Tips for Transplants: Rules for April

Pardon me, April: We were told there'd be cake and kazoos?
Pardon me, April: We were told there'd be cake and kazoos? Ellen Schauer at Flickr

April is the cruelest month, or so says the poet T.S. Eliot. But good ol’ T.S. never visited Denver in April, when it’s sunny and potentially snowy, where the wind is blowing in the warmth of the coming summer, and when people are inadvisably starting to wear Crocs, which go against all sense of fashion and decorum. (Actually, that last part is pretty cruel. Score one for the poet.)

So, yes, Denver, it’s time to shake the dust off those sneakers in the closet, stow away the parkas (at least for now), and enjoy that Cadbury egg commercial with the bunny tryouts that’s been on TV since 1982. It’s April, bitches! Here are ten things for newbies and oldies alike to remember.

click to enlarge Ignore this sign at your own peril. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
Ignore this sign at your own peril.
Teague Bohlen
1. Time to Move Your Car Again
Street sweeping starts again in April, so you’ll need to remember that one day out of the month where you can’t park where you normally park, or else you’ll get a ticket for parking in that spot you park in all the damn time, except this one day out of the month because it’s against the law. Makes total sense, right? Not at all frustrating or inevitable that you’ll be fined because your head is somewhere else one morning. But take it in stride and consider the occasional ticket a local tax for clean streets. You know, on top of the ones you already pay.

2. Take in the Sunrise Service at Red Rocks
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is always gorgeous, always worth the trip and always worth the parking hassles and the expense and the frankly exhausting hike up the stone steps. One of the great moments at Red Rocks happens every Easter, when the gates open up before dawn to allow patrons to access the facility for the non-denominational Sunrise Service that’s inspirational in just about any way you want it to be. And anticipation is high for this year, since last year it was snowed out. We’d advise getting there early, but that would probably mean, you know, Saturday.

click to enlarge If you can't wash your car, at least pose it dramatically in front of a snowy mountain. - GRANT.C AT FLICKR
If you can't wash your car, at least pose it dramatically in front of a snowy mountain.
Grant.C at Flickr
3. Get That Gunk Off Your Car
Granted, winter was sort of a letdown this season, and so you probably don’t have the layer of grime and road salt and various de-icing chemicals that could possibly eat through the wheel wells of your cars. April is the month where we traditionally have some lovely warm weather — and if you’re not already sick of that this year, get out and suds up the Subaru, Denver style.

4. Check Out DiNK
The Denver Independent Comic & Arts Expo is in its second year, and it just keeps getting weirder — and we mean that with love. It’s a celebration of sequential art — that’s comic books, but also graphic novels, zines, small-press pubs, and anything that someone could pour sweat and ink into and then bind it up with passion and hope. That’s what DiNK celebrates. You should, too, April 8 and 9 at the McNichols Building. Bring your pens and your dreams.

click to enlarge I don't care if I never get back...until Monday.  I work Monday. - JON HURD AT FLICKR
I don't care if I never get back...until Monday. I work Monday.
Jon Hurd at Flickr
5. Observe Opening Day and Keep It Holy
Since the Rockies have locked up Coors Field as its home for the next few decades, it now makes even more sense to take yourself out to the ball game, meet up with some friends for a Friday (April 7) full of day drinking, home-team cheering, and a small amount of actual baseball watching. Besides…in seasons past, opening day was the statistical high point for the team. Hope springs eternal, right?

Keep reading for more tips for April.

click to enlarge Revenge of the Lawn. - SHANE ADAMS AT FLICKR
Revenge of the Lawn.
Shane Adams at Flickr
6. Start Caring About Grass Again
Lawns in Colorado are a tricky thing: We live in the high desert, of course, so front yards are not necessarily the lush expanses one might find in muggier climes. We have to water, and fuss, and re-seed, and water some more. (Or xeriscape. Or just say fuck it and zeroscape.)

7. 4/20
Speaking of grass…it’s debatable whether or not we really need a 4/20 celebration anymore. On the one hand, the battle is sort of won for Colorado, isn’t it? Sure, there are skirmishes to fight and a looming confrontation with the feds that potentially threatens our marijuana laws. On the other hand, well, there’s a lot to both celebrate and defend, isn’t there? Either way, 4/20 will be a hazy day in spring, at least down at the State Capitol. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

click to enlarge Everyfring is fine now. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
Everyfring is fine now.
Teague Bohlen
8. Cherry Cricket Reopens for Biz (and Burgers)
The iconic Cherry Creek burger joint makes its triumphant return on April 11, with festivities planned throughout the week to celebrate. On Tuesday, April 11, there will be cake and champagne; on Wednesday, a thank-you to the firefighters who responded to the fire that temporarily closed the space, plus a benefit for Metro Care Ring (three cans of food scores you a basket of fries!). On Thursday there will be a bagpipe funeral for the three fish lost in the fire (and fish and chips on special, no doubt), and Friday is Broncos day. The reopening culminates on Easter Sunday, when you can have your pick of free candy. And if you find a golden egg, Easter lunch is comped. Then on Monday…well, it’s back to business as usual, serving some of the best burgers and frings in the Mile High City.

9. Goodbye Skis, Hello Shorts
Now is the time in Denver when you can start wearing shorts without looking like a douche. You know the type: the doofus (of any gender, by the way) who wears shorts in January because they’re just that tough and inured to the elements and soooooo Colorado that they can hack it? Don’t be that guy.

click to enlarge Sorry, daffodils. - ORANGEAUROCHS AT FLICKR
Sorry, daffodils.
Orangeaurochs at Flickr
10. Springtime, You’re Not Fooling Anyone
We know you’ve got at least one more heavy snow in you, Denver weather. Don’t you? Don’t you? (Please?)
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen