Best Bets for the week of September 12—19

September 2007
We tell you what to do, where to be, and why for each week of the year. —MUSIC— WHAT: Monolith Festival: Two days, five stages, 50-plus bands, and 9,000 obsessed fans make for one big weekend of music sandwiched between everyone's favorite towering monoliths. Cake and the Flaming Lips headline, but catch local acts on the side stages to find the next big thing before their concerts are sold out.
WHY: You've never seen Red Rocks like this before. The multi-day, multi-stage, festival vibe is a first for what many consider the best live music venue on the continent.
BONUS: An oh-so-green event, the festival is offsetting emissions and pumping up recycling efforts, but goes the extra mile with a special tree planting event. Get some dirt under your nails before the festival and pitch in to dig holes for seven Rocky Mountain Juniper Trees on the Red Rocks site.
DETAILS: Festival: Fri–Sat 3 p.m. Tree planting: Wed 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison. $42.50–$79.50. Visit www.monolithfestival.com. —BENEFIT— WHAT: Progress for Prostate's Rally 4 Research Poker Run: A 60-mile ride (that's with an engine) around the metro area to help fight prostate cancer. Rev up the Harley, shine up the chrome, and strap on a helmet for a day on the open road.
WHY: Seven Coloradans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over the next 24 hours. Every single penny raised for Progress for Prostate will go to treatment and research.
BONUS: If you haven't spent a night two-stepping at the Stagecoach Saloon on Highway 83, you're missing out. Here's your chance to check out some great country Western tunes, because the honky tonk is the second of five stops on the trek.
DETAILS: Sat 10 a.m. Start and finish at the Texas Roadhouse, 11205 S. Parker Road, Parker. $25. Call 303-798-1338 or visit www.progress4prostate.org. —FAMILY— WHAT: Summerset Festival: Forty thousand people already know that this annual event packs a summer's worth of activities into three days. Hit up the pancake breakfast before taking in a softball game, cruise through the car show, or cast for a lucky catch at the fishing derby. From the Kids Korral to the Sheriff's Safety Fair, the entire gang will find ways to while away the day before settling in to watch glowing hot air balloons, a fireworks display, or a concert under the evening sky.
WHY: Yes, that is a decidedly autumn-like chill in the air. But before you pull out those bulky sweaters and coats, spend one last weekend living up the long days of summer with a picnic in the park.
BONUS: Don't leave Fido at home on Sunday; sign up your favorite pooch for the disc, flyball, or agility competitions for bragging rights at the water cooler on Monday.
DETAILS: Fri 5–10 p.m.; Sat 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Clement Park, 7306 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton. Prices vary. Call 303-973-1209 or visit http://summersetfest.com. —OUTDOORS— WHAT: Barr Lake State Park's Annual Birding Festival: A different way to spend a fall morning if you can't tell a Yellow Rail from an American Coot (yes, those are birds.) Fill up on continental breakfast and head out for a day of nature walks, bird songs, and wildlife lectures to brush up on your birding biz. After a barbecue lunch, hike the 8.8-mile lakeside trail armed with your newfound expertise and a pair of binoculars to spot birds in flight.
WHY: It's in the middle of the fall migration. You won't see all of the 350 or so avian species in the park, but you'll learn to identify enough to impress fellow hikers on your next weekend getaway.
BONUS: Bald eagles often spend the winter months at Barr Lake, and pairs have even stayed to raise their young there. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of our national bird. If not, a live raptor viewing will give you close-up views of other birds of prey—from a safe distance.
DETAILS: Sat 7 a.m.–1 p.m. Barr Lake State Park, 13401 Picadilly Road, Brighton. $2. Call 303-659-6005 or visit http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/BarrLake. Shopping Notes: You don't need an excuse to go shopping, but here are four guilt-free reasons to spend a Saturday shelling out your hard-earned cash at Coco's Shoppe's Trunk Show and Fundraiser. Reason one: The eco-friendly fall fashions are über-affordable—as in, up to 70 percent off. Reason two: Forget about halogen-lit dressing rooms; you'll look "make-my-ex-jealous" perfect in the St. Julien's penthouse suite backlit by views of the Flatirons. Reason three: Complimentary spa treatments and goodies from the "auNatural" food-and-beverage bar to help you work out the shopping cramps (those bags are heavy). Reason four: Ten percent of sales go to the Natural Resources Defense Council's environmental crusade. Coco's Shoppe's Trunk Show and Fundraiser. Sat 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Penthouse Suite at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa, 900 Walnut St., Boulder. Call 303-775-2461 or visit www.cocosshoppe.com.