Today begins the 14th annual Cripple Creek Salute to American Veterans motorcycle rally and festival. While it doesn't really get rolling until the weekend, you can come early to check out a few vendor booths and nab a good tent site. Before it's all over, you'll see performances from The Jake Loggins Band and Brethren Fast, as well as a parade, aircraft flyovers and a tattoo competition. There's also a beer garden, great food, lots of leather and more than 8,000 riders making this the seventh-largest rally in the country. What more could you ask for? For additional information, call 487-8005 or visit pro-promotions.com. CR
In the early 1990s, plena, a traditional, rhythm-driven style of music, had been relegated to "folklore" status in its birthplace of Puerto Rico. And then a dozen dapper young men wrapped their tattooed arms around trombones and panderetas and pulled it back into the mainstream. At 7:30 tonight, the musicians of Plena Libre grace CC's Armstrong Quad as part of the Pikes Peak Library District's World Music Series. The show is free, and will be moved to nearby Armstrong Hall (14 E. Cache la Poudre St.) if it rains. For more on the performance, call 531-6333 ext. 1234; for more on the band, visit plenalibre.com. KW
Age 5 is a real milestone to reach, if you're a burro: the tufts of hair growing in your ears really fill out, you don't quite pack gear uphill like you used to, and silly humans at a museum throw you a wild party and invite the public. Oro and Nugget, 2004 Mascots of the Year for the Pikes Peak region, will be the guests of honor at the Burro Birthday Party from 1 to 9 p.m. today at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (225 North Gate Blvd.). In addition to tours, food and activities throughout the day, noted singer Chuck Pyle will perform in the evening. Admission for the event is $10 to $12, with kids 15 and under getting in free; call 488-0880 for more or visit wmmi.org. MS
If you've got the blues, take Sunday off and enjoy soulful therapy with friends and family. Pikes Peak Blues Community is having its Birthday Bash: A Celebration of Music today from noon to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the now-defunct Classics (5943 Delmonico Drive). Bring a chair and listen to seven bands perform, including Brickyard, the Jill Watkins Band and the national touring act Roomful of Blues. The free show will also include a silent auction, children's activities, food and Bristol Brewery beer. Call 237-9953 or visit pikespeakblues.org. CR
What do you get when you take Queens of the Stone Age, mellow them out a bit and sprinkle in some early Van Halen guitar taps? The answer: Boulder's high-school-band-turned-professional-rock-group Rose Hill Drive. Comprised of bass- and guitar-strumming brothers Jake and Daniel Sproul and drummer Nathan Barnes, Rose Hill Drive has recently launched into aggressive touring with major bands at big festivals, such as Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits. Catch them closer to their home turf tonight at the Bluebird Theater (3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver) at 8. Tickets run between $15 and $18; call 303/825-4849 or visit ticketweb.com to purchase a set. MS
So, you're brown-bagging it to work. Maybe it's not that exciting, but what you lack in thrill factor, you can make up in mobility. Take that bag to the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission (214 E. Vermijo Ave.) at noon today for the August IndyMedia Newsreal event. See news clips featuring the Raging Grannies (singing elderly activists) crashing an Air Force recruitment office and Iraqi journalist Eman Ahmed Khamas speaking about the war. It's all free, and lasts an hour; for more info, call the PPJPC at 632-6189. KW
It's kinda funny when you think about it: In theory, coffeehouses are places to go to drink coffee, much like auto garages are places to go to fix a car. But unlike the plethora of art shows, open mics and the like in coffee shops, you never see metaphysical gatherings or acoustic-picking hippies at auto garages. ... Wow, there it is: the dumbest thing I'll ever write. Never mind me. Just go to the Java Buddha Coffeehouse (2820 W. Colorado Ave.) from 7 to 10 tonight for the Springs Poetry Slam and Open Mic. Call 633-5282 for more information. MS
This week's 7 Days contributors: Chrissy Roller, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.