While barbecues, fireworks and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival dominate the entertainment calendar for the next few days, local musicians and comedians haven't taken the holiday off....and fun will continue to explode on First Friday. Keep reading for the five best free events in Denver this week, and Happy Independence Day.
Stars & Stripes Express Fest
Tuesday, July 3, 1 to 10 p.m.
Don your most patriotic apparel and boogie to the sounds of yesteryear at the fourth annual Stars & Stripes Express Fest, which returns to Denver's Union Station for a rollicking Independence Day Eve. Gather with a crowd of red, white and blue-clad revelers on the Terminal Bar's extended patio and party through the decades with hits from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond. Representatives from Boulder's own Avery Brewing Company will be on hand with prize giveaways and special beer tappings so guests will never be too far from a cold one. The performance lineup includes the Denver Dolls, Boomers, New Sensation and Phat Daddy. Visit Union Station's Facebook events page for more details.
Red, White & You
Tuesday, July 3, 5 to 10 p.m.
Another Fourth of July Eve-stravaganza, Red White & You is a good way get a head start on the festivities. With a kid-friendly play area, food vendors, community booths and wine or beer gardens for the adults, revelers of every generation can get in on the fun. This year, the Foothills Park & Recreation District is sponsoring a new Performing Arts Pavilion that showcases performers from the organization's various programs and welcomes local favorites the Nacho Men to headline the main event. Of course, no Independence Day Celebration is complete without fireworks, and guests will be able to view this year's display from nearly anywhere in Littleton's Clement Park. Visit the Foothills Park & Recreation District's events calendar to learn more.
Ratio Comedy Battle Royale: Tournament of Champions
Tuesday, July 3, 8 to 10 p.m.
Ratio Comedy's Battle Royale shows challenge comedians to generate fresh material from random prompts, a brain-teasing and crowd-pleasing competition that rewards Denver comedy's quickest wits. Over the past year, co-hosts and curators Andrew Bueno and Ian Douglas Terry have crowned a dozen winners, and now the time has come to seek a champion among champions. Join local comics Tairee Dillard, Olivia Schyling, Ben Duncan, Jose Macall and more for a riff-driven giggle gauntlet. Find more details on Ratio Comedy's Facebook events page.
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Longmont Symphony Orchestra July 4th Concert In the Park
Wednesday, July 4, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Celebrate the Fourth of July with the stirring sounds of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, which returns to Longmont's Thompson Park for its annual Concert in the Park, an evening dedicated to bombastic compositions and family fun. The free performance, held in honor of military service members' sacrifices for their country, presents a program of patriotic classics presented by the Longmont Youth Symphony, the Longmont Chorale and the Longmont Symphony (under the guidance of music director Elliot Moore) that culminates in a rousing rendition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture — complete with cannons. The festivities also include the annual picnic contest, presided over by judges from the Longmont Association of Realtors. Visit the Longmont Symphony Orchestra's events calendar to learn more.
Open Music Sessions Featuring YaSi
Friday, July 6, 7 to 10 p.m.
Denver Open Media
Denver Open Media's Open Music Sessions concert series returns to liven up First Friday Festivities with a performance from one of the local music scene's most unique voices. YaSi, a genre-blending phenom whose unique "sing-hop" sounds are inflected with elements of her Persian heritage, headlines an evening of song, comedy, pizza and community-building. Other performers include local comics Noah Reynolds, Rebecca Robinson and Roger Norquist. Guests can snack on complimentary Sexy Pizza while getting ready to giggle and wiggle their way into the weekend. Visit Denver Open Media's Facebook events page for more details.