The 21 Best Events in Denver This Week

Show your true colors at PrideFest.
Show your true colors at PrideFest.
Miles Chrisinger

With temperatures expected to exceed the 90 mark, you might feel inclined to stay in close proximity to an AC unit, like perhaps at a play or art gallery show. We've got plenty to chose from in this week's 21 best events calendar. If you're feeling adventurous, don't miss some of the best outdoors events of the summer, like PrideFest and Do at the Zoo. Keep reading for more things to do this week. And don't forget the sunscreen.

Tuesday, June 13

The Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s Lit Fest — a celebration of the reading community for the reading community — continues into its second week with a free evening of visiting-author readings on Tuesday, June 13, at 8 p.m. Lighthouse will present readings from Ada Limón, Andre Dubus III, Jennifer Haigh and Akhil Sharma, who will also sign copies of their books. Beer and wine will be available, food trucks will be on site, and guests can shop for their favorites at the Tattered Cover book fair tent. Lighthouse is at 1515 Race Street; learn more at facebook.com/events/159195561283035.

Wednesday, June 14

Denver’s events calendar is filled with opportunities to get your grub on, and while most are worthwhile, they typically only benefit diners’ hungry bellies. Sampling for Hope: A Casual Food Tasting to Benefit SafeHouse Denver is different. It not only enlists some of the city’s finest chefs and caterers to create an array of bite-sized dishes for guests to sample, but the whole evening is served with a generous helping of altruism. The Westin Denver Downtown, 1672 Lawrence Street, is hosting the event, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14. VIP guests get to play judge, awarding their favorite sample in each category, and ticketholders can bid in the silent auction or donate $20 to participate in the Cork Draw raffle for a free bottle of wine. Tickets are $65; proceeds from sales benefit SafeHouse Denver’s upcoming Extended Stay Program, which provides crucial support to families in crisis and facilitates their progress into permanent housing. Buy tickets and learn more about SafeHouse at safehouse-denver.org.

It’s possible to stand up for racial justice and have a good time, too, which is a good reason to join the Colorado People’s Alliance’s second annual People’s Party, a fundraiser and family gathering bringing diverse folks together in solidarity for the common good. The kid-friendly event will foster understanding over shared food, drinks and frozen treats by Paletería Chihuahua from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at the City Park Pavilion, 1700 York Street. The $20 admission price (there’s also a pay-what-you-can option) supports COPA’s fight for social justice; buy tickets online at coloradopeoplesalliance.org.

Once a year, Susan Lyles and the And Toto Too Theatre Company lead theater-goers up and down Tennyson Street for the And Toto too Play Crawl, a summer fundraiser that helps the group further its mission of presenting plays by women playwrights. This year’s crawl, which begins with cocktails and crawl-group assignments at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, and ends with a dance party until 11 p.m. at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue, will showcase two-minute plays by eleven Denver playwrights in unconventional sites in the Tennyson Street Cultural District, from tattoo parlors to barber shops. Hop to it: For information and tickets, $35, go to andtototoo.org/playcrawl-1.

Catch Zane York's "Arrangement" at Palette.EXPAND
Catch Zane York's "Arrangement" at Palette.
Courtesy of Abend

Thursday, June 15

Nestled comfortably in Spanish Peaks country, the grounds of Hummingbird Ranch, 732 Country Road 653 in Pueblo, will reverberate with beats all weekend long as Sonic Bloom, which bills itself as “Colorado’s premier electronic music festival,” jams for four days starting on Thursday, June 15. While staying true to its EDM roots with acts like Space Jesus, the Polish Ambassador and more, this year’s Sonic Bloom will get a jam infusion from headliners Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, a supergroup comprising members of Colorado’s favorite jam bands. In addition to the fully packed music lineup, guests can take in the fiery spectacle of various performance artists, see live-painting art installations and even attempt slackline yoga. Four-day passes start at $233; get yours, along with schedule, parking and camping information, at sonicbloomfestival.com.

More Denver galleries are on the move this summer, including the mass migration of the Abend and 1261 galleries — along with a merger involving artists from the former Mike Wright Gallery — to a new space at 1412 Wazee Street. Abend will direct the first sign of life in the LoDo gallery they’ll all share with the opening of Palette, a group show curated by Dina Brodsky and Trek Lexington of works painted directly on palettes as a metaphor for the artistic process. Brodsky, a miniaturist who started the painted-palette fad last year with a show in New York City, says, “An old palette is kind of like a diary,” and that’s all you need to know to enjoy the results. Palette opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, and runs through July 8; Gallery 1261 has its turn after that, with an exhibit tentatively opening on July 13. Go to abendgallery.com for more information.

Upcoming Events

Do at the Zoo, the Denver Zoo’s largest annual fundraiser, returns for its 28th year on Thursday, June 15. The Zoo promises that the event, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m., will be “the wildest summer party,” with food and drinks from more than 55 of Denver’s top restaurants and breweries. Graze, sip and stroll around the animal habitats knowing that your $175 admission will go toward global conservation, science education and animal care. While the grounds are usually crawling with the two-legged critters known as toddlers, this is a 21-and-over party, so be sure to line up a sitter. Purchase your tickets at denverzoo.org, then come dressed in your finest safari attire and animal prints. It’s the best night of the year for a little monkey business.

A lot has changed over the 35 years that the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus has been belting out tunes; gayness is neither a criminal offense nor a psychiatric disorder, and same-sex marriage is the law of the land. But the songs have stayed the same. For The Big Gay Sing, the chorus will croon hits from Chicago, Kinky Boots and The Sound of Music in honor of members who’ve been around since the beginning. The group will light up Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman Street, with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, and Friday, June 16, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. For tickets, $20 to $50, and more information, go to dgmc.org or call 303-325-3939.

The Warm Cookies of the Revolution community has been battling all along to get people talking — to one another, face to face! — about how to join hands sociopolitically and make things happen on a grassroots level. But because the creatives behind Warm Cookies, billed as Denver’s civic health club, don’t believe in clubbing folks over the head with rhetoric, they throw in a diversionary tactic. At Warm Cookies: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, zombies will serve as an entry point into a conversation about how to build a more powerful person-to-person political resistance against the bad guys. Along the way, local character Andrew Novick will provide some undead fun to stir you and the kindred masses into fighting back as a front. Get on the same page and form a coalition with Novick and friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 15, at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue in Civic Center Park. A $5 donation is requested at the door, and cookies will be served. RSVP and learn more at warmcookiesoftherevolution.org.

Kill three birds with one stone on Father’s Day weekend with an excursion to the mountains, a fun treat for Dad and a chance to chow down on some of the best barbecue in the state. The Colorado Barbecue Challenge hits the town of Frisco for three days starting Thursday, June 15, with a barbecue competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society for amateur pit masters, as well as a ton of great food and activities for the general public. While the competitive meat smokers will have their own schedule, the main event for the rest of us, who just want to eat, will take place on six blocks of Frisco’s Main Street on Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Live music, pig races, cooking demos and a firefighter cookoff are all part of the entertainment, and there’s also the Bacon Burner 6K run for those looking to burn some calories ahead of the big pig-out. For a complete list of events and to register for the race, visit townoffrisco.com.

Keep reading for more of the best events in Denver.



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