Thursday July 28 One small step for man: Some people take all day to truly warm up their engines--and if you fall into that category, the One Step Closer Twilight Run/Walk is the race for you. The event, a benefit for Food Bank of the Rockies, takes place this evening in City Park; race time is 6:30. After the run, you can relax your muscles and stoke up on barbecue and live music. Entry fees are $15 in advance or $20 on race day ($10 seniors and children under twelve); incentives, from a pair of running shoes to airline tickets, are offered to those raising additional cash from pledges. Pick up entry forms at Alfalfa's and Runner's Roost stores or at the KBCO or Food Bank offices. For information call 790-8008.
Friday July 29 Downtown and dirty: Boogying down is the law at the LoDo Music Festival, an outdoor onslaught of great music under the stars that returns for its second year to 17th and Wynkoop Streets, adjacent to Union Station. And providing the fuel will be a nonstop bill of rockin' R&B giants, starting out tonight at 5 with Colin James and the Little Big Band, groovemasters Booker T. and the MG's, and the headlining Robert Cray Band. Things kick up again tomorrow at noon with a daylong blast from the likes of the Sundogs, Marcia Ball, WAR, the Radiators and that American legend, Mr. "I Feel Good," James Brown. That ought to make you feel good. Tickets for Friday are $22 ($26 day of show); Saturday admission is $24 ($28 day of show). To purchase advance tickets call the Festival Hotline at 888-5636 or dial 290-TIXS.
The telltale heart: Karen Auvinen and Kathryn Beisner are Storytellers Are Us, an articulate duo that manages to enchant grown-ups and children alike with tandem yarn-spinning performance theater. The team presents Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear...travels in life, a series of stories based on true-life experiences, in the Chautauqua Community House, 9th and Baseline in Boulder, at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, both this weekend and next. Admission is $8 ($5 for children twelve and under); to reserve seats call 469-6866.
Rabbit redux: The Denver Museum of Natural History has had its Colorado large-mammal hall under wraps for over two years while the deteriorating dioramas were given a spectacular facelift. Today marks the unveiling of Edge of the Wild, a restoration boasting new lighting, repainted and "replanted" environments and new animal mounts of elk, bison and mountain lions, as well as newly added small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. In addition, other fresh components in the exhibits offer the opportunity to hear animal calls, feel a bison's winter coat or study various hoofprints located throughout the hall. Although the permanent display reopens today, a Take a Hike family day will take place tomorrow, with special trail maps to lead participants to hands-on stations, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd.; for details call 322-7009.
Saturday July 30 The Orient Express: Budget-minded travelers will have the opportunity to experience the Orient cheaply during this weekend's Passport to Asia, a celebration of Asian culture that leaves no detail untouched, at Currigan Exhibition Hall, 14th and Champa Streets. From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. today and tomorrow, performances--including Japanese taiko drummers, Laotian, Vietnamese and Polynesian dancers, a Balinese gamelan and a slew of martial artists--will take place on the Dragon Stage. Also, lectures, cooking and cultural demonstrations and children's activities will be held throughout each day. All of that no doubt will make you hungry for Asian food, but not to worry: Egg rolls, noodles, sushi, sake and beer will be on hand to ease your exotic munchies. Admission is $5 ($3 seniors and students, kids under twelve free); for details call 355-0710.
It's a shark thing: There's something new lurking in the waters of the Denver Zoo's enormously popular Tropical Discovery--a white spotted bamboo shark that made its official aquarium entrance on Thursday. The fifteen-inch shark, destined to be about forty inches long in time, will be the focus of the zoo's Shark Weekend being held in conjunction with an upcoming week of shark-related programming starting tomorrow on the Discovery Channel. Visitors coming to the zoo from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. today and Sunday can check out the floating beast, enter various contests for everything from a shark safari in the Bahamas to sordid shark tattoos, or take part in a scavenger hunt. The Denver Zoo is located in City Park; call 331-4110.
Sunday July 31 What's gnu?: Local (and not-so-local) talent, food, drink and a fabulous view all come together this afternoon at the GNU Mountain Jam, a fundraiser for the Boulder public radio station KGNU, at the Gold Hill Inn somewhere above Boulder in historic Gold Hill. Featured will be hotshot guitarist Charles Sawtelle (known for his stint with the defunct Hot Rize) and his band The Whippets, as well as Boulder favorites Chris and Maggie, area fixture Mary Flower and a special, to-be-announced guest artist. The fun begins at noon and winds down around 5; tickets are $10 ($7 KGNU members) unless you happen to be under twelve--if so, it's free. Call 449-4885.