Every writer loves a deadline, and if you’re the sort to wait until the last minute, I know you’ve got some j-school leftover in your blood. This is why, for us professional procrastinators, publishing cycles are particularly useful. Each year about this time, though, I’ll get notes from local musicians and artists sharing all sorts of spectacular local events, which I’m sure you’d be keen to attend for some holiday spirit.

Here, publishing cycles present a problem: all of these events seem to take place before we print the magazine. What’s the point in sharing the details of an event that’s already over by the time this magazine is landing in mailboxes?

I love the hustle-bustle to begin early, as early as possible, really. By the time we’ve cleaned up Thanksgiving dinner, I am more than ready for it to be Christmas. But what’s funny is, we plan these early holiday events, and suddenly the holidays are front-loaded. What are you going to do with your empty evenings and afternoons leading up to Christmas, when the in-laws are in town or the kids are out of school? I think it’s nice to have some ideas lined up all the way to Christmas.

So, like every year, I’m sharing a few events that I’ve found for your second half of December, so you can sprinkle some holiday cheer into your days leading up to the big one—and right on to New Year’s Eve!

A Christmas Open Mic 
Friday, December 16, 5-8 pm

For an open mic feel without having to brave the cold temperatures, check out this online open mic from YouTuber Autistic Little Panda. RSVP for a free spot and come prepared with a 2-3 minute performance for viewers from all over. Visit bit.ly/3F3dkx0 for tickets and more information.

Colorado Mountain Holiday Concert Saturday, December 17, 6 pm

Join the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra at Evergreen Lutheran Church—or virtually! This holiday tradition is open to both in-person or online ticketholders and will feature traditional holiday-themed arrangements from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Paul Campbell’s Christmas Carol Fantasy, Tracy Rush’s The Friendly Beasts, and selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, to simple, favorite carols. The concert will also feature the winner of the 2022-2023 Young Artists Solo Competition in a performance of their chosen piece. Purchase tickets at evergreenchamberorch.org.

Scenes of the Season 
Friday, December 16 through Sunday, December 18

The Evergreen Players features its annual seasonal readings and songs show, with three events on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 2 pm at Center Stage in Evergreen. This all-ages performance combines everyone’s favorite holiday readings and music for an intimate gathering of celebration. Tickets and additional information are available at evergreenplayers.org, or call 720.515.1528.

Joe Bye and Friends
Spirit of the Season Show 
Saturday, December 17, 6 pm

The Woodcellar hosts Evergreen’s own Joe Bye with his alumni band for “a holiday throw-down to remember!” Opening with Joe and his annual student showcase, the party will last long into the night with many surprise guests and hometown favorites. Read bios and the lineup at The Woodcellar on Facebook.

A Very Cactus Holiday Rock Out Saturday, December 17, 5 pm

Hit up Cactus Jack’s for hours of rockin’ holiday tunes from School of Rock Denver and Sexy Jesus Karaoke, plus peruse local pop-up shops for those last-minute Christmas gifts. More information can be found at 


Other Cactus shows to keep the party going when your out-of-town guests start arriving:

December 23, Cherry Red Dead

December 30, Candlepin Slim
Wrecklunds & Friends 

Bluegrass New Year’s Eve 
Saturday, December 31, 8 pm

Ring in the New Year with live bluegrass from all of your local favorites at Cactus Jack’s. A $5 cover scores you a great time with great music, party favors and champagne at midnight. More information can be found at evergreenlivemusic.com.