We're almost three weeks into a dispiritingly snow-barren December, but Denver's creative community has plenty of gifts for bored locals to unwrap anyway. From a concert at a "Five Star Dive Bar" to a pair of comedy showcases and a holiday craft market (held at a different dive bar), these free events will cover your entertainment needs until the weekend. In addition to the four frivolities mentioned above, we've also included a protest march in favor of net neutrality, which is a big part of what makes lists like these possible.
Calamity Christmas Party
9 p.m. Tuesday, December 19
Whether you're staving off pangs of holiday homesickness or seeking a brief respite from familial obligations, there's no denying the scuzzy charm of a dive bar during the holiday season. El Charrito's Calamity Christmas Party (which also coincides with the last night of Hanukkah) is an ideal opportunity for such an escape. Knock back a margarita or two while enjoying top-notch local musical talent as Jay Gillespie, Broke Down Nuns and headlining act Calamity Champs take to the main stage. And with free admission, guests can enjoy Fezziwig festivities on a Cratchit budget. Visit the Calamity Christmas Facebook events page to learn more.
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March for a Free and Open Internet
5 p.m. Wednesday, December 20
Colorado State Capitol
In defiance of public opinion, expert analysis and basic decency, the Federal Communications Commission (under the smug guidance of slappable chairman Ajit Pai) voted to repeal net neutrality rules last week. Gather with hordes of other dissatisfied Internet users and let state lawmakers know that voters won't suffer this outrage quietly. The march begins at Union Station at 5 p.m., proceeds along the 16th Street Mall, and culminates at the steps of the Colorado State Capitol building. Marchers will be accompanied by a brass band. If you support a free and open Internet, here's a chance to vote with your feet. Find more details on the march's Facebook page.
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Laugh Night on Earth
8 p.m. Wednesday, December 20
While Austin-based franchise Alamo Drafthouse has fostered relationships with local comics through the Mile High Movie Roast series, the staff has also curated a fine entertainment calendar at Barfly, an inviting lounge nestled into the bustling new theater. The Laugh Night on Earth, the latest effort from perpetually busy comedian Zac Maas, is back for another giggle gauntlet showcasing local chuckle-smiths Jose Macall and Timmi Lasley opening for headliner John Tole. With custom cocktails and a rotating roster of 32 different Colorado brews on tap, it's an ideal space to unwind with a drink after a movie or simply catch a free show. Unlike at most local comedy events, the jokes start flying promptly at 8 p.m., so organizers recommend arriving early to secure seats. Visit the Laugh Night on Earth Facebook page to learn more.
The Doom Room
8 p.m. Wednesday, December 20
Ratio Comedy staple the Doom Room calls upon comedians to be funny without the safety net of their joke books as they riff on a random assortment of topics that pop up on the nearby screen of doom, all while being heckled by the Darth Vader-esque voice of doom (Nick Gossert of Lucha Libre & Laughs). It's a steep challenge, and some of the performers ride a wave of laughter from the beery crowd while others crumble by the second prompt. For a performer, the show is a nerve-racking trial by fire, but for audiences who love a healthy dollop of schadenfreude with their jokes, there's no better show in town. Hosted by Ratio Comedy regulars Andrew Bueno and Ian Douglas Terry, the showcase on Wednesday, December 20, features local doomsayers Zac Larson, Sarah Hake, Roger Haak, Zach Welch, Amy Gramatzki and Mitch Jones. For more information, look no further than the Doom Room's Facebook events page.
Crafts and Drafts Holiday Party
7 p.m. Thursday, December 21
3 Kings Tavern
Readers in need of a quirky last-minute gift need look no further than the Crafts and Drafts Holiday Party at 3 Kings Tavern. Browse the impromptu shelves for vintage goods, handmade art and jewelry while mixing, mingling and making merry. After stocking up on presents, guests can stick around for performances by Tokyo Rodeo, Johnny Friendly and Starjammer. Find more details on the Crafts and Drafts Facebook events page.