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Seven Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week

Dinos come to Aurora this week.EXPAND
Dinos come to Aurora this week.
Jurassic Park
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In addition to new installments of the Biennial Denver portal and Mixed Taste today, this week you can roam freely around the world...without leaving the comfort of your couch. Explore Brazilian dance, party on the fringe, listen to some stories. And if you're willing to venture outside, you'll find dinosaurs on the plains of Aurora.

Here are seven of the best free events in and around town over the next five days:

Sans Souci Dance Festival
Through August 24
The seventeenth season of the Sans Souci Dance Festival is the second collaboration with Grupo Dançaberta (Campinas, SP, Brazil); there will be four virtual screenings and a series of lectures, workshops, discussions and more with a wide variety of contributing artists and experts in the field. All events are free, and all but one — a drive-in movie — are online. Find the full schedule at

Pictures on the Plains
Wednesday, August 12, doors open at 5 p.m.
Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 East Quincy Avenue
Watch Jurassic Park from a socially distanced pod on the grass (so bring your own blankets and lawn chairs). There's a pre-movie concert with Strings and the Box at 6:30 p.m.; the movie starts rolling at 8:30. Admission is free, but reservations are required at

Boulder Fringe Festival Opening Night Party
Wednesday, August 12, 7 p.m.

Celebrate the start of the sixteenth annual Boulder International Fringe Festival with an online party! The all-you-can-artist buffet includes one-minute shows, high-speed snippets and interviews with some of the artists who'll be performing at the fest, which runs through August 22. This live Zoom event is free, but you must register here.

Fourth Annual Rescue Runway
Wednesday, August 12, 7 p.m.

The Denver Animal Shelter's furry fashionista fundraiser is going virtual this year. Watch as shelter animals take center stage, strutting their stuff along with human escorts. Paula Haddock, host of Colorado's Best on Channel 2, will host the evening; while you watch, you can bid on silent auction items and even get a jump start on adopting a pet, since all of the animals on the runway will be available. Visit the Rescue Runway website to RSVP for the event, which is free to attend — but donations are definitely encouraged.

Community Conversations: Injustice, Race, and Rape
Thursday, August 13, 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Moving to End Sexual Assault will bring together a panel of local experts to discuss how ending sexual violence also means confronting racism and injustice. The lineup includes Saoirse Maloney, boardmember on the Trans Steering and Events Committee of OutBoulder County; Derek McCoy, Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment’s Prevention Director; Beatriz Sanchez, creator on the Crown Institute’s Mind Body Voice Youth Team; and Annika Spilde, member of Boulder Valley School District’s Youth Advocating for Change. Register for this free virtual event here.

Lost and Found Season Launch
Thursday, August 13, at 8 p.m., and Friday, August 14, at 8 p.m.

The Playground Ensemble launches its 2020-’21 season with two concerts featuring four unique works for string quartet. Conceived in the physically distant culture of COVID-19, the program will be live-streamed in two installments, in collaboration with Mighty Fine Productions. "Lost," on August 13, features Gemma Peacocke's "Erasure" and String Quartet No. 3 "Leaves of an unwritten diary," by Krzysztof Penderecki. August 14's "Found" includes String Quartet No. 2 "Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye," by Don Byron, and "Quijotadas," by Gabriela Lena Frank. Watch on YouTube or Facebook; the show is free, but donations will go to the Justice for Raverro campaign.

Stories on Stage 20th Anniversary Party
Friday, August 14, 7 p.m.

Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Stories on Stage, hear stories from your favorite actors (including GerRee Hinshaw), and be there when the next season of this Boulder tradition is revealed. This virtual event is free; the first fifty to sign up will be entered into a door-prize drawing. Register at

Know of a great event in or around Denver? Send information to

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.