Ambitious home cooks, aspiring brewers and hopeful gardeners: There's something for all of you this weekend. But fear not, weekend drinkers and intrepid brunchers: We could never forget about you, either. Keep reading, everyone, for the nine tastiest food and drink events this weekend.
Friday, May 5
Spring is here (nominally), and that means TheBigWonderful is back and spilling over with its trademark something-for-everyone trifecta, including a huge shopping bazaar and food-truck congregation, a big beer-and-spirits fest and lots of live music, all at one large, open location at 4400 Fox Street. It kicks off with a Cinco de Mayo happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. today, with music on the main stage until 10; cruise the bazaar and enjoy more beer and music from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets run from $5 to $59, with various packages offered. Learn more at thebigwonderful.com.
Another herald of spring (in addition to food-truck festivals and patio parties) is the eternal optimism of the Colorado gardener. While we all know chances are good that there will be frost or even snow after Mother's Day, it's still the time of year to get your seedlings. And if you're tired of hybrid winter tomatoes — and who isn't? — check out the Heirloom Tomato Farms Annual Plant Sale this week. Sales run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at two locations in Denver: Farm 39, at 3611 Chestnut Place, and the Sparrow, at 475 Corona Street. Arrive early so as not to miss out on your Royal Hillbilly, Pineapple Pig and Bloody Butcher; see a complete list of all the organic, non-GMO varieties that will be for sale at the Heirloom Tomato Farms website.
You've been home-brewing for three months, you say? All your buddies swear you should totally open a brewery? We can't stop you, so at least educate yourself at Colorado Enterprise Fund's (CEF) free workshop, "Crafting Success: From Home Brews to Beer Biz," from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa Street. Attendees will learn about the craft-beer industry, find out about loans and advisory services available from CEF, and hear from guest speakers from Black Shirt Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Colorado Craft Distributors and Launch Pad Brewery. Attendance is free, but seating is limited, so if you're an aspiring brewmaster, register at the event website.
Oskar Blues Brewery has expanded into Texas and North Carolina over the past few years, which has caused controversy (and a few tantrums) among some craft-beer purists, but thankfully, the brewery hasn't moved from its original Lyons location. So head up to 303 Main Street in Lyons to celebrate twenty years of brewing with a big old shindig. It kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. with a crawfish boil; The Lil Smokies take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Saturday is even busier, with burgers from Chuburger, fajitas, a pig roast and oysters to go with your beer; an anniversary cake made with 2,000 doughnuts from Hotbox Roasters; and shows on both the inside and outside stages (Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Haldon Wofford & the Hi Beams, respectively). Also on tap: specialty beer 2xTwenty, a nitro red ale brewed for the event. If you can stick it out until Sunday, you'll be rewarded with a pancake breakfast and music throughout the day, including the return of many blues artists who have graced the stage over the past twenty years. A complete schedule and show tickets can be found at eventbrite.com; plan to pay for food (and beer, sadly) on site.
Keep reading for more food and drink events.
Saturday, May 6
If you've been waiting to cook that special meal, now's your chance: Marczyk Fine Foods is celebrating fifteen years in business today, so everything in the store is 15 percent off. From fancy dry-aged steak to triple-virgin imported olive oil, you're sure to find something that will knock the socks off your dinner guests. The best part? Do your shopping at the flagship store, 770 East 17th Avenue, at 11 a.m. and you'll be able to watch a live butchering demo as a whole hog is broken down (with color commentary by owner Pete Marczyk) and you'll be able to pick your portion, as the cuts will be for sale. The store at 5100 East Colfax Avenue will also break down some protein; there, a whole tuna will be on the butcher's block at 1:30 p.m.
The venerable Cherry Creek Fresh Market is kicking off its twentieth season today. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can stop by the market at First Avenue and University Boulevard to check out local produce, flowers, food and artisan items. The event runs weekly until October 28, so be sure to shop often throughout the summer and fall to snap up fruits and veggies as soon as they come into season. For more details and a crop calendar letting you know what to expect each month, take a look at Colorado Fresh Market's website.
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If you need your food to be cute — as in, super-cute, double-plus cute, sickeningly sweet cute — then we have the thing for you: The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be hanging out at Park Meadows Shopping Center today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. You'll be able to nab adorable little cookies, charming macarons, teeny-weeny cakes and delightful bow-shaped water bottles. All will be wildly overpriced, but you can't put a price on your Instagram likes, can you? Check out the Facebook event page for details. Meeeee-ow.
"Food trucks! Local brews! Live music!" That's how the organizers of Cervezas y Hamburguesas describe the outdoor celebration of beer and burgers scheduled for 5:30 to 10 p.m. tonight at the Studios at Overland Crossing, 2205 South Delaware Street. The fest will serve up street eats from Matt's Snack Shack, the Pasty Republic and Rezzy's Kitchen along with mariachi bands, local brews and DJs, all for $40 (or $50 cash at the door) — and kids get in free. Proceeds from the event will benefit Extended Hands of Hope, which provides safe and supportive housing for survivors of domestic sex trafficking. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.
Sunday, May 7
Finish up your weekend with some good old-fashioned rock and roll — and burlesque. Brik on York, 2223 East Colfax Avenue, will help you ease into the work week with its Rock n' Roll Striptease at noon today. Enjoy a special brunch menu, bottomless mimosas and hosts of gorgeous, jiggling bottoms for just $15 ($20 will get you VIP seating and a glass of champagne, as well). There will also be Bloody Mary specials and beer flights created to pair with French toast — and if you're lucky, French maids in attendance. Get your tickets at the Facebook event page.