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Posted: September 16, 2009

A&E best bets: farewell Oktoberfest, ‘70s flashback and heigh-ho, Silver!

There's plenty of fun -- for lots of good causes -- this weekend

Lisa Ryckman

The weekend -- and beyond

Beer flows like water in Denver -- its the final hurrah of Oktoberfest Denver, this weekend and next. The festival organizer says the 40th year will be their last, so head to Larimer Street in downtown Denver for the Long Dog Derby, the Sea of Accordians and the Keg Rolling Contest while you can. Oktoberfest overlaps with the Denver Beer Fest, 10 days of beer tastings, beer tappings, beer dinners, meet-the-brewer nights and a bunch of other beer-themed events, culminating in next weekend's Great American Beer Festival (which is sold out).

If you'd rather dine with fine wine, join the pilgrimage to Palisade for the Colorado Mountain Winefest to toast the grape harvest. The state's oldest and largest wine festival runs Thursday through Sunday at Riverbend Park, and there's more to it than tippling. Go for the wine and stay for wine and food pairing, chef demos, grape stomps, winery tours, winemaker competitions and a bicycle tour of the vineyards.   

Saddle up and ride on over to the 44th annual Colorado Fall Charity Horse Show to benefit of the Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue. It's an all-breed open show at the National Western Stadium Arena featuring Halter, English, Hunter, Western, Driving, Equitation, Opportunity, Academy, and fun classes. Admission is free for spectators. Refreshments are available on the show grounds.

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company presents "Rivers of Hope," with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Rivers of Hope features "Blood Memories" choreographed by the Donald McKayle and "Wisdom of the Baobab Tree" choreographed by Cleo Parker Robinson. Tickets are $38 for adults, 26 for 65 and over and $19 for children and students. They are also available through Ticketmaster and the Newman Center box office, (303) 871-7720.

Friday

Dig out your biggest bellbottoms or your most divine disco duds for the HomeAid Colorado Fashion Show: Flashback to the '70s. Tickets are $95, and proceeds benefit HomeAid Colorado, which helps build or renovate homes for individuals and families who find themselves without one -- many for the first time. Come to the Curtis Hotel at 6 p.m. either in casual attire or ready to compete for the prize for the best '70s outfit.

Put on your dancing shoes for jazz89 KUVO's signature event, Steppin' into Latin Music, a tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month. During the day, brush up on your moves with dancer Eileen Torres, then hit the Seawell Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. for Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria. Tickets are $20, or $75 for VIP tickets which include the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's SABOR.

Saturday

Take a trip to Russia -- without leaving Denver. It's the Second Annual Firebird Festival: A Taste of Russia, featuring authentic food, dance, music from traditional Russian instruments balalaika and bayan, and Russian children's street games. it's happening from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m at All Saints of Russia Orthodox Church, 3274 East Iliff Avenue.


Sunday

Run for your life -- or someone else's. The Second Wind Fund of Metro Denver's 8th Annual Walk/Run/Ride is a full day of activities at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, including a 5K, lunch, music, kids' activities and a memorial dove release. Proceeds benefit teen suicide prevention programs. Registration begins at 9 a.m -- $35 for adults and $20 for students and seniors the day of the event, which includes t-shirt, lunch, concert and massage.

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Lisa Ryckman is the Associate Editor/Online at ColoradoBiz. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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