Today is officially a public holiday, and like almost everyone, arts and entertainment organizations are letting themselves go. This makes a good day to walk in a park, visit a museum, or hang out on a restaurant terrace and plan the rest of your week.
These ten free events are just the start of the action in and around Denver as the city heads for an All-Star weekend, starting with the opening of Play Ball Park at the Colorado Convention Center on Friday 9. July (watch for more on these activities in the coming days):
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Immersive baseball experience
From Thursday July 8 to Tuesday July 13
Ragged Blanket McGregor Square Downtown, 1991 Wazee Street
From its first perch adjacent to Coors Field on McGregor Square, the new downtown Tattered Cover store is perfectly ready for the MLB All-Star Game festivities. Get into the game by participating in the bookstore’s all-time best baseball books online vote (deadline is July 6); Starting July 8, purchase the winning titles – and one of 1,000 other baseball-themed books for all ages – at a pop-up store that will be open in the store’s outdoor walkway until game day July 13. online baseball book events are underway; check here for development dates.
Riverfront Park Summer Sessions
Thursday, July 8, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Parc des Communes, 19th and Platte streets
Head to Riverfront Park for the final installment in this free monthly series that features local vendors, food trucks, and beer and cider options. And lots of live music, of course, with lineup from Sturtz, Sarah Slaton & the Great Maybe and Boot Gun. Get the details here.
Empowered by Place: Denver’s historic movie palaces
Thursday, July 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m., online
Historic Denver is hosting a virtual exploration of historic cinemas – from the Mayans to the Lost Aladdin – with local experts discussing how the past lives on in the present. Sign up for the free program here.
Music Where the Sidewalk Ends: Venus Cruz
Thursday July 8 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Colorado History Center, 1200 Broadway
The Colorado Center’s outdoor concert series returns to the museum’s side porch every Thursday night in July, but with one twist: out of respect for the current exhibit. Denver Building, these Music Where the Sidewalk Ends shows will reflect the cultural flavors of different neighborhoods in Denver. Jazz stylist Venus Cruz kicks off; Los Mocochetes, Lolita and Avery Jacob will follow in the coming weeks. Everything is free ; find the details here.
Colorado Black Arts Festival
Friday July 9 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday July 10 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday July 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
West City Park, 17th Avenue and York Street
After going virtual in 2020, the Colorado Black Arts Festival, which started 35 years ago, is back to its old location in City Park, with all the user-friendly elements that make it a winner for everyone. These include a world tour of live music, African rhythms, jazz and rhythm and blues at Sunday’s gospel finale. Art lovers and shoppers can browse an open-air gallery and market, and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities, as well as movie and health tents for older people. Free entry; find more information here.
Régi-Rama: The greatest showman
Friday July 9 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Regis University, West 50th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard
The second installment of the Regis University family-friendly summer film series will be screened The greatest showman, after an evening of games and picnic on the lawn (food trucks will also be present). Admission is free and the film starts at 8:30 p.m. find out more here.
Stained magazine Liability disclaimer part
Friday July 9 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Grandma’s House, 1710 South Broadway
Stained magazine collects poetry, photographs, essays, stories and visual arts for each issue of the biannual art publication; the fifth edition, Responsibility, explores the arts of leadership and duty on both sides of the reliability divide. But wherever you are on this issue, expect it to be a party – outside on the patio, with interactive activities, social justice work, and live music by the Grace Clark Trio and Bear and the Beasts. The event is free; Learn more here.
Frida Kahlo – A Celebration of Life and a Community Celebration of Resistance
Saturday July 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
RISE Westwood, 3738 Morrison Road
One thing has been a constant throughout the Westwood Creative District’s slow rise: an annual festival for Mexican artist and feminist cult figure Frida Kahlo. It started with an art show, but turned into a bigger celebration, with art, music, artisan vendors, cultural dancers, and a fun Frida lookalike contest. Learn more about this week’s free festival here, and watch for details on four ticketed dinners in her honor taking place July 24 through August 14.
Second Sunday guided tours
Sunday July 11 1 p.m.
Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, 800 East 73 Avenue, # 11
If you’ve never experienced Lumonics – the amazing light sculptures of free-thinking couple Dorothy and Mel Tanner, who started making them in the 1960s – here’s your chance to see the work, as well as Lumonics him. itself, a fortress of spirituality, edifying artistic creation. After Dorothy’s passing a year ago at the age of 97, co-archivist Barry Raphael and studio director Marc Billard were left to continue the torch of Lumonics; now that people can gather again, they are running summer tours every second Sunday through September. Learn more and sign up for the free tours here.
Lift Our Voices Summer Sing-along
Sunday July 11 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Mercury Café, 2199 California Street
Every once in a while, maven Jimi Bernath, who carries the lyrics of thousands of pop songs in his head, invites people to gather at the Merc to step back in time for a sing-along event that even Mitch Miller might enjoy. (Who is Mitch Miller? Ask your friend, Google.) Or at the very least, the Chad Mitchell Trio (ditto). The summer version doesn’t have a theme, so expect easy and popular songs from decades ago to be released. Lyrics sheets are usually provided, the atmosphere is cold and friendly, and you don’t have to open your mouth if you don’t want to. Admission is free, but food and drinks are available; find info here.
Do you know of a big free event around town? We will update this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]
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