With apologies to Charles Dickens, the week is suspended between the ghost of Canada Day past and the spirit of Stampede future. But that’s no excuse to stay indoors. Here are five events that should get you out and about.

1. Spruce Meadows North American

Wednesday sees the start of the North American tournament at Spruce Meadows. The action heats up on the weekend, but you can beat the crowds by getting there mid-week.

2.Dîner en Blanc

On Thursday, one day before you break out the gingham and cowboy boots and start Stampeding, there is another event that is a giant costume party. Guests at Dîner en Blanc must dress all in white, bring a white chair and their own picnic (the food can be any colour, but white asparagus will earn style points).  Registered guests will be informed of the location of the event 48 hours in advance. That should be enough time to find those white pants you wore to the high school dance.

For more information, go to calgary.dinerenblanc.info.

3. Independents Day YYC: Music and a Movie

South of the border it’ll be all about the rocket’s red glare on Thursday, July 4. But local bands will be rocking the Plaza in a celebration of independence, too. Tickets are $10 at Sloth Records. Doors open at 7 p.m. with Matt Blais getting things started at 7:30 p.m. The Suppliers and weareAberdeen round out the bill. As for the movie, it is a screening of The Making Of: The Dear Watson EP.

4. Romeo and Juliet

After wringing itself out, the production moves from the flooded Prince’s Island to high ground at Mount Royal University on Thursday. The set was lost to the Bow River, but love conquers all, and the outdoor amphitheatre (Shakespeare in the Amphitheatre still has a certain ring) at MRU will be the site for Shakespeare’s enduring tale.

5. Village NUTRaiser

Bottlescrew Bill’s, the home of the annual Testicle Festival, is a fitting location for this prostate cancer fundraiser on Thursday. The centrepiece is Village Brewery’s Golden Nut Ale, a brew flavoured (if that’s the right word) with bull’s testicles. The brewer speculates that its creation will imbue drinkers with machismo. Let’s hope so, it’s $100 for a pint. But it’s all for a good cause.



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