The folks at the Colorado Center for the Book will take a different tack tonight at the annual Colorado Book Awards Gala, casting an air of celebrity upon this year's honorees with an e-town-style ceremony that re-creates the Boulder public-radio show's successful amalgamation of music and interviews. Host and e-town main man Nick Forster will not only oversee the award-giving, he'll also introduce the special guests, local musician Wendy Woo and her poet father, Bataan Faigao. A silent auction and book signing with attending finalists rounds out the evening's activities, taking place from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Tickets are $55; call 303-894-7951 or go to www.ceh.org.
Friday, October 7
Indigenous peoples will have their day at the Four Directions All Nations March, an annual Denver Columbus Day protest. Groups carrying banners bearing their message will leave from four central Denver locations -- Globeville Landing Park, 38th Avenue and Arkins Court; the corner of Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street; Fishback Landing Park, I-25 and 23rd Avenue; and Viking Park, Speer and Federal boulevards -- and converge in a peaceful medicine-wheel formation at Cuernavaca Park, 20th and Platte streets. For specific instructions and information, call 303-691-1620 or visit www.transformcolumbusday.org.
For an aesthetic point of view on indigenous cross-culturalism, take a modern look at an ancient birthplace of South American culture by visiting Planet Colombia: Deconstructing Stereotypes, a challenging new exhibit opening with a 6 p.m. reception at the Museo de las Américas, 861 Santa Fe Drive. Featuring provocative, questioning works by Colombian and American artists, the show continues through next January; participating artists Nadín Espinosa and Rafael Fajardo will give a talk at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 13. Admission to tonight's reception is $4 for non-members (members admitted free); call 303-571-4401 or visit www.museo.org for information.
Saturday, October 8
¡Arriba! Prepare to be blown away when the Denver Mariachi Festival celebrates Mayor John Hickenlooper's newly proclaimed Denver Mariachi Day. Tonight's loud and shiny program, ¡México Vive!, runs from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center and features the world-famous El Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitl´n, along with Denver's own Mariachi V´squez, California's Mariachi Los Toros and local dance ensemble Grupo Folklórico Sabor Latino. A Mexican mercado will be open for shopping before the concert, beginning at 3 p.m. The convention center is at 700 14th Street; for tickets, $10 to $35 (children ages twelve and under admitted free) and information, call 1-866-464-2626 or visit www.mariachivasquez.com.
Experience the soul of the bayou tonight when fiery Creole fiddler and accordionist Dennis Stroughnatt and his band, Creole Stomp, entertain at this month's Colorado Friends of Cajun/Zydeco Music and Dance. You'll also be giving something back to the storied region: The evening's proceeds will benefit Louisiana hurricane victims. Festivities begin at the D-Note, 7519 Grandview Avenue in Arvada, with a free dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by the real thing at 9 p.m. Admission is $10, but additional donations will be accepted. Call 303-745-9577 or log on to www.cfcz.org for details.
Sunday, October 9
Revered as artists in their native country, China's acrobats receive a lifetime of training in a genre that combines the athleticism of gymnastics, the grace of dance and the theatricality of ballet. It all boils down to something breathtaking, with miraculous feats of balance and determination, brilliant costumes and traditional music. Accordingly, audience members of all ages will be held rapt today when the Golden Dragon Acrobats of Hebei Province, China, perform at 2 p.m. at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus. For tickets, $10 to $25, call 303-786-7030; for information, call 303-492-8423.
Monday, October 10
Expect size-twenty laughs at Bigfoot's Big Night O' Entertainment Halloween Spectacular, a spookified version of comedian Keith Orell's free-form comedy revue, which he hosts from inside a yeti costume. A bevy of "comics, musicians and weirdos" will take the stage (as well as Orell's impressionist mom, Louise DuArt of Fox's Living the Life, in her recurring role as Barbara Walters), starting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Curious Theatre Company, 1080 Acoma Street. Tickets are $5, and free beer will be offered to people (of age) in costume. That's anything but abominable. Call 303-442-1153.
Tuesday, October 11
You can put all thoughts of vampires to rest: There's nothing hinky about the October date of the Bonfils Blood Center's annual Drive for Life. All blood drawn at the event, which is co-sponsored by the Denver Broncos, will go to charitable and lifesaving causes. Lestat and his fanged gang will just have to lick their chops from afar. Line up to donate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Invesco Field at Mile High; autograph-signing Broncos players, alumni, cheerleaders and mascot will all be on hand to make it doubly worth your while. Call 303-363-2300 or go to www.bonfils.org for an appointment time.
There are some 22,000 children stricken with HIV/AIDS in Thailand, most of them poor and many of them orphaned. Ostracized and lonely, some have been lucky enough to find solace in art-therapy programs sponsored by the non-profit organization We Understand. The fruits of their creativity will be on display along the Front Range this month when Paint My Life, a fundraising exhibit co-sponsored by Global Art for Aid, opens at three Boulder venues: Sidney's Cappuccino and Art Bar, 1375 Walnut Street; the Pekoe Sip House, 1225 Alpine Avenue; and the Tea Spot, 1801 13th Street. For more information, go to www.gaaid.org.