Before you unbuckle that top button after over-indulging with all that glorious Fourth of July 'cue that you've no doubt got going on (and if not, we've got some suggestions for you), get ready to celebrate food through cooking classes and benefit dinners in advance of our nation's celebratory holiday. Here's a sampling of what's on the menu:
Monday, June 28:
The City of Aurora offers a teen cooking class, Let It Roll: Sushi, for ages 12 to 16. It runs from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and costs $32 for Aurora residents and $42 for the general public; it takes place in the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Call 303-326-8360.
The Seasoned Chef Cooking School, 999 Jasmine Street, offers a Mediterranean Magic cooking class. It runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $65. Call 303-377-3222 or visit www.theseasonedchef.com.
The City of Aurora offers a kids' cooking camp, Camp Cook-A-Munga, for ages 6 to 12. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon daily through Friday, July 2, and costs $105 for Aurora residents and $125 for the general public; it takes place in the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Call 303-326-8360.
Tuesday, June 29:
Arugula Bar e Ristorante, 2785 Iris Avenue in Boulder, presents the sold-out School Food Project Chef Dinner, a local dinner created with Chef Alec's modern interpretation of Italian traditions. It starts at 7 p.m. and costs $150; call 303-443-5100 or visit www.arugularistorante.com.
The Seasoned Chef Cooking School, 999 Jasmine Street, offers a Savory Summer Appetizers cooking class. It runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $68. Call 303-377-3222 or visit www.theseasonedchef.com.
Sunflower Farmer's Market, 8601 West Cross Drive in Littleton, offers Nights on the patio, great food and live music, plus burgers, chips and a drink for $5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Call 720-214-0410 or visit www.sfmarkets.com.
All five Texas Roadhouse locations (5515 Vance Street, Arvada, 303-423-1185; 14200 East Iliff Avenue, Aurora, 303-745-8383; 11205 South Parker Road, Parker, 303-805-5848; 10066 West San Juan Way, Littleton, 303-932-7427; and 10310 Grant Street, 303-255-3454) present a Salvation Army Lunch Fundraiser: Enjoy a free lunch comprising a pulled-pork sandwich, French fries, applesauce and fresh-baked bread with honey-cinnamon butter; donations will be accepted and all proceeds benefit the Salvation Army. Visit www.texasroadhouse.com.
Great Divide offers its monthly Beer and Cheese Pairing, five beers paired with five artisan cheeses from St. Kilian's Cheese Shop. Admission is $18; RSVP to 303-296-9460, ext. 26, or by visiting firstname.lastname@example.org. Great Divide is at 2201 Arapahoe Street.
The Retro Room, 2034 Larimer Street, hosts It's a Mad Men Affair, the kickoff for the new season with cocktails, costumes and prizes. The affair runs from 5 to 7 p.m.; call 303-296-3352 or visit www.theretroroomlounge.com.
Wednesday, June 30:
Bull & Bush Pub & Brewery, 4700 Cherry Creek Drive South, is hosting a Gulf Coast Spill Relief Fundraiser featuring Black Coast IPA for $5 pints and $20 growler refills (cash only). Proceeds will benefit the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund, and it runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Call 303-759-0333 or visit www.bullandbush.com.
The Mercury Cafe presents Gorinto, an experimental event combining food, arts, ecology, music and community starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $5, plus a $5 fee if you'd like a vegetarian meal. The Mercury Cafe is at 2199 California Street; call 303-294-9281 or visit www.mercurycafe.com.
Visit the Blending Cellar, 946 Pearl Street in Boulder, which hosts a South of the Equator White Wine Tasting, ten white wines from Argentina, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $25. Call 303-447-0475 or visit www.blendingcellar.com.
Flagstaff House Restaurant, 1138 Flagstaff Road in Boulder, hosts an Avery Beer Dinner, five courses paired with Avery beers for $78. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 303-442-4640 or visit www.flagstaffhouse.com.
Thursday, July 1:
The West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street in Boulder, presents Jul-I-P-A, a month-long celebration of IPAs with more than 69 of the brews to try through July 31. Call 303-444-3535 or visit www.thewestendtavern.com.
The City of Aurora offers a teen cooking class, Superfood Rainbow, for ages 12 to 16. It runs from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and costs $32 for Aurora residents and $42 for the general public; it takes place in the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Call 303-326-8360.
The Boulder ChopHouse & Tavern, 921 Walnut Street in Boulder, hosts Party with Purpose, where you can eat, drink, mingle and enjoy summer to benefit the Women's Wilderness Institute. The party runs from 4 to 6 p.m. and there is no cover charge. Call 303-443-1188.
The new Qdoba at 9994 Commons Street in Littleton presents the Starlight Children's Foundation Fundraiser. Guests will receive one entrée and a regular-sized beverage for $5; all proceeds benefit a Fun Center mobile entertainment unit for Sky Ridge Medical Center. Stop by between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to fork over your $5; call 303-790-1504 or visit www.qdoba.com.
Friday, July 2:
Elati Garden, 840 Elati Street, presents an Arts & Crafts Fair offering original work by an array of artists; chef Daniel Young will be selling healthy, fresh street tacos (made with some garden ingredients) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www.elatigarden.blogspot.com.
Saturday, July 3:
Chefs from local restaurants in Beaver Creek give free culinary demonstrations on the plaza in the Bon Appetit tent. Visit www.beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/culinary-demo-series.aspx.
Head to Whole Foods, 870 South Colorado Boulevard in Glendale, for the Fireworks Feast featuring food, games, entertainment and fireworks from 5 to 9 p.m. Call 303-691-0101 or visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.
The Blending Cellar, 946 Pearl Street in Boulder, hosts a Two Rivers Wine Tasting with proprietor Brandon Witham from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission is $12. Call 303-447-0475 or visit www.blendingcellar.com.
Kids eat for free all weekend at Qdoba; receive a free kids' meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. Visit www.qdoba.com for locations.
Sunday, July 4:
Interstate Kitchen & Bar, 901 West 10th Avenue, hosts the Independence Day County Fairground Spectacular, featuring a view of the downtown fireworks show, Coors Light girls, carnival games, grilled meat and corn, music and more. The party starts at 2 p.m.; pre-sale tickets are twenty for $15, and admission is $1 per person the day of the event. Call 729-479-8829 or visit www.interstaterestaurant.com.
Head to the Avery Tap Room, 5757 Arapahoe Avenue, for the Four on the Fourth 4K Running Race, the annual family-friendly July 4 race for participants of all ages, ability levels and styles, with finish-line refreshments and food, and a chance for adults to win their weight in beer. The race starts at 9 a.m. and costs $25. Visit www.active.com.
Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace, 950 Pearl Street in Boulder, offers a lobster-bake special for the Fourth of July for $30, plus $9 drink specials. Call 303-442-7771 or visit www.centrolatinkitchen.com.
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Zolo Southwestern Grill, 2525 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, hosts a Backyard BBQ open at 3 p.m. (no lunch service) with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. and a barbecue featuring pork, chorizo, sides and more. Meals are $18 and up. Call 303-449-0444 or visit www.zologrill.com.
West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street in Boulder, presents a Fourth of July all-day Chicago-style happy hour (Chicago dog sliders with an Old Style can for $5), plus market-style barbecue in packed picnics to-go or dine in, drink specials and more. Call 303-444-3535 or visit www.thewestendtavern.com.
For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings.