Best Bets for the week of September 26—October 3

September 2007
We tell you what to do, where to be, and why for each week of the year. —FESTIVAL— What: A Renaissance of Local: A celebration of all things close to home, from food and energy to culture and music. Boulder County Going Local! Campaign wants you to sample food, groove to local bands, check out local organizations, and see what your neighbors are doing to make sustainability fashionable. Why: It's a fun and spirited way to do your part in curbing that pesky little global warming issue and help promote the local economy—local goods mean less transportation, less energy consumption, fewer carbon emissions...you get the drift. Bonus: Good meals, good steals. The festival wraps up with a "Slow Food Feast," featuring the best locally produced food and a community-style dinner ($25). Plus, pick up a coupon book with exclusive discounts to local, community-based, sustainable businesses. Details: Fri noon–9 p.m.; Sat 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Planet Bluegrass, 500 W. Main St., Lyons. $20/day, $35/three-day pass. Call 303-494-1521 or visit www.bouldercountygoinglocal.com. —FUND-RAISER— What: Sixth Annual Urban Cowboy: Pull on your boots, squeeze into your Wranglers, and dust off your hat for this evening of live country music, barbecue deliciousness, and Western-themed shenanigans (think mechanical bull and lasso demonstrations). Festivities courtesy of ASCENT, a Colorado foundation that raises money for small charity organizations; this year's beneficiary is Colorado Youth at Risk. Why: Who doesn't love an excuse to get decked out in their Wild West best, especially for such a good cause? We live in a place where legends were born and movies were made—embrace it, if only for a night. Bonus: Prizes go to the most creatively dressed male, female, and couple. Don't be shy, buckeroos. Details: Sat 7 p.m.–midnight. Walnut Foundry Event Center, 3002 Walnut St. $70. Call 303-579-1101 or visit www.ascentfoundation.com. —MUSIC— What: Renée Fleming: The famed soprano appears for one night only with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, performing favorite Puccini arias, R. Strauss' Four Last Songs, and Kander's "A Letter from Sullivan Ballou." Why: The world-class opera diva has a Grammy, a book, a film, and countless renowned recordings to her name. All signs point to an evening to remember for classical music fans. Bonus: Treat yourselves with a splurge and check out the symphony's gala dinner package with premium concert seats. (Call 303-308-2475 for details.) Details: Sat 7:30 p.m. Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St. $27.50–$105. Call 303-623-7876 or visit www.coloradosymphony.org. —KIDS— What: Saturday Screamers—Live Bats: Each Saturday through October 27, the Wildlife Experience Museum hosts creepy-crawly critter sessions to gear up for Halloween. This weekend, get up close and personal with the world's only flying mammal, presented by the Organization of Bat Conservation. Why: Kids will learn something new—and so will you, unless you're a wildlife biologist specializing in Chiroptera (that's the order of all bat species, roughly from the Greek words for "hand-wing," if you don't have a Webster's handy). Bonus: Saturday is Smithsonian Museum Day, and the Wildlife Experience is offering free admission to those in the know: Go to www.smithsonian.com and download a "museum day card" to skip the admission fee. Details: Fri 11:30 a.m.; Sat 1:30 p.m. The Wildlife Experience, 10035 S. Peoria St., Parker. Free with paid admission. Call 720-488-3300 or visit www.thewildlifeexperience.org. Worthy Day Trip: Fall is officially here, and the aspens know it. The U.S. Forest Service reports that fall colors in the Rockies will peak in the next week, so don't put off that weekend escape! Consider a drive along the scenic Guanella Pass road, which starts about an hour west of Denver in historic Georgetown. Visit www.fs.fed.us/r2/recreation/fallcolors for more scenic drive options.