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Growing up, one of my favorite summer activities was finding some shade outside and spending the day with a good book or two.
Somehow, somebody at the Arvada Center must have magically picked up on the fact that it’s still one of the best ways to spend a day and created an event for book lovers like myself.
The first annual Arvada Center Book Fest will be held at the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.
“We wanted to highlight the fact that we have programming related to all the arts,” said Leanne Cadman, the center’s associate director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. “We wanted to offer more literary arts and humanities, and this kind of event is really exciting for us.”
Designed as an event for all ages, Book Fest includes hands-on activities and storytime for kids, panel discussions and staged readings, an all-day exhibit hall, writing workshops, and New York Times best-selling author Laura Moriarty as the special keynote speaker.
General admission allows visitors entry to the all-day exhibit hall with publishers, authors, rare books, games and more. Award-winning authors and poets will read and sign their works. A pop-up bookstore operated by BookBar will feature books available for purchase, and Steuben’s, Newk’s Eatery, La Patisserie Francaise and Hunter Bay Coffee will host an onsite pop-up café and coffee shop. There will also be panel discussions and staged readings throughout the day, as well as a spelling bee, trivia and read-off contests for adults and kids.
For an additional purchase, attendees can enjoy brunch and conversation with local authors, participate in writing workshops and seminars and attend the keynote speech. There will be workshops geared for teens, kids and adults, from the aspiring writer to the seasoned author. Topics include bookmaking, the business of writing, zine-making (mini-pamphlets or -magazines), and sessions on writing poetry, young adult fiction, mystery novels and more.
“We hope to bring in a lot of people who have never visited us before,” Cadman said. “Attendees will be able to meet authors they might not have read otherwise or find a new favorite book.”
To purchase tickets and for additional details, go to www.arvadacenter.org/bookfest.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — The World Is A Beautiful Place at Larimer Lounge
The members of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die have never been afraid of using their music to give a voice to the marginalized and misunderstood, and their take on alternative rock and emo is the perfect match for these fractious times we live in.
Outside of punk, rock hasn’t really contributed much to the political activism scene in the first half of the decade. Not only does The World Is A Beautiful Place bring some much-needed righteous indignation to every performance, it also provide some catharsis to concert-goers.
Those looking for a great rock show won’t want to miss The World Is A Beautiful Place playing with Pianos Become the Teeth at the Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St. in Denver. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.
Be sure to show up early in time for Pianos Become the Teeth, who released one of the year’s best rock albums in February.
For tickets, visit www.larimerlounge.com/event/1661342-world-is-beautiful-place-i-denver.
A train ride to Steampunk at the Station
The Colorado Railroad Museum takes visitors back to a time when the world was moved by engines pounding down iron rails.
Which makes it the perfect place to take sci-fi fans to the world of steampunk, a genre that blends futurist ideas with technology from the 19th century’s Industrial Age. The genre has grown beyond literature to include music, clothing and art.
The Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave. in Golden, is hosting the Steampunk at the Station event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.
Fans are encouraged to arrive in their steampunk attire and enjoy a range of events, including a rare “double-header” train pulled by two historic steam locomotives, Denver and Rio Grande, Nos. 346 and 491, buskers, entertainers, beers, food trucks and a lot more.
For more information, visit www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org/event/steampunk-at-the-station.
Kick off the Film on the Rocks season with Star Wars
Over the years, Red Rocks Amphitheater’s Film on the Rocks season has become one of the definite highlights of the summer. It’s tough to top some of the best movies in cinematic history on a massive screen, paired with live music or a comedian as an opening act, all for cheaper than most movie tickets.
Plus, you’re at Red Rocks, and that’s hard to beat.
This year’s film season is kicking off with Denver native Rian Johnson’s interstellar blockbuster, “The Last Jedi.” The latest entry into the Star Wars franchise will be shown at Red Rocks, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, in Morrison, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15.
For those who somehow missed the movie when it first came out around the holidays, “The Last Jedi” finds Rey working with Luke Skywalker to develop her Jedi skills, while the rest of the galaxy fights to stop the First Order.
For more information, visit www.denverfilm.org/film-on-the-rocks/.
Catch Cirque’s complex Corteo in Broomfield
Somehow Cirque Du Soleil’s performances always manage to be thrilling and eerily beautiful, and that’s what its new show, Corteo, promises to audiences.
Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous, festive parade imagined by a clown. The show blends together the passion of an actor and the grace of an acrobat, and takes audiences to a world of fun, comedy and exploration.
Corteo is coming to the 1st Bank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, from Thursday, May 24, through Sunday, May 27.
The show tells the story of the clown Mauro, who recently died, but whose spirit remains. Instead of mourning, the funeral cortege celebrates the here and hereafter with laughter and exuberance. The show will bring laughter to everyone, with tumblers and players performing.
For more information and tickets, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/corteo.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached email@example.com.
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