christy fantz
Christy Fantz

Saturday is the start of the best holiday season.

Groundhog Day!

This leads into the Super Bowl (Feb. 3), Fat Tuesday (Feb. 12), Valentine's Day (Feb. 14), Daylight Savings Time (March 10) and ends with the hog daddy of 'em all -- St. Paddy's Day (March 17).

I got off the Valentine's Day hate-wagon. Mainly because it's a day to clash pinks and reds, gorge on chocolate and leave candy hearts with phrases like "fax me" or "screw me" on the professor's desk.

On Saturday, Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his hole in the rodent-poop soil and tells us whether there will be six more weeks of winter or an early spring. All depending on his shadow. We know this from Bill Murray, right?

Go back to sleep.

I'll stab that fool if he tells us we have more winter.

But you crazy Colorado cats love that cold white stuff, so you can celebrate on Saturday at City Hall Ampitheater, 1144 Broadway, Denver, for the 3rd annual Snowdown, a big party celeberating SIA's Snow Show (an annual trade event that brings the whole snowsports market together for a big fat mecca of everything slope-style around Colorado: siasnowshow.snowsports.org).

City Hall will host the bash on Saturday with national and local artists performing hip hop, dubstep and Top 40 mashups, along with live art and special industry guests.

Machine Gun Kelly co-headlines the event alongside music producer Baauer and hip-hop producer Just Blaze. Also featured: M!NT, Raw Russ of Elm and Oak, DJ Largechild, Dwill, Cavem Moetavation and local DJs. The party will have tons of merchandise giveaways and Pacifico bikini chicks giving away free beer.

Mmm. Sounds like spring.

Info: Saturday at 8 p.m.; snowdownsia.com; $28; 18 and up.

Don't miss a Beat

Soon is Neal Cassaday's would-be 87th birthday (and death day) and I'm in a bind of what to get the dude. (Feb. 8, Feb. 4, respectively.)

I'm thinking either a gravesite boombox or a sculpture of a Denver omelet.

That beloved Beat Generation icon used to run around Denver (and the rest of the country) with the likes of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg (who opened Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics program with Anne Waldman in 1974 in Boulder).

Tonight at 7, Denver's quirky Mercury Café, 2199 California St., will host the fourth annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash.

The Mercury -- which "is powered by the Wind and the Sun" and serves local, organic food -- will celebrate Cassady's Denver roots and will feature a some cool cats who used to have ties with the pop culture icon. Notably, David Amram, musician and composer, who has worked with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, and of course the Beat Generation, as he penned the memoir "Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac."

The event is free and there will be poetry readings and a birthday cake.

Info: Tonight at 7; mercurycafe.com; 303-294-9281; free