Ryan Acker stresses that everyone's welcome to attend Mike Jones' 5:30 appearance at the Pride Center (2508 E. Bijou St.) tonight, where the escort-come-author will read from, sign and answer questions about I Had to Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard's Fall. "It's important for everyone in the community to have the opportunity to read the book and draw their own conclusions," explains Acker, executive director of the GLBT advocacy group. A similarly open invitation, of course, extends to the center's annual PrideFest and parade, scheduled for Sunday around Acacia Park downtown. For more on these and other Pride Week events, check pages 31-42, visit ppglcc.org or call 471-4429. KW
Being a logical person, I've always thought superstition surrounding Friday the 13th was a bunch of B.S. Don't get sucked into the hype, either. Instead, think positively and head down to Colorado State University-Pueblo Fine Art Gallery (2200 Bonforte Blvd.) for the opening of The Blue Collar Chronicles, a one-man show featuring the works of local artist Justin Reddick. The 30-plus abstract works, including paintings and sculptures, seek to represent the working class of America. The free reception runs from 5 to 8 tonight, and the art will be on display through the end of July. Call 719/549-2835 for more. AL
Why don't you make like a tree and leaf? No really, participate in the Legacy Tree Community Art Project put on by Concrete Couch and our fair city, and make leaves that'll be attached to a wooden sculpture in celebration of the Colorado Springs Parks Department's 100th anniversary. The free, almost-all-ages workshop takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Palmer Park (3650 Maizeland Road). Other events include a dog show, park clean-up, concert and movie screening. Similar events will occur at Rock Ledge Ranch and Monument Valley Park later in the month. Visit springsgov.com or call 385-5940 to learn more. MS
The Colorado Springs School. The Broadmoor Pops Orchestra. Their very names scream exclusivity. But tonight, the two organizations are collaborating for a (slightly) more casual gathering. While you enjoy an outdoor dinner, the Pops will perform Concert on the Quad!, a fundraiser to restore the school's historic Trianon (in layman's terms: a pretty piece of architecture). The event takes place at The Colorado Springs School (21 Broadmoor Ave.) and runs from 5:30 to 8:30. The cost runs from $40 to $100. For more info, call 475-9747 or go online to css.org. AL
Author Anna Quindlen once said, "Life is not so much about beginnings and endings as it is about going on and on and on. It is about muddling through the middle." Over the weekend, athletes from 26 countries will have muddled through one exhausting middle nine Olympic-style events ranging from swimming to judo at the 2007 International Blind Sports Association World Youth & Student Games. Today, it finally ends, wrapping up at CC's Washburn Field and other locations. For ticket and venue information to show your support, call 630-0422. AG
Only one sporting event can claim the title of "oldest auto race west of the Mississippi River," and it's the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which debuted in 1916. This year's race will be Saturday, July 21, with much of the focus on Leonard Vahsholtz (17 division wins) and son Clint (14 wins) of Woodland Park, as well as Japan's Nobuhiro Tajima's assault on the overall record of 10:04.06 for the 12.42-mile course. Today starts three days of practice runs, each day costing only the usual price of admission to the Pikes Peak Highway ($10 for 16 and up, $5 for children 6 to 15, maximum of $35 a car). The tollgate's open to the public at 4:30 a.m., with practices from 5:30 to 8:30. Call 685-4400. RR
What furry animal is 4 feet long, more than 100 pounds and can stay underwater for five minutes? Give up? The answer is the capybaras, largest rodent in the world. And no, its natural habitat is not the New York subway system, although some New Yorkers may argue that. Anyway, learn about capybaras, macaws and other wildlife that inhabit the Pantanal area of Brazil by attending the program "A Place Like No Other" at Starsmore Discovery Center (2120 S. Cheyenne Cañon Road). The presentation starts at 7 tonight, and children are welcome with an adult. Reservations are required. Call 385-6086 for more. AG
This week's 7 Days contributors: Angela Grosshans, Amanda Lundgren, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.