for the next two weeks at the Abbey Theatre. Beginning Jan. 1, the Abbey will begin screening "Vera Drake," the latest film from acclaimed English director Mike Leigh. The film shows most nights at 6 & 8:40 p.m.

"Vera Drake" is a portrait of a selfless woman who is totally dedicated to her loving, working-class family. However, Vera also has a secret side. Unbeknownst to family and friends, she visits women and helps them to induce miscarriages for their unwanted pregnancies, a practice that is illegal in 1950s England. While Vera believes she is simply helping women in need of assistance, the dichotomy of her idyllic home life and her illegal activities make for a fascinating study. When her crime is discovered by authorities, Vera's world quickly falls apart, deeply affecting both her and her family.

"Vera Drake" has already won the Golden Lion for Best Picture and Best Actressat the Venice International Film Festival.Along with many other European awards and nominations,Imelda Staunton, who plays Drake, is up for a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama.

Rachel Gordon of called the film, "Beautifully shot and impeccably acted."

Ray Bennett of Hollywood Reporter gave "Vera Drake" high marks, writing, "It's difficult to think of another recent film so seamlessly rendered or that envelops an audience so completely in its period authenticity."

In addition to "Vera Drake," the Abbey will continue to screen "The Story of the Weeping Camel" through Jan. 6 most nights at 4 p.m. For more information, call 385-1711.






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