Free, cheap things in August: Colorado burgers, foyo and more affordable deals

Veterans days

As a thank you to U.S. military members, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering active-duty  military, veterans and the National Guard free admission to all state parks for the month of August. Military members and veterans (resident and nonresident) can pick up a free August Military Pass at any Colorado State Park or CPW office by showing proof of service.  All other park fees remain in effect, including camping reservations, boat and off-highway vehicle registrations, and hunting and fishing licenses. Also, entry is free for everyone at all Colorado State Parks on Aug. 2, in celebration of Colorado Day.  cpw.state.co.us

RELATED: 10 Colorado state parks great for hikers, bikers, climbers and birders

Chill out

Froyo fans and bargain hunters alike will have a sweet reason to celebrate TCBY’s 40th anniversary. The popular frozen yogurt shop is celebrating 40 years of swirling treats. Top off the shop’s anniversary celebration with a sweet deal on Aug. 3: buy-one-get-one for 40 cents. The deal is only available from 3 to 7 p.m. for in-store purchases. The promo excludes quarts, pints, cakes, pies, catering and delivery orders. There is only one TCBY shop in the Denver metro area,  in Thornton at 9645 Washington St. There are two other Colorado locations in Fort Collins and Greeley. tcby.com

Bargain burger

Smashburger is celebrating its 14th birthday by offering customers a juicy deal on one of its most popular burgers. On Aug. 6, customers who purchase a Double Classic Burger can enjoy a second one for only 14 cents. There is no limit; one discounted burger per regular-priced burger purchased. However, the special is available only for in-person orders. (The burger regularly sells for $7.89, so the savings are quite beefy.) smashburger.com

Glendale’s got talent

With so many reality competition shows on TV, here’s your chance to experience a talent show live. Colorado’s third annual Throwdown Showdown features an eclectic array of local talent, with a winner’s purse of $10,000. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 7, with the first acts starting shortly after at the Infinity Park Event Center. The audience will enjoy 10 preliminary performers, followed by acts from the three chosen finalists. Fans will vote via an online platform. The family-friendly event includes food trucks, a bar and entertainment provided by DJ Trent. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic, but no outside alcohol or glass containers are allowed. Admission is free. infinityparkatglendale.com

Water supply

On Aug. 7, Firehouse Subs is collecting bottled water as part of its annual H2O For Heroes campaign. Customers who bring in a case of unopened bottled water (24-pack) for donation will receive a free medium sub. All of the donated water will go to local first responders and community groups to be distributed to those in need. Most shops will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you’re feeling generous, you can also pick up one of the chain’s red pickle buckets for $3. The buckets are perfect for storage or household chores and all of the proceeds go to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. firehousesubs.com

Rock on

Let the music play, thanks to this family-friendly event sponsored by Arapahoe Libraries. Everyone is invited for an evening of live music featuring the Kory Brunson Band on Aug. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds (25690 E. Quincy Ave.) in Aurora. Admission is free and there are 500 spots available. Enjoy the music while munching on snacks from the on-site food trucks, including Kona Ice, Taco Block, Mountain Melt and Snowy Churro. Bring lawn chairs and blankets, but no pets, please. To reserve your seats, visit arapahoelibraries.org or call 303-LIBRARY.

Anniversary special

Since 1955, Colorado-born Natural Grocers has been leading the way down healthy grocery aisles for many shoppers. To mark its 66th anniversary, the company is celebrating Aug. 12-14 at all of its 41 Colorado locations. Loyalty club members get a free limited-edition reusable bag with any purchase. Plus, members can unwrap a free Natural Grocers Brand organic chocolate bar. Kids can also pick up free collectible stickers. And on Aug. 12 from 1 to 6 p.m., all customers will receive a complimentary frozen treat. In addition, every hour on Aug. 12, employees at each store will randomly gift a Natural Grocers-branded Hydro Flask (20-ounce) to a customer at checkout. There also will be special prices on products and prize giveaways. naturalgrocers.com

Art supplies

The annual Affordable Arts Festival is unlike any arts fest you have attended — all of the art is priced at $100 or less. The colorful event takes place outdoors on Aug. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Arapahoe Community College (5900 S. Santa Fe Dr.) This is the Black Friday of art sales with more than 160 artists from 20 states selling their works in a variety of mediums at bargain prices. Attendees will find paintings, mixed media, jewelry, glass, photography, sculptures and more. Don’t let the price fool you. This is fine art at great prices. Gates open at 9 a.m. Live music starts at 7 a.m., with a coffee cart, pastries and other surprises for early birds. Admission is $12 online or at the gate, with proceeds benefitting the Arapahoe Community College scholarship program. Children 12 and under are admitted at no cost. affordableartsfestival.com

Bread winner

If you’re looking to save some dough on the Panera Bread gift cards, now’s the time to stock up. With no minimum purchase required, save 20 percent on Panera Bread gift cards purchased online – through Aug. 31. The offer applies to both plastic and digital gift cards. However, if you choose plastic, expect to pay a nominal shipping fee. (If you already have a Panera Bread gift card, the offer also applies to reloads made online.) Bargain hunters can use the discounted gift card on top of the chain’s current promo code discount (also valid through Aug. 31) for maximum savings. Use promo code PANERAPICNIC for $5 off a food and beverage purchase of $20 or more – both online and in-restaurant. panerabread.com

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