Summer festivities are heating up here in Denver, and whether you're a fan of indoor or outdoor fun, there are plenty of things to do this weekend that won't strip your wallet bare -- from the annual chalk art festival to an ice cream social to a SXSW benefit show.
Check out the online Westword calendar for even more events this weekend, and let us know of any bargain entertainment we missed in the comments section below.
Outdoor film screenings are a summer staple, and classic movies are even better when you watch them at classic places. The Historic Elitch Gardens Theater Foundation kicks off its summer film series tonight withWilly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
. The films are shown on the lawn in front of the historic theater, so bring your chairs and blankets, and get there early for a pre-show concert.
City Park Ice Cream Social at City Park (Friday, free) Under the late Carla Madison, City Council District 8 decided it would be a good idea to revive the idea of a free ice cream social in the park -- and what a great idea that turned out to be. Boulder Ice Cream has donated massive quantities of its fine product, and the social will also feature the Denver Municipal Band playing tunes to accompany the electric fountain. Research Denver history before you go, and dress up in a historical costume for a chance to win some prizes.
SXSW Cares Benefit Show at Hi-Dive (Friday, $8) Concerts are a great way to raise money and awareness. This show benefits the victims and families of a horrific accident at SXSW this past March. For only $8, you get to hear great music for a great cause, and you will probably come away with a lot of swag. If you're really lucky, you might be able to cop a couple of all-access passes for next year's SXSW.
Untitled #67: Chain Reaction at Denver Art Museum (Friday, $10) Museums are pretty cool, except for the fact that you can't touch anything. Untitled at DAM changes all of that, however. This month's installment, Chain Reaction, explores the connection of science and art. Inspired by the new Western bronze exhibit, the event will showcase live bronze pouring, a jazz duo and an interesting art-inspired game of dominos. Get there early and tour the museum beforehand to get the most bang for your buck.
Urban Market at Skyline Park (Saturday, free) Denver sure loves its local markets, and this one is smack-dab in the middle of the city, offering everything from artisans to food and holistic services. The market goes on for most of the day, so you have no excuse for not dropping by. Keep reading for five more events $10 and under.Freedom Summer at Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library (Saturday, free)
The new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson premieres on PBS in late June -- but you can see it before everyone else at this advance screening. The summer of 1964 marked one of the most violent times in the Civil Rights Movement; while civil-rights workers were on a crusade to get African-Americans the right to vote, over 100 homes and churches were bombed and burned in Mississippi alone.Freedom Summer
was an official Sundance selection; this showing will include special guest speaker Dr. Winston Grady-Willis to discuss the era captured in the film.
Denver Fashion Truck One Year Anniversary Party at Infinite Monkey Theorem (Saturday, free) That plaid truck slinging Colorado fashion that you may have seen driving around Denver is celebrating its first year on the road. This free birthday celebration includes live music by the Gin Doctors, as well as art and fashion shows.
Salute to Seniors at Colorado Convention Center (Saturday, free) You may not be a senior, but this is your chance to treat older family members to a rocking time. The bingo games will go on all day, as well the Beatles and Eagles cover bands; tons of senior swag will be given out. While the event is free, reservations might be a good idea. Call up grandma and tell her it's time to party.
Denver Chalk Art Festival at Larimer Square (Saturday-Sunday, free) More than 200 artists are hitting Larimer Square this weekend for an all-out chalk battle. The free festivities includes the opportunity to interact with artists, contests and concerts. Enjoy it while it lasts.The Browning Version
(Sunday, $1) TheTattered Cover
hosts a monthly movie series at the Sie FilmCenter. Tonight's feature is a classic from 1951,The Browning Version
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, which follows the final days of a sad boarding- school teacher forced into retirement, who realizes that his life is a failure.