Axios Denver

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πŸŽ‰ It's Friday! Get ready for a fun weekend with Cinco de Mayo and Star Wars celebrations, the return of farmers markets and the opening of Elitch Gardens.

  • Today's weather: Mostly sunny and windy, with highs near 73 and a chance of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm.

Today's newsletter is 908 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Nuggets ready for Wolves' vengeance

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić drives on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets' next playoff opponents, the Minnesota Timberwolves, are led by a movie villain turned superstar shooting guard: Anthony Edwards.

Why it matters: Vengeance will be top of mind for the Wolves, who lost last year's opening-round series against the Nuggets, 4-1.

What we're watching: Center Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets will have to contend with Edwards, who has been staking his claim as the future face of the NBA.

Zoom in: Edwards is a young, impressive playmaker who will test Denver's defense whenever he touches the ball.

Yes, but: Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is in "Playoff Murray" mode β€” and will have plenty to say. His feats are strangely specific.

  • Murray is the first player to hit two game-winning shots in the final five seconds of a playoff series, and his +7.4 scoring average from the regular season to the playoffs is the biggest increase in NBA history.

What they're saying: "Jokić is the best player in the league, but without [Murray], they're not a championship team," Edwards told the Denver Post.

Between the lines: Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. has blossomed into a reliable scoring threat β€” all while juggling off-court family troubles.

What's next: The game tips off tomorrow at 5pm.

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2. 🎟️ How to score free playoff tickets

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and Colorado Avalanche mascot Bernie march to Ball Arena on April 26. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

If you want free Avalanche or Nuggets playoff tickets, one of your best bets is marching with the mayor.

How it works: For Avs faithful, the "Party to Puck Drop" starts 2.5 hours before each home playoff game. Fans meet at Larimer Square and march to Ball Arena with Mayor Mike Johnston, mascot Bernie and the Ice Patrol team an hour before game time.

  • At each event, a pair of tickets to that day's faceoff are given at random to two lucky attendees who entered to win through a QR code on-site.
  • Other prizes, like player-autographed items, can also be scored.

For Nugs diehards, a pre-game parade led by Johnston takes place roughly 1.5 hours before tipoff.

  • Fans march with the Nuggets Skyline Drumline from Ball Arena to Union Station, then over to Larimer Square and back to Ball.
  • The Nuggets give away a pair of tickets, gift card and autographed items every Friday. Fans can enter online or by listening to Altitude Sports Radio 92.5.

What they're saying: "It's a playoff tradition we want to start for Denver, where every spring when we're in the playoffs ... you come downtown, hang out, have a drink and then march over to the stadium," Johnston told City Cast Denver this week.

More march details

3. 🎬 No Sundance bid

Photo: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

The curtains have closed on Denver's chance to host the Sundance Film Festival β€” one of the movie industry's most prominent annual events.

Why it matters: This week marked the deadline for cities to submit a request to host the iconic event beginning in 2027, after Sundance announced last month that it would consider other U.S. cities to house the festival.

The intrigue: Despite Denver leaders believing the city would make a "fantastic location" for the festival in the future, they weren't made aware of the hosting opportunity, Office of Special Events executive director Katy Strascina tells us.

  • "Sometimes with these large bids, the event has a list of desirable cities they want to submit a bid. Perhaps they only sent it to their top candidates?" she surmises.

What they're saying: Denver Film CEO Kevin Smith tells us his priorities center around bolstering what's already been built in Denver.

  • "Our primary goal is to continue elevating the Denver Film Festival," which Smith said is the Rocky Mountain region's largest and longest-running celebration of cinema.

What's next

4. Mile Highlights: ⚾️ Rockies are historic losers

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon. Photo: Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

πŸ₯² The Colorado Rockies have trailed in a record 29 games to start the season, breaking a bleak MLB streak set by a team that doesn't exist anymore. (The Athletic)

🏫 Students at Denver's Auraria Campus rejected school officials' proposal to donate $15,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross in exchange for removing the pro-Palestinian encampment on-site. (Denver Post πŸ”‘)

🍸 The Palace Arms restaurant inside the historic Brown Palace in downtown Denver is closing tomorrow, citing poor business. (Westword)

πŸ“ˆ Rising fees for DACA applications are straining resources for Dreamers attending local universities. (9News)

🏠 Some migrants who arrived in Denver are now facing eviction, though it's unclear how many. (Denverite)

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πŸ“… Upcoming events around the city.

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5. 🐾 Adopt a dog for $52.80

Three dogs up for adoption at Denver Animal Shelter. From left: Clyde, Oscar and Snowfall. Photos: Courtesy of Denver Animal Shelter

Denver Animal Shelter is offering paw-some deals on dog adoptions all month long.

By the numbers: Dogs 6 months and older will be available for $52.80 as part of the shelter's Mile High Mutts program this May. Fees normally range from $100 to $170, depending on age.

  • As of this morning, 50 dogs needed homes.

Zoom in: One pup in particular β€” Angel, a black-and-white Labrador retriever mix β€” caught our eye as the most senior sweetie in the shelter at 11 years old.

  • Staff describe her as the "epitome of sunshine on four legs" with an "undying zest for life."

What they're saying: "By choosing adoption, individuals not only save a life but also enrich their own lives in ways they never could have imagined," Denver Animal Shelter director Melanie Sobel said in a statement.

Tell a dog lover

Our picks:

🐦 John is reading this Denver Post story about how to attract hummingbirds to his garden.

🦒 Alayna is excited night rides on illuminated swan boats are coming to Wash Park this summer for the first time.

🍿 Esteban is rewatching "Blood In Blood Out" on Hulu.

Thanks to our editor Ross Terrell and copy editor Bill Kole.