Now that the renovation of the beautiful Cliff House Inn on Cañon Avenue in Manitou is complete, it only needs a few finishing touches. One of those will be the addition of open-air paintings by local artist Bill Duryea. The exhibit, which will hang throughout August, opens at the Inn at 5 p.m. and is presented by Human Touch Gallery, of which Duryea is a member. Call 685-1241 to find out more.
There'll be enough yarn to macram afghans for a hundred sofas at the 12th annual Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival in Palmer Lake. Storytellers, musicians and puppeteers from all over the world will tell their tales, and teach you how to do the same in one of the many workshops this weekend. Most events will be held in Palmer Lake Elementary, but some, like the ghost tales, will be held outdoors on the village green. Tickets are $2-$35 and family packages are available. Call 800/484-6963 Ext. 8253. The festival runs through Saturday.
There's blues in them thar hills. ... Texas blueswoman Debbie Davies returns wielding her guitar, to Tres Hombres, 116 Midland Ave. in Woodland Park -- for one show only. Tickets are $12; call 687-0625. The concert begins at 9 p.m.
The Colorado College Summer Festival of the Arts is winding down, and one of the last events is tonight's A Scenic View I. Vocal Arts Symposium participants will get all gussied up in the appropriate costumes before performing opera scenes, complete with staging. The operatic dramatics begin at 7:30 in Packard Hall, on the southwest corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre. Tickets are $2-$10. Call 389-6607. There will be another installment of performances -- A Scenic View II -- next Tuesday night, same place, same time.
Ute Pass is riddled with artists, and the best of them will be displaying their wares at the 15th annual Mountain Arts Festival. The juried arts and crafts show will be held at the Ute Pass Cultural Center in Woodland Park, at Highway 24 and Fairview. Live music, food and dancers will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday. Admission is free. Call 687-8298 for more information.
The Round About Mainstage Dinner Theater Players try their hand at the classically funny Nunsense at the Show Space at Charlie's Pit Barbeque, 4325 N. Nevada Ave. Tickets are $23 and include dinner. Reservations are required -- call 266-4355 to respond, si vous plait. The show opens tonight at 8 (dinner begins at 6:30), and runs Saturdays through Sept. 2.
Oh yeah, you've been waiting for this all year ... one of everyone's favorite party bands performs at 7:30 p.m. at Crystal Canyon -- Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Tickets are $10, and the band will also play at 10 p.m. The Canyon is a new bar in Cripple Creek at 401 Bennett Ave. Call 689-9633 for details.
The folks down at the Greenway & Nature Center in Pueblo certainly have hit upon something with this whole music-down-by-the-river thing. They'll be entertaining once again on the banks of the slightly mighty Arkansas; this time it's the Third annual River Rock'n Blues Fest. Billy Earl McClelland, Emilio Emilio, Peter Burg & the Blue Suburbans, Brian Ritchie and the Bluestones will play from noon until 10 p.m. As usual, there will be an arts & crafts fair, nature activities, food, drink, raffles and a playground. Tickets are $3-$10. Call 719/542-2414 for directions or details.
Quick! Before they turn into teenagers and lose interest in this kind of stuff, pack the kids in the car and head up to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. After dark, the non-light-polluted skies above the historic region will be all a-twinkle with summer stars. Astronomer Dmitri Klebe will lead the hunt for constellations, beginning at 8 p.m. The program is free with $2 park admission. Reservations required; call 719/748-3253.
Cancel your power lunch and lose your heels. You've got a chance to bask in the sun and listen to free, live music in Acacia Park today, and only a stress addict would pass that up. The Brown Bag Series brings you music today from the Floyd Frame Swing Ensemble, from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your lunch and thank heaven you're not stuck in your office.
Clarence Gatemouth Brown must secretly want to live in the Springs, because he makes his way here at least once or twice a year. He's back again, playing his famous lowdown, country guitar and fiddle blues at the Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Tonight's show starts at 8. Tickets are a bargain, just $12 (subject to service charge, of course). Call 447-9797.
If you swing it right, you could be quite the social butterfly this evening, flitting from one gallery opening to another. The new exhibit at the Permanent Professors Art Gallery at the Air Force Academy opens with a reception from 4 to 7:30. Colors of Experience, works by Jacek Roch Howacki, Eliza Szabo and Brad Bez, will hang until Sept. 8. Call 333-2416.
If you leave the Academy at a reasonable hour, you can make it downtown to El Tesoro Restaurant and Gallery, 10 N. Sierra Madre, to catch the opening of Mystical Pathways, Interiors/Exteriors, colorful works by local artists Lorraine Danzo and Deb Komitor. The opening soire for this little collection of art begins at 5:30 and continues until 8. Admission is free. Call 471-0106. -- Kristen Sherwood