Summer!

Summer days, driftin' away....

Don't have any major plans for the summer other than maxing and relaxing in your backyard hammock?

Then welcome to Westword's annual Summer Guide! We're designating ourselves your social coordinators for the next four months, breaking it down for you day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Okay, so we're not going to tell you exactly what to do, but we do want to enlighten you to the myriad options out there. Say you want to watch the Colorado Rapids kick some butt, or you'd like to buy new art at one of the many fair-weather festivals. Maybe you just want to spend a day wandering around the calming Denver Botanic Gardens for free. This guide will tell you when, where, why and how much.

Along with our daily listings, we've profiled some of the best and brightest of Colorado's summer events. Ever seen an ostrich chariot race? We didn't think so, but it's happening down in Castle Rock. Up for a jolly good joust? Step back in time to a sixteenth-century Elizabethan village at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur. Looking for something closer to home? Check out the fast-paced Dragon Boat races and Asian festival held at Sloan Lake. If you've got little ones in tow, don't worry: There's plenty going on to keep the kids entertained on these long, hot days.

For summer nights, everybody's covered -- whether heading to the Lenny Kravitz show at Fiddler's Green or the jammin' City Park Jazz series held on Sunday nights on the shores of Ferril Lake. And as the summer winds down, Denver's Oktoberfest -- the second largest celebration of its kind in the nation -- lights up Larimer Square.

We don't want to sound too confident, but with so much to do and see in this beautiful state of ours, we can all but guarantee that the summer will not disappoint. Enjoy!

 
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