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Six Things to Do for Free in Denver This Weekend

No entrance fee at Rocky Mountain National Park on April 17.
No entrance fee at Rocky Mountain National Park on April 17.
National Parks Service
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Have some free time this weekend? As COVID restrictions stretch into a second year, most cultural organizations continue to offer their events — whether films, concerts or lectures — in online versions, making it easier than ever to find entertaining, enlightening activities. But if you're ready to get outside and don't mind the chill, national parks are all free on Saturday, April 17.

Here are six other free events to fill that free time:

XicanIndie Film Fest XXIII
Saturday, April 17, online

Su Teatro’s XicanIndie, now in its 23rd year, makes a big deal out of being small, and this year the fest is all online with a largely open schedule, allowing viewers to choose when to watch most of the films and accompanying filmmaker and panel discussions. There are a few time-specific events; see the full schedule and access the free films here.

2021 Corazón de Trinidad Poetry Festival
Saturday, April 17, 1 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m.; all sessions online

Trinidad takes its designation as a Colorado Creative District too seriously to pass on its third annual poetry festival because of pandemic fears. Instead, the three-day fest will go down online via Zoom, where people all over the state — and from around the world — can tune in to see our regional poets, from winners of a local K-12 writing contest and the youth poets of Denver’s Art From Ashes to a slew of poet laureates, with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Art Goodtimes from the Western Slope, Albuquerque’s Jessica Helen Lopez, and Bobby LeFebre representing for all of Colorado. Find a complete schedule, including workshops, and register here.

Opera Colorado: April in Paris
Through April 29, online

Do you remember the great performances on The Ed Sullivan Show? Opera Colorado offers a nostalgic tour back to the golden age of television with April in Paris, a television-style digital production of three episodes celebrating all things French. The one-woman production stars mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook as she transforms into Julia Child for Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit!, into a cabaret singer for a performance of delightful French songs, and more surprises. It's free; create an Opera Colorado account and register here.

International Eco Ethics Summit
Saturday, April 16, 8:30 to 10 a.m., online

Learn about climate action and our role in it during this inaugural summit, organized by ten-year-old Madhvi Chittoor. The Zoom is free; register here.

Hummingbird’s Grandchildren
Saturday, April 17, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., online

To mark the May release of the EP Hummingbird’s Grandchildren, by Denver Chicana composer/saxophonist Asia Fajardo-Diamond, which was inspired by her grandmother, Esther Lopez Dussart Fajardo, this discussion will focus on how music can create a bridge of understanding and compassion. Yuzo Nieto, co-founder and chief executive of the Radical Arts Academy of Denver, will host; there will also be a virtual open mic for community members to share music. The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, Colorado Folk Arts Council and MSU Denver Chicana/o Studies Journey Through Our Heritage are presenting this free virtual workshop designed to foster inclusive communities with music. Find out more and sign up here.

Palmer Divide Ranch Trail: CannaVenture Hike
Sunday, April 18, 2 to 6 p.m.

You have a "right to hike high," says CannaVenture. John the group for a 4.4-mile hike along the Palmer Divide Ranch Trail. "If you’re in town and looking for an event that caters to cannabis, hemp, and alternative lifestyles while actively enjoying the outdoors, make sure to add this hike to your calendars," urges Cannaventure. This is strictly 21+, and BYOC. Sign up here.

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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