Another hot weekend full of cool events including a big second Friday for local galleries. You can also explore the mysteries of mushrooms or just sit back and enjoy a movie under the stars.
Keep reading for ten of the best free events in Denver this week:
The South Park 25th Anniversary Experience
Friday August 12 and Saturday August 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
McGregor Square, 1901 Wazee Street
Did you miss the South Park 25th Anniversary Concert at Red Rocks? Comedy Central brings the South Park 25th Anniversary Experience, an immersive exhibit showcasing iconic memorabilia from the show’s 25-year history, at McGregor Square where you can explore never-before-seen storylines, memorabilia from the show’s archives, rare collectibles and more. Admission is free, but there will be plenty of limited edition, #SouthPark25 items only available at McGregor Square. Learn more here.
Brown Palace 130th Anniversary Celebration Party
Friday, August 12, 5 p.m.
Brown Palace Atrium, 321 17th Street
The Brown Palace celebrates its 130th anniversary with an unforgettable night in the Atrium. After General Manager Nick Moschetti greets the crowd, the John Kite Quintet will perform as you mingle, dance, catch cameos from historical figures, enjoy complimentary spa chair massages (subject to availability) and eat cake! Admission is free and additional food and drink options will be available. learn more here.
Concert in the park: Hazel Miller and the collective
Friday, August 12, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Grant Amphitheatre, Clement Park, 7306 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton
This free concert featuring local favorite Hazel Miller benefits Hands of the Carpenter, which helps provide automotive services to single mothers who need to work and support their children. Free entry; learn more here.
Book Drive and Shred-a-thon
Saturday August 13 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Bank of Colorado, 275 Union Boulevard, Lakewood
Do you have any books? Too many books? Donate these gently used volumes to the Jefferson County Library Foundation Book Drive and Shred-a-thon! The JCLF will also accept donations of CDs, DVDs and vinyl records; donations will be sold at the semi-annual Whale of a Used Book Sales and also at the Whale’s Tale Books & Gifts store at the Colorado Mills mall. Proceeds benefit Jefferson County Public Library programs such as Early Childhood Literacy and the Library’s annual Summer Challenge. At a single event, you can bring up to six boxes of personal documents and have them shredded on site, courtesy of Altitude Docushred. (A $10 donation is suggested for this service.) Get more details here.
2nd Saturday at Spur
Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CSU Spur, West National Complex
Every second Saturday of the month, CSU Spur opens its doors for a day of family fun as educators and scientists share hands-on activities. If you haven’t seen this addition to the National Western Complex, stun! Free entry.
Swallow Hill Music Open House
Saturday August 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale Ave
At this open house, you can find out what Swallow Hill does – and what it can do for you. Attend an information session, bring your instrument and enter a workshop. Find out about upcoming concerts and how to get free tickets. The event is free, but registration is required here.
Lou Bunch Day
Saturday August 13, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Celebrate the 48th annual Lou Bunch Day, dedicated to the most notorious madams of the former mining town. The festivities begin at noon, with a parade at 2 p.m., the brass bed race down Main Street at 3 p.m., and then an old-fashioned country dance. There will be live music and other activities throughout the day; get the full program here.
Saturday August 13, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Hub at 40 West, 6501 West Colfax Avenue
If you haven’t been to the Hub at 40 West, now the first two Fridays in Lakewood’s art scene, here’s another reason to check it out: the multi-gallery community that is now happily at home in the large, renovated building. which once housed the Denver Drumstick is hosting a free, family-friendly Progressive BBQ, with different dishes — and arty bites, too — in each space. Find more information here.
Their feast day: August
Saturday August 13, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Denver Trail, 3500 Walnut Street
Pay attention to your pronouns at Their Party, a monthly event and safe space for trans and non-binary people (and other gender-nonconforming brands). DJs Markie and Blaque Gurl will take care of the decks, while Endi Patriarchy, Harry Pickle, Gucci and Minerva prepare all kinds of drag performances for everyone; all the revelers have to do is dance, cheer, fashion at the photo station, and smile. Admission is free the first hour and a $10 cover light after 10 p.m.; Learn more here.
Colorado Mycological Society Annual Mushroom Fair
Sunday, August 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Denver Botanical Gardens, 1007 York Street
Mushrooms are all the rage these days, whether for hunting, eating, or getting high. Serve up your mushroom fetish when the annual Colorado Mycological Society Mushroom Fair pops up for a day at Mitchell Hall at the Denver Botanical Gardens. Hundreds of mushrooms will be on display, while CMS members will educate guests on the basics of mushroom identification, ecology, cultivation and toxicology. Even children can participate in the creation of mushrooms in the children’s corner. The fair is free with regular paid admission to the gardens, $15 free. Details here.
Know of a great free event in Denver? We’ll be updating this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]