Arrrgggh! It's July already! What happened to June?! Shhh, it's OK. You can allay your summer's-almost-halfway-gone anxiety and get your dose of flora and fauna tonight at the mountain campus of the Catamount Institute, where they'll be dishing out free guided hikes through montane meadows and subalpine forests. Look for signs of black bear and elk, take in the sunset along Lake Silva and get a load of some truly awesome vistas. Hikers should be prepared for a 2-mile hike at a 9,600-foot elevation and should bring water. The fun gets started at 7 p.m., and donations to the Catamount Institute are much appreciated. Check out
www. catamountinstitute.org for directions or more information. This hike will be repeated on Thursday, July 8.
Today at noon at Acacia Park, check out a bunch of young 'uns in their production of Urban Oliver. This urbanized adaptation of the Dickens classic features young people enrolled in summer study at the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Led by Broadway alumna and Denver native Billie McBride (who is not Jack Black), the kids have composed original jazz and rock music to accompany the show. Going on in tandem with the play are performances by the Ormao dance troupe and plenty of hands-on arts experiences for young people and those of more advanced years, all as part of the "What Art Means" program.
Tonight, local blues fave Tab Benoit takes the stage at 32 Bleu (32 N. Tejon St.) with electric blues guitarist/singer/songwriter Jimmy Thackery. Benoit's smooth N'awlins sound and Thackery's hard-driving blues roots-rock should make for one howlin' evening on Tejon Street. Sponsored by the Pikes Peak Blues Community, tickets are $16 in advance, $18 at the door. Call 955-5664 or visit www.32bleu.com for more.
It just wouldn't be summer without the spectacle of young people beating the crap out of each other, and you can bear witness to the pummeling tonight at are you ready? Young Guns Explosion! This cavalcade of young world-class boxers will be at the Douglas County Events Center in Castle Rock (at the Plum Creek exit from I-25) and will feature eight bouts of totally awesome boxing along with musical entertainment. Get your tickets at
www.ticketswest.com or by calling 800-325-SEAT.
Hailing from the Ozarks, multi-instrumentalist duo Still on the Hill brings its colorful bluegrass/folk show to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (730 N. Tejon St.) tonight as part of the Journey to Community Performance Series. Folkie David Wilcox has called Still on the Hill "a folk Cirque du Soleil." See for yourself: The show's at 7:30; tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors. Call 633-7717 for more.
Treat yourself to a delightful little evening of Americana tonight at Soda Springs Park in Manitou Springs (on Manitou Avenue just past the town clock), where local wind ensemble the Little London Winds will really be blowing. As part of their free summer concert series in Manitou, the 40-member group will put on an hour-long show tonight and every week through Aug. 9. For more information on the group or the concert schedule, check out
Whaa? Progress? In our town? It's true, suckas! This morning you can join in the jollity as Mayor Rivera leads a parade of merrymakers (no kidding, that's what the announcement said) along Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street to celebrate the arrival of environmentally friendly electric shuttle buses to our beloved downtown. Look for bright green-and-yellow checkerboard on the buses, and be downtown at 10 a.m. to celebrate the step forward.
Enjoy a bite to eat and learn more about organic and sustainable foods at a lunchtime seminar, From Food to Table: The Sustainability of Organic Foods at the Warehouse Restaurant (25 W. Cimarron St.). Panelists from the Tres Rios Agricultural Cooperative, Whole Foods Market and Rudi's Organic Bakery will be on hand to discuss organic foods from the grower to the retailer and to weigh in on the recent increase in demand for organic products. Reservations are required for this one. To make yours or to learn more about the event, call 471-2656 ext. 105.
As part of their Evening Historic Colorado Springs Walking Tours, the Historic Preservation Alliance will host a walk through Evergreen Cemetery (1005 S. Hancock Ave.) this evening. This is your chance to check out the oldest operating cemetery in the Springs, which was founded on land donated by our own Gen. Palmer (who is, by the way, interred there). They promise a jaunt through Colorado Springs history as led by local historical guru Beverly Diehl. They do not promise zombies who will rise from the grave in order to terrorize and eventually devour the tour group. This is a good thing. The cost for the walk is $5 for the general public and free for HPA members, and the group will convene at 6:30 at the main chapel on cemetery grounds.
-- Aaron Retka