Things to Do

Free for All: The Five Best Free Events This Week

Step forward for civil rights at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade.
Step forward for civil rights at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade. Erin McCarley
Start your week at the 34th Annual MLK Day Marade, which kicks off Monday morning in Denver's City Park. A different sort of King tribute awaits at a special performance from the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble later this week; along the way, there's the usual array of free concerts and comedy shows that you've come to expect from Denver's creative community. Here are the five best:

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Erin McCarley
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Marade
Monday, January 21, 7:30 3 p.m.
City Park to Civic Center Park
Since it was launched in 1985, Denver's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade — a portmanteau of the words "march" and "parade" — has carried on proudly. While crowds start gathering at the "I Have A Dream Monument" in Denver's City Park as early as 7:30 a.m., the official ceremonies begin there at 9:30 a.m. Fifty-one years have elapsed since the civil-rights leader and champion of non-violent protest was assassinated, but his message remains a vital source of inspiration. If you can't make the Marade and subsequent ceremony in Civic Center Park, honor King's legacy of public service by bringing clothes, hygiene products and non-perishable goods to various shelters, food banks — an essential community resource during the nation's longest-ever government shutdown — and other nonprofit organizations. As at last year's Marade, marchers can expect cold temperatures and perhaps even a light dusting of snow, so dress accordingly.  Visit the events calendar for more information.

CU Faculty Tuesdays: 37 Preludes
Tuesday, January 22, 7:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall

The talented professors of the University of Colorado's College of Music move from the lecture hall into the concert hall at the Faculty Tuesdays concert series, which continues this week with a plethora of preludes.
Pianist and pedagogue David Korevaar draws attention to an overlooked composer with a rendition of Luigi Perrachio's 25 Preludi before launching into the impressionistic loveliness of Claude Debussy's Préludes, Book II at "37 Preludes." Admission is free, but seating is limited and tends to fill quickly. For more details, plus a live stream of the performance, visit the CU Presents events calendar.

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The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble also pays tribute to Dr. King
Kevin Dyer
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance: Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute
Wednesday, January 23, noon
Aurora Fox Arts Center
Denver's tributes to the honorable Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. extend well past the national holiday and range from somber memorials to vibrant bursts of motion, including a special mid-day performance from the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Presented in coordination with the Colorado Folk Arts Council, Metropolitan State University's Journey Through Our Heritage program and Grand Design, the recital draws from a range of Pan-African dance traditions to convey both the sociological struggle and rich cultural legacy of the African-American experience. Admission is free, but RSVPs are highly recommended (and required for parties of ten or more). Call 720-329-0869 or see the Colorado Folk Arts Council events calendar for details.

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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