Free for All: The Five Best Free Events This Week

Celebrate Christmas Eve with song at a ceremony tonight at Saint John's Cathedral
Celebrate Christmas Eve with song at a ceremony tonight at Saint John's Cathedral Courtesy of Saint John's Cathedral
Merry Christmas Eve! Whether you're spending the holidays with family or frantically searching for any bar that's still open, Denver's entertainment calendar has plenty of gifts in store to keep your bells jingling all the way into the weekend. Here are the five best free events over the next few days, from sacred religious ceremonies to profane standup comedy shows.

Courtesy of Saint John's Cathedral
Christmas Eve at the Cathedral
Monday, December 24, 1, 3, 5, 8 and 11 p.m.
Saint John's Cathedral
Historians may dispute the actual birth date of Jesus, but no one can deny the charms of spending Christmas Eve with the Saint John's Cathedral choir. In retelling the story of the Nativity, each performance of the spiritual yet festive choral eucharist fills the cathedral's nave with heavenly voices. The early 1 and 3 p.m. services are family-friendly in nature — the church also offers an on-site nursery for children under five — and the 5 and 8 p.m. services include a hearty Christmas dinner with plenty of ham and egg nog provided by Carl Schmidt of the Capitol Hill Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn. The 11 p.m. edition is a more traditional midnight mass experience. Visit the Saint John's Cathedral Facebook events page to learn more.

Courtesy of Occidental
Very Harry Potter Christmas
Tuesday, December 25, and Wednesday, December 26, 6 p.m.

Occidental is undergoing a Hogwarts-ian makeover for a Very Harry Potter Christmas, a decidedly punk-rock spin on the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling. Consult the "Sorting Hat" cocktail menu for signature tipples fit for Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Slytherins and Hufflepuffs. Admission is free for anyone over the age of 21 (you'll pay for drinks, of course); cosplay and ugly Christmas sweaters are strongly encouraged. Visit Occidental's Facebook events page for more details.

click to enlarge Study Hall host Brad Galli. - ANDREW BRAY
Study Hall host Brad Galli.
Andrew Bray
Study Hall (A Comedy Show)
Wednesday, December 26, 8 p.m.
Call to Arms Brewing Company

Jokes are not born easily; they're forged over years in the crucible of failure. Luckily for local comics, an evening has emerged where they can nurture new material from the developmental stage into a workable part of their act. Hosted and curated by Brad Galli, Study Hall (A Comedy Show) returns with a lineup packed full of out-of-town guests, including Nicole Conlan, Andy Sell and Jordan Doll from Los Angeles, Be Casper from Chicago, Holly Perkins from Nashville, and Harris Alterman and Stu Melton from New York. Don't miss out on the only comedy show in Denver dedicated to new material. Treat yourself to some Boxing Day laughs for free; find more information on the Call to Arms Facebook events page.

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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham