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Eight Things to Do for Free in Denver This Weekend

You might notice some differences on Santa Fe Drive since the last First Friday.
You might notice some differences on Santa Fe Drive since the last First Friday.
Michael Emery Hecker
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Happy thirtieth anniversary to the Museo de las Americas! The celebration runs all week on Santa Fe Drive, which is the center of plenty of action these days. There's a lot more to do, too, with more farmers' and flea markets joining the lineup. And you can fish for free this weekend!

Keep reading for the best free events in and around Denver:

Museo de las Americas 30th Anniversary Week
Online art auction: Now through June 8
Tribute Film Streaming: June 5, 6 p.m., on YouTube and Facebook

The founders of Denver’s Museo de las Americas wrote up incorporation papers thirty years ago, and the rest is history. To celebrate the anniversary, the Museo is mounting a week-long online art auction, and on Saturday, a free virtual party and tribute video will tell the institution’s history through the eyes of past directors and friends of the Museo. To raise the bar a little higher, party patrons have the option to order a special $100 box pastelito meal for four by Xatrucho Food Concepts and a $30 curated cocktail kit by Exotico Tequila to pick up in advance to enjoy with the show...or there's also the possibility of joining a VIP watch party. Learn more here.

Rhino Week
Community Mural: Saturday, June 5, half-hour slots between noon and 3 p.m., free
Rhino Stampede Bar Crawl, Sunday, June 6, noon to 5 p.m., $30

The RiNo Art District, whose symbol is a rhino, is celebrating Rhino Week, collaborating with the Global Conservation Corps to raise awareness of wild animal conservation. Hear from conservationists over a beer at a panel discussion, see what’s happening in RiNo during a special First Friday Art Walk, and help artist Alexandrea Pangburn paint a mural. That's all free (donations accepted), but if you choose to discover RiNo’s bars and breweries on Sunday’s bar crawl, you’ll have to dish out $30. RSVP and get details here.

Free Fishing Weekend
Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is holding a free fishing weekend, when no licenses are needed to test the waters — from reservoirs, lakes and ponds to rivers and high-altitude streams. The state features nearly 9,000 miles of trout streams — 321 miles of which are designated Gold Medal waters — and over 1,300 angling locations, all managed for high-quality fishing. Find out more at cpw.state.co.us.

Barr Lake State Park BioBlitz
Saturday, June 5, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Meadowlark Pavilion, Barr Lake State Park, 13401 Picadilly Road, Brighton

Kids and adults with an interest in the flora and fauna of the natural world can do what comes naturally at Barr Lake’s BioBlitz event, which will create an inventory of all the living things found in a given space at a given time. Real naturalists will be there to guide you; you can also download an app, iNaturalist, and use it to record your findings. Participation in the BioBlitz is free, but a Colorado State Parks Pass is required at the gate. Find a full schedule here.

Urban Market
Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Skyline Park, 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe Street

The Urban Market returns to the 16th Street Mall, where it's appeared every year since 2005. This open-air marketplace includes booths with arts and crafts sold directly by the artist; there will also be food and a concert at noon. Find out more here.

Queer Author Expo 2021
Saturday, June 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Center on Colfax, 1301 East Colfax Avenue

The Center is hosting an outdoor exhibit space for LGBTQ+ authors in the parking lot; while exhibitors are paying a small fee for a space where they can display and sell their books, it's free to browse. The Center is also hosting a series of workshops for writers that will be livestreamed on social media, as well as two book discussions, one from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 4, and the other on Saturday after the expo. Find out more here.

Saturday Night Bazaar: Sloan's Lake
Saturday, June 5, 3 to 8 p.m.

1611 Raleigh Street
Shop, sip and mingle your way through thirty-plus local vendors offering everything from artisan food products and home goods to trendy fashions. There will also be pop-up bars, food trucks, live music and more. Admission is free (although there's a $30 option for an open bar from 3 to 5 p.m.) and dogs are welcome. Find out more here.

BETC Writers Group: The Bones of Tennessee
View Virtual Reading: Through June 7
Live Discussion on Zoom: Monday, June 7, 7 p.m.
RSVP for both online

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company continues to adapt to pandemic life: first with virtual creativity and, later this summer, by going on the road with the new BETC Theatre Truck. Then there's the BETC Writers Group series launched this spring, which supports new play development by showcasing local playwrights. A virtual staged reading of each play begins streaming each week on Thursday; on the following Monday, participants gather on Zoom for a live conversation with the playwright. This round, see John Ashton’s comedy The Bones of Tennessee and then tell him what you really think; learn more about the free event here.

Do you know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to editorial@westword.com.

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