Art and Politics

City Park fest to test mayoral candidates

SUN, 5/18

As part of the third annual City Park Festival of the Arts today, Denver mayoral hopefuls John Hickenlooper and Don Mares will be the main attraction at a mayoral runoff forum. But their lovefest, at 11 a.m. in the City Park pavilion, could be overshadowed by a stealth candidate.Sure, they bested five others, but they haven't heard from Dave Shirley yet.

"I've been watching things closely, and I'm getting ready to make a bunch of promises," claims Shirley, who will give the first oration. Although coy about his plans, Shirley will surely say some startling things. "You know those speeches kids give in high school about things they can't possibly deliver? That's what I'll do."

 
Christopher Smith
 
An Indian dancer at the Powwow.
An Indian dancer at the Powwow.
 
Christopher Smith
 
A model gets spicey along the catwalk.
A model gets spicey along the catwalk.

And jest in time. Shirley, the artistic director of the Rattlebrain Theater Company comedy troupe, is supposed to set the informal tone for the main event. Organizer Paul Weiss promises short answers.

The informality of the debate will be well matched with the musicians, thespians and restaurateurs at the event. The festival will feature artwork from eighty City Park-area artists. Everything is for sale, providing a good opportunity for collectors.

In addition, there will be twelve different musical acts; visitors can groove to David Booker, bop to the Denver Municipal Jazz Band, or sample the offerings of the One World Folk Dancers and the Shadow Theatre Company's Sweet Corner Symphony. The younger set can explore the Children's Interactive Area, which will feature displays from the Museum of Nature & Science, as well as jugglers, clowns and face painters.

For those seeking nourishment, meals will be offered for only $5 from participating restaurants, including the Rib Shack, Bastiens and the Cone Zone. Festival-goers can help the Mollie Cook food drive for Metro CareRing: Donate canned food, and you can register to win prizes. The festival runs from 11 to 6 today. For information and event schedules, call 720-205-6506 or log on to www.cityparkfestival.org.

And remember: Dave Shirley needs your help. --Jason McKinney

Dance of Life
SAT, 5/17

Enjoy all things Native American this weekend at the Tesoro Foundation's third annual Indian Market and Powwow. "It's a celebration of our culture," says Holly Arnold Kinney, executive director of the Tesoro Foundation. "We want to bring history to life."

The Powwow will be held today and tomorrow from 10 to 5 at The Fort, 19192 Highway 8 in Morrison; it will feature traditional Native American dances, a juried art show, crafts and educational demonstrations. To commemorate Armed Forces Day, the foundation will honor Native American soldiers and veterans with a full color-guard procession. "We want to remember those who have fought for freedom in American wars," says Kinney. "It's especially meaningful this year."

Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for seniors, free for children under twelve; a weekend pass can be purchased for $5 to $10. For more information, call 303-839-1671 or visit www.tesorofoundation.org. -- Julie Dunn

Cleanup Time

We all have ghosts in our closets, and I'm not referring to the kind spoken of only in hushed tones. I'm talking hundred-year-old sweaters and dresses whose lengths elude the fashion loop, jeans that hold your crotch in a vise and shoes you bought on a whim. And that doesn't even begin to describe what's in the closets of children who wore theirperfect outfits a total of -- gulp -- once before outgrowing them. It's spring -- time to weed your garment garden. And guess who wants your poor, your tired, your miserable hanger- hogging castaways? Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, that's who. They'll accept clothing at donation bins as part of Clean Your Closet Month, through Saturday, May 17; the heaps turned in will then be sold to raise funds for the organization's mentoring programs for kids. For the address of a box near you, call 303-433-6975. -- Susan Froyd

Swanky Panky
Fancy mixes music, spice
SUN, 5/18

Starting tonight and running through next Saturday, Capitol Hill is going to sizzle as the Snake Pit's week-long Seventh Annual Fancy explodes with a celebration of summer's spiciest trends and red-hot DJs. "It's a festive week of fun that we do every year to kick off summer," says assistant manager/bartender David Rossa. "It's more than just another fashion show. Konie (Kristoforus Conine) will be doing live art, and we book top talent, making it more fun and interactive. Nobody does this in Denver."The top-secret themes are planned months in advance, with past runways featuring fluorescent space battles, white-trash picnicking and psychedelic carnivals. This year's catwalk will strut urban looks from Mixed Drinks, Planet Laboratories, Sugar Clothing Co., Buffalo Exchange, Imi Jimi and Rapid Fire Records. "All of our nights offer something different," said Rossa. "Everybody can come out to Fancy and have a good time."

Rossa's personal fave is on Saturday, when DJ Garth (SF/Wicked) closes the gala. "People have been waiting to see Garth for years, and the fact that he is going to be at Fancy is huge." Garth joins a roster of superstar DJs, including Linus, DJ Keaton and DJ Jon (voted Best DJ by Westword in 2003).

Fancy promises all the essentials to ignite your summer with style. For a complete listing of events, go to www.snakepitdenver.com or call 303-831-1234. -- Kity Ironton

Pandora's Box Closes
Ladies' underwear, half off

It was fun -- very fun -- while it lasted. But on May 31, when the lights go out at Pandora's Toy Box, it's not to signal the start of lots of nasty, naughty action. No, Pandora's -- the adult toy store that Kevin Larson first introduced on South Broadway, then moved to 4380 East Alameda Avenue earlier this year -- is closing its doors, shutting up shop, putting an end to the good vibrations after five years of serving all of Denver's sensual needs. But Larson, who took his job so seriously that he decided to invent the ideal vibrator when he heard women couldn't find the perfect tool, isn't giving up on pleasurable pursuits altogether: He's getting into the nightclub business. In the meantime, at a store where customers try on lingerie that's already half, if not entirely, off, the prices are slashed. Come again! And again! For information and hours, call 303-778-8828. -- Patricia Calhoun

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