During the early morning of Nov. 29, 1864, volunteer U.S. soldiers under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington opened fire on 500 Arapahoe and Southern Cheyenne Indians camped on Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado. One-hundred fifty were killed, many while trying to protect themselves by digging trenches into the crumbling earth. A group of women, children, elderly and infirmed made the mistake of running down into the creek, where they were hindered by the sucking sand. The troops pushed them back by firing on them with a Howitzer. Afterward, the soldiers wandered the battlefield, committing atrocities on the dead. The event is still one of the most controversial in American history.
Congress has asked the National Park Service to find the exact location of the Sand Creek Massacre and environmentally assess it to see if it can be made into a national park. American Indian scholar Jerome Greene will discuss the results of the study and the history of the massacre tonight at 7 at Rock Ledge Ranch, on 30th Street at the east entrance to Garden of the Gods. Admission to Finding Sand Creek: The Documentary Trail is free, but reservations are required. Call 578-6777.
Your calves will feel like old rubber bands; your hamstrings, semi-frozen chewing gum; and your lower back -- well, we won't talk about your lower back. But you will feel that wonderful sense of accomplishment after the S-CAP Escape 250, a weekend of single-day loop bike rides totaling 250 miles which benefits the Southern Colorado AIDS Project. Riders are expected to obtain at least $500 in donations and the $90 registration fee includes camping, jersey, meals and ride snacks. The rides all begin in Monument. Call 578-9092 for registration information.
Get steamy in the garden this evening with the sounds of Trio Brasil. They play at 7 p.m. at Los Robles Nursery, 918 W. Costilla (that's right, behind McDonald's on 8th Street). Admission is $2, and for a bit extra you can have dinner while you're there. Call 328-1052.
If you're a local art aficionado, it's a safe bet that you already own a piece by one of the artists currently exhibiting their work at the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway. Fahrenheit 2000 is a ceramic show featuring Kerstin Eriksson, Paul Rogers, Ken and Tina Riesterer, Greg Marshall, Sushe Felix, Sharon Cupit, Mark Dillon, Maxine Green, Chip Shaw, Randy Bowen, Jean Jennings, Bob Smith, Stephen Bair and Doug Fey. All types of clay have been used in all sorts of ways, alone or with other media. The opening reception for the huge show starts at 5 p.m. Call 262-3567.
People think I'm some kind of freak because I let my dog, Nell, go everywhere with me. She rides in the front seat, has a public radio membership, sleeps in my bed and gets mail. She owns her own backpack, beauty kit, toothbrush, and shoes. I treat her like my best friend because she is. It's pathetic that there are so many homeless animals out there with giant hearts, who only need someone to love them as much as I love Nell. Colorado Springs All-Breed Rescue is on the right path to finding these accidental pets homes, not only by working daily to save dogs but by sponsoring Romp in the Park in recognition of National Homeless Animals Day. The day-long event features contests, obstacle courses, massages and a water park for you and your pup, as well as demonstrations from canine organizations. Homeless dogs will be available for adoption, and there will be a micro-chip clinic for those who want to make sure that their pet never becomes one of those dogs. Admission is free. Romp begins at 10 a.m. in the 4 Diamond Sports Complex on North Nevada Avenue, across from the Howard Johnson Lodge. Call 260-0668.
I was hiking the other day when I was savagely attacked by a swarm of vicious, ill-mannered mosquitoes. Lucky for me, I had in my hand a collection of wild drooping onions that I had been picking, and the strong smell drove them back. I might have died -- or worse -- had it not been for Cattail Bob Seebeck. His book inspired me to pick the onions in the first place. The naturalist will present a program on Wild Edible and Useful Plants at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Admission is $20-$40; registration is required. Call 719/748-3253.
If you've seen the ending sequence to the film Zorba the Greek when Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates are dancing on the beach, I'll bet that right then you really, really wished you were Greek. You can be (for a day), when you eat the food, dance the dances, listen to the music and play the games at the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church Greek Festival at 2215 Paseo Road. The festival is free, and begins at 11 a.m. Get details at 634-5678.
Local wunderband Big Back Yard makes a rare appearance at noon in Acacia Park, downtown, today. The concert, part of the Brown Bag Series, is free, free, free! You have no reason not to attend. See you there.
Award-winning documentary film The Farm was shot over the period of one year at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, a former slave plantation now the largest maximum security prison in the nation, famous for its prison rodeo. Winner of the 1998 Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Filmmaking, The Farm follows six inmates -- four convicted murderers (one on death row), an inmate dying of lung cancer and a man pursuing parole for a crime he claims he did not commit. The documentary will be shown on Tuesday night in Colorado College's Packard Hall on the southwest corner of Cascade and Cache La Poudre. The screening is a benefit for Epimethian Press, a local non-profit working toward greater prisoner and public education on the criminal justice system. Admission is $10 for students, $15 for individuals or $28 for couples. The Farm begins at 7:30 p.m. Call 475-8059 for reservations.
For 100 years, the cornerstone of the Pioneers Museum has housed a time capsule, placed there while the ornate structure, then the county courthouse, was being built. The time capsule will be opened today at the museum, 215 S. Tejon St. In addition to satisfying your curiosity, the free event will also feature, live music, living history presentations, Masonic ceremony and Color Guard. Opening ceremonies begin at 4 p.m. Call 385-5990.
-- Kristen Sherwood
WWJD on the 18th
On Friday, JC'll be backstage, egging the youngsters on at the Youth Theater Festival. Hard-working young actors perform Peter Pan at 5 p.m., Grease at 7 p.m., The Outsiders and scenes from Romeo and Juliet at 9 p.m. before giving up the stage to live band Fill In The Blanks at 10:30 p.m. The evening of romance, culture and one-handed pirates will be held at the Manitou Springs Memorial Hall, 606 Manitou Ave. Tickets are $4 per play, $6.50 for two plays; or $9 for all three plays and the band. R.S.V.P. to 328-0206 or 685-1192.