Ear to the ground:

“I didn’t want to call out David Sedaris, but Mayor McCheese is the one with the hamburger head.”
– Local attendee of the David Sedaris performance on the famous writer’s mistaken identity of the Hamburglar

Get your jollies

If you’re hoping to skip the Black Friday and Cyber Monday mayhem this year and actually turn shopping back into an enjoyable experience – or at least one where you don’t have to risk bodily injury – good news. Local First’s Noel Night is just around the corner. This year’s downtown festivities are slated for Fri., Dec. 4, and will feature the usual run down of specials, frivolity and merriment. Best of all, downtown businesses will keep the sidewalks rolled out late so shoppers have plenty of time to get on their warm holiday glow.

For those whose arrival in town didn’t predate Noel Night, it was started in 2002 – the winter after the Missionary Ridge Fire – by locals Jane Gould and Nancy Juliana as a way to boost community morale not to mention tills. The candle was later passed to Local First, which now oversees the event.

Among this year’s new and exciting highlights:

- Surya Health and Wellbeing will donate a portion of its Noel Night (and day) profits to the Women’s Resource Center, Celebrating Healthy Communities or The Garden Project (customer picks the beneficiary).

-  Jeff Solon and Ely Rio perform jazz and holiday jingles from  5 - 8 p.m. at Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts

- The Durango Welcome Center will be holding a drawing for two tickets to the “Peking Acrobats,” courtesy the Community Concert Hall.

- Get crafty at the Steaming Bean Coffee Co., as Earth Girls goodies host a giant snowflake making contest at 6 p.m.

In addition, a number of private parking lots will be open to the public for Noel Night, including the La Plata County lot at the old Vectra Bank on E. Second Ave., as well as the Durango Adult Education Center, on Camino del Rio. Plus, the City of Durango has agreed to turn off the meters and put the yellow tickets away for downtown revelers starting a whole hour earlier, at 5 p.m. And for those who can’t seem to remember where they parked, the Trolley will run extended hours that night, till 10 p.m.

For more information, go to:  www.local-first.org.