The big to-do over the next few days is the Fourth of July, of course, but if you're tired of fireworks and red, white and blue, we still have plenty for you to check out, including a Halloween party in July, a music-and-barbecue festival, soccer and the fiftieth anniversary of Yellow Submarine. Keep reading for the 21 best events this week!
Tuesday, July 3
Goat mania has overtaken everything from beer tastings to yoga classes in Denver, turning local hot spots into de facto petting zoos. Fireworks and Goats in RiNo Movie!, a four-legged fiesta on Tuesday, July 3, at LFX Filmworks and Events Space, 1701 31st Street, typifies this adorable trend. A grand birthday celebration for the founder of Broken Shovels Animal Sanctuary, the evening will include a screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the Heart, starring Tom Waits and Crystal Gale, followed by a set of Waits covers from the Lost Dog Ensemble, plus a fine view of the Coors Field fireworks display and all the goats you can pet. Goats in RiNo movie events are BYO-chair, and organizers recommend arriving early. Doors open at 6 and the movie screens at 7:30, followed by live music at 9 and fireworks at 10 p.m. Tickets are $18 at brownpapertickets.com, where you’ll also find more details.
Have a blast at the ninth annual Independence Eve at Civic Center. The fun starts earlier than ever this year, with new wine and beer gardens (sponsored by local favorites Great Divide Brewing and the Infinite Monkey Theorem) opening at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3; food trucks will be selling plenty of snacks. You can always pack in a picnic, of course, and stake out your spot early for live performances by Chris Daniels & the Kings and the 101st Army Band of the Colorado National Guard. The stage show starts at 8 p.m., followed at dusk by a light show and the biggest fireworks finale in the event’s history. Admission is free; find out more on civiccenterconservancy.org. (And for more fireworks options, keep an eye on westword.com/arts.)
Don your most patriotic apparel and boogie to the sounds of yesteryear at the fourth annual Stars & Stripes Express Fest, which returns to Denver's Union Station for a rollicking Independence Day Eve on Tuesday, July 3, from 1 to 10 p.m.. Gather with a crowd of red, white and blue-clad revelers on the Terminal Bar's extended patio and party through the decades with hits from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond. Representatives from Boulder's own Avery Brewing Company will be on hand with prize giveaways and special beer tappings so guests will never be too far from a cold one. The performance lineup includes the Denver Dolls, Boomers, New Sensation and Phat Daddy. Visit Union Station's Facebook events page for more details.
Wednesday, July 4
Ring in the year's most patriotic holiday with the sounds of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which presents the annual Family Friendly Fourth of July concert at Englewood's Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, with enough panache to make the founding fathers proud. Under the guidance of conductor Christopher Dragon, the orchestra will offer a musical buffet of Americana with a stirring concert program that includes triumphant classics like John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" juxtaposed with pop songs such as Pharrell's "Happy" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" performed by vocalist Darius de Haas. And since no Independence Day is truly complete without one, guests will be treated to one of the finest fireworks displays in the state. Visit coloradosymphony.org to buy tickets, $22 to $36.75, and learn more.
Thursday, July 5
From July 6 to 8, an estimated 350,000 art lovers will descend upon Cherry Creek for the annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a celebration of local artists and arts education that's approaching its twentieth anniversary. The intrigued but crowd-averse should not miss the opening Artist Preview Event on Thursday, July 5, which will offer a sneak peek at forty of the 260 artists who will exhibit at the festival. But the fun doesn't end there: The evening will include live music, adult beverages of all kinds, and a surprise street performance at 8:45 p.m. at the intersection of Second Avenue and Clayton Street. The free festival preview takes place from 7 to 10 p.m; find out more about it and the festival itself at cherrycreekartsfestival.org.
Friday, July 6
As Lower Highland grows and changes, so must its festivals, say organizers of the LoHi Music Fest, a seven-year-old neighborhood tradition that will grow even bigger and better this year. The folks behind the event have teamed up with the Denver Bazaar, TheBigWonderful and DiningOut magazine to throw the three-day LoHi Bazaar & BBQ. Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 6, head to the intersection of Tejon Street and West 32nd Avenue for a night of funk music, brats and BBQ. Wake up and do it all over again on Saturday and Sunday; the all-day music starts at 9 a.m., and the Denver Bazaar-sponsored market and pop-up Cowboy Glitter Bar will start dispensing craft cocktails and beer at 11:30, with Ole Hickory Pits barbecue thrown into the mix. Admission is free, but bring along some coin for the market, drinks and ’cue. Find more information on the event's Facebook page.
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo died in 1954, but her fans still celebrate on July 6, her date of birth. Two Denver cultural organizations, Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive, and the newly formed Westwood Creative District, 3738 Morrison Road, are perpetuating the love fest with separate events. On Friday, July 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., festivities at the Museo will include live painting, a Frida photo booth, vendor booths, performance art by Lorenzo Martinez and the unveiling of a new mural by Armando Silva. And on Saturday, July 7, from 3 to 9 p.m., Westwood will throw an opening Frida-palooza for Frida Kahlo: A Celebration of Life Art Show, an annual exhibition devoted to Kahlo’s legacy. A Frida look-alike contest, Aztec dancers, a photo booth and a curated artisan vendor marketplace are sure to keep visiting Frida-philes entertained. Both events are free; visit museo.org or bucuwest.com/wcd for details.
After a spring polling campaign soliciting yays or nays from his immediate La Alma/Lincoln Park community, Esteban Peralta will open his garage gallery, Peralta Projects, on the first Friday in July, with blessings from his supportive neighbors. The opening show, Blue Note: Vacant and Diffused, is well worth the wait: Peralta has paired the work of three notable Denver artists —Theresa Anderson, Amber Cobb and Dustin Young — with that of Texans Hector Hernandez, Cruz Ortiz and Kristy Perez. The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, July 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery, 747 Elati Street, just a few blocks east of the Art District on Santa Fe and its attendant First Friday festivities. To learn more, visit peraltaprojects.com.
Free Sexy Pizza? Free drinks? Free music? Free comedy? Whether you’re wandering the Art District on Santa Fe on First Friday or simply looking for a free night out, Denver Open Media’s Open Music Session is the place to be. This month, the enigmatic YaSi will offer up her pop stylings on Friday, July 6, at DOM's Studio A, 700 Kalamath Street, where she'll be joined by Sexpot comedians Rebecca Robinson, Noah Reynolds and Roger Norquist. Food will be served at 7 p.m., and the music and comedy start at 8. If you can’t make it, don't fret: The whole all-ages shindig will be broadcast on DOM’s myriad channels. For more information, go to openmediafoundation.org.
The gothic rockers in Lost Walks are back on Friday, July 6, with a performance of the group’s wolf-themed rock opera, Wolf, Woman, Man, the story of a couple who move to the mountains and struggle with each other and an injured lone wolf. The performance includes visuals from Liz Holland and Alvino Salcedo, set design by Katie Webster and Justin Hicks, and seven dancers interpreting the story; the Still Tide will open the event with a solo performance. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, July 6, at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. For tickets, $15 to $25, go to mcnicholsbuilding.com/events/detail/lost-walks.
Halloween is three months away, which seems like an eternity for the goblins and ghouls among us. Not to worry: All Hallows Eve comes early at Bar Standard, 1037 Broadway, which will host Halloween in July on Friday, July 6, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Along with a costume contest (with a $200 prize), the evening will include two floors of musical performances by DJs Kilgore, Matte Black and Cyber 1 and electro-industrial group Imperative Reaction, plus fittingly frightening decor, dancing and debauchery. Find tickets, $15 to $40, and more information at nightout.com.
Scream Screen hostess and creepy cosplayer Theresa Mercado is back at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, with another round of live music paired with the horror classics she knows and loves. The focus this month is Beyond Elm Street: A Tribute to Wes Craven, which means a solid wall of weird from start to finish, beginning on Friday, July 6, at 9:30 p.m. with The Hills Have Eyes and music from Prison Glue. The homage continues weekly in July before wrapping up with a first — the Scream Screen Scream-A-Thon, a long, lurid afternoon showcasing the full quartet of Cravens’s Scream series, beginning at noon on July 28. Tickets are $7 to $11.50 for each of the first three screenings, which include The Serpent and the Rainbow on July 13, with music from Of Earth and Sun, and The People Under the Stairs on July 20, with Mirror Fears; admission to the culminating marathon is $25 to $30. Learn more and buy tickets in advance at denverfilm.org.
After Jonny Barber’s landlord decided to sell the building housing the Colfax Museum, the Elvis impersonator turned historical curator packed up the neon signs and other memorabilia from Denver’s most debaucherous street and moved his seven-month-old museum from an East Colfax flower shop to the 40 West Arts District in Lakewood. To celebrate surviving the move, Barber will be hosting a free all-ages pop-up version of the museum displaying some of the full collection from 5 to 9 p.m., on Friday, July 6, at Pasternack’s 40 West Arts Hub, 6851 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. For more information, go to thecolfaxmuseum.org and facebook.com/Pasternacks40WestArtsHub.
Saturday, July 7
The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is more than just a special regional tax district. Not only does the group provide funding for some 316 cultural institutions in the Denver area, but it also advocates on behalf of said institutions. Over the weekend, the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, will host the fifth annual SCFD Showcase, which gives attendees the chance to experience a slice of what SCFD organizations are all about. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, catch performances from the Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Rocky Mountain Storytelling, the Aurora Singers and more, and peruse interactive booths from the Denver Firefighters Museum and the Museo de las Americas, to name a few. Find a whole new set of performances and booths on Sunday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the Gardens will be half-price during the festival, making the two-day event even more accessible to culture fans. Find schedules, tickets and more information at botanicgardens.org.
The metro Denver lesbian sporting community can jump for joy in July: Lezathlon, a national lesbian charity sporting event celebrating women in athletics, is coming to Denver for the first time, bringing with it an entire day of silly competitions, from oil wrestling to good old-fashioned arm wrestling, plus an obstacle course and climbing wall for a more complete workout. There will be partying and booze, too, and special spectator pricing for the wussy women and non-female-identifying supporters watching from the sidelines. It all shakes out on Saturday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way in Commerce City; find info and tickets, $30 to $60, at eventbrite.com, and learn more at lezathlon.com.
Americans have come up with all manner of silly names for a good ol' celebration — and, frankly, the weirder the better. You'll certainly have fun at a shindig or a hoedown, but for a real barn-burner, you'll want to hit a hootenanny. Breckenridge Brewery, at 2920 Brewery Lane in Littleton, knows what's up when naming a party, so the brewery's Hootenanny 2018, on Saturday, July 7, will be one to remember. In addition to beer (in the form of special firkin tappings as well as the usual lineup), you'll find a slew of local and national bands — including headliners Mike Gordon and Hard Working Americans — on two stages, a food-truck jamboree (there's another one of those words!) and live-art demonstrations. Single tickets are $45, which includes entry and one beer. Pick yours up on prekindle.com and see breckbrew.com for more details. The fun starts at 11 a.m.; let's just hope it doesn't turn into a brouhaha.
Gussy up and head to the mountains: On Saturday, July 7, Central City Opera, the state’s treasured legacy opera house, will open its season with a night of cocktails and delicacies at The Magic Flute’s Sun and Moon Opening Night Dinner. The evening includes cocktails at 5 and dinner at 6; at 8 p.m., director Alessandro Talevi will share his version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute, a fantasy tale about a prince’s quest to save a princess and prove his love to her. Performances continue through August 5 at the opera house, 124 Eureka Street in Central City. Tickets for the opening dinner are $100; for tickets to the performance itself, go to centralcityopera.org.
Yoga: It’s good for the spirit and good for community, and when delivered with poetry and fly tunes from DJ Hex Kitten, it’s even better — at least that’s what Jalisa Williams of Soulflower Denver is hoping. That’s what you’ll get from the yoga maven, along with a photo booth, POC vendors, a gift-basket raffle and more, at Flowetry: Poetry in Motion, an enhanced yoga experience that goes down on Saturday, July 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Fort Greene, 321 East 45th Avenue. Proceeds go to local nonprofit Building Bridges; learn more and purchase tickets, $15, in advance at eventbrite.com.
Sunday, July 8
The world is officially sick with soccer fever, but if watching countries battle it out during the FIFA World Cup doesn't whet your appetite, head to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victoria Way in Commerce City, on Sunday, July 8, for some good ol'-fashioned fútbol when Chivas Guadalajara faces off against Club Necaxa, a team based in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Doors open at 4 for the 6 p.m. game. Find tickets at altitudetickets.com.
Monday, July 9
The trend of murals covering walls indoors and out at Denver galleries and museums, a hot idea these days, is catching on at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, where Anthony Garcia Sr. (community-minded muralist and director of the Birdseed Collective) has been invited to paint one of his signature serape-striped walls on the fourth-floor mezzanine in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming oral-history project in the Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhood that Garcia calls home. Museum-goers are welcome to watch the mural-in-progress at the center from Monday, July 9, through July 20, during mornings and early afternoons; "Self-Preservation" will then remain on view through February 1, 2019. Admission to History Colorado is $8 to $14 (free for members and children ages four and under); learn more at historycolorado.org.
The color-saturated animation that made the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine so great when it was first released fifty years ago still looks and sounds fresh in 2018, with its pop-art style, classic Beatles music and British humor. And it can only be better the new 4K digital remixed restoration by Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc., which hits local art theaters this week for special screenings. The product of a rigorous, frame-by-frame rehab process, Yellow Submarine screens on Monday, July 9, at 7 p.m. at Landmark's Chez Artiste Theatre, 2800 South Colorado Boulevard (tickets are $15 at landmarktheatres.com), and Tuesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue (tickets are $15 at denverfilm.org). Looking for a better price? Yellow Submarine will screen again at midnight on July 13 and 14 at the Landmark Esquire, 590 Downing Street, for only $9.50. Find more information at landmarktheatres.com.
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