Want to see the next Calbert Cheaney? OK, how about Suzy Favor Hamilton? Paul Wylie? Sigh. With today's sports pages featuring killer betting scandals, dogfighting indictments and steroids investigations, those hardworking athletes of yesteryear sure seem lame. But they all once thrilled crowds at the State Games of America. This year, the national competition, featuring more than 10,000 amateur athletes, happens in Colorado Springs, and we'd recommend you rediscover the simple joy of sport by attending today's 7 p.m. opening ceremony at the World Arena (3185 Venetucci Blvd.). Michelle Kwan will light the cauldron, and, hey, she's pretty jailhouse, right? Right? Call 866/464-2626 or visit thesportscorp.org for tickets. KW
The Summer Against the Sky festival is something to be pretty stoked about: 13 local bands (including Independent favorite The Wheel) performing over a nine-hour stretch alongside the for-sale works of local visual artists. Cool, yes? Oh, and it's all free, even the hors d'oeuvres being supplied from The Margarita at PineCreek. It starts at noon today in Acacia Park (115 E. Platte Ave.), featuring the more mainstream-type artists early on, and, as the time passes toward the festival's 9 p.m. end, moving toward the lineup's more experimental trip-hop and electronica acts. For more info, visit myspace.com/summeragainstthesky, or call Jeremy at 232-9920. PF
For those who know a little bit about hummingbirds, it comes to no surprise that the Aztecs envisioned their god of war as a hummingbird. Due to their territorial nature, they can put on quite a show fighting for a feeder. National Hummingbird Day at Starsmore Discovery Center (2120 S. Cheyenne Cañon Road) will cater to all things hummingbird with banding sessions, seminars and nature walks for adults and children over 10. Seminars and banding are $5 each session, starting at 7:30 a.m., with free family programs in the afternoon. For reservations and info, call 385-6086 or log on to cheyennecanon.org. EA
For its name alone, you should attend this event: the third annual Critter Fest 2007. Sweet. Taking place at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (201 S. Fairview St., Woodland Park) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday, the event presents animal rehabilitation, protection and education groups including the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, the Teller County K-9 Unit, Trout Creek Llamas and The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue. Gain free museum admission with a pet adoption. (Members also get in free.) Many participating organizations will lecture inside. Call 686-1820 ext. 111 for more, or visit rmdrc.com. MS
You can argue that using a bow to shoot an arrow at a target that is hundreds of feet away takes at least some athletic ability. I mean, just ask Robin Hood. The not-so-extreme sport of archery has been around since medieval times, and today holds something of a rarefied status as an Olympic sport. Contrary to what many think, watching archery is much better than watching paint dry. It's a form of art. So today through Saturday, enjoy the 123rd National Target Championships at Memorial Park (1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave.). The competition starts at 8 a.m. For more information, call 866-4576 or visit usarchery.org. KL
For a devoted Beatles fan like me, supporting anything to do with Yoko Ono is considered something of an unforgivable sin. Fortunately for Sean Lennon, son of John and Yoko, I can make an exception. And although The Beatles never wrote any songs about this son (Paul McCartney penned "Hey Jude" for Julian Lennon), Sean's opening for Rufus Wainwright is still worth checking out. Wainwright, with his melodic, shrill choruses and terrific fashion, is always worth a drive. The show, at the Fillmore Auditorium (1510 Clarkson St., Denver), starts at 6 tonight. Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com for $30. AL
The only time I've ever persevered through four rounds of anything was in my cousin's basement when I was 12. We conducted our own version of WrestleMania, complete with Hulk Hogan-inspired capes, otherwise known as my aunt's bath towels. I saw creativity and a budding sense of ingenuity in our game; she saw an extra load of laundry. Anyway, today marks round one of the Celebration of the Amateur Pianist and Rocky Mountain Piano Competition at Colorado College's Packard Hall (5 W. Cache la Poudre St.). The competition features recitals, master classes and a seminar. Tickets cost between $5 and $15. Call 389-6606 or visit apiano.org for more. AG
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Pete Freedman, Angela Grosshans, Kurtis Lee, Amanda Lundgren, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.
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