It so happened one year that I found myself in the seaside town of Swansea, Wales, two weeks before Christmas. A friend of my good friend and traveling companion lived there, and he took it upon himself to show us around. One night he led us through a dark, smoky bar and up a staircase to a private holiday party. The banquet hall was fairly bursting with dancing townspeople, twirling to such classics as the Happy Days theme song, spun with zeal by a mustachioed DJ. My friend and I stood in the corner watching, pints in hand, completely out of place in our identical North Face fleeces.
A surly old man stumbled over.
"Who the fock'r you?" he inquired, spitting in my face.
"We're friends with so-and-so," I explained, pointing and smiling, trying my best to be friendly and not intrude.
"Fock," he sighed, exasperated. "Piss off."
In that moment, I realized I loved Wales.
And Wales loves lovers, as evidenced by St. Dwynwen's Day, an annual celebration of the Welsh patron saint of lovers. A local tribute to the Cambrian cupid takes place today at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2015 Glenarm Place. The free program features traditional music, love poems, folk dances, a mummers' play and a potluck dinner. And if that doesn't appeal to you, well, piss off.
For more information, call 303-786-8201. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
A benefit for the DAM offers a roomful of views.
When Baby Gangsta dropped the hit "Bling Bling" in the late '90s, he probably never thought the term would end up in the dictionary, let alone be the name of a fancy art-gallery party. But the design council for the Architecture, Design & Graphics department of the Denver Art Museum calls 'em like it sees 'em -- hence tonight's Bling Bling: Design After Dark, a fundraiser for the DAM's contemporary design collection. Beginning at 6 p.m., the Walnut Foundry, 3002 Walnut Street, will be filled with tableaux of various American design periods, including the Golden Age of Hollywood, featuring a Jean Harlow look-alike; a Punk, Rock and Shock Lounge, complete with a Camaro and psychedelic posters; and a contemporary silk-and-velvet "minimalist" lounge. There will be silent and live auctions, as well as enough food and cocktails to do the theme justice.
Tickets to the soiree are $35 to $100; the design council will also be selling off pieces of the rooms. For information or reservations, call 720-913-0046. -- Jerri Theil