Friday, August 23
Bring on the funnel cakes! The Colorado State Fair, which says it’s been “horsin’ around in Pueblo since 1869,” returns to that southern Colorado city for eleven days starting Friday, August 23. The fair’s fare includes the usual carnival and concerts, among them the Beach Boys and 38 Special, along with monster trucks, the ranch rodeo, livestock auctions, a demolition derby, cooking and craft competitions, and more tacky vendors than you can shake a pork chop on a stick at. Find the complete lineup at coloradostatefair.com, where you can also buy tickets (prices vary depending on events), or call 1-800-514-3849.
Lakewood is celebrating its fiftieth birthday all year, and you can join the fun at Party on the Plaza, a free birthday bash from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 23, at Civic Center Plaza, 470 South Allison Parkway in Lakewood. The Modniks will offer hits from 1969 while you play lawn games, watch magicians and buskers, and marvel at the Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show. Yes, there will be free cake, but food trucks will also be around if you want a more substantial meal, and Colorado wine and beer will be available. For more information, call 303-987-7845 or go to lakewood.org/plaza.
Levitt Pavilion offers great free concert deals, but music and a show? That's what you'll get on Friday, August 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., when some of the best Latin musical and dance performers this side of the Rio Grande join forces for one big party. The dancers in the Fiesta Colorado Dance Company, a Denver nonprofit whose mission is to present and preserve Hispanic dance arts, will perform alongside the locals in Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra and the Santa Fe-based Shiner's Club Jazz Band. The show is free, but a $30 donation gets you access to the VIP patio, two complimentary drinks and early entry at 5:30 p.m. at Levitt, 1380 West Florida Avenue in Ruby Hill Park. Details are at levittdenver.org.
Penn & Teller have been part of the cultural zeitgeist for forty years, elevating magic shows to the heights of stadium tours. They've sold out on Broadway and around the world, and have performed on Emmy-winning TV specials, captivating audiences with their unique brand of magic mixed with off-color comedy. They're as famous as rock stars and as quintessentially American as Elvis, so don't miss them when they come to the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Friday, August 23; doors open at 7 for the 8 p.m. show, and tickets are $54 to $300 at axs.com.
Denver civic health club Warm Cookies of the Revolution continues its informative Own This City series of events espousing community-driven governance with Own This City: Power, a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s power supply and how it might be better — and more ecologically — handled in the future. Following the standard Warm Cookies plan, the event blends information and a good time to make the learning stick; to that end, you’ll enjoy live music from Ramakhandra and participatory fun with energy experts and energy-efficient toys. And, yes, there will be cookies. Get smart on Friday, August 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park; admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested at the door to help finance Warm Cookie events. Learn more at warmcookiesoftherevolution.org.
Saturday, August 24
Boulder’s Firefly Handmade is taking a summer vacation this weekend, setting up shop on Old South Gaylord Street in Denver for a change of pace. Mile High denizens can easily peruse the 100-plus hand-picked vendors of the Firefly Handmade Summer Market when it unfolds along the 1000 block of South Gaylord, fitting in perfectly among the restaurants and shops lined up just blocks from Washington Park. Enjoy shopping, live music, libations and free admission from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 24, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 25. Find more info at fireflyhandmade.com.
Ping-pong the day away at a street party with friends, food and drink at Smash Street, a traveling phenomenon developed by a branch of the International Table Tennis Federation that's coming to the intersection of Walnut and 26th streets in RiNo. Competitive types can register to play for bragging rights and a chance to compete in the Table Tennis World Championship for $30 to $50, but those looking for some friendly ping-pong without the competitive edge can grab a $7 Exhibitionist ticket, which includes a beer and a cool TTX paddle. Spectators, meanwhile, can party for free amid Smash Street's live music and art, food trucks and craft-beverage bars. Hit the pavement from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, August 24; register and get more details at smashstreetdenver.com.
Folks visiting the Denver Art Museum this summer have been having a lot of fun with Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America, a sophisticated look at the timeless realm of mid-mod style. The DAM’s Design Council picked up on that wavelength for its fundraiser for the museum’s Department of Architecture and Design, coming up with a gala that riffs on a time when designers imagined the future as a model for their work. Celebrate mid-century in a sparkly throwback atmosphere and peruse artist-made objects for sale at Design After Dark: Play, on Saturday, August 24, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Tickets are $85 at denverartmuseum.org/designcouncil ($100 at the door), but hurry: This event consistently sells out.
Sunday, August 25
The Colorado Classic, the state’s biggest cycling race, rolls through the mountains and various urban areas from August 22 to August 25. To celebrate, organizers are hosting the free and family-friendly Open Streets Denver on Sunday, August 25. An eight-block area between 20th and 24th and Larimer and Blake streets will be closed off to cars from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., allowing bikers, scooter riders, walkers and just about anyone else not on four wheels to enjoy fun activities — and fans can stick around to watch the Pro Women hit the streets at 1:30. Learn more about Open Streets and the race at coloradoclassic.com.
Chicken, beef and pork rule as the top proteins on the American plate, but lamb is favored by discerning diners for its distinct flavor and versatility. Don't be sheepish: Come out on Sunday, August 25, for the American Lamb Board's Lamb Jam, a festival at Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, designed to show off lamb as prepared by sixteen of Denver's top chefs. For $75, you'll get wine, beer, cocktails and all manner of mutton from 3 to 6 p.m. Or spring for $125 VIP tickets and get early admission, a gift bag and additional artisan bites and sips. Pick up tickets at americanlambjam.com, where you'll also a find a rundown of all the participating restaurants. Lamb Jam is a competition, too, so you can vote for the chef with the best chops!
Every month, Mile High Comics and its founder, Charles Rozanski, aka Miss Jessica, host Drag for All Ages, a joyful, family-friendly drag celebration and fundraiser for the White Rose Scholarship, the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountains’ fund for aspiring college students across Colorado. This month's show starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, August 25, and will include mostly young drag performers. Cheer them on while having fun for a good cause at the Mile High Comics warehouse at 4600 Jason Street; admission is a $5 donation at the door. Find more information on the event's Facebook page.
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