Mayor’s Holiday Lighting

Join your friends, neighbors and Mayor Mike Waid to watch O’Brien Park come to life for the holidays! The Town of Parker invites you to an enchanted evening at O’Brien Park in the heart of Downtown Parker. Friday, November 23rd, gather round the Town Tree, join the Mayor and the incredible voices of the Parker Chorale in a Silent Night Sing-Along to kick off the evening. Following Silent Night, the Mayor and Town Council will count down to the Town Tree and Grand Park Lighting. Everyone in attendance will feel like a kid again when the night skies comes alive with thousands of lights among the trees make O’Brien Park sparkle.

Once the park is lit up, it’s time for the fun to begin! Stroll around O’Brien Park and take in the sights of the amazing holiday ice sculpture displays following a path to each of the six, very cold, works of art. Along the way, you are bound to run into some of your favorite holiday characters, all of whom will have some sort of story to tell or an activity to show you. Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in town for this most festive of evenings and you may even spot the “Elf in a Tree!”

As you stroll through the park, you can enjoy tasty food from holiday food vendors.
O’Brien Park Gazebo will become the center for Holiday Cheer with the sounds of the season as the Parker Chorale and our talented local high school choirs will be singing some favorite holiday carols. Performances from The Colorado School of Dance will also be featured at the event, showcasing one of their talents on stage as well.

Make an evening of it. Maybe head to one of our local restaurants for dinner before the event and then stop by FIKA to warm up after the holiday lighting. Don’t forget to check out the shops on Mainstreet to get some holiday shopping done too! Spend the evening surrounded by our amazing Parker community and take in one of the most magical nights of the year at the Mayor’s Holiday Lighting, sponsored by Xfinity and Ent Credit Union.

Mayor’s Holiday Lighting
Friday, November 23rd
O’Brien Park in Downtown Parker

Turkey Day 5k

If you’re looking for a little less “wobble” after you gobble, before you sit down at the table with your friends and family, head out with them and join the the Parker community at Parker Recreation’s annual Turkey Day 5K Run/Walk. Held at the Recreation Center, this scaled down version of the Town’s 5K race series is a non-sanctioned event and unofficially timed but all participants will receive the commemorative multifunctional headwear and have chances to win additional prizes. Plus, you’ll feel a lot less guilty about the extra helping of stuffing or slightly bigger sliver of pie after you’ve crossed that finish line earlier in the day!

The Turkey Day 5K runners’ course consists of a loop through the community while the walkers’ course will be an out-and-back route. Due to the popularity of this constantly growing event, the run/walk course has been slightly revamped for this year’s race. For a map of the routes, go to As always, little racers are welcome to get in on the fun as well and strollers are welcome on the course but organizers ask that walkers and runners please leave their dogs, bikes and scooters at home for this event. Parking for this very popular event will be limited so it is highly encouraged for participants to carpool.

The Turkey Day 5K is held rain, snow or shine, and knowing Colorado, participants could see all three on race day. Due to the unpredictability of our ever changing forecasts, there are no refunds issued due to weather but half the fun of outdoor events in Colorado is one does never know if they’ll be playing in the sun or snow!

If you missed out on early registration, there is still time to get in on some serious Turkey Trot fun. Standard registration ($20) is available through November 21st at noon and if it’s a last minute decision, you can register as a walk-up participant on race day for $25. Early race packet pick up will be available at title sponsor RNK Running and Walking (13019 South Parker Rd.), the Friday through Wednesday prior to race day, or you can pick up your packet at the event beginning at 6:45am on race day.

We should all be thankful to live in this amazing community, so what better way to start off Thanksgiving day than to join your neighbors for a walk (or run) in our amazing town in Parker’s Turkey Day 5K! For more information on the Turkey Day 5K, additional sponsorship information and volunteer opportunities or to register to run (or walk) go to

Parker Rec’s Turkey Day 5K Fun Run/Walk with
RNK Running & Walking
November 22rd – Thanksgiving Day
Parker Recreation Center – 17301 E. Lincoln Avenue 8:00am

Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar

The Holidays may seem as though they are right around the corner… because suddenly, they are! The sights, sounds and even delicious smells of the holiday season seem to be popping up everywhere. Around this time of year, Santa isn’t the only one starting to make a list to check twice. If you’re someone who loves to give an especially thoughtful or unique gift, you’ll be thrilled to hear that the Mountain Pine Woman’s Club’s annual Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar is back again at the Parker Fieldhouse! Saturday, November 10th, from 9-4pm, the Parker Field House will be transformed into one of the biggest and most unique holiday marketplaces, offering the best of the best in holiday shopping and special finds for gift giving.

Last year, thousands of eager holiday shoppers spent hours wandering through the aisles of the Bazaar, gazing at the wares from over a hundred vendors and artisans. Again this year, shoppers will be able to select from seemingly endless aisles of items, many homemade and some delectably edible to give as gifts or finds to keep for yourself and add some holiday spirit to your own home.

The Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar is the annual major fundraiser for the GFWC Woman’s Club. Funds raised make an impact throughout the Parker community and Douglas County. The GFWC Woman’s Club supports the Parker Task Force, Arising Hope, Operation Smile, Santa’s Workshop, Women’s Bean Project, Salvation Army and other projects as the need becomes known. They have also generously provided scholarships for local high school students for nearly thirty years; helping students reach their educational and vocational goals.
This is all made possible through the proceeds of the annual Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar. What better reason to get out and get into the holiday spirit than knowing your most enjoyable day shopping is doing so much more good for our amazing community?

Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar
Saturday, November 10th
Parker Field House

A Classic Parker Holiday

A Classic Parker Holiday

Preformed by the Parker Chorale

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to catch a performance by our very own Parker Chorale, then you know exactly how incredibly talented and dedicated each and every member of the Parker Chorale is. If you haven’t made it to a performance at the PACE Center or seen them at an appearance around town, then you don’t know what you’re missing.

The Parker Chorale is an adult community choral group dedicated to fostering the arts and supporting music education in the Town of Parker and Douglas County Often, they partner with the Parker Symphony Orchestra to perform orchestral music that will educate, entertain and inspire the people of Parker and the surrounding communities. Annually, the Parker Chorale and the Parker Symphony Orchestra grace the stage of the PACE Center for the quintessential holiday spectacular, A Classic Parker Holiday.

When these two hometown groups come together for this tradition of holiday cheer, celebrated through the joy of music, it is a spectacle not to be missed. You won’t be able to help getting into the holiday spirit after an evening of traditional carols, familiar songs, and maybe even a few surprises for this beloved annual celebration.

Celebrate the sounds of the Season with Parker Chorale and the PSO with A Classic Parker Holiday, Friday November 30th, Saturday, December 1st, and Sunday, December 2nd . Go to to purchase tickets.

In addition to the incredible performances the Parker Chorale puts on each holiday season and throughout the year, they also support local high school music programs through their Parker Chorale Grant Program. Only a small portion of ticket sales account for the Chorale’s expenses, so the group, which is a 501c3 (non-profit) organization, relies on donation from organizations and individuals in order to meet their annual budget. Patrons’ generosity allows for the reservation of rehearsal space, music purchases, and hiring instrumentalists and conductors as well as continuing their support of music education in Douglas County High Schools. They are always extremely thankful for new sponsorship; if you or your business would be interested in supporting the Parker Chorale, go to Amazing things are ahead for the Parker Chorale. Recently, Scott Nauman was promoted to senior conductor/music director after the retirement of Paul Smith. The Parker Chorale is very excited about the direction that the Choral is going under his leadership.

If you haven’t already reserved your tickets for A Classic Parker Holiday, don’t miss your opportunity to share in the spirit of the season and start what will surely become a holiday tradition for your family.

A Classic Parker Holiday
November 30th-December 2nd
PACE Center
Parker Chorale will be donating their portion of the proceeds from ticket sales for Friday night’s performance to the Parker task force

Parker Symphony Orchestra

Each year, Parker residents are gifted the amazing talents of our local musicians with the annual offering of A Classic Parker Holiday from the Parker Symphony Orchestra and the Parker Chorale. The intimate setting of the PACE Center is the perfect venue to enjoy an evening celebrating the season with classics that will fill your heart with all the joy of the holidays. This year’s program includes A Christmas Carol Fantasy (Paul Campbell), Emmanuel Medley (Larry Goss, arr.), A Klezmer Nutcracker (Steve Cohen, arr.), Shepherd’s Dance from “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (Gian Carlo Menotti) and March of the Toys from “Babes in Toyland” (Victor Herbert.)

Established in 1994, our Parker Symphony Orchestra is an all-volunteer group whose mission is to perform orchestral music that will educate, entertain and inspire the people of Parker and the surrounding communities. Each of their seventy five performers is dedicated to their continual excellence and growth as a musician. Their goal is to offer interesting and entertaining performances with a wide variety of musical genres to tempt and treat everyone’s musical palate. This year marks the group’s 25th season. The Parker Chorale is an adult community choral group dedicated to fostering the arts and supporting music education in the Town of Parker and Douglas County. These hometown groups come together each year for an evening of holiday cheer, celebrated through the joy of music.

In addition to A Classic Parker Holiday, as part of the Parker Arts Family Discovery Series, the whole family can come out to enjoy Sounds of the Season with the Parker Symphony Orchestra. This program is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the symphony and enjoy a shortened version of their incredible holiday program. Sounds of the Season will be presented Saturday, December 1st at 4pm. Along with selections including Polar Express Concert Suite (A. Silvestri), Sing along of several Christmas Carols (Various), Music from “Frozen” (K. Anderson-Lopez, arr. by B. Krogstad) and Sleighride (L. Anderson), there will also most likely be an appearance from a very special visitor from the North Pole.

We are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing talent, performing right in the heart of Parker at the PACE Center. Give yourself and your family the gift of an incredible night of music this year and get out and enjoy the sounds of the Parker Symphony Orchestra and Parker Chorale.

A Classic Parker Holiday
November 30th & December 1st at 7:30pm, December 2nd at 2:00pm

Sounds of the Season
December 2nd at 4:00pm
All shows performed at the PACE Center
For tickets, go to

Dealing with Stress

Many people in our society have trust issues.

We’ve shared stories about how we’ve been mistreated and how those experiences have resulted in the lack of trust between members of families and friends, and certainly strangers. Not wanting to be hurt again, we do not allow ourselves to trust anyone. We believe this keeps us safe, and it may seem like a good idea, however, this kind of thinking isolates each of us.

As a result of our negative experiences, we tend to think the worst of others and we’re on guard, believing threats are all around us. As long as we continue to think like this, we are becoming more socially and emotionally isolated. One bad thought can lead to a
host of others. Unintended negative issues then spread wildly as our brains assume the worst about everyone.

Let’s look at this problem differently. We are not in control of trust. No one is to be trusted. Heck, many people don’t even trust themselves. Unless you are able to read someone’s mind, you cannot fully trust the individual, however, nothing is as bleak as it may appear. There is a silver lining. Instead of thinking negative thoughts about everyone or trying to get the world to conform to your definition of trust, since it’s subjective anyway, try instead to control only what you can control.

Trust is an external concept. It exists outside of us. The internal counterpart of trust is vulnerability. When I explain this to my clients, they want to throw something at me. Who can blame them? It’s a difficult concept. Most of us love to talk about how other people should be more trustworthy. We’d prefer not to share our own vulnerabilities. After all, if we’re not vulnerable, we can’t be hurt. It’s difficult to open up and talk about our vulnerabilities; it often hurts and it’s not always fun. However, if we can be vulnerable with only one person, we will trust that particular individual.
What we would most likely say is, “I trust him.” But what we mean when we say that is, “I can be vulnerable with him. I can be me.” When we don’t trust someone, we are also saying we choose not to be vulnerable with that person.

People can be distrustful at any time; it is up to us to choose how vulnerable we will be. If we can be more mindful of our vulnerability levels, we can adjust them accordingly depending upon the other person involved and the situation. If someone proves himself untrustworthy, we can choose to be less vulnerable with that person. If someone proves himself trustworthy, we can adjust our vulnerability levels accordingly. Again, we can’t control trust. We can only choose how vulnerable we will be when faced with an individual we deem untrustworthy and conversely, let our guard down with someone we feel is trustworthy. If we can do this, we will feel more in control of our relationships and emotions. We will then truly be more in control of our relationships and emotions because we can control our vulnerability levels; we will be internally focused. We will no longer be frustrated when others don’t meet our high ‘trust’ standards.

Focusing on what we can control will provide us with the ability to be more flexible and adjust to changes in our relationships. This opens up the possibility to think about others in a more positive light; we are not imposing our standards on them.
Surprisingly, this empowers us!

John Christie is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has practiced and lived with his family in Parker for the last 15 years.

Local Business Spotlight: Rocky Mountain Labs

Rocky Mountain Labs
10841 S. Crossroads Dr., Unit 4
Parker, Colorado 80134
Monday – Friday 7:00am – 5:30pm, Saturday 8:00am – noon

Help us welcome locally owned, Rocky Mountain Labs to Parker! They opened the Parker location on September 18, 2018 but are not new to this business. The main lab has been open in Englewood since 2016. If you are in need of lab testing then look no further. They are a full-service clinical lab providing diagnostic health and wellness testing. They will make it quick and easy to have your blood drawn in a comfortable, friendly environment. Hundreds of tests are available to measure glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, hormones, lipids and more. The team of people working for Rocky Mountain Labs are the best. Many of the employees are also owners and everyone is passionate about providing a great service to the Parker community.

They accept insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) with a doctor’s lab order, or people can simply walk in and order their own tests. They have low self-pay rates which are a great alternative for people with no insurance or a high deductible.

Rocky Mountain Labs wants to provide an alternative to the corporate giants in health care. We now have an option in the town of Parker to take charge of our own care and make healthy decisions that won’t empty our wallet. It’s easy to schedule an appointment with weekday availability until 5:30pm. What I find most enticing is the convenient Saturday hours from 8:00am to noon. That is a nice option and makes it easier to get testing done in a timely manner when you have a busy schedule. So don’t delay those tests that you need, or be afraid to have your blood drawn! They are kind and gentle, and if you’re good, you can have a free cup of fresh coffee after you’re done!

The Bookends with Pam and Becky

Next Year in Havana
By: Chanel Cleeton

After the death of her grandmother, Marisol Ferrera travels to Cuba to complete a request from the woman who was like a mother to her. She hopes to experience the Cuba that she learned about through stories from her exiled family. When she arrives and meets an old family friend, she learns secrets about her grandmother that will make her question all she knows about her family. Marisol also learns about the challenges facing Cuba and the people of her family’s home.

Pam: When I read the summary for this book, I was very intrigued. I realized that I had never read a book about Cuba and I did not have much background knowledge about the history. I was also drawn to the story of a very strong woman and her family. We begin with Elisa’s story in Havana in 1959, as her family is escaping Cuba after the fall of Batista. From this point, we learn about Elisa, her family, and what led to their exile from their home. Elisa and her three sisters are part of high society, as the daughters of a sugar baron. Did you enjoy reading about the sisters and their relationships with each other?

Becky: This book was intriguing from a few angles. The sisters were interesting and I enjoyed the family dynamics. What really hijacked my mind while reading this was learning more about Cuba. I had recently returned from a trip to Kenya and it was fresh in my mind the privilege it is to be born on American soil. A book club could have some interesting discussion with the topics brought to light in this book. The storyline from 1959 primarily tells us about Elisa’s journey. Before traveling to Cuba, Marisol thought that she knew her grandmother Elisa, but she soon discovers that there were some secrets to uncover. Did you enjoy the pace in which the story is revealed?

Pam: When we read stories that take us from one time to another, I am often eager to continue reading and discover how characters and events are connected. I felt that same anticipation with this book, but felt that the pace was appropriate for the story. Marisol traveled to Cuba in order to bring grandmother’s ashes to her home, however, she was officially there to write a travel article for a magazine. As she began to learn of Elisa’s secrets and the realities for the people of Cuba, her focus changed drastically. Marisol meets Luis, the son of Elisa’s best friend, when he picks her up from the airport and brings her to his family’s home. She feels a connection immediately and is surprised and unsettled by her feelings. This character has many different sides and will help Marisol discover the truth about her grandmother and Cuba. Did you enjoy this character and his part in the story?

Becky: When Luis is introduced to the story it was obvious to me that he would become her love interest. I think that he added an interesting layer to this story and as her tour guide, his character provided a plethora of information. Later in the book, I was on the edge of my seat with his story. I was so worried for him that I literally think it increased my heart rate. This book isn’t overly descriptive but the writing in this book transported me to Cuba. Did you feel like you could hear the sea, imagine the beautiful dresses and visualize the many facets of Cuba?

Pam: I could definitely visualize Cuba and the Cuban people while reading this book. This picture in my head made me want to learn more about the history and culture of Cuba. Luis helps run a small restaurant out of his family’s home. This business allows the family to survive financially in challenging circumstances. Luis works with his grandmother, mother, and ex-wife in their restaurant. Although his grandmother is happy to host Marisol, the other women in the home are not. Were you surprised by their hostility?

Becky: I was not surprised at all that this group of women were wary of Marisol. I think they were cautious because she was an American but also protective because of their love for Luis. I too probably would have had a little attitude if I were in their position. Luis was already on a watch list and put himself in further danger by connecting himself to an American journalist. What I found more interesting is that he worked with his ex-wife. Financially she didn’t have other options so it was an intriguing layer to this story.
In April of 2019 the author is releasing When We Left Cuba. We have the same family but the story is told in the 1960’s after they have settled in Florida. It will focus on Beatriz, the spicier sister. Would you be interested in revisiting this story from a different angle?

Pam: I would like to revisit this family, especially with the focus on Beatriz. She unapologetically went her own way in life and she would be fascinating to follow as the family had such a challenging change in lifestyle and culture. Although I have enjoyed following the family dynamics in the Ferrera family, it is time for us to get to know the Quinn family. Join us next month as we navigate the Christmas season with the Quinn family in Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand.

Check out some other books we recommend in, The Bookshelf:
The Darkling Bride by Lauren Andersen. This Victorian mystery has it all! An old castle, a handsome Lord, family secrets and mysterious deaths.

Local Author Spotlight: Be the Magic of You: Tools to Transform Your Life!

Be the Magic of You: Tools to Transform Your Life!
by: Teri Karjala

Get ready for transformation! Live an extraordinary life, take responsibility for your happiness, eliminate the stories that no longer serve you, discover the gifts you were innately born with, and truly believe in the abundant possibilities surrounding you. This book will provide you with dynamic, out-side-the-box tools to discover the power within yourself to create the life of your dreams. They are designed to unlock the blocks to the unconscious mind that keep you stuck in the muck and to embrace your extraordinary self! The time is now! Start taking the steps to —own your own happiness, —eliminate your head trash, —play outside your comfort zone, —create your rockstar team, —embrace gratitude, —celebrate, and —take inspired action. Teri Karjala’s infectious enthusiasm fills the pages to inspire, motivate, and be the guide to support your transformational process. Are you ready to create more in your life? We have all been told that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, so let’s get started in creating your success story! Unlock, Embrace, Experience Extraordinary!

Where to purchase:

Local Author Spotlight: Red Sky at Morning: Four Friends Find Courage, Faith, and Hope to Face the End of the World

Red Sky at Morning: Four Friends Find Courage, Faith, and Hope to Face the End of the World
by: Dave Sachleben

Your Search for Spiritual Truth Starts Here as you witness a conversation between four young adults and a wise old man as they discuss the end of the world as it was predicted in the Bible. The storyline is fictitious, but the Bible references are 100% authentic.

If you are searching for your spiritual path, or want to reinforce your Christian beliefs, get ready to enjoy this creative approach to explaining traditionally complex and confusing subject matter in a way that is fun and easy to understand.

Specifically, this book can help you to:

Learn what real prophecy is and why it’s important to know.
Ignore charlatans predicting fake world destruction dates.
Recognize Bible-based predictions as they occur.
Base your biblical beliefs on statistical substance rather than relying on blind faith.
Reduce your anxiety and confusion on the topic of end times prophecy.

Here is your opportunity to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, so that you can face the future with courage and hope.

Where to purchase: