The Great American Beer Festival comes to Denver's Colorado Convention Center this weekend, and you should most definitely be on hand to try each of the 1,600 beers crafted by 320 U.S. breweries. Nothing if not honest (the press release announcing the festival promises "unmatched beery fellowship" and "thousands of bathroom visits") the GABF features tastings, seminars, awards and other events, including appearances by "beer celebrities" including but not limited to members of the brilliant rock/country/cow-punk band the Supersuckers. To get tickets, directions and more information about the fun, check out
For a weekend of peace, nature and songs about meadows and stuff, head to Salida for the 6th annual John Denver Festival. This three-day bonanza will include music and activities honoring Denver, but be warned, this is not a shallow "fan club" event. Rather, according to organizers, "this is the event to attend if you truly appreciate John Denver." Tickets are $65 for the whole weekend of John-mania, and reservations are required, so call 719/207-1456. Learn more at
Starting tonight, the Rep Theatre Company presents the zaniest of zaniness at the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.). A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a fast-paced, vaudevillian farce based on the book by Larry Gelbart (of M*A*S*H fame) and Burt Shevelove and filled with songs by the perennial musical wit, Stephen Sondheim. The show runs through Oct. 24. To find out more about ticket prices and show times, steer your rear over to
Nothing says "I love you" more than taking your kids to see reptiles. Seriously. Take those children of yours to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (201 Fairview St. in Woodland Park) for reptile encounters this weekend. At 1 p.m. today and tomorrow, your kids can interact with and learn about live reptiles. There will also be face painting, scavenger hunts, readings, games and hands-on T-Rex talks. Admission to the fun is $9.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 6-12 and $5 for kids 5 and under. Check out
www.rmdrc.com or call 686-9255 for more.
If you prefer autumn-oriented activities to, you know, reptiles, check out the Harvest Festival at Rock Ledge Ranch, taking place today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a nominal fee, you can pick pumpkins, ride a pony or hay wagon and, most perplexingly, dig for candy in a haystack. Free goings-on include oldtime music in the barn, tours and blacksmith demonstrations, among many other fall-ish festivities. The Ranch is located off of 30th Street by the entrance to Garden of the Gods Park. For more info, call 578-6777.
This afternoon is your chance to catch the Academy Winds at First Christian Church (16 E. Platte Ave.). This innovative sextet from the Air Force Academy Band includes flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon and percussion and will be tootling their way through an eclectic program of renaissance music, symphonic faves, jazz and pop music. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 633-8888.
Are you fed up with fiction these days? Everything is flying schoolchildren and magical powers and unicorns that teach us the true meaning of Arbor Day. I say enough. I say put the grit back in storytelling, Hoss. With that in mind, check out some real fiction tonight at Colorado College's Tutt Library (1021 N. Cascade Ave.), where Denver author Manuel Ramos will be signing books and lecturing about Latino crime fiction. Ramos is the author of several gritty novels featuring Denver lawyer Luis Montez, and he'll be on hand to read from and sign copies of his newest, Brown-on-Brown. Be there from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Call 389-6662 for more information.
Today through Sunday, the immensely popular stage series Sesame Street Live comes to the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.) with their 25th anniversary season show "Everyone Makes Music." What will Jenny, Sesame Street's new music teacher, do when the truck with all of her musical instruments gets lost? The adult solution is to sue, but the less-litigious Jenny and her felt pals end up banging on trash can lids and singing and learning about teamwork, friendship and patience instead. Sesame Street Live combines the razzle and dazzle of a Broadway musical with the puppets and lessons you've come to love. To find out about the wide array of show times and ticket prices, hit up
www.sesamestreetlive.com or call 520-7469
-- Aaron Retka