Your extreme relaxation is blocking my side mirror.Teague Bohlen
June is the month for a lot of things: It's Celibacy Awareness Month, National Bathroom Reading Month, and somehow Fireworks Safety Month, which is happening a month too early. You have to wonder what sort of power and money the fireworks lobbyists must have to have kept that out of July, when apparently it's Hold That Sparkler Closer to Your Face Month.
But of course, it's also the first month of summer, so here are ten things for you to remember in June — along with your SPF 100 sunscreen and some shades that don't make you look like you're trying too hard.
1. Don’t Complain About It Not Being Warm Enough Yet
Because it will be soon enough, and you’ll be sweating through your North Face moisture-wicking-tee. Enjoy the weird weather, since that’s what Colorado is sort of known for — you know, in that same way that everyplace is sort of known for it. The line, “If you don’t like the weather in [fill in name of your hometown here], wait a minute!” is a cliché because it’s true about pretty much anyplace you can name. But what the hell — just because it’s not original doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. Enjoy the blessing of rain when it comes; the last thing we want is another drought, and water rationing, and all the news-van coverage of law-breakers watering at the incorrect time of day. Horrors.
2. Understand Why Your Apartment May Not Have A/C
It’s not as ridiculous as it seems, if the house or apartment you’ve just moved into doesn’t have any cooling system whatsoever — it’s just not been updated since the 1980s or '90s, before which the summer climate in Denver was pretty different. Longtime residents will tell you: There used to be a few hot summer nights here and there over the course of an average summer, but generally folks could get by with open windows and fans. Before the 1980s, a 100 degree day in Denver was almost unheard of. More recently — especially since we entered the 21st century — 100 degree days are significantly more common. And so is air conditioning.
3. Dance to City Park Jazz
Denver’s City Park lights up more than just the historic bandshell every Sunday night, inviting the best of local jazz and live music and the whole city to come dance the sun down. On the schedule for June are the Other Black, Pete Wernick & FLEXIGRASS, Linda Styles, and Dotsero — with more goodness to come in July and early August. Bring your baby, bring your blanket, bring your bucket of beer. This is one of the hearts of a Denver summer.
4. Check Out the People’s Fair
The first weekend in June sees the People’s Fair in Civic Center Park — it’s billed as “Colorado’s oldest neighborhood festival,” and it brings together a diverse group of artists, performers, vendors, food trucks, and more face painting than any kid could possibly enjoy, all in one space. The event itself is free, but pretty much everything you can do there other than the concerts and the people-watching costs some scratch. But generally, any excuse to enjoy a fried corn dog and funnel cake is a good excuse, right?
5. Dive Into Denver Comic-Con
Because more than 100,000 nerds can’t be wrong. Or at least it’s statistically unlikely (and many of them would be happy to compute the exact numerics for you, while you’re waiting in line to see Nathan Fillion, the cast of Stranger Things, or Weird Al Yankovic). Now in its sixth year, the Con is going to take over most of downtown anyway, so you might as well join in. Get a costume together, bring a camera and a patience for crowds, and get ready to fill up a backpack with some of the coolest crap you don’t need but totally want anyway.
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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.