Helter Swelter '09 July 

Salute to the Troops

3 & 5 Fort Carson and Woodland Park, respectively. The Colorado Springs Philharmonic provides two nights of entertainment celebrating Independence Day, plus fireworks. 884-2110, csphilharmonic.org.

Fourth annual Pikes Peak Arts Fest

3-5 Pikes Peak Center grounds. Featuring unique artwork, performers, live music and children's art activities. 290-1981, pikespeakartscouncil.org.

Royal Gorge Bridge Fourth of July Celebration

3-5 Cañon City. Featuring music by the Geezers, plus demonstrations put on by the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo. 888/333-5597, royalgorgebridge.com.

Family Fourth — Independence Day Celebration

4 Rock Ledge Ranch. Offering carnival games, patriotic music, recitations of the Gettysburg Address and Declaration of Independence, a Civil War encampment and more. 578-6777, rockledgeranch.com.

Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

4 Woodland Park. What's "old-fashioned" mean? How about a pancake breakfast, music, family activities, vendor booths with art, crafts, food and more in and around Memorial Park. 686-0705, communitypartnershipfamilyresourcecenter.org.

Buffalo Bar-B-Q

4-5 Soda Springs Park, Manitou Springs. Roping demonstrations, Native American dancers, Old West gunfighters, food, crafts, music and more. 685-9655, manitousprings.org.

Good Old Summertime Ice Cream Social

6 Soda Springs Park, Manitou Springs. About as down-home as Manitou gets: Enjoy ice cream, a pie-baking contest and music. 685-5089, manitousprings.org.

69th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Parade

7 Downtown. Pace yourself around July 4 so you can enjoy another parade, this one featuring bands, floats, horseback riders and more. 237-6670, coloradospringsrodeo.com.

69th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days

8-11 Norris Penrose Event Center. Perhaps the West-iest of the local Old West attractions: rodeo events, carnival rides, mutton bustin', roping demonstrations, kids' activities and more. 635-3547, coloradospringsrodeo.com.

Pikes Peak Young Composers Summer Workshop Concert

10 CC's Packard Hall. The culmination of a week's worth of pieces that young composers have put together during a five-day educational workshop. pikespeakyoungcomposers.org.

Fourth annual Hogs and Hot Rods Show

11 Sportsman's Warehouse. Enjoy an exhibition of classic cars and motorcycles, plus a chili cook-off, family activities and giveaways. And souvenirs that say "Hogs and Hot Rods." 597-9200.

Colorado College Dance Festival Annual Gala Performance

11-12 CC's Armstrong Theatre. 389-6089. Presenting high-quality performances by the international group of professional dancers who make up the faculty. 389-6607, ticketswest.com.

10th annual Barr Trail Mountain Race

12 Manitou Springs. Run a 12-mile race to Barr Camp and back, all to benefit your hardcore reputation — and local nonprofits and charity organizations. 800/642-2567, runpikespeak.com.

Victor Gold Rush Days

17-19 Victor. A weekend of activities, including the obligatory gold panning. But there's more: a chili dinner, a battle of the bands, a 10K run, a parade ... 719/250-2575, victorcolorado.com/goldrushdays.htm.

El Paso County Fair

18-25 Calhan. Go for the cute animals. Stay for the monster trucks, rough stock rodeos, clown-head shoots and chocolate-covered everything. 520-7880, elpasocountyfair.com.

Annual Thin Air Nationals Car Show

18 Green Mountain Falls. Custom car fetishists circle the wagons and coupes and sedans around Gazebo Lake. 210-0013, xcs.net/crac/rodandcustom.htm.

PrideFest and Parade

19 Acacia Park. Two stages, a 40th-anniversary Stonewall revival, same-gender weddings, and the undying hope that Uncle Wilber will come out of the closet. ppglcc.org.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

19 Pikes Peak. The second-oldest motor sports race in America sends cars, motorcycles and a semi up some big mountain. 685-4400, ppihc.com.

Colorado College Vocal Arts Symposium

19-Aug. 9 CC's Packard Hall. A three-week training and performance program directed by internationally acclaimed operatic soprano Martile Rowland. 389-6098, artsfestival.coloradocollege.edu/vocalartssymposium.

Blues Under the Bridge

24-25 Near 218 W. Colorado Ave. Bettye LaVette and the Fabulous Thunderbirds are the headliners for this year's must-see bluesfest. 576-5945, bluesunderthebridge.com.

Sixth annual Castle Rock Winefest

25 Castle Rock. Presenting more than 20 Colorado wineries, seminars, demonstrations, vendors, entertainment and fine cuisine. 303/688-4597, castlerockwinefest.com.

National Little Britches Rodeo

27-Aug. 1 Colorado State Fairgrounds, Pueblo. Amazingly, there's no rap artist named Little Britches. But there is the junior rodeo, whose world champ, Ty Murray, has since appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. So that's close enough. 389-0333, nibra.com.

2009 State Games of America

30-Aug. 2 World Arena. This biennial competition features State Games winners from across the nation competing head-to-head in 31 sports, none of which are beer pong. 634-7333, stategames.org.

Worth a drive

19th annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival

3-5 Denver. Proving that Cherry Creek has more to offer than its mall: an award-winning outdoor arts festival featuring an opening-night gala, special exhibits, artist demonstrations, performances, fine cuisine, interactive family activities and more. 303/355-2787, cherryarts.org.

2009 Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

6-12 Crested Butte. Experience wildflowers through hikes, 4x4 tours, bike rides, meadow yoga classes, photography classes, garden tours and more. 970/349-2571, crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com.

High Mountain Hay Fever

9-12 Westcliffe. Fear not, you can leave your Singulair at home: High Mountain Hay Fever presents national and regional bluegrass acts, vendors and food. 719/783-0883, highmountainhayfever.org.

Dreamtime Festival

16-19 Paonia. Combines art, performance, celebration and music with an intention of inspiring, connecting and empowering people to co-create positive change. 800/600-6185, dreamthefuture.org.

Mile High Music Festival

18-19 Denver. The two-day extravaganza at Dick's Sporting Goods Park plays host to a reformed Tool, an unrepentant Fray and dozens of other performers. milehighmusicfestival.com.

Elizabeth Celtic Festival

18-19 Elizabeth (just west of Castle Rock). Food, drink, dance, stories and re-enactments. Like a Renaissance Faire, but with less of those annoying huzzahs. 303/646-0152, elizabethcelticfestival.com.

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

25-26 Denver. Sloan's Lake Park is the place to go for Asian drumming, food and, most importantly, dragon boats. 303/722-6852, cdbf.org.

61st annual World Championship Pack Burro Race and Fairplay Burro Days

26-27 Fairplay. Everybody loves burros and llamas, and why not? They're cute and they smell good! Watch them race, then pan for gold and buy lots of Western stuff. 719/836-1921, burrodays.com.


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