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Rob Ullman

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Once upon a time, Wheat Ridge was the carnation-growing capital of the planet. Those sweet days have faded like a post-prom corsage, but the city continues to celebrate its floral heritage by throwing a kick-ass Carnation Festival every year. This summer's festivities will bloom like never before with the Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival Teen Night on Thursday, August 18.

"It's going to be a pretty wild time," says Garret Rock, publicity coordinator for the Carnation Festival. "They're adding all these things that will probably make the older people unhappy."

Billed as the "Pitchfork Pandemonium" (though no pitchforks will be harmed), Teen Night kicks off with a Battle of the Bands, featuring ten local groups whose members range in age from fifteen to nineteen. The competition starts at 3:30 p.m. and finishes up at 9:30 p.m., just in time for ska/funk band Bop Skizzum (most recently seen at the Denver branch of the Vans Warped Tour) to take the stage at 10. The winning band will walk away with a wad of cash and billing as the opening act for the Nacho Men on the Carnation Festival's last night.


Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival Teen Night

Thursday, August 18, 3-11 p.m., Anderson Park, 44th Avenue and Field Street, Wheat Ridge, free, www.wheatridge

From 5:30 to 6 p.m., 303 Boards will show off their best moves, revving everyone up for the skate competition that starts at 6:30 p.m. The contest is open to any skaters who think they've got what it takes to win free gear. Then step over to the main stage at 7:40 for the Un-Fashion Show, featuring aspiring designers and their crazy concoctions.

Wheat Ridge and Lakewood high schools will square off over Ultimate Frisbee at 4:30 p.m., but late-comers can challenge their buddies to a gladiator joust, compete in a tug-of-war, or play volleyball all night long. There will even be scuba-diving lessons and a host of eating contests (pie, pizza, doughnuts and spaghetti). Just be sure to wait an hour before hitting the pool.

That's what we call flower power.


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