Music: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
Just before summer turns to fall, head to Telluride for a last hurrah at this tribute to all things blues and beer. Pitch a tent at the adjoining campground and check out headliner Joe Cocker and classics like Buddy Guy and Bonnie Raitt. Daytime jams will feature newbies such as the psychedelic London Souls and Creole-influenced Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe. On Saturday, don't miss the Grand Tasting: 53 brewers from across the country will pour nearly 150 kinds of beer right on festival grounds. Go ahead and soak up the suds. Sept. 18-20, Telluride Town Park, Telluride.
Politics: George Will
Conservative journalist George Will, the longtime Washington Post and Newsweek columnist, has picked apart everything from global warming and George Bush to video games and blue jeans. When he stops in Denver this month for the annual Denver Scholarship Foundation fund-raiser, his topic du jour will be education. The writer, who rarely bites his tongue, has strong opinions on the role of family and teachers in the upbringing of children, and he recently declared that our nation is at risk more than ever because of faulty education standards. His Denver talk should be a fiery one. Sept. 16, Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
Frilly tutus and classical melodies have no place in a Ballet Nouveau Colorado production—especially in the season opener, POP. The three-piece show pairs lighthearted, energetic movement with contemporary tunes. BNC artistic director Garrett Ammon, for example, sets his playful piece "and tomorrow came"—complete with underwear for costumes—to the quirky pianist/harpist/folk-pop songwriter Joanna Newsom's lyrics. Two additional choreographers are working on world premieres that will capture the diversity of modern pop and round out the three-pronged spectacle. Sept. 25-27, Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood; Oct. 2-4, Performing Arts Complex at PCS, Federal Heights.
Outdoors: Tour de Fat
Thinking it's time to trade the breezy bike for the cool-weather car? Not so fast, or you'll miss the wholesome debauchery of New Belgium Brewing's annual trade-your-motor-for-wheels celebration, the Tour de Fat. Unearth a costume (gorilla suits are always a hit), hop a cruiser, and ride the five-mile loop around City Park. Then pull up some grass for the entertainment, such as the 1930s-style Squirm Burpee Circus and a rousing performance by Portland's bike dance team, the Sprockettes. Wash it all down with some frothy New Belgium libations, and you'll forget you even own a car. Sept. 12, City Park.