The Stock Show is already under way (see Saturday), but today marks everyone's favorite dress-up event in downtown Denver: On Dress Western Day, we can all get into the act by donning our best spit-polished ostrich boots, ten-gallon hats, cowgirl crinolines and industrial-strength belt buckles. Meanwhile, an annual NWSS Opening Day Parade, featuring all manner of prancing ponies, clowns and Wild West entertainers, leaves Union Station for a stroll down 17th Street at noon; there's also a barbecue lunch and Celebrity Dress Western Fashion Show beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Norwest Bank Atrium, 1740 Broadway. It's all free except the food (that's $6.25 a plate); for details call 303-534-6161.
The Friends of Chamber Music will provide a mid-week oasis for local classical music lovers when it brings Chicago's esteemed Vermeer Quartet to Denver for the first time tonight at the Houston Fine Arts Center, 7111 Montview Blvd. The eminent string ensemble will dazzle with works by Mozart, Bartok and Schumann beginning at 8; for tickets, $20, call 303-388-9839.