Fall is making its presence known with cooler weather, even snow. And just in time for this season change, this weekend is packed with both indoor and outdoor activities -- including a chili cook-off, a larger-than-life comedy showdown, a masquerade ball, an all-ages dance party, and the triumphant return of My Teenage Angst, for anyone interested in exhibiting their deepest, darkest, most humorous teenage-diary secrets in front of an audience. We've picked out ten great -- and inexpensive -- things to do, but there are many, many more, so be sure to check out the online Westword calendar for additional fun. And if we've missed anything, let us know in our comments section below.
Art inventory and reduction sale at SPACE Gallery (All weekend, free) In preparation for its move to a brand-new location just down the street on Santa Fe Drive, SPACE Gallery is opening its inventory to the public, selling off work from great local artists at reduced prices. If you're heading down to the Art District on Santa Fe to celebrate First Friday, stop by this venerable gallery and pick up a piece or two...or ten.
My Teenage Angst at Deer Pile (Friday, $2 donation) Dig up your old diaries, because My Teenage Angst is back! After a hiatus, the live journal-reading show is revved up and ready, inviting new and old Angsters alike to brave the stage and share the most intimate details of their private writings. From middle-school haircut nightmares to college dating disasters, readers and audience members alike get to share the embarrassment and fun that comes with reliving previously private memories.
Starving Artists Networking Party at Illegal Pete's (Friday, free -- RSVP required) Created by Illegal Pete's and the Fort Collins-based non-profit SpokesBUZZ, this evening is geared toward musicians and local music industry members connecting with each other. Enjoy a sampling of Illegal Pete's fare while mingling with others in the community who also have music in mind. If you want to attend, make sure to RSVP via the SpokesBUZZ website.
Get Down for Guinea at the Oriental Theater (Friday, $7) An all-ages dance party of positive proportions, tonight's Get Down for Guinea is a celebration of live music for a good cause. Join the Kissidugu Drum and Dance Theater, Cavem Moetavation, Pink Hawks, Molina Speaks, Love Peace Project and Night Oblivion (an awesome band of third, fourth and fifth graders) for a concert and dance performance benefiting the Kissidugu Foundation, a nonprofit working to connect people with arts and cultural activities within their own communities. Tonight's fundraiser will support the building of the Kissidugu School of Music, Dance & Education in Guinea. New Moon Psychic Fair at Isis Books and Gifts (Saturday, free) Get metaphysical at Isis Books and Gifts on Saturday, when the retail store and wellness center welcomes visitors to its New Moon Physic Fair, a gathering of other-worldly experts. Browse a wide selection of crystals, gem stones, essential oils, herbs, clothing and more; for additional fees, take advantage of the shop's psychic and tarot readers or get a detailed astrological consultation. The Gay vs. Straight Show at Tracks (Saturday, $5) It's a battle of sexual orientations as teams of comedians go head-to-head in the Gay vs. Straight show. Straights Chris Woolf, Nanna Thompson and Natalie Kilkenny go up against the gays: Jon Jon Lannen, Michelle Marlowe and Sarah Kirwin. This improv battle of comedy wits should be a fair fight, though, since the winner will be decided by a non-partial bisexual judge.
2nd Annual Masquerade Soireé at The Living Room (Saturday, $5) DJ B-Money spins all night long at an event that promises an air of elegance and mystique, as well as a stirring of the senses. The Masquerade is back for its second champagne-soaked year, and it's all for a good cause: My Charity: Water, an organization working to get clean water to communities around the world. Space is limited and masks and elegant attire are required -- so dress appropriately and get there early if you want to be a part of this unique party.
Cider Days at the Lakewood Heritage Center (Saturday and Sunday, $4-$7) Join the city of Lakewood at its signature event, a weekend of vintage tractor pulls, wagon rides and live music. Of course, apples play a big part in Cider Days, and you're invited to press your own into a tasty beverage. This celebration of Lakewood's agricultural history also supports a good cause, as a portion of the proceeds goes to educational programs at the Lakewood Heritage Center.
Athmar Park Fall Festival and Chili Cook-Off at Valverde Dual Language Academy, 2030 West Alameda Avenue (Sunday, free) At this chili cook-off and fair, anyone can be a judge -- tasting tickets are available for a small fee, and a "people's choice" award will be given to the most prized pot of chili, along with extra awards from a panel of secret judges. But chili isn't the only thing on the menu at this fall fast: There will also be handmade arts and crafts, Native American dance performances, face-painting, chalk-art competitions and plenty of family-friendly entertainment.
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Habitat for Humanity Cart Work Project Community Kick-Off at Argo Park (Sunday, free) Celebrate the start of the 2013 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which will begin building eleven new homes and repair fifteen existing homes in Globeville beginning Monday, October 6. On Sunday, everyone is invited to enjoy a day of fun, games, live music, face-painting and more, while learning more about Habitat for Humanity's work in Colorado. The Denver Nuggets Dancers will stop by, as will Rocky the mascot, and food and drink will be for sale from local vendors.