"I know you're trying to be all mystical and Kung Fu-ey, but could you tell me where we're going?" Well, if you want to see Po (Jack Black) voice this line in the animated comedy Kung Fu Panda tonight, you'll be going to the Promenade Shops at Briargate (1885 Briargate Pkwy., thepromenadeshopsatbriargate.com). The free family film series, Pictures on the Promenade, begins at sunset (8:28 p.m.) and will continue each Thursday evening through Aug. 6. Pack up the kids and the cooler, grab your blankets and lawn chairs, and find your moment of zen under the stars. — JT
The Wheel of Death returns this year. This is the torture device and executioner of all unwanted artwork by FutureSelf artists, who will aim to auction off their efforts or submit them for destruction. FutureSelf Ignite!, starring said wheel, takes place tomorrow starting at 4:30 p.m., and is just one event in this year's completely free, fifth annual Pikes Peak Arts Fest at America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive, pikespeakartsfest.com), which starts today (4-8 p.m.) and runs Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Each day in the fest offers a new music lineup — Edith Makes a Paperchain, Aria Tari and the Changing Colors play today — as well as arts and crafts booths and family activities other than breaking stuff. — EA
Sure, you could opt to celebrate our independence today at several spots in the region. Monument's got a parade, Woodland Park's got that plus fireworks at dusk, Cripple Creek's got fireworks and gambling (freedom!). But my money ($6 to be exact) is on the Family Fourth at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site (30th Street and Gateway Road, rockledgeranch.com). Where else are you going to hear Abraham Lincoln (the actor, not the ghost) recite the Gettysburg Address and General Palmer (same note) voice the Declaration of Independence? Add patriotic music (not a Rage Against the Machine cover band), games, hot dogs and a Civil War encampment, and there's no better place to be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — MS
V of V for Vendetta made explosive music famous. Today, hear the selfsame tune, the 1812 Overture, with military cannons and a fireworks display paired with the music. It's the finale to the 29th annual Symphony Above the Clouds at Woodland Park Middle School (600 E. Kelly Road, 686-2200). Florissant Fossils, a bluegrass group, will open the performance, followed at 7:30 p.m. by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic orchestra. Several thousand people usually attend, so early arrival is recommended; gates open at 5 p.m. The show's free, though donations are appreciated. — AM
Some combinations just make sense: ketchup and mustard, peanut butter and jelly, bluegrass and ... punk music? "Cowpunk," the fusion of punk with country, folk and blues, apparently originated in Southern California in the '80s. (Think Rancid mixed with Yonder Mountain String Band.) Oregon-based Larry and His Flask follow this formula by injecting the subtlest mandolin riffs into even the heaviest of headbangin' shreds. Disclaimer: Dancing a jig in the mosh pit is not recommended. Larry and His Flask will play at 7 p.m. Sunday at Kinfolks Mountain Shop (950 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-4433) and 9 p.m. tonight at Benny's Lounge (517 W. Colorado Ave., 459-3624). Admission is free at both venues. — KV
At the age of 15, Dale McCracken transformed an old Opal Cadet station wagon into a zany clown ambulance and never looked back. Three decades later, he's America's reigning Gizmo the Clown, one of the fine entertainers at this year's Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Sure, there are Gizmo the Clowns up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and down in Sydney, Australia, but McCracken looks like he could easily kick both their asses at one time. This year's rodeo revs up with a 6:30 p.m. parade downtown and continues to run through Saturday. For more information on mutton bustin', rodeo queen autographs and other rodeo stuff, mosey on over to coloradospringsrodeo.com. — BF
According to the International Association of Pastel Societies, there has been a renaissance in pastel painting over the past decade. Decide for yourself whether that is exciting or forboding news for the art community by attending Pikes Peak Pastel Society Members' Exhibit. The show, titled Pastel Vibrations, opens on July 3 and runs through Sept. 26 in the Hagnauer Gallery at the Business of Art Center (513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1861). The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Attend an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on July 10; both the show and the reception are free. — VL
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Bill Forman, Virginia Leise, Avalon Manly, Matthew Schniper, Jill Thomas and Ken Voeller.
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