A wing and a prayer: Out at the Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, hopeful aviators will swivel, dive and loop their way through the Rocky Mountain Regional Aerobatic Contest, taking place today and tomorrow and beginning each day at 9 a.m. Pilots of all skill levels take part in five categories--from basic to "unlimited" (meaning hold on to your hats down there on the ground!). The public is welcome to watch; admission is free, and vendors of food and mementos will be on hand to help keep the kids happy.

Sunday May 28 Clear for takeoff: When was the last time you went to a good old-fashioned outdoor rock concert? The kind where you and thousands of other people sit in the sun while bands well-accustomed to miles of faces play for hours on end? Rock the Rockies, a concert on the now-vacated expanses of Stapleton Airport, promises just that sort of experience when it serves up a safe and tried-and-true lineup that's equal parts rock and country artists, from the Freddy Jones Band to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Tanya Tucker. Beginning at noon (wear some sunscreen, dude!), Rock the Rockies keeps on delivering entertainment until 11 tonight. Enter the grounds at gates located at 26th and Syracuse, 56th and Quebec or 56th and Havana; for tickets, $28.50, call 830-TIXS.

Relish the moment: There are always the comparisons--Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt. And rock-and-blues artist Joan Osborne does pay homage, though perhaps unwittingly, to many fine voices and sensibilities of the past. But even as she loads on the gospel and soul, bits of which are delivered in her gritty, powerful vocals, she also comes on with lyrics that are sexy, modern and undoubtedly her own. She appears tonight at 9, with singer/songwriter Kevin Connolly opening, at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Admission is $6.30; call 447-0095 or 830-TIXS.

Monday May 29 Polishing the brass: You know summer beckons when the Denver Concert Band comes out to play. The nonprofit community band, led by Dr. William Nicholls of the Lamont School of Music, does what it does just for the fun of it--and that's evident at any of its free concerts, which feature a repertoire ranging from symphonic music to Ellingtonian swing, along with a share of oompah befitting any lazy summer night in the park. The DCB begins its summer season this afternoon at 4 in Littleton's Columbine Knolls Park, 6191 W. Plymouth Drive. For information call 232-5981 or 465-5918.

Tuesday May 30 Reproduction to scale: Artist Andrew Dufford is dedicated to the idea that art is for everyone and that it doesn't have to exist on an inaccessible plane reserved only for the isolated artists themselves. Snake Tales, a site-specific sculpture by Dufford--who is also a teacher at the Museum of Outdoor Arts and works closely with school groups--will debut today in Samson Park, 6300 N. Fiddler's Green Circle, a location associated with the museum's spread-out complex. The bright, playful work can be seen there through September 4; for additional information call the MOA at 741-3609

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