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Panning for gold. Photo credit: Louie Traub/Courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office

The Best Things to Do This Month in Colorado

Your short list of Colorado's coolest June events.

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Rock Revival | June 1

When Shane Cornell conceived of the LO2 Classic Rock Music Festival ($10 to $45), he was looking for a way to bring better acts to Woodland Park, a small town near Colorado Springs. But after he discovered that CASA of the Pikes Peak Region—a nonprofit that provides legal support for victims of child abuse—had lost its funding, he decided to turn the festival into a Live Aid–type fundraiser. During the inaugural concert, audiences at the Ute Pass Cultural Center can support the organization and rock out to some of the best cover bands in the country, such as Eagles tribute group the Long Run.

Game On | June 5

Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos’ wide receiver. Photo credit: Zuma Press Inc./Alamy Stock Photo.

Here’s your chance to prove you’re better than the pros—even if it’s on virtual turf. During the first Emmanuel Sanders’ Arcade Adventure ($100 to $300), fans can challenge the all-pro wide receiver and other Broncos to arcade classics at 1up Arcade Bar in Greenwood Village. Win or lose, the fast-fingered fun benefits a worthy cause: Proceeds will help the Emmanuel Sanders Foundation provide free sports equipment rentals to underprivileged kids at Denver-area schools.

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Golden Opportunity | June 14–16

More than 150 years after the Centennial State’s first gold rush, few people still seek their fortunes with a pickaxe and pan. Many of those who do belong to the Gold Prospectors of Colorado, a group that endeavors to pass on its fading hobby by hosting the Colorado Gold Panning Championships each summer. During the 46th iteration, which will be held in downtown Breckenridge, members and other prospecting pros from across the country will teach the public how to scour streams for gold. Once you think you’re ready, you can challenge an expert to a duel—the one who finds the most tiny gold pieces in a bucket of sand wins. The precious metal you unearth won’t be enough to pay off a mortgage (it’s not even enough to buy a Twinkie), but learning about an important part of Colorado’s history will definitely make you richer.

Sudsy Steps | June 15

Boulder Beer Chase. Photo courtesy of Wahoo Films.

Need the promise of a reward to make it through your run? During the 12-stage Boulder Beer Chase relay on June 15, teams of up to six ($275 to $775 per team) will traverse more than 56 miles between Fort Collins and Boulder, stopping to pass the figurative baton and taste foamy samples at more than a dozen breweries, including Odell Brewing Co., along the way.

Arts and Minds | June 17–July 12

SummerFest has shifted its focus to the intersection of art and science. Photo courtesy of Jephta Bernstein.

Art and science are thought to occupy opposite sides of the intellectual spectrum, but this cerebral celebration strives to prove otherwise. SummerFest began eight years ago as a concert fundraiser for what’s now called Off The Hook Arts, a nonprofit that provides low-cost music education to Fort Collins youth. A few years later, festival founder Jephta Bernstein broadened the scope by inviting scientists to speak about creativity. The talks were so popular SummerFest shifted its focus to the intersection of art and science. This year’s theme, Perception/Deception, Illusion/Confusion, addresses how human minds are fooled. World-class creatives and academics will headline activities around Fort Collins and Boulder (tickets start at $10), including a June 18 session with former Saturday Night Live writer David Misch on how the psychology of deception helps craft jokes. That blend of neuroscience and art means you can channel your inner Bill Nye and Bob Ross.

 

Summer Guide

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