Readers gearing up for another temperate weekend in the Mile High City may lament being priced out of some of the city's costlier entertainment, but that doesn't mean they can't experience the city's abundance of wonders. Indeed, enjoying concerts, comedy shows and charming festivals needn't break the bank: Anyone can attend any of the ten events listed below for less than ten American dollars (save for one worthy and negligibly more expensive option). Enjoy princely delights on a pauper's budget: Keep reading for the ten best cheap events in Denver, Boulder and Arvada this weekend — including seven freebies.
First Friday Art Walk
Friday, April 6, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Art District on Santa Fe
An artsy tradition held dear by many Denverites, the First Friday Art Walk in the Art District on Santa Fe remains one of the best ways to keep abreast of the city's thriving cultural scene. Galleries open their doors to the public, food trucks abound, and the mood is festive, whatever the weather. With more than 100 participating galleries, shops and restaurants, you could return to the First Friday Art Walk every month and still miss out on something worthy each time. Find more information on the Art District on Santa Fe's Facebook events page.
Pussy Bros. Comedy RoomRoom Finale
Friday, April 6, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom
After leading the way with one of the Comedy RoomRoom's most popular shows, local standup supergroup the Pussy Bros. (Janae Burris, Rachel Weeks and Christie Buchele) are moving their monthly showcase to Oskar Blues' Black Buzzard — but not before bidding a fond farewell to the stage where their collective first came to fruition. Seizing upon the newer venue's open calendar and larger seating capacity, the Bros. have planted their feline-adorned flag on Black Buzzard's subterranean stage, hosting weekly showcases, open mics and theme shows in what Westword recently declared Denver's Best New Comedy Venue. The departure marks a new stage in evolution for both the Bros. and the RoomRoom itself, as well as a reminder that constant reinvention is what makes Denver's comedy scene thrive. Celebrate Burris, Buchele and Weeks's grand finale with a lineup of fan-favorite comics, including Cody Spyker, Steve Vanderploeg, Lila Bear, Danny Felts and more. The show also includes a heartfelt tribute to the Pussy Bros. dearly missed co-founder, Jordan Wieleba. Visit the Comedy RoomRoom's Facebook events page to learn more.
Opera Colorado's Young Artists: Live Performance
Saturday, April 7, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Cherry Creek Shopping Center
While malls are typically regarded as obsolete monuments to mindless consumerism, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center is getting a heaping helping of high culture courtesy of Opera Colorado's Young Artists. Get a sneak peek at Opera Colorado's season-concluding production of Guiseppe Verdi's Shakespeare-inspired comedy Falstaff, as the company's budding singers fill Cherry Creek's gleaming atrium with soaring harmonies. Guests can also enjoy an exclusive discount on Falstaff tickets at the event. Visit Opera Colorado's Facebook events page for more details.
Remembering Rocky Flats: A Live Podcast Presentation
Saturday, April 7, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Denver Public Library Central Branch
Over the course of three seasons, the Changing Denver podcast's Paul Koralyi has explored the evolution of the Mile High City one neighborhood, landmark or personage at a time, but his latest venture covers a particularly fascinating — and contentious — chapter of local history: the story of the decommissioned nuclear weapons production plant, Rocky Flats. The first episode premiered earlier this week, and Karolyi is offering listeners a sneak peek at the upcoming season at a panel discussion featuring journalist Len Ackland, oral historian Dorothy Ciarlo and museum director Murph Widdowfield. Held at Denver Public Library's Central branch —where Karolyi is currently the podcaster in residence — the discussion puts Rocky Flats's troubled history in context while searching for a path forward. Visit the Denver Library's events calendar to learn more.
Femme in Public
Saturday, April 7, 4 p.m.
While Westword typically tries to hew as closely to the penny-pinching parameters of these lists as possible, some events are worth adjusting our cutoff price by a few dollars. Femme in Public, a multi-layered presentation of poetry, comedy and performance art, is one such worthy exception. Gender-neutral performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon's intriguing performance interrogates a gender-stratified paradigm, asking each viewer to contemplate what feminine part of themselves they have to destroy in order to survive. In addition to the genre-blending presentation, Vaid-Menon will have copies of their latest collection — also called Femme in Public — available for sale. Admission is $13 via Buntport's Brown Paper Tickets page. Act quickly: The programmers added an additional 4 p.m. showing due to popular demand. The 7 p.m. show is already sold out.
17th Annual Arvada Kite Festival
Sunday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Stenger Soccer Complex
Get swept up in free fun on Sunday at the 17th Annual Arvada Kite Festival. Taking to the skies over the Stenger Soccer Complex from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., participants can bring their own kites or buy new ones from on-site vendors, or simply watch high-flying exhibitions from professional flyers. With shopping, face painting, live music and a range of food options, the Arvada Kite Festival soars to the highest heights of fun. Visit the Arvada Festivals events calendar for more information.
Sunday School for Atheists: What's Our Role in Permanent War?
Sunday, April 8, 11 a.m.
Proving that churches have no monopoly on Sunday morning consciousness, Warm Cookies of the Revolution's Sunday School for Atheists endeavors to find earthlier means of achieving peace on Earth and goodwill toward all mankind. The series continues with a reality-checking exploration of the citizenry's role in America's multi-fronted military misadventures in the Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan, the battleground of the United States' longest war effort in recent history. Join Kathy Kelly, award-winning anti-war activist and author of Break Every Chain: Unshackling Ourselves From Fears and Wars, for a harrowing and insightful discussion of her peace-seeking experiences in conflict-riddled nations like Yemen and Afghanistan, as well as America's own deeply troubling prison system, at a presentation that will inspire viewers to question how their complacency tacitly supports what appears to be an endless war. Admission is free, but the organizers suggest a $5 donation. Visit Warm Cookies of the Revolution's Facebook events page for more details.
Sunday, April 8, 1 to 4 p.m.
Supplement your child's science education — or brush up on your own — at Regis University's Science Sundays, a student-run family-friendly presentation of astronomy, chemistry, brain science, physics, psychology and biology. Guests can dabble in a chemistry lab, take a gander at the sun through a specialized telescope and receive a complimentary goodie bag while expanding their minds and feeding their curiosity. Admission is free; find more information on Regis University's Facebook events page.
Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival
Sunday, April 8, 1 to 5 p.m.
Pearl Street Mall
The free family-oriented fun continues this weekend at Boulder's whimsical Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival, a showcase of both the Pearl Street Mall's flower-speckled promenade and the city's playful spirit. Festivities include "pint-sized fairies and elves" frolicking among the 15,000 tulip bulbs whose blossoming heralds the arrival of a new season. Experience the colorful, fragrant and fantastical proceedings for yourself on Sunday, April 8, starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free; readers can find out more by visiting Downtown Boulder's Facebook events page.
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Music in the Galleries: La Pompe Jazz
Sunday, April 8, 2 p.m.
Clyfford Still Museum
Free with museum admission ($6 to $10)
Artistic disciplines unite in lovely harmony at the Clyfford Still Museum's Music in the Galleries series, which continues on Sunday, April 8, with an intimate concert from La Pompe Jazz, a handsomely vested local quartet with a penchant for juxtaposing Tin Pan Alley standards with distinctive original work. Drink in the museum's distinguished architecture and exclusive collection of Still's abstract-expressionist paintings. The performance is free with museum admission. Visit the Clyfford Still Museum box-office page to buy tickets, $6 to $10, and learn more.
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