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Express yourself at the Colorado Arts Festival, downtown at the Pavilions.

Mass Appeal

FRI, 5/27

Connoisseurs and dilettantes alike will be treated as gallery critics this weekend at the seventh annual Colorado Arts Festival at the Denver Pavilions.

Today through Memorial Day, more than 180 of Colorado's finest painters, sculptors, photographers and visionaries will dazzle your eyes and stimulate your creative talent with the fruits of their labor. Last year's festival drew 170,000 visitors and sold $700,000 worth of gut-wrenching artistic testaments to the human condition, not counting kitten posters.

Music from Swallow Hill's stable of talent will waft through the festival, with food and beverages on hand to quell those Memorial Day cravings. (Just don't let anyone from Maggiano's see you dunking your hot dog in Pepsi.) And on Saturday, the Peace Wall of Denver mural will be unveiled behind the Pavilions at noon. Kids ages eight to eighteen submitted their peace circles on the theme of "Peace Is Worth It!" to the festival's organizing committee, and the four winners' visions now adorn the back of the mall.

The festival is open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of a buck. For more information, go to -- Ben Hiller

Street Smart
SAT, 5/28

It started 25 years ago as a sidewalk sale on South Gaylord Street and has been gathering musicians, attendants, vendors and sponsors ever since. Now the Old South Gaylord Memorial Day Weekend Festival is back for its 26th year, rolling out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, today through Monday. More than 60,000 people are expected to traverse the block between Tennessee and Mississippi avenues during the family-friendly celebration, taking in everything from the bungee trampoline and hand puppets to turkey legs and Coors Light to the twenty-plus musical and dance acts performing on the festival's two stages, all the while perusing the wares of numerous South Gaylord merchants and crafts vendors.

Naturally, parking will be a nightmare, so Metro Taxi is offering free shuttle service between the festival and the South High School parking lot at Louisiana and Franklin streets.

For more information, visit www.merchantsofsouthgaylord. com. -- Ben Hiller

Take Your Best Shot
Get social in a hurry with tequila at Lola.
WED, 6/1

A few months ago, Ryan Halbert and a colleague were drinking tequila in Mexico, "laughing the whole time," he remembers, "because someone's actually paying us to do this."

Nice work if you can get it. Halbert started specializing in tequila a half-dozen years ago, when he was working at Dave Query's Zolo Grill in Boulder -- "although I already liked tequila before that," he points out. He became the bar manager/resident tequila enthusiast at Zolo's sibling, Lola, when that restaurant opened at 1469 South Pearl Street in August 2002. "In six years," he notes, "I've gone from running tequila seminars for staff training to traveling to Mexico for dinners like this."

At tonight's Tequila Social, Lola chef/co-owner Jamey Fader will prepare an al fresco meal of coastal Mexican cuisine on the eatery's cozy back patio, while Halbert offers tequila tastings and a slide show of his trip to the family-run operation where Herradura, tonight's featured tequila, is made. Expect the tales to be large and the shots even larger. Admission is $45, and reservations are limited; call 720-570-8686. -- Patricia Calhoun

Vote for Change
Boulder bows to the people's choice.
THURS, 5/26

People of Boulder, this is your opportunity to finally make a difference. The whole Kerry thing was a flop, and despite your noble efforts, it really doesn't look like pot's going to be decriminalized anytime soon. And let's not even get started on that whole recruitment-scandal thing, because none of it worked. But this -- this will work, guaranteed. And people of Denver, if you're bored, why don't you throw your two cents in, too? Why don't you go Pick a Painting for Boulder?

Today through Memorial Day, art connoisseurs -- or people who just like pretty pictures -- will help select an image that will eventually be installed in the Park Building Center, home to Boulder's planning and utilities departments. The public will choose from five "land use" paintings by local watercolor-and-oils artist Elizabeth Black. The candidates will be available for viewing today and tomorrow in the lobby of the Boulder Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway, or over the weekend in Booth #309 at the Boulder Creek Festival, taking place along the creek in downtown Boulder.

Get out there and vote, people! This time, you can actually make a difference.

For more information, call 303-449-7532 or visit -- Adam Cayton-Holland


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