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'70s-themed CU Denver Block Party Celebrates 40 Years

About 2,000 people are expected to attend the 2013 CU Denver Block Party.

Live music from Boogie Machine will offer an appropriate 1970s-themed soundtrack.

Facepainting is just one of the activities at the CU Denver Block Party.

The zipline from last year's Block Party will be replaced with a ropes course for the 2013 event.

Another view of the 2012 zipline.

The second annual CU Denver Block Party is taking over the 1400 block of Lawrence Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thurs. Aug. 22. Dust off your tube tops and leisure suits to celebrate the university's 40th birthday with students, staff and alumni.
Celebrating 40 years of academia in 2013, the CU Denver Block Party is well on its way to becoming an annual tradition for both the school and the city.

"CU Denver has a lot to celebrate, and it didn't have a platform to do it," says Genia Larson, Assistant Vice Chancellor at the new-for-2013 Office for University Advancement and Student Engagement.

Larson first approached university leadership with the concept for a block party in 2011. "It was in the works for a long time."

CU Denver threw the first bash in Aug. 2012 to celebrate the opening of the business school building. "They had their ribbon-cutting that morning," she says.

But it wasn't just a ceremonial ribbon and some ceremonial scissors -- there were food trucks, live music from student and alumni performers, and even a zipline.

About 2,000 people are expected to attend the 2013 CU Denver Block Party."We had the city's first urban zipline," says Larson. "This year that's going to be a ropes course."

Is that Denver's first urban ropes course? "I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the first," laughs Larson.

The 2013 edition of the CU Denver Block Party will also include a climbing wall, street hockey, face-painting and a photobooth, as well as outside-of-the-box outreach.

"We've allowed our schools and colleges to get creative with the community," says Larson. "It's not a time to pass out brochures -- it's a time to really engage with the community."

This year the event celebrates CU Denver's big 4-0. "The theme for this year is the 1970s," says Larson. For the requisite polyester-heavy costume contest, students "are going to go visit their parents' closets, or they're going to take a trip down to the vintage shops on South Broadway."

"Our mascot, Milo the Lynx, will have his own fashion statement," she adds. "It's a surprise."

Beyond the various dated and day-glo duds, the event will also include a tie-dying station, pet rock adoptions and plenty of boogieing down to live music. The food trucks will make a repeat appearance and CU Denver's new space for the College of Architecture and Planning will be open to the public.

Larson says she expects upwards of 2,000 people to attend. "It's a great way to spend your lunch hour," she says. "We want to encourage the entire community to come down and spend some time with us."

Read more articles by Eric Peterson.

Eric is a Denver-based tech writer and guidebook wiz. Contact him here.
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