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Eight Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week

The weather report looks bright for Friday's RiNo Bazaar.
The weather report looks bright for Friday's RiNo Bazaar.
Evan Semon
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Have free time this weekend? There's a wealth of free activities over the next two days, including celebrations and events connected with Colorado Public Lands Day on May 15.

Keep reading for more free things to do in Denver, both in person and online.

25th Annual Lamar Days Rod Run
Saturday, May 15, starting at 8 a.m.
Willow Creek Park, Lamar

Road trip! The southeastern Colorado town of Lamar is hosting its 25th annual Lamar Days Rod Run. The car show kicks off at 8 a.m., followed by the Lamar Day parade through downtown at 10 a.m. This year's theme: “The Spirit of Country Comes Alive.” The fun continues to an as-yet-undetermined time, and admission is free; learn more here.

Sloan's Lake Bazaar
Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1611 Raleigh Street

The Denver Bazaar is back in full force this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the first Sloan's Lake Bazaar of the season will highlight seventy makers as well as ten fashion vendors, along with food trucks and live entertainment. Admission is free to any and all (unlimited drink options are available), and dogs are welcome. Find out more here.

More Than an Interstate: Inside Colorado's Largest Transportation Project
Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Northeast Corner of 46th Avenue and Brighton Boulevard

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Central 70 Project, in partnership with Kiewit Meridiam Partners and other local sponsors, is hosting this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition that will feature 25 stations chronologically installed throughout the lowered section of I-70, between Brighton Boulevard and Clayton Street, offering a look at the history of Colorado and the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, the origins of the interstate system and the need for the Central 70 Project. You'll also be able to walk more than a half-mile along the new lanes of I-70 and see how the crew has worked around the viaduct before the Mile High Shift, when all six lanes of I-70 traffic will move off of the viaduct and into the lowered section of the highway. It's free, but registration is required here.

La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District Community Meeting
Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m., online

La Alma Lincoln Park is one of Denver's oldest residential neighborhoods, and now it could become the city's second historic cultural district. Join a city-sponsored Zoom that will discuss the proposed designation and share the importance of this part of the city. Find out more here.

Boulder Creek Fest Summer Sundays Marketplace
Sundays, May 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Boulder Bandshell, Central Park, 1212 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder

The Boulder Creek Festival returns this year, but not at its regularly scheduled time over Memorial Day weekend. Instead, the fest is postponed until mid-July, but in the meantime, organizers are hosting the Boulder Creek Festival Summer Sundays Marketplace, a free, weekly placeholder at the Boulder Bandshell with just enough vendors, food and live music to whet appetites for the big event. Find details here.

Larimer Square Block Party
Sunday, May 16, 1 to 4 p.m.
Larimer Square

This free block party with live music and complimentary caricature art was postponed last week because of rain, but it's back on for Sunday, with live performances by A Girl Named Sethe at 12:30 p.m. and Dotsero at 1:30 p.m. Grab a seat (and a meal) on a restaurant patio or bring a lawn chair. Find out more here.

Adrian Miller, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue
Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m., online

Want to know more about African-American cooking? Look no further than Adrian Miller, Denver’s Best Food Ambassador, who's followed up his books on soul food and black chefs in the White House with Black Smoke, a paean to the story of barbecue in this country in all its variety, packed with 22 recipes to try yourself. The Tattered Cover will stream a live book talk with Miller via Zoom; if you miss the live event (sign up here; it's free, but a book will cost you $34), wait two days to tune in to the Tattered Cover’s YouTube channel archive.

Eight Things to Do for Free in Denver This WeekEXPAND
Aurora History Museum

The Rise of the Aurora Suburb During the Cold War
Opening May 11 through April 2022
Aurora History Museum, 15051 East Alameda Parkway

The presence of military centers kept Aurora bustling after World War II, when the town transitioned from a small agricultural community to a bustling suburb. Between 1940 and 1960, Aurora’s population grew more than tenfold; that expansion and Aurora's new economic prosperity are documented in a new exhibit. “In this exhibition, we provide local stories of Aurora residents’ experiences during the Cold War to enrich our understanding of this great period of the city’s growth, while expanding on what was happening here when the nation was preparing for the threat of a potential global nuclear holocaust," explains T. Scott Williams, director of the Aurora History Museum & Historic Sites. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; admission is always free. Find out more at auroramuseum.org.

Know of a great free event around town? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to editorial@westword.com.

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