Five fun ways to celebrate the summer solstice around Denver

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Bike Denver's Summer Solstice Ride Thursday, June 20, 5 p.m. It only happens once in a blue moon solstice: the park-to-park Summer Solstice Ride from BikeDenver and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Meet up with fellow cyclists at the MLK statute in City Park, then ride around town, stopping off at the Denver Botanic Gardens before parking at the Dos Chappell Bathhouse at Washington Park where the first 400 registrants will dine on Illegal Pete's burritos and slurp locally-crafted Avery Brewing ales. The first wave of riders takes off at 5:45 p.m. Register and download the 2013 route on the BikeDenver website. Bear Creek Lake Summer Solstice Celebration Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. Ring in midsummer on the eve of the Solstice surrounded by park naturalists who will teach you all about the wondrous night sky. At this event, you'll learn the basics of stargazing (and, if you're lucky, you'll spot a witch). The viewing starts at 7 p.m. at Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 West Morrison Road. Appropriate for all ages; $2 per person; park entrance fee will be waived. For information visit the Bear Creek Lake Park website or call 303-987-7000. Summer Solstice Art Party at Mirada Fine Art Gallery Friday, June 21, 7 p.m. Mirada Fine Art Gallery helps art enthusiasts enjoy the first official day of summer with a funky event featuring artists "at play" alongside live music (courtesy of local guitarist Branden Sipes) and refreshing summer beverages. Award-winning California artist Stephanie Paige, whose been featured in Luxe Magazine and the New York Times, will be painting her contemporary abstract work along with long-time favorite Christian Dore who will be creating his remarkable nature scenes. The event starts at 7 p.m. at Mirada, 5490 Parmalee Gulch Road in Indian Hills. For information visit the Miranda Fine Art's website or call 303-697-9006.

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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase