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16 Friday

Damn the dogged drought, it's time to plant the garden and enjoy the Pikes Peak region's bug-free, atmospherically unpredictable but predictably short growing season. Buy drought resistant flowers and shrubs grown in the harsh conditions of Franktown, Brighton, Buena Vista, Rye, Redwing, Ellicott and Fountain at the Horticultural Art Society's Annual Gigantic Spring Plant Sale, today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Monument Valley Park Demonstration Garden, corner of Glen and Cache La Poudre.

Tonight from 5 to 7, the Business of Art Center hosts an opening reception for local photographer/psychiatrist Jerry Stein whose work seeks to clarify the "essential role played by the natural world in human psychological development and well-being." Stein is a southern Colorado native, an avid hiker and former fishing guide whose nature and wildlife photography has been shown in galleries across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Call 685-1861 for more.

Up the road, at 7 p.m., local string jazz trio Mango fan Django plays the Ute Pass Cultural Center, located at Fairview Avenue and Highway 24 in Woodland Park. Mango fan Django is one of those rare bands that not only wears its influences on its sleeve, but in its name. True to expectations, they're heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt's swing/gypsy jazz sound. There will be an open acoustic jam after the show. You're welcome to come sit in, so bring your jug-und-plunger. The show will be opened by Dave and Doug, Tiffany Kimball, and Bill Snyder. Admission is $4 for adults, free for kids under 18. If you must, call the Mountain Acoustic Music Association (MAMA) for more: 687-9483.

17 Saturday

Love him or loathe him, Uncle Wilber shows no signs of vacating his watery vigil over at Bijou and Tejon. Today, the tuba-tickling toddler-tamer will be tooting his first tune of the 2003 term, totally triumphing over the threat of termination. Fund-raiser! The season opening is going on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If there's rain, the date's changed to tomorrow. If it rains tomorrow, then we're irrevocably embedded in some ever-collapsing cosmic spiral. Nice knowing you. Call 444-0884 for more.

Today and tomorrow, prepare yourself. The In Their Honor Air Show is going on, and you should head to 2524 W. Colorado to go see it. There will be MIGs, experimental aircraft and an AeroCar, among others. Remember Ginger, that media blitzkrieg we all thought would be a hydrogen-powered air-moped that turned out to be the Segway, nothing more than a self-righting dorkmobile? Well, this is going to be something like the exact opposite of that. I mean, the thing's called an AeroCar; how disappointing can it be? Gates are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both today and tomorrow. Tickets are as follows: $10 for adults, $8 for military and seniors, $5 for kids 6-11, and free to kids younger than that. $3 parking. Call 635-8803 for more.

It seems that today is, inadvertently, South American Event Hijinks day. First off, we have a film about the Kogi Tribe of Colombia's Andes Mountains, showing at 1 p.m. in the Adult Meeting Room of Penrose Public Library, 20 N. Tejon St. After the film, Woody Vaspra, friend to the Kogi, will speak about the teachings and prophecies of this long-secluded tribe.

Next, we have a lively discussion from three locals who reached the summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest point in the Western hemisphere. They'll be all, "Dude, we were higher than the entire country of Switzerland." Be at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, inside Garden of the Gods Park, for social hour (5:30 p.m.), dinner (6:30 p.m.), and the program itself (7:30 p.m.). The program is free, the cost of dinner being only that you bring enough food for your party plus two others. Call 635-5330.

18 Sunday

Today, head over to Fusion Pointe, located at 2228 W. Pikes Peak Ave., for the World Faire: A Fantastical Festival of the Arts. There will be demonstrations and classes for everything from Brazilian capoeira to salsa and merengue to belly dancing. It's going on all day, starting at 9 a.m., and classes and demos are free. At 5 p.m., dinner will be served, with accompaniment from pianist Bryant Jones. Dance and music performances begin at 6:30, including classical ballet, jazz guitar, traditional Balinese dance and a West African drum circle. Call 632-7511 for more.

And you thought you were plainspoken. Come to First Congregational Church, at the corner of St. Vrain and Tejon, tonight at 7, to see that favorite just-grinnin-with-a-hat populist Jim Hightower, known to you from the pages of your and our own CS Independent, give a presentation, called "The People Are Revolting (in the best sense of the word)." Jeez, Jim, how many double-entendres is that? It's free, open to the public, and will include a reception and book/CD-signing. Hightower's new CD was produced by the Dead Kennedys' own Jello Biafra. Weird. A guy makes an album called Frankenchrist, and 15 years later, he's helping a cowboy-hatted man of the people press the flesh in a downtown church. Call 577-4545 for more.

22 Thursday

It's good to know that even in times of crisis, the Air Force Academy cadets still have time for a bawdy fairy tale. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., and at the same time on May 24-25, the Bluebards Theatre Company presents Into the Woods at the Academy's Arnold Hall. If you've never seen it, it's kind of a pastiche of a rather disparate bunch of fairy tales -- Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and a whole bunch of others. The characters are constantly plotting murder and sneaking off into the bushes with one another. You'll learn how dwarfs are scary and how giants are kind of messed up. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, military and seniors, and free for kids under 12. Call 333-4497.

--Brian Arnot

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