Ten Things to Do in and Around Denver This Weekend

There’s plenty to do this weekend, whether you plan to stick close to home (buy plants for that home through a virtual version of the Denver Botanic Gardens’ annual fall sale) or head for the hills. Up in the glowing aspen, Central City will be filled with art all weekend, with more than a dozen artists painting the town for a show that culminates on Sunday.

And there’s still more, including markets in Boulder and at Belleview Station by the Tech Center. See our list of ten free events this weekend here, and keep reading for ten more great events in and around Denver (and your couch):

The Grawlix Saves the World
Wednesday, September 24, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street

Some of the best comics to come out of the Mile High City — Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy — are back nesting in Denver after three seasons of their Amazon Prime series Those Who Can’t, which is good news for the local comedy community and throngs of fans. The Grawlix Saves the World podcast, their primary project in these days of extreme social distancing, goes for a third whirl this week, but here’s something new: The broadcast will be live and in-person at Ratio Beerworks, with guests Erin Rollman and Brian Colonna of Buntport Theater helping out. The two-tickets-for-$50 level is sold out for the limited-entry event, but if you can gather a safe quaran-team of four, you can still buy four for $100 at nightout.com.

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Denver Botanic Gardens Fall Plant & Bulb Sale Online Event
Opens Friday, September 25, at 10 a.m., and runs through Sunday, September 27, at 5 p.m.

Since hard-core gardeners already know how to buy plants and bulbs online or from a catalog, it won’t be much of a stretch for the Denver Botanic Gardens to roll out its fall sale virtually. As with the usual live version, entry is free, and there will be a virtual crowd fighting over that last bag of the rarest crocus bulbs. Fortunately, this year you have the option of studying a detailed list of items for sale in advance of the cyber-free-for-all, so you’ll enter the fray ready for battle. Order here through September 27, and then pick up your bounty between October 1 and 3 at the DBG.

Third Annual Central City Plein Air Festival
Friday, September 25, 6 a.m., through Sunday, September 27, 6 p.m.

For the third time, artists will be painting from sunrise to sunset within a two-mile radius of the Central City Opera House, and you can see them at work on September 25 — while also enjoying the beauty of the changing aspen and historic Central City. The artist will be back for the Quick Draw Competition on Eureka Street at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, when they’ll create a new painting in two hours; they’ll be shown off and sold at 2 p.m. that day in the Central City Opera House Gardens. You can see all the work at a sale and awards reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Teller House parking lot. Those events are all free; there are also extra tours, currently sold out. Find out more here.

Stories on Stage: Simple Pleasures
Friday, September 25, 7 p.m.

Stories on Stage opens its twentieth season virtually with Simple Pleasures, a collection of stories described by artistic director Anthony Powell as “tales of gratitude for the simple things in life that are coming to the fore right now, things like kindness and gratitude.” Among other offerings, the evening features the incandescent Jessica Robblee reading Mary Gordon’s “Ugly,” about a sophisticated New Yorker forced to simplify her life. “It’s funny,” says Powell, “but also a heartbreaker.” There’s also “The Toilet Paper Baron of Metro Denver,” by local author Monterey Buchanan. “Weirdly up to date,” observes Powell. “We’re not doing unicorns and rainbows,” he adds, “but I’m looking for a little uplift in some of our shows this coming year.” The group will be live-streaming from Nomad Playhouse; tickets are $15 at storiesonstage.org.

A Stone’s Throw: Collective Misnomer’s Friends of Friends Community Series
Friday, September 25, 8 p.m.

As Collective Misnomer celebrates its fourth birthday, the experimental media troupe has announced that “we’re not dead yet.” And for the rest of 2020, the group is exhibiting works entirely online, handing over programming duties to people outside the organization in order to showcase other curatorial voices from around the country, On September 25, artist Jared Steffensen, curator of exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, will offer an introduction to the art of his state, so close to Colorado…and in many ways so far away. A donation of $10 is suggested, but not required; see it here.

The Big Wonderful Autumn Bazaar
Saturday, September 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Belleview Station, 4910 South Newport Street

More than fifty vendors will be on hand for this special edition of the Big Wonderful, which also features new fall beers and live music, with a jam by members of Lotus and The Heavy Pets. Return on Sunday for a farmers’ market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a free concert by the Matt Flaherty Band at 3 p.m. Tickets to the Autumn Bazaar are $5 in advance, $8 at the door (and include one free drink). Find out more here.

Bazaar Art Mrkt
Saturday, September 26, 2 to 8 p.m.
Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 940 Pearl Street, Boulder

More than fifteen creatives will show their work at this artist-run market, selling everything from prints to jewelry to leather goods. The market is on the patio of the Trident, and dmission is free (but masks are required); find out more here.

Civic Center LIVE: Black Love Mural Festival After-Party
Saturday, September 26, 5 to 10 p.m.
Civic Center Park

Remember the Black Love Mural Festival, way back in June, when the cry of “Black Lives Matter” turned urgent and was even painted on Broadway? The fest, which brought murals and activist art to life in Civic Center Park, eventually made room for other events in the shadow of the Capitol, and never had a proper ending. Hence, this delayed after-party, a loud and proud evening of live music with DJs and hip-hop artists. For COVID reasons, attendance is limited; get your $20 ticket while you can at civiccenterpark.org.

Joni Mitchell in Laurel Canyon.

Joni Mitchell in Laurel Canyon.


BIFF Drive-In: Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time Parts 1 and 2
Saturday, September 26, gates at 5:45, movie at 7:15 p.m.
Boulder Municipal Airport, 3327 Airport Road in Boulder

The Boulder International Film Festival finishes out its drive-in season with the first in-person public screening of the two-part documentary Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time (which was supposed to premiere at SXSW 2020). The movie features Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Doors, Linda Ronstadt, Eagles, Jackson Brown, Alice Cooper, The Byrds, The Monkees, Frank Zappa and many more. Before the film, Boulder-based singer/songwriter Finn O’Sullivan will perform. Admission is $35 per car, and tickets are going fast; grab a spot here.

Living Room Local with John Lithgow
Sunday, September 27, 5 to 6 p.m.

Because actor John Lithgow happens to be a very, very good friend of Boulder’s Local Theater Company, he’s inviting folks from everywhere into his living room for a live virtual reading from his book of topical verse, Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown, followed by a discussion with local critic Lisa Kennedy about the role of satire in art and politics. It’’s going to be sooo clever. Tickets are $20 in advance for the link, at localtheaterco.org.

and plan ahead for…

Doors Open Denver
Monday, September 28, through October 15

Building off the success of past events, the annual Doors Open Denver has gone virtual in 2020. While the timing, duration and scope have changed (there will even be a photo contest), what hasn’t changed is its focus on offering insider tours that provide exclusive access to — and unique information about — historic buildings, new buildings and everything in between. This year’s tours highlight a dozen spaces ranging from cultural to commercial to civic structures; one tour a day will be offered four days a week, each with a question-and-answer period with experts. Tours are $7 for Denver Architecture Foundation members and $9 for non-members; find all the details at denverarchitecture.org.

Know of more great events around town? We’ll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to editorial@westword.com.


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