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9Things to do in Colorado this weekend: June 2-4

Festivals welcome summer in Thornton, Brighton, Lakewood, Greeley, Elizabeth, Johnstown and Fruita, plus fishing is free in Colorado.

COLORADO, USA — The eyes of the nation are on Colorado this weekend as the Denver Nuggets are in the NBA Finals for the first time ever.

Summer festivals are also back in Colorado as celebrations of family, friends and music are happening this weekend in Lakewood, Brighton, Johnstown, Greeley, Fruita and Elizabeth.

Grab your fishing rod and a cooler of soda, you can fish anywhere in Colorado this weekend — no license required.

Colorado is known for terrific festivals, concerts, sporting events and the arts. Celebrate the season this weekend by experiencing the unique culture, food and geography that makes our state so special.

Submit an event to 9Things To Do. 

Credit: 9NEWS

NBA Finals

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets are in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. After completing an historic sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers last week, the Nuggets next face the Miami Heat for the NBA championship. The best-of-seven NBA Finals begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m. when the Nuggets will host Game 1 at Denver's Ball Arena. Game 2 will be Sunday at 6 p.m. in Denver. Tickets are pretty pricey at Ball Arena, but watch parties are also planned across Colorado including McGregor Square in Denver.

Credit: amyinlondon - stock.adobe.com


THORNTON — Thorntonfest will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Carpenter Park fields at 108th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. There will be entertainment, arts, crafts, a vendor marketplace, disc dogs, a twisted steel car show, police canine demos, a beer garden and ninja warrior course. Live music will be provided by The Last Men on Earth, Funkiphino, Vinyl Nation, and Off The Grid Band. 


BRIGHTON — Brighton’s largest community festival returns to Carmichael Park on Saturday. Summerfest will include kids activities, food vendors, live music and more. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Credit: City of Lakewood

Rockin’ Block Party

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood will kick off the summer season with its Rockin' Block Party on Saturday at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. The evening features iconic tunes of the 1980s performed by Ronnie Raygun and the Big Eighties followed by everyone’s favorite 80s movie "Back to the Future." There will also be a beer garden and local food trucks.

Credit: Denver Day of Rock

Denver Day of Rock

DENVER — Denver Day of Rock — a free one-day music festival taking place on three stages across downtown Denver — returns Saturday starting at 1 p.m. This year’s line-up will feature 15 bands with three headliners: Frank Ray, Roger Clyne & the Peacekeepers, and Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers. The family-friendly Denver Day of Rock will also feature food trucks, a silent disco, a beer garden, balloon artists, and face painters.

Riverdance 25th Anniversary

DENVER — "Riverdance" is back in the Mile High City on its 25th anniversary tour. This stage favorite has been celebrated the world over for its Grammy Award-winning score and the thrilling energy of its Irish and international dance. Organizers have reimagined "Riverdance" with innovative lighting, projection, stage and costume designs. "Riverdance" plays the Buell Theatre in Denver through Sunday. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: 9NEWS
A statue in downtown Fruita pays homage to Mike the Headless Chicken.

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

FRUITA — For more than 20 years, the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival has celebrated the legend of a Mike, a chicken that lived for 18 months without his head back in 1945. Scientists at the time determined that the axe meant to kill Mike missed his jugular vein and a clot prevented him from bleeding to death.

To remember Mike, the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival will be held Friday and Saturday. Entrance to the festival is free and includes live music from Joey Rowland and Gerry Goodman, Tucker Rose, Gunny Grand String Band, and Augie Meyers and Los Texmaniacs. Festivities include a 5K race, car show, food and merchandise vendors, games, and the famous Peep and wing eating contest. For more information, visit miketheheadlesschicken.org.

RELATED: This Colorado town might remind you of Moab (and you could actually afford to live here)

Credit: Greeley Blues Jam

Greeley Blues Jam

GREELEY — The Greeley Blues Jam is back. The two-night family-oriented blues experience features great food, drinks and merchandise vendors. The music starts Friday in downtown Greeley at the 9th Street Plaza and at over 18 venues. The Greeley Blues Jam continues Saturday at the Island Grove Regional Park from 11:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy food, beverages, shopping and blues music. Tickets to Saturday’s event can be purchased at GreeleyBluesJam.org.

Credit: 9NEWS

Tesoro Indian Market

MORRISON — The Tesoro Cultural Center holds its 22nd annual Indian Market and Powwow on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Fort in Morrison. Award-winning Native American artists are selling their wares and crafts in a juried show. Entertainment includes performances, music, honoring of veteran Jesse Hamilton, demonstrations of live hawks and eagles and exhibits from Denver Museum of Nature and Science and History Colorado. The market is open to the public for $15 and children 12 and under are free.

Credit: Denver BBQ Festival

Johnstown BBQ Day 

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown’s annual community tradition is back. Johnstown BBQ Day kicks off Saturday at 5 a.m. with a pancake breakfast. A parade steps off at 10 a.m. at Rolling Hills Ranch Boulevard and 3rd Street. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be games, activities, vendors, live music and more along Parish Avenue between downtown and Parish Park. More than 20 food trucks will be providing BBQ throughout the day followed by fireworks at 9 p.m.

Credit: KUSA

Erie Pride Celebration

ERIE — Nonprofit community organization Being Better Neighbors is hosting the 2nd annual Erie Pride Celebration on Saturday. This event will be held in downtown Erie on Briggs Street from 3 to 7 p.m. The free celebration will include live entertainment, food trucks, a beer tent, vendors and activities.

Credit: Colorado Concours d’Elegance

Colorado Concours d'Elegance

DENVER — The annual Colorado Concours d’Elegance & Exotic Sports Car Show returns to Arapahoe Community College on Sunday. The show will have more than 300 rare cars and motorcycles. Spectators and car owners are invited to a family-oriented day of live music, food, exhibits and special awards. Proceeds from the event go Ability Connection Colorado’s Creative Options for Early Childhood Education Centers. Tickets are available at ColoradoConcours.org. The event has since been postponed to a later date. 

Credit: 9NEWS

Free Fishing Weekend

COLORADO — Get out the fishing rods, Colorado's free fishing weekend is back. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said all anglers can fish without a license anywhere in Colorado on Saturday and Sunday. The annual event hopes the fee-free weekend will get families, friends and anglers back into Colorado's outdoors to fish for cold and warm water fish species.

Credit: Елена Нестерова - stock.adobe.com

Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival

MANITOU SPRINGS — Wine connoisseurs, rejoice! The 2023 Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival will be held Saturday at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs. Attendees of the festival will receive tastings from dozens of Colorado wineries. There will be live music as well as food and gift vendors. The price of admission includes a wine festival glass and tote bag. Tickets are available online here.

Credit: Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo

Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo

ELIZABETH — A classic Colorado rodeo returns to Elizabeth this weekend. The Elizabeth Stampede runs Thursday through Sunday. Friday night will see Xtreme Bulls take to the rodeo arena at Casey Jones Park. A parade steps off at 9 a.m. Saturday. There will also be PRCA rodeo performances Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m., as well as Sunday at 1 p.m. Country music star Granger Smith brings his farewell tour to Casey Jones Park Thursday night. Tickets are available online at ElizabethStampede.com.

Credit: Danse Etoile Ballet

Danse Etoile Ballet

BOULDER — Danse Etoile Ballet presents its new production "The Brontë Sisters" this Friday and Saturday at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder. The literature of these poet and novelist sisters comes to life through the art of ballet. Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on Friday plus 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students, seniors and children. For tickets visit DanseEtoile.org.

Credit: littlestocker - stock.adobe.com

Telluride Balloon Festival

TELLURIDE — Dozens of hot air balloons will rise through the Rocky Mountain air this weekend at the Telluride Balloon Festival. Mass ascensions will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Telluride Town Park. The Telluride Balloon Festival is a free event and don't forget your camera.

Credit: Strength in the City

Strength in the City Fitness & Wellness Festival

DENVER — Strength in the City Fitness & Wellness Festival will take place Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at ReelWorks Denver at 1399 35th Street. Attendees can enjoy a full day of fitness and wellness classes from bikes and rowers, to dance and mediation and everything in between. General admission tickets are $45 and provide access to all classes, activities, vendors and spaces throughout the festival grounds.

Flamingo Day 5K

DENVER — The weather in Denver on Sunday could not be more perfect for a 5K run or walk. Flamingo Day 5K is a terrific reason to get outside for some sunshine and fresh air at Denver's Sloan Lake Park. Waves of runners and walkers will launch every 30 minutes starting at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Register at ColoradoRunnerEvents.com.

Credit: AP

JUCO World Series

GRAND JUNCTION — The NJCAA’s Division I Junior College (JUCO) Baseball World Series concludes this weekend at Grand Junction's Suplizio Field. This year's 10-team, double-elimination tournament, which began last weekend, ends Saturday.

Credit: Garrett W. Ellwood/GWE Photo

Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose

COMMERCE CITY — The Colorado Rapids return to Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. match against San Jose. Find your perfect seat at Ticketmaster.com.

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Michael Franti

Red Rocks

DENVER — There is no better venue for live music in the country than Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Red Rocks 2023 concert schedule (announced so far) is steadily growing.

RELATED: Red Rocks 2023 concert schedule

Credit: Denver Tramway Heritage Society

Denver Trolley

DENVER — The historic Denver Trolley has run along the South Platte River for more than 30 years. This summer, the trolley will operate Thursdays through Mondays beginning at 10 a.m. with the last departure at 5 p.m. The Denver Trolley departs from the home platform at REI/Confluence Park every 30 minutes. Roundtrip rides last about 25 minutes and include a narration about the surrounding area.

Credit: KUSA

The North Pole: Santa's Workshop

CASCADE — Colorado's favorite Christmas-themed amusement park is open for the season. Home to Santa's village and the jolly old elf himself, The North Pole: Santa’s Workshop, located at 7,500 feet at the foot of Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs, opened last weekend and will now remain open through Christmas. With vintage rides and sweet treats, the park as been spreading Christmas cheer since 1956.

Credit: City Park Farmers Market

City Park Farmers Market

DENVER — The City Park Farmers Market is back at Denver City Park every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year's market features an expanded lineup of more than 100 vendors, chef demos, weekly yoga, live music and a grassy community gathering space. City Park Farmers Market will be open Saturdays through Oct. 28 at East Colfax Avenue and Columbine Street.

Credit: Colorado Governor's Art Show

Governor’s Art Show  

LOVELAND — The 32nd annual Governor’s Art Show & Sale is open at the Loveland Museum with both in-person and online fine art sales. Recognized as one of the largest juried fine art shows to exclusively feature Colorado artists, this year 62 of the state’s most talented artists will be showcased, including two Legacy Artists. Find the perfect new piece for your art collection, add a statement piece to your home décor, or select a special gift for friends or family – all while supporting Colorado’s finest artists.

Credit: McLeod9Creative

Miss Rhythm: The Legend of Ruth Brown

DENVER — "Miss Rhythm – The Legend of Ruth Brown" is the newest production at the Garner Galleria Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. This intimate cabaret experience explores the life and times of R&B legend Ruth Brown through story and song, accompanied by a five-piece jazz band. Before Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner, there was Ruth Brown, a rhythm and blues singer known for her hits “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean,” “Teardrops From My Eyes” and “5-10-15 Hours.” Her powerhouse voice and sassy squeal brought such success to Atlantic Records it was deemed "the house that Ruth built." The production will continue through Oct. 15.

Credit: Sony Pictures Animation via AP

Movies this weekend

The Little Mermaid” made moviegoers want to be under the sea last weekend. Disney's live-action remake of its 1989 animated classic outswam the competition with $117.5 million over the four-day period — the fifth biggest Memorial Day weekend opening ever.

This weekend brings the release of animated “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” with “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” arriving next week.

Opening this weekend

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Last weekend's box office

  1. “The Little Mermaid,” $95.5 million.
  2. “Fast X,” $23 million.
  3. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” $20 million.
  4. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” $6.3 million.
  5. “The Machine,” $4.9 million.
  6. “About My Father," $4.3 million.
  7. “Kandahar,” $2.4 million.
  8. “You Hurt My Feelings,” 1.4 million.
  9. “Evil Dead Rise,” $1 million.
  10. “Book Club, The Next Chapter,” $920, 000.

Do you know of a cool, fun Colorado festival, fair, expo, concert, or event you think we ought to mention in this week's 9Things or the future? Send it to alexander.kirk@9news.com.

Have an awesome weekend!


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