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Livelong Days

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29 Friday

Don't miss your last chance of the season to catch the Colorado Springs Sky Sox beginning tonight through Monday as they wind up their season against the Omaha Royals at Sky Sox Stadium (on the southeast corner of Powers Boulevard and Barnes Road). Tonight and tomorrow games start at 7:05 p.m. Sunday's game starts at 6:05 p.m. and the Labor Day game on Monday starts at 1:35 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Call 591-SOXX or go to www.skysox.com for more.

The Mountain Acoustic Music Association presents Walker, a man whose music is far more pop than his folksy looks would lead you to believe -- kinda like Justin Timberlake, except not at all. The show will be at the Ute Pass Cultural Center (210 E. Midland Ave. in Woodland Park) and Walker will play songs from his new CD The Great Reality. Sounds real! It's $4 for adults and youth under 18 are free. Call 687-5284.

30 Saturday

What better way to kick off your weekend and the cooler weather of the fall season than with a whole bunch of nylon and some flamethrowers! The 27th annual Colorado Balloon Classic lifts off today at Memorial Park (corner of Pikes Peak and Hancock avenues) beginning at the ungodly hour of 5:30 a.m. all weekend (though balloons don't start launching until 7 a.m.) through Labor Day on Monday. There will be 103 balloons lifting off this year and gobs of other events including music and a country breakfast from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Tonight there will also be an evening concert featuring Radio London at 5 p.m. on the entertainment stage. On both Saturday and Sunday nights, there will also be "Balloon Glo" events at 8 p.m. where they torch those puppies up for some nifty night-light-on-steroids action. Balloon rides are also available and can be reserved by calling 719/578-0935. For more information call 471-4833 or go to www.balloonclassic.com.

If the balloons just don't get high enough for you, head to the Star Trek Rocket Derby and Sport Launch at Skyview Middle School, 6350 Wyndom Peak Blvd. from 9 a.m. until it's over. It's sponsored by the Colorado Springs Rocket Society (not to be confused with the Colorado Springs Rockette Society) and it's free. Call 392-1000.

Get out your studded, black leather belt and your late adolescent angst, dudebro, cuz it's pop punk time again with The Right Aways and New Age Dropouts at Industrial Nation, 2106 E. Platte Ave. tonight at 9. It's all ages and it's only $2 for those who are 21+ and $5 for those who aren't. Call 520-0980.

If you love beavers, then you'll definitely want to take this walk: Beaver Walk! The furry beasts with the big teeth will be sought out and discussed at length as you hike around the grounds of the Florissant Fossil Beds (go west on Highway 24 for 35 miles to Florissant. From Florissant, turn south on Teller City Road #1 and go two miles until you see the visitor center on your right). It's free, but you will need reservations. Call 719/748-3253 to find out just how busy beavers really are.

So this is what the end of a career looks like! Loverboy -- you know that "Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend" band from the '80s -- will be working for the weekend at The Gold Rush Palladium in Cripple Creek from 4 to 7 p.m. Don't all rush to www.ticketweb.com at once! Call 866/468-7621.

1 Monday (Labor Day)

Today at noon, Rock Ledge Ranch at the entrance to the Garden of the Gods and 30th Street hosts a Labor Day baseball game, 1880s style. Get your best bloomers on and get ready to hurl, yo. Picnics, blankets and umbrellas recommended. Call 578-6777 for more.

3 Wednesday

This event requires a long drive into the mountains, but it's just too good not to mention. The 17th annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials begin today in Meeker, Colo., and run through Sunday, Sept. 7. Over 100 dog handler teams will be competing for the $10,000 prize as dogs try to manage unruly sheep on rough mountain terrain. No word on whether Babe the sheep pig will be on hand, but you just know it's gonna be so "baaa ram ewe"! For more information and directions go to www.meekersheepdog.com.

Beau Jo's Pizza at 2415 W. Colorado Ave. has a new reggae and hip-hop night every Wednesday from 9:30 to close with any variety of DJs and MCs. There's no cover and drinks are cheap! Call 442-0270 to more probingly inquire.

4 Thursday

Colorado College's Coburn Gallery (in the Worner Center on the northwest corner of Cache La Poudre Street and Cascade Avenue) is back in action for the fall season tonight with an opening reception for Dave Armstrong and his spooky photographic collages. The reception runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Call 389-6797.

-- Noel Black

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