I always associate Labor Day in Denver with tents: the ones that begin lining up alongside the Sports Authority at 10th Avenue and Broadway at least a week in advance of Sniagrab, the Taste of Colorado tents handling crowds with big mouths all weekend in Civic Center Park, and even that big one near the Pepsi Center, where Cirque du Soleil's Kooza is currently swingin' in the wind. And I'm sure more than a few folks have hightailed it up to the hills for a reverie in the woods under something they've pitched, too. Whatever, Labor Day weekend in the city -- aimed at you and me and anyone else left in town -- offers more than enough things to do. You'll find many of them detailed at in our calendar section. But here are some more, for your viewing pleasure.
Tonight's long-weekend kickoff coincides with First Friday, which means you can choose to start on the high road, galley hopping all over town. Make a clay fish, for instance, at EvB Studio Collection, 4343 West 44th Avenue (6 to 9 p.m., $10 includes materials and firing, 720-234-7337). And should you find yourself in ArtDistrict on Santa Fe, Hahtinu Niish (Red Moon), with a Native American theme, opens tonight at the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, 772 Santa Fe Drive (303-571-0440). Also, collecting lunatic Andrew Novick will host a street barbecue from to 6 to 9 p.m., in conjunction with The BBQ Show: A Meatrospective at Fu Collective + Gallery, 810 West 10th Avenue (bring your own meat, visit isaveeverything.com for details).
Then, hop on the new Art District Shuttle at 9th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive and head over to the Golden Triangle, where a short show featuring contemporary Japanese ceramics by master potter Takashi Nakazato and assistants opens with a reception at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue (303-355-8955). It's only a short walk from there to Fashion Denver Headquarters, 321 West 11th Avenue, where Brandi Shigley will be hosting her monthly Fashion Denver Open House, showcasing local designers, artists, furniture from Mod Livin' and more beginning at 5 p.m. (call 720-266-4418). Or click here for more Westword gallery listings.
You can also support the arts by attending the theater: At the Denver School of the Arts, 7111 Montview Boulevard, El Centro Su Teatro will present a one-night only one-man performance, The Cone of Uncertainty: New Orleans After Katrina, featuring artist-in-residence Jose Torres Tama (7 p.m., call 303-296-0219). And the Lida Project also weighs in with a solo show, a one-woman monologue by Safa that touches on the symbology of the veil. See Cover Girl tonight or tomorrow at 7 p.m. ($10, 720-221-3821).
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Saturday? Work on your fall tan and wheelies during SkateBike, a daylong outdoor event mashing up skateboard and bicycle culture, with competitions, a vendor village, a pop-up gallery of skateboard decks, live music and food hosted by Emage, 1620 Platte Street. The fun is free and begins at 2 p.m.; visit Emage online for details. Or go to the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue, for Superheroes of Philanthropy, a comic-book fundraiser for Bands for Lands, featuring appearances by Daniel Crosier, Kevin Gentilcore, John Porcellino, Stan Yan and other local comic artists (3 to 9 p.m.; learn more here).
If you're not going to be able to squeeze your butt into Folsom Field on Sunday for the annual CU-CSU football face-off, the next best place to go might just be the nearby Millennium Harvest House, 1345 28th Street in Boulder, where there'll be an Ultimate Tailgate Party with cookout fare and game-watching on a fourteen-foot outdoor screen, beginning at 2 p.m. (Parking is $25; visit www.harvesthousesac.com for details.
And finally, on Labor Day proper, I recommend this reminder of what the holiday is really all about, because I can get down with being progressive: The Romero Theater Troupe, UFCW Local 7 and Colorado Jobs With Justice will co-host The People's Labor Day, a family-friendly celebration of workers' rights beginning at 2 p.m. in Lincoln Park, 11th Avenue and Osage Street, and featuring food, live music and an activist theater performance by the Romero Troupe at 6 p.m. Admission is free; details at www.romerotroupe.org.
For more ways to rock the night and kill the day, go to westword.com/calendar.