This 4th of July weekend, no one should be left watching the tube, sitting on the couch and drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon all by themselves. No sir. There are plenty of things to do on this three-day weekend, and not all of them require patriotism (though a healthy dose would be appreciated). So pack your sunscreen and hit the streets with your Hamilton in-hand: "America" doesn't mean anything if not "do awesome shit on the cheap."
Joseph Findeiss at Sputnik and Ironwood Collection (Friday, free) Findeiss, refusing to be outdone by other artists' pretentious to-dos, will be opening not one, but two art shows tonight: One, Repro Redux (spray paint on wood productions), opens at Sputnik, while the other, Repetitious (three-dimensional wood works), opens right down the street at Ironwood Collection.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Green Lantern at the 88 Drive-In Theatre (Friday, $8) Two movies for the price of one, cheap popcorn and snacks and the beautiful summer sky: enjoy Denver's last drive-in theater so this American pastime doesn't go the way of the Dodo. Nothing's more American than sitting in lawn chairs, slurping a coke and watching Michael Bay blow shit up. Nothing.
VegFest at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds (Saturday, $10) Stock up on good karma before eating a rack of ribs on Monday by attending the 2011 VegFest. A nod to vegetarianism and veganism, the festival promises a variety of activities from cooking demos to free food. If you have a brood, definitely bring them all because kids are admitted free.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival at Cherry Creek North (Saturday, free) So as not to get burned on the fourth, get outside on Saturday and do some pre-tanning. The Cherry Creek Arts Festival is the perfect occasion to get outdoors while taking in the local arts scene, eating local produce and dancing. There will be over 230 artists this year, which is more artists than most have us have seen in one place since college.
Civic Center Independence Eve Celebration at Civic Center Park (Sunday, free) A ridiculous amount of people (25,000) showed up to for this last year, so make sure to get there early if you want to see the city blow a bunch of shit up in the name of America. It promises to be pretty awesome, featuring not only fireworks but a light show and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Okay, orchestras are boring. But, you know, exploding shit.
Masque the Musical at the Bud Theatre (Sunday, $10-$20) A play about love, cheesecake and the journey of two people intertwined, Masque the Musical features a festive musical production and the humor you need when dealing with love. BYOC, however, because the Bug Theatre will not providing any of the delectable snack for you.
Colorado National Monument Centennial Climb in Fruita (Monday, $5-$10) There are two ways you can take part in the annual flag-raising at the national monument this year: One, you can climb to the top and help raise the flag yourself (climb starts at 6 a.m.). If you just peed yourself out of fear, then you should probably take option two: watch other people climb to the top from the visitor's center.
Old-Fashioned July 4th at Four Mile Historic Park (Monday, $7) Kids these day, am I right? They just don't celebrate the 4th of July like they used to. Good thing Four Mile Historic Park is hosting the Old-Fashioned July 4th -- now people can party like they did in 1776, or 1864, or something. There will be a real-life Uncle Sam, Abe Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson (how does a guy who owned over 200 slaves keep getting invited to all the parties?).
Fourth of July Celebration in Breckenridge (Monday, free) Breck's 4th of July festivities start with a 10K run. Get this, though: You have to pay to get up super-early and run. Forget that, right? What you can do is show up late, watch the end of the race, grab a seat and watch the USA Cycling Pro Ultra Endurance Tour stop by on its way through and then go take in the arts festival and watch Rusted Root perform. Remember Rusted Root? Aw man, good times.
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Watch illegal fireworks in your neighborhood (Sunday, free) One of the best ways to celebrate the country's independence is to exercise some independence of your own and blow up illegal fireworks in your backyard, neighborhood park or surrounding cul-de-sac. Too scared to get in trouble (pussy)? No problem, because someone in your neighborhood is drunk enough not to be, and you can profit from of their recklessness by getting up on your roof and watching their fireworks make it rain.