Thrills for the week

Closer to home, Wild Oats Community Market, 2584 Baseline Road, Boulder, presents a good old-fashioned Organic Harvest Fair, featuring a mouth-watering stockpile of pesticide-free tastables from local growers, live entertainment and information about ecologically correct products from the region. The free fair takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (just about the time you'll be hungry); call 499-7636.

On the flip side is an event that celebrates all that returns to the earth, rather than that which comes out of it. Cemetosium, the Colorado History Group's autumn rendezvous, presents us with a grave situation: The weekend symposium in Gilpin County, which begins today at 9:30 a.m. at Black Hawk's Black Forest Inn, focuses on the area's historical boneyards, with storytelling sessions and spooky talks among the headstones. Registration fees range from $10 to $25 daily ($20 to $35 for both days); for information call 355-0211.

Aria ready for this? There's no better way to learn how to hit all the high notes than through practice, practice, practice, and that's the whole point of the Denver Opera Company Apprentice Artist Program, a summer workshop during which students train for and perform fully staged operas. You'll get to enjoy the fruits of their efforts tonight at 7:30 when the troupe stages Puccini's Suor Angelica and an updated version of Mozart's The Impresario at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St. Opera lovers will also love the $10 ticket tariff; call 320-3780 for reservations.

September 21
Reach for the sky: Up, up and away! If you're sitting at home climbing the walls, perhaps you'd like to try it outside for a change. Where there's a piton, there's a way: Today's Front Range Climbers Rendezvous and Climbing Competition in Golden, sponsored by the Access Fund, is for anyone and everyone who cares to try. The Peery Pulldown, a day-long climbing event encompassing a variety of routes (whoever climbs the most wins) begins at 8 a.m. at the North Table Mountain Trailhead and continues until 4 p.m., while non-climbers and pooped-out competitors can participate in a volunteer cleanup outing from 2 to 4 p.m. Then it's dinner and awards for all at the Buffalo Rose, 1119 Washington St., Golden, beginning at 5:30; the party's free for volunteers and competitors, or $7 for all others. Call 545-6772 for more information.

September 22
Club Mead: So you've been back from vacation for a month, and you're already dreaming again of absconding with the company's funds (and, what the heck, the boss's wife) to some tropical island paradise. The Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival, a regular fall feature of the Boulder Public Library Film Program, can give you a taste of what you crave without wrecking your career. Tonight's program, beginning at 7, includes a look at the Mask Dance of Birap Village of Papua New Guinea, a portrait of the Pacific island of Palau and an account of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Admission is free; the series is screened in the BPL auditorium, 1000 Canyon Blvd., Boulder. Call 441-3197.

September 23
Trial and error: There's nothing like a courtroom drama to enthrall an audience--the whole potent mixture of human dynamics, speechifying and the presentation of evidence serves to keep us on the edge of our seats, sometimes for longer than we would have thought possible. The only thing better is a cheap detective novel, preferably one with a well-worn spine. With that in mind, the DU College of Law invites the public to curl up with some good drama for its Lawyers in the Movies seminar, in which a lawyerly panel will dissect the action in three law flicks: ...And Justice for All, My Cousin Vinny and Primal Fear. Get ready for some finger-wagging laughs; for tickets to the event, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Westin Tabor Center, 1672 Lawrence St., call 871-6398.

September 24
Free speech: The best thing about talking to animals is this: They don't talk back. Today you can experience that pleasure--and the sights and sounds of Primate Panorama, Tropical Discovery and other wild attractions--for free from 9 to 5 at the Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St., provided you're a Colorado resident. Three more free days remain this year, but this one might promise the most sunshine. Call 331-4100.

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