Burgers, books, barbecue, buskers, billy goats, Bernese mountain dogs and beer (there's always beer) headline the food and drink happenings this weekend. Here are the best events on the culinary calendar for Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11.
Friday, June 9
Larkburger doesn't want your kiddo to forget how to read over the summer — otherwise, how would your little ones be able to read the kids' menu? With that in mind, the burger joint is spearheading a book drive. Stop into any location on June 9 to donate a book, and you'll get a free kid's ice cream. Books can be any level from infant to young adult and must be new or gently used (that means you can't bring in your marked-up textbook from Psych 101 that the bookstore wouldn't buy back, slacker). Check out Larkburger's website for locations and hours, and act fast for this sweet deal.
Saturday, June 10
For those of you who love devil-eyed kids (also known as goats), don't miss the Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market on Saturday, June 10, which is Dairy Day, so you (or your own kid) can milk and pet the omnivorous little buggers to your heart's content. Head over to the indoor/outdoor space at 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for some goat lovin', and while you're there, take advantage of live bluegrass, cheese tastings and plenty of fresh eggs, milk, bread and Colorado produce.
People in Colorado take barbecue seriously — especially all the transplants who moved here and now fill their days complaining about the lack of good ’cue. Aurora's Buskers, Brews & BBQ festival should make them eat their words (or at least some barbecue). The competitive portion of the event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and boasts more than twenty teams competing for the state title and a $5,000 purse in pork ribs, pork and beef brisket categories. The Aurora Municipal Building lawn, 15151 East Alameda Parkway in Aurora, will be hosting the pit masters from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and street performers will be roaming the grounds all day. Admission to the event is free, though if you want to sample the goods, be prepared to pay up. And as a bonus, Dry Dock Brewing Company is one of the sponsors, so the beer part of the equation is better than most. Check out the Facebook page and website for complete information, including a judging and awards schedule.
The End of the World Pub Crawl is more than just a bunch of people pub-hopping in the Ballpark neighborhood. It's an interactive event where you can dodge zombies while trying to make it to five bars on Larimer Street. From 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, the block of Larimer between 20th and 21st streets will become a zombie zone — and you're the next bite on the menu. A ticket gets you two free drinks, a koozie and a flag-football-style belt that the shambling undead will attempt to snatch. Make it to all five bars — The Ginn Mill, The Retro Room, Herb's, Larimer Beer Hall and Sidecar — with your flag intact and you'll be registered to win a prize. Come in costume for a chance to win something for your effort. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Children's Tumor Foundation. Volunteer opportunities are also available at endoftheworldpubcrawl.com, if you'd prefer to be turned into a zombie by a professional makeup artist.
And if your preferred drinking style doesn't include running from the undead, check out Brewer's Alley on Saturday, June 10, instead. True, you'll be tucked away in the alley off 16th between Curtis and Champa streets (where presumably the zombies won't notice you), but instead of dodging decaying corpses, you'll be making a beeline for beer. Ten regional breweries, including Renegade Brewing Company, Boulder Beer and Ska Brewing, will be pouring from 4 to 8 p.m., and appetizers from Rialto Cafe, live music, and as-yet-unnamed "alley games" (hmm, maybe you'll be playing zombie hide-and-seek after all) will be part of the action, too. Tickets will run you $25 at eventbrite.com and $35 at the door.
Keep reading for food and drink events on Sunday, June 11...
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Sunday, June 11
A mixture of indigenous, Spanish, Caribbean, African and American flavors, Puerto Rico’s aptly named “cocina criolla” starts with beans, rice, corn and roots and takes off from there with the addition of seafood, meats and spices. Yes, it’s delicious — and don't forget to top it off with sticky-sweet flan and rum-soaked arroz con dulce. That’s a good enough reason to drop by the Taste of Puerto Rico Festival, but the annual party in the park also includes live music and cultural entertainment, vendors, family fun and a joyful sense of community. Find your inner islander from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11, in Civic Center Park at Colfax Avenue and Broadway; admission is free. Learn more at atopr.com.
We've proclaimed once already that Denver had reached peak farmers' market this season. Apologies, gentle reader: We were wrong. Like mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest, the gentrified tent cities continue to sprout overnight; the latest entry into the fray is the Farmers' Market at Highlands Square, which opens on Sunday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market will run each Sunday through September 24 at Highlands Square, 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. So pull on your lululemon leggings, grab your Bernese mountain dog, your toddler and your giant stroller, and head over to make sure you get that organic dragonfruit before it's all sold out.
See the Westword Calendar for even more food and drink event listings.