This weekend, bushels and bouquets of entertainment await Westword readers. Green thumbs, guitar goddesses and gamers alike can enjoy events geared toward their unique interests, and concert-goers are spoiled by choice. Better yet, each of the following ten events charges ten dollars or less for admission (fine print notwithstanding). Don't let Daylight Savings grogginess keep you down on the Ides of March and beyond; keep reading for the best free and cheap events in the Denver area this weekend.
Here This Wreckage Salvage Untitled Sea
Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m.
Counterpath will present a free evening of dance, highlighted by K.J. Holmes, a Brooklyn-based artist/actor/singer/teacher who'll perform "Here This Wreckage Salvage Untitled Sea." Opening the evening will be performances by Denver-based dancer Peg Posnick and writer/performance artist Elana Friedland. Counterpath is located at 7935 East 14th Avenue.
CU Chamber Orchestra
Thursday, March 15, 7:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall
Comprising members from the University of Colorado's esteemed Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra highlights composers' smaller works, showcasing fine musicianship in more intimate settings. One of many surprisingly affordable — or in this case, free — classical-music concerts offered by CU's music program is Thursday's Chamber Orchestra, which combines new and old compositions for a sumptuous buffet of tuneful treats. The program begins with the Romantic swells of Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Coriolan Overture" before moving forward in time with modernist composer Charles Ives's "The Unanswered Question" and CU Professor Daniel Kellogg's "Mozart's Hymn" and finally bookending back to the classical period with Beethoven's mentor, Joseph Haydn, whose Drumroll Symphony No. 103 in E-flat makes for a stirring conclusion. Visit the CU Presents events calendar to learn more or watch a live stream of the concert.
Treefort Kickoff Show
Thursday, March 15, 8 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Denver bands are well represented at the upcoming Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho, and the folks at local radio station 105.5: the Colorado Sound, are celebrating with a sendoff party at Syntax Physic Opera. Join the indie-folk rockers in Edison, dream-popsters Tyto Alba and celebrated local songstress Esmé Patterson for an evening of music, dance and Colorado pride. Visit the Treefort Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $10, and learn more.
Paradigms: Crystal Wagner at the Crown Collection
Friday, March 16, 6 p.m.
The Crown Collection
An art installation unlike any other, Crystal Wagner's Paradigms transforms the Crown Collection Gallery into an otherworldly landscape festooned with lush, organic forms. Regarded in the art and design worlds for her massive site-specific installations, Wagner recently created a large-scale piece for the Flaming Lips. In addition to exploring the pop-up installation, guests can transform their own homes with treasures from the Crown Collection's fine array of more portable art. Admission is free. Visit the Crown Collection's Facebook events page for more details.
Colorado Vibes Vol. 2
Friday, March 16, 7 p.m. to midnight
Spectra Art Space
Though it sounds like the name of a stoner-friendly mixtape, Colorado Vibes Vol. 2 is the triumphant return of Spectra Art Space's "locally grown art experience." Enjoy music, art, fashion and cuisine from Colorado creators as each corner of Spectra's stages, galleries and even back yard burst with artsy activity. Though the exhibit will be on display for a month, the opening-night festivities are not to be missed. Admission is free; visit Spectra Art Space's Eventbrite page to register and learn more.
Seicento Baroque Ensemble: Mad Madrigals
March 16 and 17, showtimes vary
$9 to $25
A precursor to the opera, madrigals are a series of tuneful vignettes that combine to tell a full story. Colorado's Seicento Baroque Ensemble is paying tribute to the half-forgotten form with a trio of concerts at church venues all over the Front Range (including Denver's Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, Boulder's First United Methodist Church, and Longmont's First Evangelical Lutheran Church). With a program featuring Adriano Banchieri’s Contrappunto Bestiale and assorted Madrigals Continuo (accompanied by period-appropriate lute and harpsichord), Mad Madrigals demonstrates why these proto-operas deserve to be remembered. Head over to the Seicento Baroque Ensemble's Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $9 to $25, and find more details.
The Beautiful Junk Sale
March 16 and 17, hours vary
Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Vintage fashionistas, kitsch collectors, antique hounds and hoarders of every stripe, rejoice — for the Beautiful Junk Sale returns to Jefferson County Fairgrounds' Exhibit Hall for St. Paddy's Day weekend. In addition to sifting through 10,500 square feet worth of yesteryear treasures, shoppers can rest easy knowing their purchase goes toward the benefit of the Action Center. General admission is $4, but especially eager bargain-hunters can pay $30 for early-bird access starting at 7 a.m. on Friday. Otherwise, the sale runs from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Visit the Action Center's Facebook events page for more details.
Denver Orchid Society Show and Sale
March 17 and 18, 10 a.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens
$9 to $12.50
We're not Orchid-ding you: The Denver Orchid Society Show and Sale offers hours and hours of flower power to local horticulturalists. Featuring growers from all over the Rocky Mountain region, the weekend will culminate in awards for the "Best Orchids in Show" from the American Orchid Society. In addition to the official festivities, budding green thumbs can consult orchid care experts to see which flowers best suit the region's unique climate conditions, as well as tips for proper maintenance. This event is free with museum admission. Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens' box-office page to buy passes, $9 to $12.50, and learn more.
Girls Rock! Screening with Automatic Iris and Olive Party
Sunday, March 18, 3 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake
Nipping the "dudes-only" paradigm of rock and roll in the proverbial bud, Girls Rock music camps encourage aspiring musicians ages eight to eighteen to hone their craft in a supportive, self-consciousness-free environment. Filmmakers Arne Johnson and Shane King chronicled the progress of these burgeoning guitar goddesses in their documentary Girls Rock! Claim Your Voice, and Alamo Drafthouse is teaming up with Girls Rock Denver for a special fundraiser screening. After the movie, guests can join a discussion in Alamo's Barfly lounge, followed by a live concert from Automatic Iris and Olive Party. Admission is free at the door, and pre-sale tickets are available with a donation to Girls Rock Denver. Find more information on the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake box office page.
Street Fighter II Tournament
Wednesday, March 21, 7 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
$5 entry fee
The jokes will fly as fast as the hadoukens as Jay Gillespie, Roger Norquist and Jeremy Pysher return to Mutiny Information Cafe for another Video Games livestream. Presented by Sexpot Comedy, March's tournament pits pixel against pixel in Capcom's outlandish Street Fighter II, among the first arcade-style crawlers to be adapted for console play. In addition to glory on the digital battlefield, players are also eligible to win fabulous prizes, including a $25 Mutiny gift card. Select your champion and vie for the title starting at 7 p.m.; each contestant pays a $5 buy-in. Find more details on Video Games' Facebook events page. Get ready...fight!
To be considered for Ten for $10, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.