The 21 Best Events in Denver, August 1-7

Celebrate the world at Denver International Fest.
Celebrate the world at Denver International Fest. Courtesy of DIF
This is a big week for Denver. Well, Colorado, really. On Tuesday, August 1, the state is celebrating its (141st!) birthday, an annual celebration marked by Colorado Day. Governor John Hickenlooper will toast all things Colorado wine at the Governor's Cup Wine Competition, and Telluride will kick off its annual Jazz Festival. Of course, there's plenty to do in Denver, too. Keep reading for the best events in and around the Mile High City this week.

Tuesday, August 1

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1, 1876, and it’s looking pretty good for 141. On Tuesday, August 1, you can join in the party when the History Colorado Center and associated museums across the state offer free admission in honor of Colorado Day. “By empowering Coloradans in understanding and celebrating our rich history, we can all work together and look to building a better future,” says Steve Turner, director of History Colorado. The center at 1200 Broadway will have special events all day, including cake, a mountain man rendezvous and live performances; find out more at

America Divided is a documentary series hosted by actor and outspoken activist Jesse Williams, who explores the systemic issues that drive this country apart. The episode screening at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1, at Open Media Foundation focuses on how enforcement of unjust laws has re-segregated not only the justice system, but educational opportunities as well. While privileged children enjoy every advantage a good education can provide, too many struggling kids in racially and economically segregated schools get swept up in a tacit “school-to-prison pipeline.” Join the Community Resource Center at Open Media, 700 Kalamath Street, for a screening of the episode followed by a sure-to-be lively discussion led by RISE Colorado and various community leaders. Free admission includes complimentary beverages and light snacks. Visit to learn more.
The Sie FilmCenter will celebrate Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar. - COURTESY OF THE SIE FILMCENTER
The Sie FilmCenter will celebrate Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar.
Courtesy of the Sie FilmCenter
Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar owns the camp genre of filmmaking, as proven by a catalogue of work drenched in quirky humor, sex, satire and, at times, deep pathos, produced over nearly forty years of filmmaking. Now you can celebrate a career of note, in depth, when the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, hosts Almodóvar en Total, a twenty-film retrospective curated by former Denver Film Society programming manager, filmmaker and Westword contributor Keith Garcia and presented by CU Boulder film studies director Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz. Organized into four weeklong segments — Pedro Finds His Voice, Almodóvar’s Sexy Stride, Pedro Remembers and Neo-Modovar — the series starts at the very beginning, with a screening of Almodóvar’s first film, 1980’s Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 1, and ends a month later with the filmmaker’s most recent work, Julieta. Full series passes are available for $100 to $140 at; check the website for tickets to individual screenings.

Wednesday, August 2

Denver’s Warm Cookies of the Revolution civic health club and Boulder’s Square Product Theatre both have a knack for pulling together themed community-building discussions about sensitive issues. That said, a collaboration between the two, bringing Warm Cookies programming to mingle with Square Product’s in Boulder, makes perfect sense. The resulting event, Show ’n Tell Mixtape: Privilege Is REAL and Here’s What We’re DOING About It, invites people to bring a personal item that represents their privilege to stir up the conversation. Get talking about the meaning of privilege from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 2, at Wesley Chapel, 1290 Folsom Street on the University of Colorado Boulder campus; admission is free, and cookies will be served. Learn more at

Mixed Taste is a lecture series that brings together two speakers who explore unrelated topics. After the presentations, the audience mixes it up, asking questions and drawing comparisons between the subjects. This month’s discussion — on asparagus and money laundering, presented by Carol O’Meara and Micah Schwalb — takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2, in the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Show up at 4:30 for cocktails and food from Centerplate and local music from Swallow Hill in the DPAC’s Galleria. Tickets to the lecture are $20. For more information, go to
Now pouring: Colorado wine. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Now pouring: Colorado wine.
Danielle Lirette
Thursday, August 3

Colorado’s governor may be a former brewery owner, but that doesn’t mean the office ignores the state’s great wineries. Every year, the Governor’s Cup Wine Competition, sponsored by the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, selects the best Colorado-made wines. This year, judges — local and national wine experts, sommeliers, chefs and writers — evaluated 324 wines from 46 wineries and handed out medals, reserving double-golds for only the best of the best. You can sip the winners at the Governor’s Cup Wine Tasting on Thursday, August 3, at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway. Taste a dozen wines, ciders and fruit wines selected for the Governor’s Cup Case (a twelve-pack of the state’s finest) alongside small plates from some of Denver’s top restaurants from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. for $45. If you want to dodge the crowd, choose a $75 VIP ticket to gain entry at 6:30 p.m.; you’ll also get additional food pairings and tastes of previous Governor’s Cup winners. For a complete list of the winning wines and to purchase tickets, go to

For Denver-based comedians, there’s no greater reward for their years of efforts than a headlining gig at Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street. And few comics have worked more or crushed harder than local favorite Stephen Agyei, who steps into the spotlight for his second-ever full-length set at the home club at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 3 (the first show sold out). Agyei, a perennial New Faces contest finalist who co-hosts the monthly Propaganda! showcase, recently made his television debut on the Denver episode of Viceland’s Flophouse. He’s also appeared with Roy Wood Jr. on NPR’s All Things Considered and participated in the prestigious RIOT L.A. Festival. A devilishly funny performer who can sell the bejesus out of a punchline with a simple facial expression, Agyei is one of the leading lights of the local scene, and bound for greater success on one of the coasts. Don’t miss the opportunity to see him perform while he’s still a local. Visit for tickets, $14, and information.

Exhibit curation is an art in itself, one that Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum director Cortney Stell has perfected over years of study and practical application. This summer, Stell has been coaching ArtLab youth interns, using artists at the Temple as guinea pigs for a student-curated show in PlatteForum, which shares space within the Curtis Park studio enclave. It’s all part of PlatteForum’s continuing collaborative programming showcasing artists and creatives in the Temple community. The Temple Artists Group Exhibition, for which the students delved into big themes of stereotyping, identity loss and feeling one’s way through life, opens with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, August 3, at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street inside the Temple, and runs through September 1. Learn more at 

click to enlarge The Georgetown Loop is one of the quaint mountain's town's lovely attractions. - WESTWORD ARCHIVE
The Georgetown Loop is one of the quaint mountain's town's lovely attractions.
Westword archive
Georgetown is one of Colorado’s quaintest mountain towns, but as with all things quaint and cute — think clowns, kids and pets — it has the potential to be terrifying. That notion is not lost on the dozens of horror writers and aficionados who will climb their way up I-70 and take over the town for the Ghost Town Writers Retreat. For three days starting Thursday, August 3, participants will hone their craft and enjoy all the local splendor. Guests can take a steam-train trip through the Rockies, tour a haunted Victorian manor, learn about Georgetown’s haunted history, visit a power station constructed by Nikola Tesla that runs the town, participate in panel discussions and more. The whole weekend costs $157, but one-day tickets are also available, at For more information, call 303-518-3082.

Levitt Pavilion will host roughly thirty free shows in 2017 at the nonprofit’s stunning 7,500-seat venue in Ruby Hill Park, 1380 West Florida Avenue. If you haven’t visited the new pavilion yet, don’t miss its next show, with The Suffers, a Houston-based, eight-piece Gulf Coast-soul act that will bring a mix of rock, Latin ska, hip-hop, country, Cajun and R&B to Denver. “When I think of the Gulf, I think of good food, humidity and diverse cultures — and this is all reflected in The Suffers,” says lead singer Kam Franklin. “We come from different backgrounds, but it all comes together in our band, and we create a gumbo of music.” Also on the roster: the Mile High’s own The Other Black. The concert, on Thursday, August 3, at 7:30 p.m., is free, but attendees should RSVP

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