We're not sure you're allowed to have a blues festival in the Southwest if you don't invite Todd Tijerina. As frontman for the Albuquerque, N.M.-based Tijerina (formerly The Todd Tijerina Band), the blues-rock-doused-with-funk-and-jazz musician has played the Silver City Blues Festival, the Trinidaddio Blues Festival, the South Park Music Tour and the Beaver Creek June Jam, to name a few. He's also played all over Chicago, and on stages with Kansas, Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Starting at 9:30 tonight, Tijerina makes Southside Johnny's (528 S. Tejon St.) your live-music destination. Call 444-8487 for more on this free show. KW
As a kid I'd go walking with my grandfather, and if the frogs were singing, he'd say, "There must be a storm on the way." While scientists might dispute this, I like to think the frogs knew. At 7 tonight, decide for yourself why frogs sing when the Damon Runyon Repertory Theater (611 N. Main St., Pueblo) presents A Year with Frog and Toad. It's a "vaudeville-style" musical with a "jazzy '30s beat" based on the children's stories by Arnold Lobel. Tickets run from $8 (show only) to $36 (with dinner option). Call 719/564-0579 or visit runyontheater.org to reserve a spot tonight or at another show. JT
Two parades vie for your teeth-chattering, child-cheering pleasure tonight. In Woodland Park, the annual Lighter Side of Christmas Parade, starting at 6 on Midland Avenue, will feature an "I'm Dreaming of a Pink Christmas" theme; all profits from float entries will go to the American Cancer Society. A few miles east, the Springs' yearly Festival of Lights Parade will start down Tejon Street at 5:50 p.m. This one benefits the Empty Stocking Fund. Bundle up, get out and, hey, come early with some cash if you're downtown, you may as well do a bit of local holiday shopping. KW
It's human impulse to visit someone's house and snoop. Raiding cabinets and drawers for that moment of, "Oh, well this explains that." But since it's the holiday season, we're above such things, so instead we'll visit Christmas dcor in a charming parlor, with the 13th annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. today. Start at the Old Colorado City Historical Society's History Center (1 S. 24th St.) for refreshments. Tickets are $10 to $15. For a list of businesses on the tour and other info, call 636-1225 or visit history.oldcolo.com. EA
To anyone considering a Polar Bear Club-like dip in the Punchbowls: Tonight probably isn't your night. There'll be no sneaking around the Glen Eyrie campus (3820 N. 30th St.) when the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs brings sheet music-lovers from all over the Pikes Peak Region here for a Christmas Music Through the Ages performance. The orchestra will play well- and little-known numbers in the Great Hall, which is sure to be decked out exquisitely. Tonight's show starts at 7, as do all four other shows here in December. Call 272-7416 for your $35 seat, dessert and coffee. KW
Now we know, thanks to the recent pop-culture story: Caroline Kennedy inspired Neil Diamond to compose the hit "Sweet Caroline" in 1969. Never mind that he was 28 and she was 12 at the time; let's not go there. Obviously, Caroline Kennedy (who just turned 50) doesn't need any help with notoriety. At 7 p.m., she's coming to Denver's Tattered Cover in LoDo (1628 16th St., Denver) for a signing of her new book, A Family Christmas. Buy the book at any Tattered Cover and receive a ticket for one to the signing. Be forewarned: She won't sign any memorabilia or personalize any signings. But that won't stop the crowd, and now people have a song to sing while they wait. RR
Some concert tours are hot. Then there's the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, practically a guaranteed sellout anywhere. That's no lie. The last two cities where we lived, TSO came to perform but we didn't jump fast enough. Many paid scalper prices, which probably would've been the case for TSO's 8 p.m. show at World Arena, but promoter Live Nation arranged for a matinee as well, starting at 4 p.m. How many acts could do that on a Wednesday in Colorado Springs? The rock orchestra, amid a 10-week tour, has sold more than 5 million CDs and last year produced $40 million in concert revenues. Tickets ($40 and $54, plus fees) are available at King Soopers, ticketswest.com or 576-2626. RR
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Ralph Routon, Jill Thomas, Kirk Woundy.