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9Things to do in Colorado this weekend: April 21-23

This weekend brings elf, tulip, science, kite, sneaker, vinyl record and Earth Day celebrations to Colorado.

COLORADO, USA — Season ticket holders will get the first crack at exploring Elitch Gardens as the amusement park prepares for a summer of fun. CU and UNC are also offering fans a first look at their football teams this Saturday. Earth Day arrives Saturday and celebrations are planned in Fort Collins, Brighton and Lakewood.

Check out one of these fun events across Colorado this weekend and don't forget to share your photos with the Near Me feature on the 9NEWS app.

> Have an event tip? Share it with us! 

Credit: Katherine Kirkland - stock.adobe

Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival

BOULDER —Spring has officially arrived in downtown Boulder with Sunday's Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival. The springtime tradition features live stage performances and free activities for children. The festival, which runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, will help welcome more than 15,000 tulips to Pearl Street Mall. Visit BoulderDowntown.com for a complete schedule.

Credit: Colorado State University

Spring Science Extravaganza

FORT COLLINS — The Little Shop of Physics, Colorado State University’s science-for-everyone ambassadors, will host a “Spring Science Extravaganza” on campus this Saturday. The outdoor event will from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Monfort Quadrangle at CSU and is free and open to the public. There will be more than 200 hands-on experiment stations to excite and inspire as well as giant science demonstrations that can only be done outside.

Earth Day and Kite Festival

BRIGHTON — Barr Lake State Park will celebrate Earth Day with its annual Kite Festival this Saturday. There will be tree planting, free kites, face painting, a live raptor presentation, and vendor booths. You can sign up online here.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Earth Day Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS — The 13th annual Earth Day Fort Collins event is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Civic Center Park. Earth Day Fort Collins inspires community members to honor the Earth every day and features a combination of family activities and events including informational booths and displays, kids activities, arts and crafts, live music, speakers, local food and a beer garden.

Earth Day Celebration

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood’s Earth Day Celebration will have festival activities on sustainably from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. Activities include electric-bike rides, car displays, youth dancers, nature walks, arts and crafts, fitness classes, home energy efficiency demos, food trucks, beer garden, and more. After 5 p.m. there will be more live music, a beer garden and food trucks until 7 p.m.

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Free National Park entry

COLORADO — National Park Week kicks off with a fee free day on Saturday. Park entrance fees will be waived. Camping and all other administrative fees will still be in effect. Rocky Mountain National Park will also host an Earth Day celebration on Saturday. The National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy will have informational booths and interactive activities on the east side of the park at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Credit: 9NEWS

Black & Gold Day

BOULDER — Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders begins a new era at the University of Colorado at Boulder this weekend. The Black and Gold Day spring football game will be the first chance to see the team in action. With around 45,000 tickets out, the game is sold out, but the game will air on ESPN. The spring game starts at 1 p.m. at Folsom Field, but there's also a kids' zone with inflatables and field games, an autograph session, and a CU volleyball and soccer game.

Blue & Gold Showcase

GREELEY — The Ed Lamb era officially begins Saturday at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). The football hits the field for the Blue & Gold Showcase at Nottingham Field at 2 p.m. Saturday. The spring game is free and open to the public. 

"This is a great opportunity for the UNC community, Greeley, Weld County, and football fans from across Colorado to watch the Bears," said new UNC head football coach Ed Lamb.

Credit: Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

Elitch Gardens Season Pass Holder Weekend

DENVER — Colorado's largest amusement park opens for season this weekend — for season pass holders. Elitch Gardens will open Saturday and Sunday, pril 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a season pass holder appreciation weekend. The passes are $75 each and feature unlimited visits, free parking, souvenir cup and bring-a-friend tickets. Elitch's opens to all officially Saturday, April 29. For tickets and details, visit EltichGardens.com.

Credit: mitchbowers - stock.adobe.com


COPPER MOUNTAIN — Copper’s spring festival, Sunsation, will take place Saturday and Sunday. This year's annual celebration will feature stein hoisting contests, swag giveaways, and free live music performances from We The Kings & Emmit Fenn in Center Village. Copper is also hosting Slush Rush on Saturday, a new team relay event with a retro twist in honor of the resort’s 50th anniversary. Think halfpipe with giant slalom gates, a boarder-cross course with special challenges, a rail section and jump featuring retro tricks, and of course, a pond skim across icy cold water.

Credit: Andrea Izzotti - stock.adobe.com


DENVER — Vintage clothing convention ThriftCon will have more than 100 vendors in Denver this weekend as well as activations and installations celebrating vintage and retro culture. ThriftCon will host thousands of products ranging from valuable, vintage men's and women's clothing, to classic, vintage collectibles. ThriftCon is one day only this Sunday at the National Western Complex from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $20 at the door. Kids 13 and under are free.

Rocky Mountain RepRap Festival

LOVELAND — A free 3D printer event, Rocky Mountain RepRap Festival, takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Ranch Events Complex. The first-of-its-kind event will also 3D printing makers to come together to learn new skills and discover the latest in 3D printing technology. Companies and individuals are invited to bring out their 3D printers and projects big and small.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Denver Record Collectors Expo

NORTHGLENN — One of the Rocky Mountain region’s premier music collectors shows is set for Sunday in Northglenn. The Denver Record Collectors Expo, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Delta by Marriott, will have over 40 dealers selling difficult-to-find CDs, LPs, 45s, posters, memorabilia and more. The show isn’t just for hardcore collectors, but fans of music and memorabilia with nearly 100 display tables anticipated. Admission is $2.

Sneaker Con

DENVER — One of the biggest sneaker conventions in the country will be in Colorado this weekend. Sneaker Con is at the Colorado Convention Center on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a variety of sneakers, streetwear and activities for all ages. Show organizers said there will be more than 200 venders buying, selling and trading sneakers and accessories, along with sneaker trivia games, sneaker influencers, and sneaker deals form top sellers. Tickets are on sale at AXS.com.

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Arvada Beer Fest

ARVADA — Arvada Beer Fest is the second stop of this year’s retro-themed beer festival series. The festival will take over Freedom Street Social on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature more than 20 breweries, cideries, and craft spirits pouring unlimited tasters. Attendees can shop a selection of retro and beer-related vendors, enjoy lawn games and photo opportunities, or grab a seat on Freedom Street Social’s sunny patio.

Après Ski Party

DENVER — Raise a glass to the end of ski season with an Après Ski Party at The Woods at The Source Hotel + Market Hall on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees can enjoy music from a live DJ, ski-inspired Aperol Spritzes, Burton giveaways and games on The Woods' terrace. Executive Chef Mark Biesecker will be whipping up appetizers including grilled cheese bites, potato pave, chicken wings, and chocolate chip s’more bites.

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Durango Bluegrass Meltdown

DURANGO — The annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown returns this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in downtown Durango. This year’s lineup features Rick Faris, The Slocan Ramblers, Barbaro, The Cody Sisters, Tunnel Drive, Smelter Mountain Boys, Bluegrass Cadillac, High Country Hustle, La La Bones, Tone Dog, Bluegrouse, Jordan Rainey, and many more. Bluegrass fans can grab their tickets at DurangoMeltdown.com.

Credit: Cirque Italia

Paranormal Cirque

THORNTON — Cirque Italia is now presenting a brand-new show for mature audiences. Paranormal Cirque will expose audiences to a unique creation of combined theatre, circus, and cabaret with a new European style flare. The horror story features different shades of sexy while blurring the line of reality and illusion. Paranormal Cirque will be open under the Big Top at Thornton's Denver Premium Outlets Thursday through Sunday. This show has adult language and material and children under 18 will not be admitted without an adult.

Credit: Rachel Neville

Ballet MasterWorks

DENVER — Colorado Ballet concludes its 2022-23 season with "Ballet MasterWorks." This program features three masterpieces that broadened the boundaries of ballet repertoire in the 20th century: Clark Tippet’s "Bruch Violin Concerto," George Balanchine’s "Prodigal Son," and Jiří Kylián’s "Sinfonietta." Ballet MasterWorks at Ellie Caulkins Opera House runs through Sunday. For tickets and showtimes, visit ColoradoBallet.org.

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Colorado Springs Pool Plunge

COLORADO SPRINGS — Plungers will be plunging into the swimming pool this weekend at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site to support Special Olympics Colorado. The pool plunge begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Pool plungers get a long-sleeve shirt and access to a after-splash bash with vendors, giveaways, small bites, and drink ticket.

Credit: Historic Jones Theater

Historic Jones Theater

WESTCLIFFE — The Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts opens its 2023 theater season this Friday with “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” Plays are mounted each year in the Historic Jones Theater, which has been restored to its original 1930s glamour. In a community of less than 5,000 residents, Westcliffe boasts a robust schedule of cultural and artistic performances with a dedicated group of professional actors. Westcliffe's theater season will continue through Dec. 2 with “A Christmas Carol.”

Credit: Garrett W. Ellwood/GWE Photo
Cole Bassett of the Colorado Rapids.

Colorado Rapids vs. St. Louis City SC

COMMERCE CITY — Your Colorado Rapids return to Dick's Sporting Goods Park this weekend for a match against St. Louis City SC. The clubs will take to the pitch at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Commerce City. St. Louis City SC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as an expansion team this season. Tickets in the Rapids' Supporters Section start at $20 at Ticketmaster.com.

Credit: KUSA

Drug Take Back Day

COLORADO — National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day returns Saturday. Police departments, health departments, hospitals, pharmacies and grocery stores across Colorado will participate in the disposal of unwanted and unused medications. The goal of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is to ensure the environmentally-safe disposal of prescription medicines and to reduce the likelihood of drug misuse or abuse.

365 Health Fair

COLORADO — There are many reasons to attend a 365 Health Fair this weekend. You can learn more about you, take advantage of free and low-cost health screenings, and talk to several medical professionals. Register in advance or just show up, doesn’t matter to us! We just hope to see you there. Either way, isn’t it time you make your health a priority? Find a fair near you at 365Health.org.

Credit: Jamie Kraus Photography

The Color Purple

DENVER — "The Color Purple" is the newest musical from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Beloved by audiences worldwide, few stories have had the cultural significance and lasting power as Alice Walker's story that reaffirms Black is beautiful, that women are powerful, and that love is love. This musical adaptation of "The Color Purple" features soul, gospel, jazz and blues vocals. "The Color Purple" plays the Wolf Theatre though Sunday, May 7. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: RDG Photography

tick, tick…BOOM!

AURORA — The autobiographical musical "tick, tick… BOOM!" from Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of “Rent,” is the story of a composer and the sacrifices that he made to achieve his big break in theatre. Containing fourteen songs, ten characters, three actors and a band, "tick, tick… BOOM!" takes you on the playwright's journey that led to a Broadway blockbuster. "tick, tick… BOOM!" plays Vintage Theatre through Sunday. Tickets from $20 to $38 are on sale at 303-856-7830 or VintageTheatre.org.

Credit: RDG Photography

The Inheritance, Parts 1 & 2

AURORA — Vintage Theatre Productions presents the regional premiere of the award-winning play "The Inheritance, Parts 1 & 2." Set decades after the AIDS epidemic, three generations of gay men grapple with the tragedy of their past and what it means for their future. This two-part epic explores healing, class divide and what it means to call a place home. "The Inheritance, Parts 1 & 2" plays Vintage Theatre through May 14. Tickets from $20 to $38 are on sale at 303-856-7830 or VintageTheatre.org.

Credit: Denver Museum of Nature & Science


DENVER — The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has opened its newest interactive exhibition. “Bugs” takes you into the world of insects as you learn how to think, work and use your superpowers like nature’s true geniuses. Bugs make up 90% of all animal species on Earth, yet few of us know how essential and powerful these creatures really are. Discover how their adaptations are inspiring solutions to some of our most complex problems and imagine what’s possible in the future in “Bugs.”

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Movies this weekend

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie" scored the best second weekend ever for an animated movie in North American theaters with $87 million. The film's global total now stands at a staggering $678 million, surpassing “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” to become biggest film of 2023 in just two weekends. 

Opening this weekend

  • Beau if Afraid
  • Guy Ritchie's The Covenant
  • Chevalier
  • Evil Dead Rise

Last weekend's box office

  1. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” $87 million.
  2. “The Pope’s Exorcist,” $9.2 million.
  3. “John Wick: Chapter 4,” $7.9 million.
  4. “Renfield,” $7.8 million.
  5. “Air,” $7.7 million.
  6. “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” $7.4 million.
  7. “Suzume,” $5 million.
  8. “Mafia Mamma,” $2 million.
  9. “Scream VI,” $1.5 million.
  10. “Nefarious,” $1.3 million.

> Would you like to see your favorite Colorado festival, fair, expo, concert, drama, musical, ballet, run or event listed in 9Things? Send it to alexander.kirk@9news.com.

Have an super weekend! 



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