Cripple Creek ain't just slots and all-you-can-eat buffets. No, sir, there's, like, history there too, and stuff. This weekend, Cripple Creek is home to a slew of events dedicated to the remembrance of Gold Camp's early social days and preservation of the area's heritage. The wackiness includes a dinner and ball at the Double Eagle Events Center, a Victorian tea for the ladies and corresponding mine and city tour followed by brandy and cigars for the gents. There's much more, with a variety of price options for the weekend's events (you lucky Cripple Creek residents get everything for half the price of out-of-towners), and reservations are mandatory. Call 689-9795 to climb aboard.
Tonight through May 23, the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.) presents Hot Mikado, a moderately madcap-sounding update of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic. The jazzy dance musical relates the story of the traveling trombone dude Nanki-Poo and his misadventures with a string of love interests. The music from Gilbert and Sullivan has been transmuted into blues, swing and gospel replete with zoot suits and tap-dancing. Tickets are $21 for FAC members in advance, $23 for the public in advance and $25 at the door and are available at the FAC box office or by calling 634-5583.
Buzzy, lightning-metabolized avian enthusiasts beware: today is the 11th annual Hummingbird Festival at the Starsmore Discovery Center in North Cheyenne Cañon Park (2120 S. Cheyenne Cañon Road). Attractions will include face-painting, live entertainment, vendors, nature walks, children's activities, a climbing wall, a plant sale and more hummingbirds that you can shake a stick at. The fun takes place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and you can learn more by calling 578-6146.
You could also truck the family on over to Colorado College's Japanese Children's Day Festival, taking place in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall (near the intersection of Uintah and Tejon streets on the CC campus) from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The morning's events include origami, brush and ink calligraphy, koto playing, miniature kites, children's pillow sumo and a mini bazaar. The festival is free and open to the public -- however, space is limited and reservations are recommended. Call 266-9564 to make yours.
Lordy, lordy it's festival -- make that fest day. The Pikes Peak Herb Association's second annual Herbal Thymes Herb Fest takes place all day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at First Congregational Church (20 East St. Vrain St. at Tejon). A marketplace of 30 booths will feature handcrafted items, herbalists, herbal skin care items, herbal practitioners, aromatherapy, books and plants (no, not that kind of herb, buddy). Presentations are scheduled throughout the day, including "Xeriscaping Your Herb Garden" at 2 p.m. For more, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birds, sumo and herbs not radical enough for you? Enjoy a fun, pointed, political song-and-schtick routine for a cause tonight whilst All Souls Unitarian Church (730 N. Tejon St.) hosts InTAXicating REBELry with First Strike Theatre. This affaire de resistance will feature special guests like Irrational Exuberant Malcolm Lucard and the Girlz Next Door and is free and open to the public. Donations are encouraged to benefit the National War Tax Resistance Conference. The NWRTC will be held this week, May 7-9, at Shove Chapel, Colorado College. Registration is $15; call 800/269-7464 for more information or to register.
The African Children's Choir will perform two free concerts today in the Springs to help highlight the plight of AIDS orphans in South Africa. The choir, comprised of 25 kids from the Nkomazi region of South Africa who have lost one or more parents to the AIDS virus, will perform traditional African songs and dancing, gospel tunes and popular children's songs. Although the event is free, the organization will be asking for donations to benefit orphans with emergency assistance and long-term relief. Trinity Church of the Nazarene (5055 El Camino Drive) hosts a 10 a.m. concert and First Christian Church (16 E. Platte Ave.) features a second performance at 7 p.m. Visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com for more information.
No, Pervy Von Dirtymind, I said "sax." Tonight, witness jazz saxophonist Harry Allen, called by some one of the brightest stars on the mainstream jazz scene. Drawing from the tenor sax traditions of greats like Stan Getz and Coleman Hawkins, Allen, courtesy of the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society, will be tootling at the Le Baron Hotel (314 W. Bijou St.) at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and $15 for PPJASS members and are available in advance at KCME-FM (1921 N. Weber St.). Sashay on over to www.harryallenjazz.com for more.
You don't have to wait till today to behold some amazing young talent. Since Saturday, May 8, the Fine Arts Center has been hosting outstanding works by secondary students from throughout the Springs as part of the 42nd Young People's Art Exhibition. Today, from 5-7 p.m., there's a reception and an awards ceremony. You can check out the show during regular FAC hours for regular admission ($5 for adults, $3 for seniors of 62 years or older, $2 for children over 6, and free for the under-6 set), and I highly suggest you do so before arts programs are completely edged out of our schools. But enough of my jibber-jabber! Check out www.csfineartcenter.org for more.