This weekend, enjoy the ABCs of springtime: ales and apians (or bees, if you prefer); bacon and bands; citrus and cocktails. Here are our picks for the six best events on the culinary calendar for the next three days, and beyond.
Friday, May 11
Not only are patios around town officially open, but we're starting to ease into the magical time of year known as "free summer concert season." On Friday, May 11, The Terminal Bar, 1701 Wynkoop Street, is kicking off its seasonal concert series by hosting local jam band SuperMagick on a temporarily expanded patio. And while we all know free summer concerts never end up being free — what's the point of settling in on a sunny porch with friends and tunes without a drink in hand? — the return of musical fun in the sun is always worth celebrating. The soul starts at 5 p.m.; visit Terminal Bar's Facebook page for details.
Saturday, May 12
Skip the gym and get your workout in without having to hop on the elliptical on Saturday, May 12, as nonprofit organization Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation hosts a 43-story race to the top of the 1999 Broadway office building. The climb raises funds for children's cancer research and ends with spectacular views of the city, live music, appetizers and (of course) lemonade. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. and costs just $25 to register (plus $100 in fundraising). Do something good for your quads as well as kids; sign up for the Lemon Climb or find out about same-day registration at ALSF's website.
As trees and flowers burst into bloom, honeybees (hopefully) return to gardens around town. Encourage the little pollinators to show up in your yard by visiting Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, for its Spring Bee and Honey Festival on Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13. In addition to the normal farmers' market goods (including plenty of honey), you'll find free workshops on creating bee-safe environments, plants that will attract the stripey insects, beekeeping basics and native honeybees. The market opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday; find a complete schedule on Facebook.
Prove your worth as a provider by bringing home the bacon on Saturday, May 12, at the Bacon and Beer Classic. Take your mate to Sports Authority Field, 1701 Bryant Street, to catch the traveling gastronomy festival that will be pouring beverages from more than fifty breweries (Declaration, Horse & Dragon, Prost, Renegade and Fate among them) and dishing up bacon-heavy bites from Euclid Hall, Kentucky Inn, Habit Doughnut Dispensary, Coohills and many more. Pick one of two sessions (1 or 6 p.m.), then navigate your way through an excessive number of ticket options ($69 to $125) at the Bacon and Beer Classic website.
So you like the idea of doing some bar-hopping on a Saturday afternoon but you're paralyzed with indecision when it comes to the frankly overwhelming number of Denver bars — plus, you're not into donning a onesie before heading out on the town. There is another option for you, intrepid boozer: Larimer Street and South America collide for the Trä-Kál Cocktail Crawl on Saturday, May 12. Just $15 will entitle you to a cocktail made with the Patagonian herbal liqueur at Finn's Manor, Bar Fausto and American Bonded from 4 to 8 p.m. — quite the bargain when you can easily spend $15 for a single drink at any number of joints along Larimer Street. Snag your tickets at twoparts.com and prepare for a classy crawl — if by classy they mean you're wearing real pants.
Sunday, May 13
It's Mother's Day, and we've already compiled a list of ten events that don't involve overcrowded brunch or handmade coupon books for your mom. But if none of those appeal to you (and let's face it, Mom, you're probably the one planning your own celebration), consider the Mother's Day Jazz Dinner at Nocturne. The supper club at 1330 27th Street is serving a three-course menu for Mom ($65) and a special kids' menu for those twelve and under ($40), accompanied by music from the Jeff Jenkins Trio. So if you're trying to instill an appreciation for the finer things in life in your kiddos, reserve your spot at the 6 p.m. dinner at Nocturne's website.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
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Thursday, May 24
The fight is on! No, it's not a cockfight (though there will certainly be some of that, especially after all the whiskey is consumed), it's Chicken Fight!, Denver's celebration of fried yardbird. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, the pecking order will be established as Birdcall, Injoi Korean Kitchen, the Post, Au Feu and more go head to head. River North Festival Grounds, 3715 Chestnut Place, hosts the unlimited food-and-drink fest (so plan ahead, as the second-most hotly contested death match will be for parking); tickets will run you $69 to $125 at the Chicken Fight! website.
Saturday, May 26
There are plenty of great restaurant patios in town, but one of our favorites doesn't show up on many lists; that's because it's at the MCA Denver, which isn't known as a dining destination. But on Saturday, May 26, the warm, wooden rooftop patio decorated with succulents at 1485 Delgany Street will host Block & Larder and Colorado Cider Company for MCA Dinner Society. For $125, guests will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Cleon Peterson's Shadow of Men exhibit, as well as a four-course menu with cider pairings and a snack to take home (or eat in the car on the way there). These events always sell out, so snap up your ticket at eventbrite.com while you still can.
If you know of a date that should be on these calendars, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.