Whether you're an indoor- or outdoor-lover, a literature-aficionado or a film geek, this weekend is packed with something for everyone -- from a screening of His Royal Badness's 1984 classic Purple Rain to free admission at National Parks. And everything in our roundup is under $10! For a full calendar of events, visit westword.com/calendar.
Grand Finale Model Railroad Open House at Union Station (Friday, free) Though the model railroad exhibits in the basement of Union Station will be closing until the station renovation is done, they're going out with one big open house tonight. Come appreciate these intricate models while you still can -- construction is putting the brakes on these tiny trains until 2014.
Innovative Women Writers in Publishing at CU Boulder Main Campus, Humanities 150 (Friday, free) CU's Creative Writing Association is always bringing interesting literary figures to town, and luckily, you don't have to be a CU student to get in on the fascinating discussions. This presentation will focus on innovative ladies in publishing, with a panel featuring Roxane Gay, Joyelle McSweeney and Diane Williams. Whether you're an aspiring writer or just an avid reader, this discussion should be great inspiration for anyone considering writing and publishing outside the mainstream narrative.
The Watching Hour this weekend will be a Francophile soiree, with this funny French secret agent comedy. Starring Jean Dujardin as agent OSS 117, the film romps through many wacky scenes, including one with a man-eating alligator. On Friday night, quirky Denver cuties b. sous will play their sugary, poppy blend of tunes in Henderson's Lounge to open the show.
Untitled: Cipher: Read My Pins at the Denver Art Museum (Friday, $10) This Untitled event is a great chance to view the fascinating Madeline Albright pin collection, all while engaging in fun interactive events. From music by Sauna and School Knights to a scavenger hunt and make your own pin station by Fresh City Life, there will be a fabulous array of entertainment options tonight.
History Colorado Center Grand Opening at the History Colorado Center (Saturday, $6-10) After many long months of construction, the History Colorado Center finally opens today with a lot of hoopla, music and fun activities, including recreations of a mine shaft, Bent's Fort and much more. Browse the new exhibits while surrounded by costumed cowboys and astronauts wandering around. Yay, history!
Purple Rain at the Deerpile (Saturday, free) Can we all agree that Purple Rain is the best movie ever? Watch Prince (back when he was actually called Prince!) star as The Kid, a brilliant but troubled musician, as he tries to make it and find love with a singer named Appollonia. Purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka at the screening (put on by Westword scribe Josiah Hesse) of this classic film tonight. Randa's Speakeasy will be providing popcorn and drinks.
Entanglement: Anne Waldman, Eleni Sikelianos, Ed Bowes at Counterpath (Saturday, free) Tonight is sure to be a treat at Counterpath with a screening of Ed Bowes's 2009 poem-film Entanglement, as well as readings by Eleni Sikelianos and legendary beat poet and Jack Kerouac School founder Anne Waldman. As always at Counterpath, it will be a night of experimental art and performance -- as well as a good chance to see Waldman, a living legend and influential poet.
Tinsel Town Tribute at Historic Grant Avenue (Saturday, $10) Okay, to get the $10 price you'll have to be a child or a senior, but we think the extra $5 added on for adults is totally worth it for this cool show and the great cause it supports. The Mile High Freedom Band will perform songs from the cinema, featuring music from Star Wars, Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany's and more. And beyond the dramatic, heart-swelling music, you can support this charitable organization that is committed to serving Denver's GLBT community.
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National Park Week (Friday-Sunday, free) Celebrate the outdoors by visiting one of Colorado's many beautiful national parks this weekend -- all for free! Whether you choose to visit a national park within a few hours of Denver (Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Rocky Mountain National Park or venture out to Mesa Verde or the Great Sand Dunes, this is a great opportunity to sight-see in Colorado without those pesky admission charges.
Swing Lesson and Dancing at the Mercury Cafe (Sunday, $9) No weekend is complete without a dance party, and every Sunday night the folks at the Merc offer a swing-dance lesson and then a dance party to the tunes of the David Booker Swingtet. Learn to dip and dance and show off your skills (and burn some calories) at this offbeat dance party.