While thousands flee the city this weekend, the International Wine Guild continues its ongoing series of classes designed to inform casual wine lovers. What will be uncorked this session? A wide variety of flavorful topics, including "Wines of the Pacific Northwest" (tonight) and "USA Food and Wines From Around the World" and the "Wines of Veneto and Northeast Italy" (tomorrow). The education continues Tuesday with "Intro to Wines of Burgundy." All classes are at 6:30 p.m. in the Plaza Building on the Auraria campus; fees range from $50 to $65 per class. For reservations and a complete schedule, call 303-296-3966 or log on to www.internationalwineguild.com.
Friday, May 28
Telluride's MountainFilm festival is more than just one armchair adventure after another. Even though the annual showcase offers its share of mountaineering flicks, it's also colored by a palette of outdoor concerns, from the politics of environmental issues to the art of unicycling. In fact, MountainFilm is a mini-version of Boulder's Conference on World Affairs: scheduled guests include radio commentators Amy Goodman and Alex Chadwick, climber Peter Athans, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, environmental activist Paul Watson, Columbia River swimmer Chris Swain, skier Bode Miller and Arctic explorer BÝrge Ousland. The festival begins today and continues through Monday; for details, call 1-970-259-3555 or log on to www.mountainfilm.org.
Tonight's Cafe Nuba assembly not only marks the end of the monthly cultural gathering's search for a permanent home, but also offers a sneak peek at that venue -- the ambitious Construct Creative Arts Collective -- one week before the collective's official grand opening. Hosted by Lady Speech, the Cafe spotlights poet Isis, graffiti artist Caveman and indie filmmaker Antonia March (Move). The multi-disciplinary evening, which also provides uncensored open-mike opportunities, free oral HIV testing and a soulful helping of the unexpected, begins at 8 p.m. in the big white warehouse at 3517 Brighton Boulevard. Admission is $10; call 303-832-3190 or log on to www.theconstruct.org.
Most humans have a love affair with dinosaur bones that starts early and never really wears off. To see a Tyrannosaurus rex reconstructed in all its gnarly, terrifying, towering grandeur is to watch a Saturday morning cartoon come alive -- without the hazards of Jurassic Park. A new Colorado paleontology museum, the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, opens its doors down south in Woodland Park this weekend, offering interactive exhibits, fossils, a working-laboratory exhibit and nearly thirty skeletons of giant fish, reptiles and dinosaurs. The grand opening gets the hall of bones off the ground with a roar, with a series of lectures by a who's who of enthusiastic dino doctors such as Martin Lockley and Bob Bakker. Admission to the new center, 201 South Fairview Street in Woodland Park, is $6.50 to $9.50 (children ages five and under admitted free); call 1-719-686-1820 or go to www.rmdrc.com.
Saturday, May 29
This year's Memorial Day Parade should be especially poignant because of increased public awareness regarding the military. Bands, floats, marching units, re-enactors and vintage military vehicles will all storm the streets of downtown Denver beginning at 10 a.m. this morning. Afterward, the Veterans Memorial Fair 2004, featuring more tributes, entertainment and hoopla, unfurls from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Colorado Veterans Monument Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue. For parade information, call 720-364-8603; for fair details, call 303-662-1110 or log on to www.coloradoveteransmonument.org.
Our man in Minneapolis, Reggae Theater Ensemble founder David Daniels, whose Malcom X Meet Peter Tosh wowed 'em at the Mercury Cafe in the mid-'90s, returns to Denver to perform his Black Hippie Chronicles, an autobiographical monologue. Daniels recounts his experiences as a middle-class African-American in the age of love and peace tonight at 7 p.m. at the Merc, 2199 California Street; for tickets, $10, and information, call 303-294-9281 or log on to www.mercurycafe.com.
Sunday, May 30
Sandwiched in the middle of a long weekend, this is a day you can afford to float through idly, so forget the groceries and housework and just go. For in-town dilly-dallying, take the family to wander through the Old South Gaylord Memorial Day Weekend Festival, a community stalwart that welcomes the summer year after year with neighborly fun in the form of live music, food and vendor booths, a children's play area and leisurely shopping opportunities on the sidelines. The street party runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow along the 1000 block of South Gaylord Street (at Mississippi Avenue); call 303-575-1130 or go to www.merchantsofsouthgaylord.com.
Monday, May 31
Traditionally, the Bolder Boulder, one of the area's highest-profile community sports events, owns Memorial Day in these parts. The annual 10K competition, one the nation's ten biggest road races, is the closest thing we have to the famed Boston Marathon or Bay to Breakers run. As such, it's both a serious endeavor luring some of the world's fastest folks to Boulder and a snaking parade of ambitious and often humorous humanity. No wonder they show the thing on TV: It's reality at its best -- and strangest. Events begin today at 7:15 a.m. in front of the First National Bank of Colorado, 30th and Valmont streets in Boulder, before the race makes its way to the grand finale at CU-Boulder's Folsom Field. Lazy folks can enjoy the action beginning at 9 a.m. on Channel 4. Entry fees range from $23 to $37; call 303-444-RACE or log on to www.bolderboulder.com.
Tuesday, June 1
Beginning readers everywhere are tuned in to Junie B. Jones: The star of author Barbara Park's best-selling chapter-book series for children ages five and up, Junie is one of those fictional kids who make life's lessons a little less painful. She'll come alive for metro-area youngsters when the Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly School Bus Tour rolls into town today and tomorrow, bringing with it a theatrical performance, free souvenirs and, of course, Junie B. and her Big Hot Trunk of Junk. The hot-pink bus stops at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 East First Avenue, at 11 a.m. today, then moves on to the Wal-Mart at 3600 Youngfield Street in Wheat Ridge at 6 p.m.; tomorrow, the irrepressible Miss J. descends on the Bookies, 4315 East Mississippi Avenue, at 6 p.m. Events are free and include photo opportunities and a "book stamping"; for details, log on to www.randomhouse.com/junieb.
Grown-up readers, meanwhile, can relive a literary classic of their own -- the late Terry Southern's '60s romp Candy -- with "The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy," an account of the book's history and sociopolitical milieu by the author's son, Nile, who's made a career out of remembering his brilliantly witty dad (the younger Southern also edited a definitive retrospective of his father's writings). Southern reads from the book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder; for details, call 303-447-2074.
Wednesday, June 2
All eyes on the sky: Astrophysicist Robert J. Nemiroff knew what he was doing when he founded his wildly popular Astronomy Picture of the Day website with fellow space scientist Jerry Bonnell. The site averages more than two million hits weekly, which gives some indication of how many people out there are walking around with space between their ears. Now the duo has collected APOD's most stunning images from the past eight years in a book titled The Universe: 365 Days. Meet Nemiroff and join him for a look at the Best Astronomy Images of 2004, tonight at 7 p.m. at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, where the scientist will speak in the Phipps IMAX Theater. Admission is $8 to $13; call 303-322-7009 or go to www.dmns.org for reservations.