December 2021 Happenings

BLUE SANTA AND ELVES HEARD LOCAL KIDS’ GIFT WISHES during the annual Operation Blue Santa toy drive, held Nov. 27 at the Lakeside Walmart. PHOTO COURTESY WHEAT RIDGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Operation Blue Santa Kicks Off With Toy Drive At Lakeside Walmart

The Wheat Ridge Police Department’s Blue Santa and his elf were on hand for socially distant pictures with children and to visit with them about their wish lists at the annual Operation Blue Santa Toy Drive, hosted by the police department and the Wheat Ridge Optimist Club. This year’s event was held at the Lakeside Walmart, Saturday, Nov. 27. 

Operation Blue Santa collects toys and donations every year that are distributed by WRPD officers and Optimist Club members during the holidays to families who otherwise would not have presents under the tree.

The five-hour event collected new toys and gifts, as well as cash and gift card donations for the purchase of children’s clothing and food.

“The lingering impacts for the pandemic may mean another difficult holiday for some local families,” said Wheat Ridge Police Crime Prevention Sergeant Dawkins. “Operation Blue Santa is a way for our officers to connect with the community in a very positive way and bring some joy to families who may be struggling just to keep food on the table. Operation Blue Santa allows our officers and Optimist Club volunteers to help make the holidays just a little brighter for Wheat Ridge kids and their families.”

Throughout the year, police officers are in contact with families who might need a little help during the holidays, especially those with young children and teens. The Optimist Club collects those names and addresses for the actual gift delivery that takes place this year on Dec. 11.

Blue Santa came to life a number of years ago when a custom Santa suit was created for WRPD by a local seamstress using the dark blue color of traditional police uniforms.

Three Dates To Celebrate The Winter Holidays And New Year With The Wheat Ridge Historical Society

Start the new year off right with the Wheat Ridge Historical Society at its ever-popular Pioneer and Victorian Fashion Show, during the first Second Saturday Social of 2022, Jan. 8, at the Baugh House (West 44th Avenue and Robb Street) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join us for a festival of fabulous ladies and gents festooned in fabrics from muslin to silk, plaids to posies, lace to leggings, and top hats to bonnets with plenty of feathers. Wear your own 19th-century clothing for a Show-and-Tell session, and take home a prize. Come and enjoy live music and plenty of socializing.

Prior to that, the society’s annual Holiday Celebration is scheduled for Dec. 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., also at the Baugh House. Wear your most colorful, creative holiday sweater and win prizes. Be sure to bring your favorite holiday cookies for the annual cookie exchange and a “White Elephant” gift to exchange for another treasure; join in some old-fashioned merriment of the season, caroling and socializing.

And, there will be a third holiday celebration at the WRHS holiday board meeting and program on Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., online using the Zoom platform (email us for a link). After the business meeting at 6:30, during which the board will elect officers, we’ll share stories of holidays past. Send us a picture of yourself dressed up in holiday finery, and we’ll share it. 

The Historical Park museums are open on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are happy to accommodate your needs and glad to make appointments for tours on other days; just call or email us at the contact information below. Although the Soddy is temporarily closed for repairs, the other museums in the park are open for tours.

January is membership month, a time for all members to renew annual memberships. Join now and avoid the rush!

For more information go to our website at, email us at, call 303-421-9111, or stop by the Red Brick House Fridays at 4610 Robb St. Be sure to follow us on Facebook.

The Scavenger Hunt Is On! Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission Hosts Arts Drop

Wheat Ridge hosts a city-wide scavenger hunt again this year, providing an opportunity for participants to search for and find free arts and crafts while learning more about Wheat Ridge. 

The City’s Cultural Commission will be placing 18 local pieces of art outdoors at local parks, as well as community and city buildings for participants to hunt. 

The program started Dec. 3. Items are being dropped throughout the city every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, twice per day, through Dec. 19.

Check out the Wheat Ridge Cultural Events Facebook Page ( for location specifics, photos and clues. Once items are found participants are encouraged to share on the Cultural Commission Facebook Page as well as other social media accounts using #WRartsdrop.

All the art in the program is local and acquired by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission from Wheat Ridge Art League members and other local artists. The goal is to connect Wheat Ridge residents directly to art, while promoting and supporting local artisans, makers, and arts organizations.

The program began with the successful Arts Drop program hosted by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission in December of 2020, but was originally inspired by Art Drop Day, the brain-child of Jake Parker of Provo, Utah. His goal was to help people feel a little more connected to one another and to create random bonds between strangers through the act of creating and giving.

Lakewood Arts Gallery Is On The Move After The Holidays

This spring, Lakewood Arts Gallery, 6731 W. Colfax Ave. (next to Casa Bonita), will be moving just southeast of its current location to share gallery space with 40West. Help us fund-raise for this move by donating to our gofundme account or purchasing our On the Move cookbook, a compilation of recipes and artwork submitted by Lakewood Arts Co-op members. Only $20!

In honor of the National Western Stock Show, the Lakewood Arts Gallery will be displaying artworks that reflect the traditions, people and animals involved in Colorado’s annual stock show in an exhibit titled, “Laughing Stock.” The opening reception will be held on the First Friday of the new year, Jan. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Through December, shop at and enjoy the Annual Holiday Gift Show and Sale, featuring fine arts and crafts.

Normal gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

Call 303-980-0625 or go to for more info. 

Wheat Ridge Launches Let’s Talk Engagement Program For Anderson Park and Fruitdale Neighborhoods

The City of Wheat Ridge has launched two new neighborhoods in the Let’s Talk Resident Engagement Program, Anderson Park and Fruitdale, according to a recent press release.

Currently, the program is conducting blitzes in these neighborhoods which include conducting a survey to capture residents’ sentiments about their neighborhood. Follow up is then conducted through a range of in-person and/or virtual events to focus on what’s important to residents in each unique neighborhood.

Four neighborhoods are currently complete including Bel Aire, East Wheat Ridge, Leppla Manor and Applewood. The remaining neighborhoods will be addressed two at a time for the next two years. A four- to five-month engagement blitz is held for each neighborhood. After each engagement blitz, a program work plan is updated to reflect recommendations based on feedback from neighborhood residents and shared with city council. Resident recommendations gathered in the first four neighborhoods are available on What’

The Wheat Ridge Let’s Talk Resident Engagement Program launched in October 2020. The program split Wheat Ridge into 10 neighborhoods for focused local engagement blitzes during which residents share what they love about their neighborhood and where improvement is needed. More than 900 residents provided feedback on the first four neighborhoods which will help determine actions the city might take in the future. For resident feedback and the city’s response, view neighborhood-specific reports at

In 2019, Wheat Ridge City Council adopted an updated Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy (NRS) guided by a 26-member Wheat Ridge resident committee. The NRS is a citywide policy document that reflects a year of robust community input from more than 1,000 residents. The primary recommendation was for the city to conduct focused engagement of residents at the neighborhood level which has evolved to become the Let’s Talk program focused on Wheat Ridge neighborhoods

To learn more or to take the survey visit, email, or call 303-205-7520.

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