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Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Autumn Equinox occurs today, Sept. 22, at 1:21 p.m. our time, ushering in a season of crunchy leaf hikes, Halloween prep and the dreaded pumpkin spice. Curious minds will find the science behind the event at EarthSky (tinyurl.com/E-Sky21), but those who are just determined to do some serious leaf-peeping should follow the ever-updated fall color map at smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map.

Along with our event picks for the week ahead, we’re introducing On Deck, Indy Executive Editor Emeritus Ralph Routon’s weekly sports viewing recommendations, and we’ve tossed in some season-specific advice from Indy Director of Events Jenn Cancellier and our own “Hiking Bob” Falcone. See this week’s cover story for autumn’s events in the arts.

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Ain’t nuthin’ better than the smell of roasting chiles floating on crisp Colorado autumn air. And after last year’s scaled-down-for-COVID affair, the 2021 fest is back at full force with the Chihuahua parade, food demonstrations, the jalapeño-

eating contest and massive farmers market offering roasted chiles and more. Sept. 24-26 — Friday, 3 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Downtown Pueblo along Union Avenue; $5; pueblochilefestival.com.

Hit the (colorful) trail

Favorite autumn leaf hikes from Jenn Cancellier, Indy director of events:

• Ute Indian Trail, Native American trail dating back 10,000 years; moderate, 7.45-mile round trip, 1,997-foot gain; starts north of Manitou Incline trailhead (tinyurl.com/FallJenn1).

• Lizard Rock Trail in Pike National Forest; easy to moderate, 5-mile round trip, 680-foot gain; trailhead at Spruce Grove Campground on Tarryall Road (tinyurl.com/FallJenn2).

• Old Monarch Pass Loop in San Isabel National Forest; easy, bike or hike sections of Monarch Crest Trail, beautiful views and dog-friendly, 3.2-mile loop, 511-foot gain, 30 minutes west of Salida (tinyurl.com/FallJenn3).

Capture the color

Tips for shooting your best autumn leaf photos, from “Hiking Bob” Falcone:

• Fill the frame. If you see a leaf or cluster of leaves that look nice, get in close, and don’t leave a lot of “dead” space around them.

• Pay attention to the foreground and background. Look for distractions in your photo, such as power lines, buildings, people, and re-compose the photo to eliminate the extraneous objects.

• Look down. Watch for interesting color combinations of leaves that have fallen. 

• Watch for colors other than golden aspens. There are maples, oaks and other trees that turn during the fall in Colorado.

Dead Man’s Brewfest

Those looking for a new autumn tipple can sample a wide range of beers, liquors and wines at this year’s Dead Man’s Brewfest, Friday, Sept. 24, 5-9 p.m. at Weidner Field. This warmup for Halloween-season ghoulishness will feature local breweries along with some national brands and separate wine- and whiskey-tasting areas. Plus, “a major portion of the proceeds” will benefit Care and Share. Tickets: $35, VIP $80 at tinyurl.com/21-DMBfest; 111 W. Cimarron St., 719-368-8480.

Wait, you say, it’s late September. You’re suddenly telling us what sports to watch and not starting with football? Exactly. That’s because this weekend brings us the Ryder Cup, golf’s premier international team event, matching top pros from the United States against Europe in a variety of two-man and individual matches amid an electric atmosphere, this time at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. You can see wall-to-wall coverage: Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MDT), Golf Channel; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., NBC; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or conclusion, NBC.

If college football is your thing, plan your Saturday around watching Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin (neutral site in Chicago), 10 a.m., FOX, followed by Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas), 1:30 p.m. CBS.

— Ralph Routon