Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.
Yeehaw! Many of the annual Denver summer events will restart this weekend, but the more traditional line-up will be complemented by a number of innovative entertainments forged during the pandemic. You can experience a rodeo from olden times, experience an iconic cycling festival … or go on a theatrical exploration tour.
Here are ten of the best things to do in Denver (and don’t miss our lineup of ten free events this weekend):
LitFest of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop
Online from Friday, June 4th to June 13th
Aspiring writers, don’t wait for this MFA. Delve into the intricacies of authorship at the sixteenth edition of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s LitFest. The virtual festival includes workshops, seminars and more in the fields of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and hybrid genres, as well as online appearances by sixteen authors including Hanif Abdurraqib, Emily Rapp Black, Jaquira Díaz, Layli Long Soldier, Helen DeWitt, Gregory Pardlo and Azareen Van the Vliet Oloomi. You can register for one-off events or get a pass for the entire festival. Just don’t forget your pen. Tickets and a full schedule can be found on the Lighthouse website.
The ongoing plays of the Athena project
Friday June 5th and Saturday June 6th, online
Long before plays came on the stage, playwrights got together with actors for table readings. The Athena Project’s annual Plays in Progress Series gives the audience a glimpse into this process. This year the event is completely virtual, with readings and panels with playwrights, directors and actors across the country with an emphasis on raising the voices of women artists while sharing the creative process with the public. Tickets cost $ 15-25 (with the Pay-What-You-Can option); you can find more information here.
After the flood
Opening Friday, June 4th to June 19th
South Platte Park, Littleton
Put on your walking shoes and explore the urgency of climate change. Control Group Productions, the Playground Ensemble, and artist Adrienne DeLoe organized this one and a half mile art walk through Littleton’s South Platte Park to study the ecology of the area and the history of the devastating 1965 flood. Along the way you will meet dancers, performers and music from the makers to connect you with the land below your feet and the future of the planet. Tickets cost $ 15 to $ 43, and times vary; For more information, visit Control Group Productions online.
Back in the saddle!
Elizabeth Stampede Facebook
The land of milk and honey of the Catamounts
Opening Friday June 4th to June 27th June
Shoenberg Farm, 5202 West 73rd Avenue, Westminster
Tickets fly for the Catamounts latest performance, the site-specific immersive production Land of Milk and Honey, written by Jeffrey Neuman. The production bears witness to the history of Shoenberg Farm, a dairy established in the early 20th century to feed tuberculosis patients, and explores hot topics such as philanthropy, immigration, and health care throughout history. The Catamounts describes the performance as “part ghost story, part time travel, and wholly a celebration of how people can turn personal tragedy into an act of community compassion!” Who couldn’t use that nowadays? For tickets, $ 25, visit the Catamounts online.
Submerged by Circus Foundry
Opens on Friday, June 4th, and runs Friday through Sunday in June
Allegory Studios, 2240 Curtis Street
If you haven’t noticed, immersive theater is back in full swing, and in the case of the Circus Foundry’s science fiction circus production Submerged, the premise assumes that humanity is now completely submerged after an environmental disaster. The show asks the question: would you be able to survive? In this family-oriented circus, you play the main character who goes on an underwater journey. Play games, solve puzzles and meet different characters as you try to survive this two-hour experience. (Don’t worry, you are not actually underwater; you will stay dry.) It costs $ 50 per person, with a minimum of two people and a maximum of ten people; Visit Eventbrite for more information and tickets.
Friday, June 4, 7 p.m. to Sunday, June 6, 6 p.m.
Casey Jones Park, Elizabeth
Yes! So the west was fun. The Elizabeth Stampede kicks off the season with one of the first PRCA rodeos of the year. Opening night action includes Xtreme Bulls; A parade through the city begins on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a women’s rodeo and the pro event. On Saturday there is a pancake breakfast and the Red, White and Blue Rodeo. Meanwhile, you can expect plenty of food and other festivities. You can find the full schedule here.
The land of milk and honey of the Catamounts runs until June 27th.
Photo by Michael Ensminger
Pueblo Levee Walk
Saturday, June 5th, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dutch Clark Stadium, 1001 West Abriendo Avenue, Pueblo
You don’t have to drive a Chevy to these levees. Just lace up your shoes and join Pueblo’s Downtown Association as you explore two routes on the Pueblo Levee Walk: the Arkansas River Levee and Pueblo’s first hanging pedestrian bridge. Enjoy snacks from food trucks, admire murals, and learn about the 1921 flood that devastated the city. For $ 10 you can join the tour and for $ 25 you can get a goodie bag with a souvenir t-shirt. For more information, write to [email protected]
Youth at a record block party
Saturday, June 5, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., online
The non-profit music education organization Youth on Record is again holding its annual block party virtually at Oh Yay. There will be panels for aspiring musicians, from marketing to working with the media, NFTs, copyright law, to talking to your inner child and collages of your feelings; There will also be art workshops in creative writing, beatboxing and freestyle. In addition, the group’s young artists perform. Pregame for the shot in the arm party when you’re twelve when the organization is hosting a personal COVID-19 vaccination clinic with Denver Health from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Youth on Record headquarters, 1301 West 10th Avenue. Find out more here.
Elephant Rock Bicycle Festival
Sunday 6 June, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock
Ride the rock, rock the ride. The Colorado cycling season kicks off with the 33rd annual Castle Rock Pilgrimage and the classic Elephant Rock Ride. This year there are three road courses, a gravel / road route, and a family ride – but also a Colorado Bike Expo with exhibitors, demos, live music, food, and more. The pre-registration is closed, but you can register on site on June 5th (1pm to 7pm) and June 6th (from 5am) … and even if you don’t go, the good time at the festival continues. Find out more here.
Summer lounge + shop
Sunday, June 6th, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
3051 Lawrence Street
Celebrate summer with fashion designers Mecla and Mimi Shim Studio, florists Bloom & Noosh and Talisman Fine Jewelry at this joint trunk show. Browsing is free, and the cocktail lounge (with snacks) is free – but you won’t want to go empty-handed.
Do you know a great event in the city? We will update this list over the weekend; send information to [email protected]
Keeping Westword Free … Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we want it to stay that way. We offer our readers free access to concise coverage of local news, food and culture. We produce stories about everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with bold reporting, stylish writing, and staff who have won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Feature Writing Award to the Casey- Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with the existence of local journalism under siege and the setbacks in advertising revenues having a greater impact, it is now more important than ever for us to raise funds to fund our local journalism. You can help by joining our “I Support” membership program, which allows us to continue to cover Denver without paywalls.