Seven days to live 

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30 Thursday


Jenny Sutter lost her leg in Iraq, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, and isn't ready to face returning home. Once stateside, she ventures to California's famous drifter camp, Slab City (featured in Into the Wild), where an odd cast of characters inspires her to begin recovering. This is the fictional premise for Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter, playing at 8 tonight and Thursdays through Saturdays until July 17 (with 4 p.m. matinées on July 10 and 17) at Springs Ensemble Theatre (1903 E. Cache la Poudre St., springsensembletheatre.org). Julie Marie Myatt, whose father was a career Marine, penned the emotional script. Seats are $15 ($12/active or retired military, $10/students on Thursdays). — Matthew Schniper

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1 Friday


Growing up on a farm, branding and neutering cattle was a big event for us. One year, my father thought he was particularly funny and starting throwing the, er, oysters at me after removing them. That was my last branding, and I will not be attending Ride for the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo and Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, as I wouldn't want to disrupt the festivities with my Vietnam-style flashbacks. The Longhorn Cattle Drive happens at high noon today, running north to south on Tejon Street (championshipranchrodeo.com); tomorrow, the cook-off will start at 4:30 p.m. and the rodeo at 6:30 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center (1045 Lower Gold Camp Road). Tickets range from $5 to $20. — Cherise Fantus

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2 Saturday


If you need more than exploding gunpowder to get in the patriotic spirit, head downtown to the seventh annual Pikes Peak Arts Fest, held from 10 through 6, today through Monday, at America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive, pikespeakartsfest.com). The free event features local musicians such as Indy covergirl Molly Boyles (today); food and drink from local businesses including Bristol Brewing Co. and Great Divide Catering; and locally created art, ranging from jewelry and woodwork to photography. It's the perfect way to add some variety to an otherwise strictly red-white-and-blue affair. — Jenny Rackl

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3 Sunday


It's unusual to issue a "spoiler alert" for a concert, but in this case, it'd probably be advisable. So you may want to stop here if you're planning to go. (Pause.) OK then, here's my story: The one time I went to see Matisyahu and his band live, I was really enjoying the performance until, midway through the show, it occurred to me that they sounded a lot like the Police, a comparison that unfortunately stuck in my head through the rest of the show. Of course, this was back in 2005, when the Brooklyn-based Hasidic reggae singer was still forging his own musical identity. For $26, you can find out how he's progressed during this all-ages show at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com). Dub Trio opens. Doors at 7 p.m. — Bill Forman

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4 Monday


Promotional quotes in hand, let's play Guess the Festival! Ready? 1. "This year is sure to be a blast!" Ah, that clever quip comes from the good folks behind the Tri-Lakes area's free 4th of July Street Fair, which runs from 11 to 3 in downtown Monument, then resumes — with, you guessed it, fireworks — at dusk in Palmer Lake. 2. "Hear Abraham Lincoln recite the Gettysburg Address ... " Yes, all the 202-year-olds today are hanging out at Rock Ledge Ranch (3105 Gateway Road, rockledgeranch.com, $4-$8), where between 10 and 5 its old-fashioned Fourth will offer games, food and historical re-enactments. 3. "Tailgating will be authorized." You're right — only the Air Force Academy could make fun sound so well-regulated. For its free event at Falcon Stadium, gates open at 4, with vendors and family fun (bouncy houses!) available immediately, then the Colorado Springs Philharmonic playing at 7, the AFA Band starting at 8, and fireworks at 9:30. — Kirk Woundy

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5 Tuesday


If you're anything like me, you know the existential despair that sets in while on the putting green. To remedy such devastating Pavlovian associations with golf, there's the U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor (1 Lake Ave., 2011uswomensopen.com), where 156 professionals and amateurs will club it out with grace wholly uncharacteristic of us true amateurs. The first round starts on Thursday the 7th, but feel free to drop by today to watch the practice rounds and get some autographs. Tickets start at a reasonable $20, with discounts for military and kids (17 and under are free with a ticketed adult), and are available online. — Demetrius Burns

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6 Wednesday


I spent the summer between high school and college obsessively listening to Material Issue, the BoDeans and Toad the Wet Sprocket on my Walkman. Even now, whenever I hear "All I Want," "Walk on the Ocean," or "I Will Not Take These Things for Granted" from Toad's 1991 album Fear, I feel the warm Chicago sun on my face and hear the skipping of a soon-to-be completely worn-out cassette tape. At 8:30 tonight, for just $20 in advance or $25 at the door, I'll get to revisit those fond memories (without the skipping) when Toad takes the stage at a Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com) all-ages show. Won't you join me? — Kirsten Akens


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