Ten Things to Do in Denver This Weekend (All Free!)

Cherry Creek Arts Festival runs July 5 through 7.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival runs July 5 through 7. Danielle Lirette

click to enlarge Cherry Creek Arts Festival runs July 5 through 7. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Cherry Creek Arts Festival runs July 5 through 7.
Danielle Lirette
Did your wallet explode over the Fourth of July? Not to worry: The days ahead hold plenty of fun that won't cost you a cent. You can look at art, listen to poetry, watch Jaws or run...for a few hundred yards, at least. Keep reading for ten ways to celebrate the land of the brave and home of the free this weekend:

click to enlarge Food is art, too. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Food is art, too.
Danielle Lirette
Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival is back for a 29th year, transforming the streets of Cherry Creek into an outdoor gallery showing the work of almost 300 artists, both local and national; while most are visual, performance and musical artists will be on hand, too. And, yes, there will be culinary artists selling their fare, too. Admission to the festival is free, as is parking at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. For more details, visit the Cherry Creek Arts Festival website.

click to enlarge Immerse yourself in art this Friday. - GLENN LITTLE II
Immerse yourself in art this Friday.
Glenn Little II
Cymatic Showdown
Friday, July 5, 11:11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Headspace
250 Broadway

Start your First Friday festivities at Headspace, a clothing store offering art and live music. Spiritual electronic beats will be provided by Wei-Chi Field, Quantum Dub artist Spaceship Earth will play an interactive set, and JakeWalker will add his unique sound to the mix. Mix and mingle with all kinds of artists; since the event is free, you can use the cash you've saved to buy a new piece of art. For details, go to the Cymatic Showdown event page.

The Secret Recipe Showcase
Friday, July 5, 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
Colorado is overflowing with talent, and this Mutiny Information Cafe showcase will be filled with magic displays, rap battles, poetry, comedy, an all-element hip-hop jam, and a lot of live music. Admission is free; for a list of everyone involved, visit the Facebook Event Page.

Shark Rodeo
Saturday, July 6, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Declaration Brewing Company
Celebrate Saturday with a party at Declaration Brewing, which will offer food, music, games and, of course, plenty of beer on tap! Drink a few brews, then see if you can last eight seconds on the mechanical shark. At dusk, a screening of Jaws will conclude the shark-tastic evening. There's no cover to get into the party, but you'll pay for beer and food, and a ride on the shark will cost $5. For more details, visit the Shark Rodeo event page.

5th Anniversary Tiny Carnival Party
Saturday, July 6, noon to 11 p.m.
Baere Brewing
Baere Brewing is turning five and celebrating with a party you won't want to miss, complete with carnival games, and new and vintage beer in bottles and on tap. INDYINK will be printing T-shirts, and Migration Taco will be serving up vegan delights. As at every Baere anniversary party, July Jorts are highly encouraged! There's no cover; for updates on the party, visit the Tiny Carnival Party event page. 

click to enlarge Hydrate at Station 26 Brewing during a fun run this weekend. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Hydrate at Station 26 Brewing during a fun run this weekend.
Danielle Lirette
Run for the Cure 0.5k
Saturday, July 6, 2 to 6 p.m.
Station 26 Brewing Co

The decimal point in this fun run is important; it signifies the difference between a run that's over three miles long and one that's just over a quarter of a mile, designed for those who like beer and exercise, particularly at the same time. If that distance still sounds excessive, keep in mind that at 0.2 kilometers there will be a cold-brew and doughnut stop to fuel you for the last stretch. There's no entrance fee, but proceeds from beer purchases at the after-party will go to the Colorado Professional Fire Fighter's Foundation. And to help with refueling, Basic Kneads Pizza will roll in after the race ends.

First Saturday Poetry
Saturday, July 6, 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The First Saturday Poetry Series at BookBar recognizes poets of all backgrounds and writing styles. This month's edition will showcase Erica Hoffmeister, who hails from Southern California and writes about home and other real-life concepts, and Denver's Daniel Klawitter, whose work appeals to both kids and adults in the manner of Shel Silverstein. Admission is free; happy hour with half-off wine starts at 4:30 p.m., readings at 5:30.

click to enlarge Owner Steven Alix took a ride on the bull at last year's rodeo. - CALEB ROTH
Owner Steven Alix took a ride on the bull at last year's rodeo.
Caleb Roth
Gay Rodeo
Saturday, July 6, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
X Bar
Yeehaw! Grab your cowboy boots and ass-less chaps for the gay rodeo bash at X Bar. Come early for buy-one-get-one drinks during happy hour, which runs from 3 to 8 p.m. After you think you've have enough liquid courage, saddle up and see how long you can last on the mechanical bull, then grab your partner (or find one) and do-si-do around the dance floor. There's no cover (though you might want to consider some with those chaps.)

World Cup Watch Party
Sunday, July 7, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
The members of the USA women's team have played their hearts out, earning a place in the FIFA Women's World Cup finals. While it's a little late to head to France to cheer them on, Dick's Sporting Goods Park will be broadcasting the game on the stadium scoreboard. Gates will open at 8:30 a.m., so you can buy some snacks and still find a seat by the first kick at 9 a.m. USA! USA!

The Great Phil Family Reunion
Sunday, July 7, noon to 11 p.m.
Civic Center Park

Summer Jam at Watkins Glen in 1973: the party that keeps on giving. It was bigger than Woodstock, which marks its fiftieth anniversary this year. Prep for that anniversary at the Great Phil Family Reunion, which honors Phil Bianchi, the man who helped bring the Denver Deadheads together, and will also pay tribute to the legends that took the stage at the iconic Watkins Glen festival. Colorado-born Shakedown Street will pay tribute to the Grateful Dead; music made famous by the Band will be played by Three Days in the Saddle, with special guest Bill McKay of Leftover Salmon. Meanwhile, the Allman Brothers Band will be honored by Mountain Jam — a Tribute to the Allman Brothers. The concert is free, but registration is required.

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Zoe Yabrove is a Denver native with an undergraduate degree in creative writing and a master’s in special education. She is a teacher in Denver Public Schools and contributes to Westword to get her writing fix.
Contact: Zoe Yabrove