It's the best time of summer: The weather is sunny and hot; ice cream, rosé, car shows and music festivals are popping up all over; and it's still early enough that we have months of awesome events in front of us. Relax and enjoy some of the coolest events for the weekend of June 16 through June 18.
Friday, June 16
Need to wind down after a long week? How about a long walk to clear your head? Even better, how about a walk where you learn to speak a bit of Igbo (one of the four official languages of Nigeria) and then join your teacher for Nigerian snacks? This unique opportunity comes courtesy of the Walk2Connect Co-op, a group that organizes walks throughout the Denver-metro area. The walk leaves from East Evans Avenue and South Helena Street in Aurora at 5:30 p.m. and will meander around the neighborhood before adjourning to the host's home for a taste of a cuisine rarely seen in Denver. Check out the Walk2Connect website for details and to buy your $15 ticket.
Need a meal to go with your MÅTTLIG? Look no further than everyone's favorite Nordic funhouse, IKEA. The retailer's restaurant, renowned for perfuming the store with the scents of cinnamon rolls and Swedish meatballs, is hosting an all-you-can-eat Midsummer Smörgåsbord (try typing that five times fast) on Friday, June 16. Seatings start at 5:30 p.m. and will continue on the half-hour until 7:30 p.m.; diners can expect to pile their plates with assorted herring varieties, gravad lax (salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill), prinskorv sausage, smoked salmon with horseradish and, of course, those famous meatballs. Tickets are $16.99 for adults and $4.99 for kids twelve and under (less if you're a member of IKEA's loyalty program) and must be purchased at the store, 9800 East IKEA Way in Centennial.
Think ice cream socials are a relic of the 1950s, along with poodle skirts and Brylcreem? Think again. Spectra Art Space, at 1836 South Broadway, is hosting an Ice C.R.E.A.M Social on Friday, June 16, at 7 p.m. In addition to frozen treats from High Point Creamery, expect live music from the hip-hop group Ice C.R.E.A.M., plus glass-blowing and painting demos, and an ice cream (not to be confused with gelato)-themed art show. Advance tickets are a spectacularly reasonable $5 ($10 at the door), while VIP passes are $20 but include bottomless drinks, a signed, limited-edition print from the show and access to the VIP lounge. Facebook has all the info. Don't get brain freeze, kids.
Pink wine doesn't just come in boxes anymore — the International Rosé Wine Festival, on Friday, June 16, is proof of that. Instead of rows upon rows of Franzia boxes, you'll find sixty rosés to sample (most of them in actual bottles!), live jazz, food samples and a silent auction. Check out the event website for pics of last year's event, a list of this year's wine winners, and tickets, which are priced at $70 (GA), $100 (VIP) and $200 (for a GA four-pack, bringing the price down to $50 each if you can find three pink-drink-loving pals to accompany you). Then show up at the Omni Interlocken Resort, 500 Interlocken Boulevard in Broomfield, from 6 to 9 p.m. to get a head start on summer drinking, and perhaps even discover a new favorite pink porch pounder.
Keep reading for more weekend food and drink festivities...
Saturday, June 17
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 747 Wynkoop Street, becomes Hopdoggy Burger Bar on Saturday, June 17, as the joint pairs with Foothills Animal Shelter for Puppies on the Patio, a pet adoption event and fundraiser for the shelter. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., proceeds from the sale of $5 vodka lemonades and $6 Colorado Native drafts will be donated to the nonprofit, but the real draw, of course, will the adoptable animals on site. Now, we don't recommend knocking back a couple of those boozy lemonades and taking home a pooch on the spur of the moment, but if you're already in the market for a furry friend, consider perusing the pups to see if your future four-legged soulmate is there. And if you just want some puppy love, feel free to take advantage of canine kisses, then drink up knowing that your dollars are going to a great cause.
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We can think of many reasons to drive your dad to Longmont, but The Post Chicken & Beer always tops our list. There's an even better reason to check it out on Saturday, June 17, as the chicken shack will be transformed into a classic car show and auction house. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 24 classic cars from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, from the Stephen Tebo collection, will be on display in the parking lot, and several will be up for auction. If you aren't flush enough to pony up for a piece of classic automotive Americana, you'll have better luck with the food specials: $12 chicken plates, $4 chicken biscuits and $2 Post Brewing Co. beers. Car-show admission is free, so you might even get away with a frugal Father's Day (something the old man can surely appreciate.) Just don't sneeze during that auction.
The Denver Deluxe is returning to Walnut Street on Saturday, June 17: The block between 26th and 27th streets will be taken over by burger flippers, beer pourers and bands from 1:30 to 8 p.m. as some of the best things about summer are all crammed into one afternoon. Music will be provided by Tea Leaf Green, Futurebirds and Drunken Hearts, among others, and Park Burger and 10 Barrel Brewing will be handling the food-and-beer side of the equation. Tickets range from $10 to $25, and since everyone in Colorado thinks it's a great idea to take their kids to music and beer festivals, kids under twelve even get in free (no dogs, though). Buy your tickets and check out the full day's schedule at the event website.
Sunday, June 18
The Falafel Waffle has finally arrived. For years, we've wondered when someone would take advantage of the rhyming opportunities afforded by the humble chickpea fritter, and the day has come. And while this isn't the first appearance of the fun-to-say phrase (hat-tip to Moxie Eatery), it surely deserves more exposure. On that note, we present to fans of both falafels and waffles: On Sunday, June 18, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill at 630 South Colorado Boulevard is opening its doors at the bracingly early hour of 7 a.m. to provide you with the cinnamon falafel waffle, as well as shakshuka and yellow curry hummus. These one-off menu items will only be available until 11 a.m., so if you need a protein-filled brunch to boost your strength before Father's Day shenanigans — or if your dad is, God forbid, an early riser — check it out.
See the Westword calendar for even more food and drink event listings.