Five things to do in Denver and Boulder
Vail CO, Colorado
If you enjoy getting your artistic jollies from well outside the mainstream, the Boulder Fringe Festival is your ticket to paradise. Inspired by the original 1947 Fringe Festival that took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Boulder International Fringe Festival celebrates outre art and creativity of all types: Performance art, comedy magic, musical improvisation, one-man shows, modern dance, and even a bit of mime all have a place at the Fringe Fest. Artists come from all over the country and even as far away as Europe bringing stirring paeans to personal demons, avant-garde music suites, and enough weirdness to last the rest of the year. Whether you’re interested in the Transgender Rights Alt Music Show or “Striptease, A Comedy About Government Oppression,” you should pop on by and let your own freak flag fly. When in doubt, attend Friday’s “All You Can Artist” party for a sampler of the events to come.
What: Boulder International Fringe Festival
Where: Various venues across Boulder.
When: Through Aug. 25.
Cost: Individual event tickets vary.
This year’s Folks Festival in Lyons has a splendid offering of classic balladeers and troubadours on the schedule: Nancy Griffith, Patty Griffin, Greg Brown and Dar Williams bring deep catalogs of acoustic folk and decades of storytelling experience to their sets. But the new kids on the block bring some serious edge and star power.
Scottish rocker KT Tunstall isn’t afraid to put some of her electric energy into her famously foot-stomping solo sets; it’ll be worth the price of admission alone to see her bang out her radio hits in raw form, just as they were written. Meanwhile, Idaho folk darling Josh Ritter and soulful folk-rocker Amos Lee will bring a little pop pizzazz to the proceedings; Woodie Guthrie this ain’t (though there’s plenty of that, too). If the folk rockin’ gets too hot, festival attendees are encouraged to take a dip in the St. Vrain River. It’s probably the best way to hear solid plucking on a hot summer’s day.
What: Folks Festival, featuring KT Tunstall, Amos Lee, Patty Griffin and more.
Where: Planet Bluegrass Ranch, Lyons.
When: Friday through Sunday.
Cost: $40-$45 for day passes, $105 for a 3-day pass, and $145 for a 3-day pass plus on-site camping.
Living in Colorado practically requires dog ownership ” they all but hand you a pooch when you cross the state line. And Colorado dogs are among the most loved, no doubt. Witness Fido Fest, an all-out celebration of all things canine that takes over Denver’s Post Uptown Square this Sunday. The block party/street festival will feature dog washes, food tastings for pet and master, wine tastings (humans only, of course), silent auctions, and more. Plenty of new doggie toys, treats and accessories will be on display and for sale, and a DJ will provide tunes for you and your groovy-dancing schnauzer. All proceeds benefit Freedom Service Dogs, which rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to help assist people with disabilities all over the Front Range. It’s for a good cause, so go ahead and spoil yourself and your pet ” as if he/she didn’t get enough pampering already.
What: Fido Fest street festival/block party/fundraiser.
Where: 1800 Pennsylvania Street, Denver.
When: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You know the saying ” one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The artists participating in “Assemblage and Recyclates” at Denver’s Transitions gallery prove the rule by taking the prodigious refuse of our society and transforming it into something poignant and beautiful. Several artists, including Pat Aaron, Betsy Blumenthal, Anne Bossert, Junko Brackin, Jerry De La Cruz, Leo Franco, Sara Goldenberg White, Adrienne Outlaw and Joseph Shuldiner take the “found object” art method of greats like Marcel Duchamp to the next level by incorporating recycled plastic, unraveled sweater threads, furniture wood scraps and even discarded eggshells and coffee filters in their pieces. Turning junk into gems was no small task, however: Each work is grandly considered, and provides thoughtful insight into our consumer culture while highlighting our recent awakening towards recycling and reusing our resources.
What: Assemblage and Recyclates art show.
Where: Transitions Gallery, Denver.
When: Now until Sept. 13.
Info: 303-629-0713 or http://www.translationsgallery.com.
OK, so Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam clearly has the worst name of any summer festival in existence. But that doesn’t mean you should miss it ” especially if you grew up practicing ollies in your driveway, building sweet ramps and dreaming of draining your neighbor’s pool to attempt your own sick tricks. Every summer, Tony Hawk brings together the greats of skateboarding, BMX and FMX (freestyle motocross) and takes them on the road so aspiring shredders across the country can marvel at their heroes’ aerial mastery and learn brand new ways to break bones long after they’ve left town. This year’s touring champs include Kevin Staab, Neal Hendrix, Sergie Ventura, John Parker, Dennis McCoy, Sean Nielsen, Drake McElroy, and of course the godfather himself, Tony Hawk. DJ Mike Relm keeps the festivities bumping with phat beats. Afterwards, you might be tempted to try next year’s moves today, but remember: Snow is a lot softer than concrete, so maybe you should wait a few months.
What: Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam skate and extreme sports festival.
Where: Fiddler’s Green, Englewood.
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.