Best Bets

Best Bets

May 2011

Music: Denver Day of Rock

What’s better than an outdoor music festival to welcome summer weather? More than a dozen bands are taking over downtown Denver for a day, with five stages spread along more than five blocks of the 16th Street Mall area. Along with the Gin Blossoms (the ’90s rockers best known for “Hey Jealousy”), don’t miss the Boulder Acoustic Society and local country crooners the Hollyfelds, among others. Adults can relax with refreshments in the liquor lounges while the kids scramble from the balloon artist to the chalk-painting zone. The free shindig benefits Concerts for Kids, a Denver-based not-for-profit that raises awareness and money for children’s charities. May 28, Downtown Denver

Culture: Fair Trade Oriental Rug Event

Rug makers in Pakistan might spend 14 months completing just one 9-by-12 rug. Fortunately, local organizations like Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade retailer, and Bunyaad, a group that represents artisans in Pakistan, help ensure that these stitchers are adequately paid. When you buy a one-of-a-kind rug at this sale (choose from more than 300 pieces), your purchase supports jobs in Pakistan, which have been hard to come by since last year’s devastating floods. Attend Thursday’s seminar to learn about the origins of your purchase—and leave with a newfound appreciation for the dedication and attention to detail that went into creating it. May 11–14, Augustana Lutheran Church

Fashion: Boulder in Bloom Runway Show & Gala

Rags Consignments is celebrating 15 years in business by giving back. This benefit fashion show and party will unveil sassy, salvaged looks from well-known labels such as Nicole Miller and BCBG. (If you’re digging an ensemble, stop by the store after the event to buy the ready-to-wear pieces.) Don your finest floral attire as you admire the spring styles and sample food and drinks catered by the St Julien Hotel. All proceeds support the Growe Foundation, which educates kids and families about the environment and healthy nutrition. Don’t worry if you’re a last-minute planner: Standing-room-only tickets will be sold day-of. May 7, St Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder

Food: The Big Eat

We’re pretty sure the name speaks for itself—not too many folks need convincing to hit dozens of the city’s best eateries in one stop—but if you do need to be enticed, here are some incentives: More than 40 members of EatDenver—an organization of local, independent restaurants working to promote Denver’s dining scene—will be serving carnival-themed eats alongside fire breathers, jugglers, stilt walkers, and local bands. Expect to see Vesta Dipping Grill, Root Down, Lou’s Food Bar, and Duo Restaurant among them before washing down the grub with suds from Great Divide and Wynkoop breweries. So bring your Sunday appetite—downtown parking will be free—or pedal off some pre-feast calories and bike in. This is, after all, a zero-waste affair (i.e., all cocktails will be served in a tin cup, meaning there’s no trash—and you take home a souvenir). May 22, Union Station