Things to do for free in Denver this week, May 9-15, 2022

This weekend you can learn more about the world around you, or just celebrate (or protest) what’s in your own backyard. There’s everything from food truck demonstrations in the suburbs to a special night market right under the Colfax Viaduct.

Keep reading for the next three days for fifteen of the best free events in and around Denver:

Food Truck Carnival
Friday May 13 from 4 to 9 pm, Saturday May 14 from 12 to 9 pm, Sunday 15 May from 12 to 5 pm
EB Rains Park and Civic Center Campus, Northglenn

The Northglenn Food Truck Carnival is back after a two-year hiatus. This fifth edition features more than twenty food trucks, as well as live music and amusement park rides. Admission is free, as are all performances. Buy food direct from trucks and drinks at the bar; you can buy carnival passes or pay per ride. Read more here.

click to enlarge Los Mocochetes are all over town this week.  - ANTHONY MAES

Los Mocochetes are all over town this week.

Anthony Maes

Denver’s Decade of Doom: 10 Years Too Many
An evening full of history and the current enforcement of the survival ban
Friday May 13, 4 pm to 7:30 pm,
The Savoy, 2700 Arapahoe Street
10 years too many rally and march to end ban
Saturday 14 May, 10 am to 2 pm
Denver City and County Building
The ten-year anniversary campaign of the camping ban continues with An Evening of History and Current Survival Ban Enforcement, featuring a presentation on “Without Housing” by Paul Boden of Western Regional Advocacy Project, as well as food, videos, and more speakers , from 4 p.m. May 13. On Saturday at 10am there will be a rally in the City and County Building with music from Los Mocochetes, Wheelchair Sports Camp and Laura Goldhammer; it will be followed by a march to the Downtown Denver Business Partnership office at 1 p.m. Read more here. Find the full program and more information here.

Art evening from Lafayette
Second Friday, May to September, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
South Public Road, between Emma and Cannon streets, Lafayette
The city of Lafayette brings back its fun summer Art Night Out Lafayette series, combining live music, food trucks, street performers, and beer and wine joints with a super-local, jury-curated art market of fifty vendors by Firsthand. The first monthly al fresco soirée debuts on May 13 with upbeat music by Chicano Heat; subsequent markets return on the second Friday through September. Find details here.

CSI Regis: Investigating Samuel Little, America’s Deadliest Serial Killer
Friday 13 May, 6 to 9 p.m.
Regis University, Mountain View Room, St. Peter Claver, SJ Hall

Samuel Little was one of the most prolific serial killers in the United States, confessing to murdering 93 women between 1970 and 2005. Lieutenant Darren Versiga of the Pascagoula, Mississippi, Police Department, one of the investigators on the Little case, will be the principal speaker at the Regis CSI conference, now in its twentieth year. Read more here.

click to enlarge Adrian Miller is ready to dish up another book.  - ANTHONY CAMERA

Adrian Miller is ready to dish up another book.

Anthony Camera

History and Biography Colorado Book Awards Finalists Lectures
Friday May 13th, 7pm to 9pm
BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street

The Colorado Book Award finalists’ readings will continue on May 13 with nominees from the History and Biography categories. In the history group, Adrian Miller, Martin J. Smith, and Karl Christian Krumpholz present books on black cooking, Trinidad’s sojourn as a gender reassignment destination, and a cartoonist’s beautiful visual take on Denver haunts and alleyways, respectively. As for biographies, journalist David Philipps covers misdeeds in the military, Jennifer Koshatka Seman outlines the fascinating lives of curanderos Santa Teresa Urrea and Don Pedrito Jaramillo, and Jane Botkin offers a portrait of Jane Street, suffragette in Denver. Find information here.

March for reproductive rights
Saturday 14 May, 9.00 o’clock
Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl Street

The YWCA Boulder County and partnering advocacy groups will march for reproductive health rights; after a short opening program the march will begin. Registration is required here.

Pop Up Market in Uptown
Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m
Denver Gymnastics Club, 1570 Clarkson Street

Uptown on the Hill is hosting a one-day pop-up at the Denver Turnverein. Much more than a market, it’s also a nice place to mingle with the neighbors while shopping from local vendors. Uptown’s Parks and Beautification Committee hands out free flower seeds and food trucks are ready. Read more here.

Brooks LTD pop up and suitcase show
Saturday 14 May, 10 am to 5 pm
Balefire Goods, 7513 Grandview Avenue, Arvada

Denver designer and Colorado native Brooks Luby founded the fashion design house Brooks LTD in 1974, and she’s still here — proof that her refined vision of non-fussy, tailored elegance really does have lasting power. Balefire Goods in Olde Town Arvada will host Brooks for a one-day suitcase show of newer, loose-fitting garments sewn with a mix of new and vintage textiles. Visit Facebook for more information.

Around the world celebration
Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
Second Avenue and Cottonwood Square, Niwot

Take a cheap flight around the world at the annual Around the World Celebration, which promises an instant immersion into countless cultures. You will also learn about Niwot, a real small town (named after the Arapaho chef) with a cute center full of shops and good eateries. World destinations are divided among those companies, with various international cuisines, music and entertainment from Bahrain to Ukraine spread across. Read more here and find a guide to participating companies.

Exit Film Festival: Extra Frames
Saturday 14 May and Sunday 15 May
Salida Creative District

Running through May 15, the Salida Film Festival will include free programming, including Behind the Scenes Table Read at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 14 in the SteamPlant Ballroom, featuring an original TV pilot script written by local filmmaker Julie Jackson and author Amy Turner, inspired through the culture and community of Salida. On Sunday, May 15 at 11:30 a.m., Independent Look with SeriesFest at the SteamPlant Theater will feature three independent pilots from the recent SeriesFest: Season 8 Competition slate. Following the screening, there will be an interview with Randi Kleiner, co-founder and CEO of SeriesFest, and film/TV producer Britta Erickson. Read more here.

A New Beginning Pow Wow
Saturday 14 May 11 am
Hamilton Gym, 2240 East Buchtel Blvd
The University of Denver Native Student Alliance closes the school year with the New Beginnings Pow Wow, a version of the great Indigenous community gathering tradition. The theme of ‘New Beginnings’ has special significance for this event, which takes place at a time when Indigenous students celebrate cultural resilience, as well as lives after college, new jobs and blossoming friendships. A blanket-wrapping ceremony honors students who reach the graduation milestone; there will also be traditional dance competitions, music, and craft and food vendors. Find all the details here.

Sun Valley Rising Viaduct Night Market
Saturday 14 May, 4 to 10 p.m.
West Colfax Viaduct

Hosted by the West Colfax BID, Sun Valley Kitchen and the Denver Streets Partnership as part of the West Denver Rising Initiative, this inaugural international pop-up market will activate the area just south of Mile High Stadium. There will be over forty food and art vendors, live music from Los Mocochetes and Youth on Record, and beer from Raíces Brewing Company. Admission is free; read more here.

Linked Spring party & advantage
Saturday 14 May, 6 to 8 p.m.
Center Aurora Visual Arts, 1405 Florence Street, Aurora

Linked is an exhibition of artworks by DAVA Youth on the theme of personal and social identity. This opening reception is also a family block party with music and bubble entertainment; tacos and barbecue will be for sale at food trucks. Read more here.

Culture collaboration
Sunday 15 May, 1 to 4 pm
Pagoda Lab, 1000 South Grove Street

Pagoda Lab, a small business incubator and subscription service that provides services to small businesses, has partnered with ACEL (Asian Corporate Entrepreneur Leaders) to showcase Asian culture and food from local suppliers. Admission is free; read more here.

The Evolution of Chicano/A Poetry
Sunday 15 May, 2 to 5 p.m.
The bar at Plaza38, 3550 West 39th Avenue, #98
The Colorado Alliance of Latino Mentors and Authors (CALMA) will gather for a panel discussion with local poets Ramon Del Castillo, Laura Soto, Margie Domingo, and Jose “Jozer” Guererro, who will also share readings of their work showing Chicano/a poetry develops here in Denver. It has a long history dating back to Lalo Delgado’s “Stupid America,” a classic 1969 protest poem that inspired Denver’s Crusade for Justice. The discussion and lecture is free; find information here.

Know of a great free event in Denver? We will be updating this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]

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