Five things to do in Denver |

Five things to do in Denver

Ted Alvarez
Vail CO, Colorado

I’ll never forget losing my first-grade spelling bee on the word “mirror.” Mirror?! Who forgets how to spell that, in front of everyone? I knew it, honestly! Well, whether you were a former spelling bee-champ or if you were just entranced by the excellent documentary “Spellbound,” the Tattered Cover will enable you to revisit past glories at their annual spelling bee in Skyline Park. The event benefits educational charity Learning Source, features surprise celebrity judges and is free for spectators.

What: Tattered Cover Spelling Bee.

Where: Skyline Park, Denver.

When: Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Info: or call 303-922-4683.

Remember Journeys ” that shoe place in the mall with Doc Martins for sale in hundreds of ridiculous colors? I thought they died with Nirvana and the ’90s, too, but they’re still kickin’ kicks and sponsoring country-wide extreme sports and music festivals, apparently. The Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour will feature a local battle-of-the-bands and a headlining performance by Denver rockers Tickle Me Pink, as well as cunning stunts from skateboarders, motocross riders, and other professional daredevils and speed addicts. There’s no mention of any actual barbecue, per se, which is bizarre. But it is free, so you could always just use the savings to buy and bring your own.

What: Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour.

Where: Colorado Mills, Lakewood.

When: Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free.


Out of all the breakout commercial and critical darlings of the last few years, M.I.A. has to be one of the strangest. This Sri-Lanka-via-London hip-hop artist (born Maya Arulpragasam) blends DIY rapping, reggae-style singing, and cross-cultural melodies to create an organic urban sound that sounds both alien and familiar. A consummate artist, M.I.A. does everything from create album art to make pre-show clothes herself. While her songs often have a strong political streak, they never lose their focus on keeping the party jumping with odd samples and freaky beats. Check her out live at the Fillmore this weekend.

What: M.I.A. performs.

Where: Fillmore Auditorium, Denver.

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Cost: $25.

Info: 303-837-0360 or

Denver’s Colfax is one of the longest stretches of continuous road in the U.S. It tears across a diverse range of neighborhoods and remains both a boon and a scourge to the city’s residents. So why not shut it down for a foot race? 6,000 runners are expected to commandeer portions of the road from Aurora all the way to Lakewood, passing by such historic spots as the Bluebird Theatre and, uh, that crazy guy dressed in tinfoil by the capital. Runners have the option to partner with several charities to earn funds. Sure, it might not be your average marathon, but then again, Colfax isn’t your average street, is it?

What: Colfax Marathon.

Where: Race starts and finishes at Denver’s City Park.

When: Sunday, starts at 6 a.m.

Cost: $100 for late registration; $60 for half-marathon.


Former child actress Jenny Lewis and her critically-lauded band Rilo Kiley may have stumped some critics and fans with their glitzy major-label debut, “Under the Blacklights,” but it remains a compelling showcase for a resolute indie band using their newfound freedom to just have fun. (Well, assuming your idea of fun includes dark, ’70s-ish pop songs about porn stars and underage fornication). From Coachella to Reading, Rilo Kiley are known for always bringing it live ” expect their new-era disco anthems to take on new grit and power in a live setting.

What: Rilo Kiley performs.

Where: Ogden Theatre, Denver.

When: Monday, 8 p.m.

Cost: $21.50-$23.

Info: 303-832-1874 or

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