If you build it, they will come: Tonight you have your choice of two local hard-hat tours, both of which will explore cutting-edge architectural projects in trendy parts of town. The Denver Architectural Foundation and Studio Completiva will host a Hard Hat Loft Tour of the Monarch Mills Lofts, 1475 Delgany Street, where affordable lofts, artsy townhomes and the new Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver will converge once all the dust settles. Tour-goers should meet at Palace Construction, 1820 15th Street, Unit D, at 5:30 p.m, for the hour-long excursion; admission is $5 (or free for DAF members and students). Call 303-292-0002 or log on to www.aiacolorado.org/DAF for details and reservations. Or join the Colorado Historical Society for its Denver's Vibrant Art District Tour, a behind-the-scenes hard-hat look at Nine10 Arts, the work-in-progress urban artists' community at Ninth Avenue and Santa Fe Drive. The tour includes a presentation on the area's history and current building plans, as well as an artist demonstration and a wine and hors d'oeuvre reception with gallery owners and artists. Admission to the event, which takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 910 Santa Fe Drive, is $25 to $30; call 303-866-4686 or visit www.coloradohistory.org for information and reservations.
Friday, April 22
Those uppity Boulderites. On the heels of Denver's choice of Caramelo, by Sandra Cisneros, they've gone and chosen their own annual city read, naming the Chicano classic Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya, as this year's One Book, One Boulder selection. In celebration of the program's debut, the City of Boulder and the Boulder Public Library Foundation invite the public to "An Evening With Rudolfo Anaya," tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Julien Hotel Ballroom, 900 Walnut Street in Boulder. Admission is free, with tickets available in advance at the Boulder Public Library (there's a two-per-person limit). The fun continues tomorrow with a free Family Fiesta, also featuring the author in person, with live santero demonstrations, a retablo craft activity, a shadow-puppet theater performance of an Anaya story for children, Mexican folk dancing and more -- all taking place, weather permitting, on the banks of Boulder Creek, adjacent to the library, at 1000 Canyon Boulevard. For information about these and other related discussions and events, go to <www.onebookoneboulder.info.
The locally based Internet free-trade boutique Global Girlfriend usually only peddles its beautiful handmade items -- made by and for women's non-profit programs and cooperatives around the world -- online. But tonight, members take their wares on the road for a Spring Open House, featuring wine and nibbles, chair massages and other pampering spa services alongside the shopping, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Silver Falls Spa, 12664 West Indore Place in Littleton. Bring a donation of non-perishable food or personal-care items for the Gathering Place and browse through Global Girlfriend's spring and summer lines of beaded bags, coral and shell necklaces, colorful crocheted rose brooches and more. For details, call 720-988-5880 or visit www.globalgirlfriend.com.
Saturday, April 23
Spring just wouldn't be spring if the region's perennial "multimedia, multi-passionate performance tribe of radical womyn" Vox Feminista didn't greet it with a trademark in-your-face political screed, delivered to the stage with gusto and a good deal of tongue-in-cheek. This time around, it's Plop Goes the Patriarchy: Rumblings From the Underground, in which the Feministas take their audience on a journey with the goddess, passing through the muck of women's issues in a patriarchal world along the way. Catch the performance tonight (or any Saturday through May 7, and Friday, May 6) at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street; the show moves to Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts for a two-week run beginning May 13. Admission at both venues ranges from $10 to $20, on a sliding scale; for more information, log on to www.voxfeminista.org.
Sunday, April 24
Just about everyone in town who's ever strapped on a pair of running shoes and hightailed it around the block seems to show up each year for the annual Cherry Creek Sneak, billed as the nation's largest five-mile walk/run. The Sneak features six different events to suit runners of every skill level -- waves begin to depart from the race's starting point (East First Avenue and St. Paul Street in Cherry Creek) between 8 and 9:30 a.m. -- but we think the biggest draw is the huge after-party, with live music, climbing walls, free food and burrito coupons, giant slides for the kids and more. The faster you run, after all, the sooner you get to play. Registration fees range from $15 to $30 (or $70 for a family four-pack); call 303-394-7223 or go to www.cherrycreeksneak.com.
Monday, April 25
Everyone taking the City of Aurora's Garlic Festival cooking class will stink by the end of the evening, and they'll be perfectly happy about it. Led by kitchen whiz Nancy Schacht, the three-hour workshop will be akin to a tour through the legendary Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California (where the stinking rose reigns supreme each summer, at the heart of the American garlic-growing universe), and will include such award-winning festival recipes as Cheese Spinach Bread, Roasted Garlic and Onion Tart with Pine Nuts, Spaghettaccini Carolini and a wicked 40-Clove Chicken. Go for the garlic tonight from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Registration fees range from $37 to $48; call 303-361-2950.
Tuesday, April 26
A BlackBerry in hand is worth fifty in the garage. So how many technological fossils are buried in your basement? If your secret hoard of old, outdated stuff that you can't find a home for includes war-torn laptops, tired PDAs, ancient cell phones or spent printer cartridges, the surprising news is that you could have dialed Cerebral Palsy of Colorado to come pick up the junk anytime you wanted, although the organization specifically chose to put the word out this spring in honor of Earth Day. The group helps keep the indestructible rubbish from clogging up landfills by recycling it into wheelchair-accessible playground equipment at CPC-sponsored early-education centers. Donations are tax-deductible, to boot. To schedule a pickup, call 1-800-420-0235.
Wednesday, April 27
On shaky legs, but with the usual burst of pride, the 2005 Starz Denver Pan African Film Festival will spread its wings on the silver screen with five days of screenings, panel discussions, special events and parties to celebrate diversity in filmmaking at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway. The fest begins tonight with Jordan Walker-Pearlman's Constellation -- an exploration of interracial love set and filmed in Alabama and starring Billy Dee Williams -- and closes up shop May 1 with a screening of Emmy-winner Paul Haggis's dark L.A. ensemble film, Clash. The latter will be attended by actor Don Cheadle, who co-stars in the film. Other festival events include a special installment of the monthly Cafe Nuba gathering, featuring the Last Poets and other guests. Ticket prices range from free to $35 per event; for information and schedules, call 303-298-8188 or visit www.panafricanarts.org.