Sunday May 8 Fiesta time: Take mom out to a party this year--Denver's barrio will be bursting with colorful fun today during the annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Taking place on Santa Fe Dr. between 6th and 11th aves., the festivities kick off with a traditional Mariachi Mass at 10 a.m. and a Celebrate Culture Parade at 11. Live entertainment, international foods, kids' rides and exhibitions by lowriders and bikes round out the day. Those looking for even more excitement can find it at the Cinco de Mayo boxing tournament and concert held from 4 to 11 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 4747 W. Colfax Ave. Music will be provided by Emilio, Stanley Milton's Mean Streak, D-Town Brown and others. Tournament/concert tickets are $10; call 783-8886. In lifelike 3-D! The Foothills Art Center's annual North American Sculpture Exhibition is always a knockout--this year's should be no exception. Comprising 74 varied works by 64 artists from the U.S. and Canada, the juried show opens today with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. and runs through June 19. The center is at 809 15th St. in Golden; call 279-3922.

Monday May 9 Author, author: In the midst of the Denver Public Library Friends' Authors on Stage series comes Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros, whose lyrical coming-of-age-in-the-barrio novel The House on Mango Street hit the bestseller lists in 1983. Cisneros will appear at the Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St., tonight at 7:30. Tickets, ranging from $10 to $17, are available by calling 640-8998 or 640-8948.

Tuesday May 10 Eclectic outlet: If you're not familiar with NRBQ (that's short for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet), you're in for a pleasant surprise. The ultimate in bar bands, playing to the sweaty crowds in one form or another for 25 years, NRBQ mixes styles without missing a beat--throwing blues, jazz, country and a good shot of humor into a sturdy rock-and-roll foundation. Big Al Anderson smokes on the guitar, and pianist Terry Adams can boogie-woogie with the best of them--and we can't forget bassist Joey Stampinato, who even has a song named after him. NRBQ swings into Herman's Hideaway, 1578 S. Broadway, tonight at 9:30. Tickets are $12.50 in advance ($14 day of show); to purchase yours call 290-

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