Thursday, March 17You won't find a better St. Paddy's Day party in town than tonight's Green Tie Event, a benefit gala for the Metro Community Provider Network, Family Tree and Helen's Hope, hosted in the Irish spirit by former district attorneys Dave Thomas, Bill Ritter, Jim Peters and Bob Grant. While the evening sports the usual blarney -- food, an auction and generous libations -- it won't be just the presiding officials who are blowing hot Eire: The focal point will be provided by the Bridies, a high-energy Irish import that's been compared to both the Spice Girls and the Corrs. The Celtic quartet features twin fiddlin' hotties M´ire Egan and Brenda Curtin, both former soloists with Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, along with Riverdance veteran Éilis Egan and lively timekeeper Michelle Mulhaire. The fun begins at 6 p.m. at the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. For tickets, $125, go to www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp (event code: green tie); for information, call 303-761-1977, ext. 124.
Friday, March 18Every year, Native Americans from across the country flock to the Denver March PowWow, where hundreds of costumed dancers and drummers representing nearly 100 tribes perform and compete for prize money and their glorious fifteen minutes of fame. But there's lots more to enjoy at the national gathering, including vendors of Indian arts and crafts, traditional tribal storytelling and tasty fry bread, for starters. A don't-miss highlight of the three-day event is the Grand Entry, a stirring processional of tribe members in full regalia (scheduled at 11 a.m. daily and again at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). The PowWow begins today at 10 a.m. at the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt Street; admission is $6 ($15 for a three-day wristband, free for those under six and over sixty). For more information and a complete schedule of events, call 303-934-8045 or go to www.denvermarchpowwow.org.
Saturday, March 19Works by forty artists from Colorado and New Mexico go on display today at Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street in Golden, with the opening of Santeros y Santeras: Expanding Traditions. The extraordinary exhibit spans both traditional and modern interpretations of santo carving, a stylized art form with centuries-old religious roots. In celebration of the show, Foothills will present Festival of the Saintsfrom 1 to 6 p.m., featuring gallery tours, live carving demonstrations and an informative, scholarly slide presentation from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Afterward, the center will host an informal meet-the-artist reception with margaritas and live music. The exhibit continues through May 8, along with a Santo Mercado offering affordable handcrafted items for sale. For information, call 303-279-3922 or visit www.foothillsartcenter.org.
Denver brothers, teachers and filmmakers Alan and David Dominguez were so moved by the notorious 1999 police shooting of Ismael Mena during a botched drug bust that they emptied their pockets and changed the artistic vision of their production company, Loco Lane Filmworks. The duo made a documentary about the fatal shooting, and now have most of a film in the can. But they need more money to finish The Holes in the Door, a chronicle of the Mena tragedy and its denouement, a story they hope to keep alive with the completed film. To help out, local bands P-Nuckle, Holiday Hotel and Step Short will play a Loco Lane Filmworks Benefit upstairs at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, tonight at 9 p.m.; admission is $15 at the door. For information, call 720-934-9595, 303-503-7782 or 303-726-7386.
Sunday, March 20For devoted gardeners, March, with its miscalculated climate changes and balmy-day mistakes, can be the cruelest month. Not quite spring, it's still a crocus-or-croak existence out there for most green things. So it couldn't be a better time for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art's annual Avant Garden benefit, an indoor affair bright with floral arrangements inspired by artworks from local galleries. Things start blooming tonight at 6:30 p.m. at BMoCA, 1750 13th Street in Boulder, with a chichi gallery dinner among the flowers, featuring gourmet dishes prepared by local chefs and music by jazz pianist Eric Leonard. Tomorrow the doors swing open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for exhibit tours, creative flora-inspired activities with artist John Cunningham, and the Avant Garden Mad Hatter Tea, catered by the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. Dinner tickets are $150, by reservation, and Saturday admission is $8 to $12 at the door (children ages twelve and under admitted free); call 303-443-2122 or go to www.bmoca.com.
Monday, March 21Great American author Richard Wright will take the spotlight -- and hit the airwaves -- when the ongoing live-radio theater series Destination Freedom: Black Radio Dayspresents Black Boy, a resurrection of the Richard Durham radio script about Wright's life and contributions, tonight at 8 p.m. at the King Center, 855 Lawrence Way on the Auraria campus. Destination Freedom's mastermind, donnie l. betts, continues his new relationship with Auraria by including students in the cast and crew. For tickets, $7 to $10, call 720-748-1388 (admission is free for Auraria students); for information, log on to www.blackradiodays.com.
Tuesday, March 22For some, the vernal equinox passes without a blip. But you? Does your head feel like a tethered balloon waiting to be set free? Well, you're not alone: Spring creeps up and hits plenty of unsuspecting grumpy skeptics squarely in the new-age funny bone. For you and your maypole-dancing ilk, there's Connecting Body, Mind and Spirit, a March series of four "spiritually nourishing" lectures hosted by Wild Flowers, 1201 Madison Street. The series begins tonight at 7 p.m. with "Know Thyself: Practical Applications of Chinese Five Element Theory," an overview of life-energy cycles driven by properties of fire, earth, metal, water and wood. (Spring, incidentally, is propelled by wood energy.) Future series subjects include looks at archetypes and gender. The lectures are $5 per session; call 303-333-4050 or visit www.wildflowersdenver.com for details.
Wednesday, March 23As part of its continuing mission to "defend the planet one beat at a time," Boulder-based environmental-advocacy organization Rock the Earth will host the first annual Snow Ball, with Colorado jamgrass band Shanti Groove and Pete Wernick's Live Five noodling on stage to raise funds for the nonprofit's ongoing public-land protection campaigns. The Ball begins tonight at 9 p.m. at Denver's own jam-band central, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street; a silent auction and raffle will be included, but hippie dancing (or whatever it is one does to bluegrass music) will no doubt be the overriding activity. For tickets, $12 to $15, call 303-454-3304 or go to www.baselineticketing.com.