This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, August 12The sky is falling, the sky is falling! But we're talking about the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, so you have nothing to fear. A magnificent show is a possibility tonight, particularly around and after midnight (weather permitting), thanks to this year's coinciding dark moon. But DU astronomy instructors will begin watching at 8:30 p.m. from Chamberlin Observatory, 2930 East Warren Avenue, hoping to catch a glimpse of the occasional sixty-per-hour outburst of shooting stars. The public is invited to join in; for information, call 303-871-5172 or visit www.du.edu/~rstencel/Chamberlin.

Friday, August 13The El Centro Su Teatro youth company unveils its first full-length production under the stars tonight with the premiere of Boc√≥n!, a children's work by Girl, Interruptedauthor Lisa Loomer. The symbolic story of a Salvadoran boy nicknamed Bocón, or "Big Mouth," who loses his voice to the military regime, the play debuts tonight at 8:05 p.m. in the north playground at El Centro Su Teatro, 4725 High Street, and continues at the same time Fridays and Saturdays through August 21. Admission ranges from $5 to $9; call 303-296-0219 or go to www.suteatro.org.

Saturday, August 14The annual Boulder Open Studios tour is gearing up for its tenth anniversary in October with a top-secret project that encourages all-ages community participation. America's Largest Paint-by-Number, a hush-hush monumental wall image created by BOS artist George Good, will eventually adorn the north side of the Colorado Building at the corner of 14th and Walnut streets in Boulder. But it won't be unfurled until each of 25 separate sections, painted by disparate Front Range groups, are finished and assembled for a September 18 unveiling. Denver's art community is invited to pitch in on one panel, today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at H.R. Meininger, 499 Broadway; for some paintbrush-wielding folks, participation in the project could mean their first public showing. For details on the free paint-fest, visit www.openstudios.org.

Do the locomotion: Anyone who's ever wondered what it's like to sit behind the controls of a real railroad engine will have the opportunity -- in spades -- on Big Boy Train Day at the Forney Museum of Transportation, 4303 Brighton Boulevard. Cab tours of the "Big Boy," as the museum's massive 132-foot-long Union Pacific steam locomotive 4005 -- one of the largest in the world -- is affectionately known, will be offered today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., along with a slide show with expert Jim Ehernberger and a Chautauqua-style presentation featuring Colorado railroad pioneer David Moffat. These special events are free with museum admission, $3.50 to $7 (children under five admitted free), which also offers access to the Forney's regular exhibits, a wonderful mélange of old-fangled automobiles, railroad equipment, motorcycles, trolleys, carriages, bicycles and one-of-a-kind curiosities. All aboard! Call 303-297-1113.

One might say that this year's U.S. Bank Moonlight Classicfalls at an inopportune time (as noted in Thursday's item, the moon's actually on vacation this week), but what the heck. You'll just have to put on as much reflective gear as you can carry and brave the unlit shadows for the annual middle-of-the-night city bike tour. At any rate, you'll be in good company: Some 5,000 bicyclists are expected at the event, which benefits Seniors Inc.! The Classic begins and ends at Civic Center Park, but it's far more than a dark ride around a block or two. The 10 p.m. After Hours Cycling Bash precedes wave starts between midnight and 1 a.m. -- riders can choose between a ten- or twenty-mile course -- with bike-courier races, BMX demos and a costume contest rounding out the fun. Registration fees range from $20 to $40; for details, go to www.moonlight-classic.com.

Sunday, August 15Can it really be that summer's almost over? School bells are about to toll all around town, and although there's plenty of warm weather to come, everything starts to look and feel different somehow. Still, it's just the beginning of the harvest season, which means prime time at metro-area farmers' markets, when juicy Colorado peaches, tangy raspberries, vine-ripened tomatoes and mouth-watering sweet corn begin to roll in. Enjoy! Make the most of your Sunday morning at the following locations: the City Park Esplanade Fresh Market at East High School, 1545 Detroit Street, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Market at Belmar, Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue in Lakewood, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an added pancake breakfast for hungry patrons; the folksy Old South Pearl Street Farmers' Market, 1500 block of South Pearl Street, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and the Stapleton Farmers' Market, at the Town Center at Quebec Street and East 29th Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Regardless of which one you choose, bring a basket, a wad of cash and a big appetite.

Monday, August 16Anything goes at Improv Hootenanny, a long-running Monday-night attraction at Bovine Metropolis Theater that features a changing cast and a variety of comedic styles each week. Local improvisational troupes Mr. Baldwin, Rodents of Unusual Size, and Frank, Jessica and Tony take the stage tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Bovine, 1527 Champa Street; admission is a sweet $5. Call 303-758-4722 or visit www.bovinemetropolis.com.

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