New events keep tradition fresh

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Western Welcome Week is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Even though the festival itself is back for its 85th year, it’s always evolving and welcoming new events — and one this year just happens to involve Fido.

The Best of the West Pet Fest features Clydesdales, pony rides, live bulls and bunches of animals more of the household variety available for adoption. From noon to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18, families can take Fido to Aspen Grove to listen to live bands, join in pet parades and enjoy food and beverages for sale. The free event benefits the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley, which cares for lost, stray and unwanted animals in Littleton and surrounding areas.

Another newbie will be hard to miss for anyone planning to visit downtown on Aug. 11. The Littleton Criterium Bicycle Race, sponsored by the city and Pedal Bicycle Shop, is a sanctioned event expected to lure hundreds of bicyclists to compete in the quest for the Rocky Mountain Road Cup. Downtown will be transformed into a closed figure-eight circuit where fields of up to 120 riders will hit top speeds of more than 40 mph.

“Criterium racing is the cycling equivalent of NASCAR,” said Bill Nagel, co-owner of Pedal.

The highlight of the day will be the professional men’s category at 3:35 p.m., when locals will compete alongside professional cyclists for 80 minutes of all-out racing. For those less serious about the sport, a free fun ride happens at noon. Visit www.littletoncriterium.com for more information.

Other new or fairly new events to consider adding to your favorites include:

Pancake Stampede 5K Run/Walk, 8 a.m. on Aug. 11 at Hudson Gardens. 303-483-7029 or www.sspr.org.

Littleton Elks Rod and Custom Car Show, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 11 at the Elks Lodge No. 1650, 5749 S. Curtice St., 303-794-1819 or www.elks.org.

WWW Family Skate Night, 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Skate City, 5801 S. Lowell Way. 303-794-4870 or www.westernwelcomeweek.org.

JaJa’s Crepes to You! Aug. 12, 5 to 9 p.m. at JaJa Bistro, 5641 S. Nevada St. 303-798-5389 or www.jajabistro.com.

O’Toole’s Garden Center Open House and Car Show, Aug. 13, 5 to 8 p.m. at O’Toole’s, 5201 S. Federal Blvd. 303-347-8027 or www.otoolesgardencenters.com.

Create Your Own Masterpiece! Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hot Pots, 2570 W. Main St. 303-798-5242 or www.hotpotsstudio.com.

International speaker: How You Can Change the World, Aug. 13, 7 to 8 p.m. at Sterne Park. www.christiansciencecolorado.org.

Reclaimed, Vintage and Antique Sale, Aug. 16-17 ,9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Aug 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; at Checkered Corner, 5650 S. Curtice St. www.checkeredcorner.com.

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