Things to Do

The 21 Best Events in Denver, June 10 Through June 16

The 21 Best Events in Denver, June 10 Through June 16
Brandon Marshall
Warm weather is finally here, and the events calendar is heating up with outdoor movies, outdoor concerts and outdoor food fests. And then there's PrideFest, one of the biggest celebrations in the country, which will keep Denver jumping all weekend. Keep reading for the 21 best events around town this week.

click to enlarge THE PRINCESS BRIDE
The Princess Bride
Monday, June 10

Poisoned wine standoffs, rodents of unusual size, and feats of cinematic derring-do are on glorious display in the Princess Bride, a highly quotable and endlessly re-watchable mashup of Tolkienesque fantasy and vaudevillian comedy. The arguable apex of Rob Reiner’s filmmaking career, the adaptation of William Goldman’s novel has enchanted generations of movie lovers with its uncanny blend of swoony romance and sharp wit. Revisit the inconceivably delightful 1987 film (or behold it for the first time) in the company of an appreciative audience when the BRUN (Berkeley-Regis United Neighbors) movie night returns to the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue, with a 7:30 p.m. screening of the 32-year-old classic on Monday, June 10. Admission is free; get more information at theorientaltheater.com.

Tuesday, June 11

Feel like being at one with nature without leaving town? Denver Botanic Gardens makes it easy on Tuesday, June 11, during a Guided Meditation Walk. As the name suggests, an instructor will lead participants through the gardens, 1007 York Street, so they can utilize the beautiful natural surroundings to heal the body, mind and spirit. The hour-long walk begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 for members and $18 for everyone else; find them and more info at botanicgardens.org.

Wednesday, June 12

Cartoons meet the salt of the earth in 68 Voces, 68 Corazones, a series of beautifully animated stories, each narrated in one of the many indigenous languages of Mexico. Eventually, the makers hope to animate one story for all 68 known language families, but for now, the Indigenous Film & Arts Festival, in partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico, will show 22 completed animations as part of its ongoing film series at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. See the screening and participate in an after-show discussion beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12; the presentation is free, but a $5 donation is suggested to help fund the annual film fest. Learn more at dmns.org.

click to enlarge "Ruckus Rodeo" kicks up some dust at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center. - COURTESY OF THE MODERN ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH
"Ruckus Rodeo" kicks up some dust at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center.
Courtesy of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Thursday, June 13

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Rezendes, who led the Boston Globe's Spotlight team in its investigation of the Catholic Church abuse coverup, will talk with KGNU's Maeve Conran in a special fundraiser for the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, which will return to Colorado this fall. What's certain to be an illuminating conversation about one of the great journalistic projects of our time will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the home of Keele Burgin, 1810 Hillside Road in Boulder; tickets are $100 in advance at eventbrite.com, $120 at the door.


Back in the wild and woolly 1970s, artist Red Grooms created what he called a “sculpto-pictorama” from craft materials, complete with larger-than-life bucking broncos and rodeo queens inspired by the Fort Worth Stock Show’s rodeo. The resulting pop-art installation, “Ruckus Rodeo,” commissioned by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for a 1976 exhibition, is still kicking up dust more than forty years later, and will be at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center through the end of 2019. The related show, which in modern terms would be called “immersive,” opens with a celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 13, that invites viewers to don their Western duds and two-step to live music to welcome the Grooms extravaganza to town. Future special events include a public chuckwagon dinner on June 29. Admission to the museum, 400 Quail Road in Longmont, is $5 to $8; learn more at longmontcolorado.gov.

It's a basic tenet of barbecue: Hurry up and wait. Whether you're babysitting the meat while it soaks up all those smoky flavors or sitting in a car on I-70, you've got to pay your dues for good ’cue. But the wait is worth it at our favorite barbecue festival, the Colorado BBQ Challenge, which starts with a concert (no ’cue) at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, and continues with the meaty main event at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 14, and again at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, in Frisco. Along Main Street of this mountain town, you'll find piles of pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage, alongside chef demos, bands and road races like the Bacon Burner 6K (in which both humans and porcine participants try to outrun their impending mortality). Admission is free, but you'll have to buy Hogbacks to cover your food; find out more at townoffrisco.com.

Pride Month festivities have an extra resonance in 2019 as activists mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a culture-shifting flashpoint for equality crusaders like the Gay Liberation Front and the LGBTQ community at large. Colorado's own Playground Ensemble joins the tribute to the legacy of Stonewall with Resist. Rebel. Rewrite., a presentation of four new chamber music pieces dedicated to fostering a personal connection with queer history. In addition to premiering works from Madelyn Byrne, Egemen Kesikli, Anthony R. Green and S. Wellington, the evening will include an art installation from Adri Norris of Afrotriangle Designs and beer and wine for sale. The band strikes up at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Invisible City, 1545 Julian Street. Tickets are $15 in advance at brownpapertickets.com, $20 at the door; visit playgroundensemble.org to learn more.

For country-music fans looking for a mega-dose of boot stomping, line dancing and singing along to giants of the genre, the nearly three-decade-old Country Jam music festival — which runs Thursday, June 13, to Sunday, June 16, on the Western Slope — will fill the bill. Little Big Town headlines Thursday night, Sam Hunt on Friday, Luke Bryan on Saturday, and the festival wraps with a performance by Alabama — but those are just the biggest of more than 25 acts. If you’re ready to chug a beer, party and camp out, tickets start at $129 for one day and $185 for the full weekend at Jam Ranch, 1065 Highway 6 & 50 in Mack, just outside Grand Junction. Learn more at countryjam.com.


click to enlarge Flip the switch at Lights Out Lights On. - COURTESY OF DREW AUSTIN
Flip the switch at Lights Out Lights On.
Courtesy of Drew Austin
Friday, June 14

Akihabara Arcade and Bar is hosting a tournament that will bring professional gamers from across the country to Westminster's new downtown for Brews n' Battles. Gamers of all levels will compete for prizes that include a trip for two to national tournament Community Effort Orlando in Florida; but the action should be fun (and free!) for spectators, too, especially since the bar stocks everything from a wide range of energy drinks to Colorado craft beers to Japanese whiskey and Colorado Sake Company Strawberry Mint Sake. The play begins at 6 p.m. Friday, June 14, and resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at Akihabara, 8901 Harlan Street in Westminster; register ($20 in advance, $30 at the door) at akihabaraarcade.com.

Light-based art is hot this summer in Denver (the Denver Art Museum’s The Light Show comes to mind), but Curtis Park artist/neighbors at the Temple and RedLine got a head start on the concept a year ago when they introduced Lights Out Lights On, a one-night collaboration celebrating art driven by light and new media. They’ll light up the neighborhood again this year on Friday, June 14, from 7 to 11 p.m. at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, with bright, shiny work by thirty artists, curated by Drew Austin, Ashley Frazier and Michael F. Sperandeo, a team that represents both organizations. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested to help finance the exhibition; learn more and RSVP at eventbrite.com.

While there won't be a bar in sight, music will flow freely at Recovery Unplugged Denver's Sober Open Mic, a free community gathering at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the Guild, 3435 South Inca Street, Suite C, in Englewood. You can sit back and listen to the acts, jump up and show off your dance moves, or even perform for the crowd (get there by 6:30 p.m. to sign up). For information about becoming a featured artist, email [email protected], and learn more about the program at recoveryunplugged.com.

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