Hawaii 5-0

Denver’s well-run Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, now in its ninth year, is still growing, and that’s good for us and all the thousands of people who flock there each year to taste the quality ethnic food, shop the vendor booths, take in the cultural performances and demonstrations and root for the intrepid dragon-boat teams who toil on the lake under the hot sun in their colorful racing boats. This year, the CDBF celebrates Hawaii’s 50th anniversary of statehood by focusing on Pacific island culture — in particular, with special exhibits of Hawaiian artifacts, surfboards, vintage Hawaiiana, outrigger canoes and other island-specific items, as well as a full day of Hawaiian performances on Sunday on the Explore Asia! stage.

“It’s a free event in a down economy, and our food vendors are typically — compared to those at other festivals — less expensive, with most dishes under $10,” notes spokeswoman Valerie Hamlin. “It’s a nice way to take the family and have a day out without breaking the bank.”

One caveat: For budgetary reasons, the fest has dropped shuttle service to and from Invesco Field, so you might want to green up and investigate alternative methods of transportation: RTD, bikes, foot power and carpools. And in addition to hosting monitored bike and scooter parking on site, the fest is partnering with various area venues to provide first-come, first-served alternative parking nearby for those willing to take a short hike.

Attend the fest on the east end of Sloan's Lake Park, 23rd Avenue and Stuart Street, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow; get more information at www.cdbf.org.
July 25-26, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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