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The ten best moments in Denver arts: 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Okay, It actually wasn't either of those things -- but 2011 was pretty okay in its own right, and at certain times it was downright awesome. Because we're in the business of thoroughly cataloging things, we've cataloged the definitive best moments in the Denver arts scene this year, from the winter of mild discomfort to the spring of benign optimism to the summer of it being just a little too hot for our taste and back again. Here they are, in chronological order.

The ten best moments in Denver arts: 2011

10. Denver destroys its balls Smash Putt, December 29, 2010 - February 6, 2011

If you want to get all technical about it, Smash Putt actually began at the ass-end of 2010, but the majority of its run took place in 2011 -- and that run was awesome. It's difficult to pinpoint Smash Putt's awesomeness to a most awesome moment; depending on who you are, it might have been when you destroyed your ball in a drill press, or it might have been when a heat-cannon launched that fucker into an industrial fan. Or it might have just been when you honked the horn of the motorcycle on the course and fucked up your buddy's putt. It sounds too weird to be true, but for six glorious weeks, this bizarre, destructive, wickedly fun art-project of a putt-putt course was true in Denver. Smash Putt, you will be missed.

The ten best moments in Denver arts: 2011

9. Lolo and Mabel chuck marshmallows at a sex doll 24rd Triannual Intronational Dance Competition, January 26

The 24rd Triannual Intronational Dance Competition was not really so much a "dance competition" as a "weirdness competition" with dancing mostly optional. And there was much weirdness -- some of the most compelling weirdness the year would have to offer, in fact. Highlights included hand-puppets, unicycle-riding and knife-juggling, and marshmallows somehow factored into almost all the proceedings -- more so than dancing, really. But probably their best use was as projectiles, when they were fired, badly, at a sex doll.

The ten best moments in Denver arts: 2011

8. Mutton-chop gathering tears hole in the fabric of time Vine Street Pub Mutton-Chop contest, February 27

In all fairness, the fabric-of-time-hole thing happened only in a metaphorical sense, the night Vine Street Pub brought back one of the most awe-inspiring and lamentedly forgotten of bygone facial-hair traditions: the mutton-chop. Hopes that the contest would single-handedly bring these ostentatious cheek-mittens back into style were largely dashed after the contest ended, but for a couple of glorious hours back in February, these gentlemen were kings.

7. Deepak Sharma Bajagain sets a world record for most grapes eaten in three minutes Work for Children Food Campaign, March 28, 2011

The previous record, 172 grapes, had been set by Ashrita Furman in June 2010, but this year, Colorado resident and all-around badass Deepak Sharma Bajagain came along and absolutely burned that record to the fucking ground when he put back a whopping 180, each one carried to his mouth via a small plastic spoon, as stipulated in the regulations. It was a proud moment for Colorado -- nay, it was a proud moment for the world. We set it to "Yakety Sax."

The ten best moments in Denver arts: 2011

6. Cosplaying weirdos break out of the convention center StarFest, April 15 - 17

Cosplay, as Thorin Klosowki reflected on his visit to StarFest -- a convention basically devoted to it -- can be divided into two major sub-groups: Those who dress like established sci-fi characters and those who make up their own, based on the parameters of the universe -- Darth Vader versus a generic Storm Trooper, for example -- or even just make up universes of their own. Whatever the case, the universe of the Mariott DTC was not enough to hold in these cosplayers, who frequently insisted on spilling into the streets and annoying the office drones.



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