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9Things to do in Colorado this final weekend of September

Autumn brings green chile, harvest, cider, music and elk festivals, Oktoberfests and the Broncos to Colorado this weekend.

COLORADO, USA — Hello, autumn!

The final weekend of September offers dozens of fall festivals and sporting events in all corners of the Centennial State.

There are several Oktoberfest celebrations, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, plus haunted houses. The Broncos make their regular season debut at Empower Field and the Rockies play their final weekend series at Coors Field.

So get outside and embrace the final days of September by experiencing the unique culture, food and geography that make Colorado so special. Don't forget to share your weekend photos with the "Near Me" feature on the 9NEWS app.

> Have an event you'd like included in 9Things? Send it our way.

Credit: Alex Kirk, KUSA

New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos

DENVER — Denver Broncos football is back in the Mile High City! The red-hot Broncos (2-0) host the New York Jets (0-2) for the regular-season home opener at Empower Field at Mile High. Kickoff is set for 2:05 p.m. Sunday. Some tickets are available for resale at Ticketmaster.com.

Credit: David Gilder - stock.adobe.com

Chile & Frijoles Festival 

PUEBLO — The savory aroma of roasting chilies signals the end of summer in Pueblo. The 27th annual Chile & Frijoles Festival is Pueblo's harvest celebration that pays homage to two of the town's best-loved crops: green chilies (in particular, the Pueblo Chile) and pinto beans or "frijoles."

This three-day celebration kicks off Friday afternoon in downtown Pueblo with live entertainment, street vendors, cooking competitions, and chilies, chilies, chilies. Admission is just $5 and kids 12 and under are free. The Chile & Frijoles Festival draws 140,000 attendees from around the Centennial State and the country. Head to PuebloChileFestival.com to see the complete event schedule. 

Credit: Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce

Fruita Fall Festival

FRUITA — The 106th annual Fruita Fall Festival runs Friday and Saturday with over 100 vendors selling arts, crafts and foods to attendees from across Colorado. This year's theme is "There's No Place Like Fruita." There will be live music, food trucks, parade, baking and canning contest, cornhole tournament, street performers and more. Country musician Jerrod Niemann will perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Check out the complete schedule for the free celebration at FruitaFallFestival.com.

Timnath Fall Festival

TIMNATH — The Town of Timnath welcomes autumn with a fun, fall festival this weekend. The Timnath Fall Festival will feature live music, an artisan market, local Colorado beer, food trucks, photo booth, free activities and crafts for the whole family and more. Kids can enjoy pumpkin decorating, balloon artists, face painting, bounce house, obstacle course and more. The festival runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Credit: Ben Lehman; Mountain Harvest Festival

Mountain Harvest Festival 

PAONIA — The 20th annual Mountain Harvest Festival runs Thursday to Sunday in Paonia. The community-oriented event features entertainment by local musicians, poets, dancers, comedians and dramatists, farm and winery tours, arts, crafts, food vendors and a farmers' market. On Friday alone there's a bike parade, pub crawl, live music and more. Most of the festival is set at Town Park, just a few blocks from downtown. To see the complete event schedule, head to MountainHarvestFestival.org.

Credit: Paul J Marcotte

Autumn Gold Festival

ESTES PARK — Autumn in Estes Park means golden aspen leaves, elk bugles and Autumn Gold — a festival of bands, brats and beer. In addition to mustard-smothered bratwursts, cold brews, soft drinks and live music, there will be family-friendly activities like face painting, corn bag toss, a bounce house and classic car show. Food vendors will be serving up funnel cakes, corn on the cob, fresh-squeezed lemonade, roasted almonds and desserts. The Autumn Gold Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday and admission is free.

Credit: Anheuser-Busch

Denver Oktoberfest

DENVER — The 51st annual Denver Oktoberfest continues this weekend with stein-lifting fun in downtown Denver. In addition to stein-hoisting there will be food, bier/beer, live music, brat-eating contest and more. The party will be located between 20th and 22nd on Larimer Street in the Ballpark neighborhood near Coors Field. The celebration runs Friday to Sunday this weekend. Tickets, Oktoberfest steins and all-you-can-eat-and-drink VIP tickets can be found at TheDenverOktoberfest.com.

Colorado Springs Oktoberfest

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 10th annual Colorado Springs Oktoberfest opens Friday at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. Festivities scheduled through Sunday include food vendors, live bands, dancing, wiener dog races, stein-hoisting contest, costume contest, yodeling contest, keg tapping, retail vendors, beer school and more. Skip the lines and get your tickets now at CSOktoberfest.com.

Greeley Oktobrewfest

GREELEY — The 2021 Greeley Oktobrewfest returns Friday and Saturday at Greeley's historic Lincoln Park. The celebration begins Friday night at 5:30 p.m. with beers, brats, games and a live music. Saturday will be a full day of fun at the downtown park from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with live music, craft beer from northern Colorado breweries, food vendorskids' area with face painting, obstacle course, carnival games, pumpkin decorating inflatable slide and more. Kids and adults will enjoy stein-lifting contests and life-size beer pong. VIP beer tasting tickets can be purchased online.

Longmont Oktoberfest  

LONGMONT — Longmont’s Oktoberfest is back for a 9th year. This year's event will be held over five days in The Garden at Left Hand Brewing with live music and local food. Proceeds from Longmont Oktoberfest benefit A Woman's Work and The Left Hand Brewing Foundation. The festival runs Wednesday through Sunday at 1245 Boston Avenue. The festival is free to attend on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and tickets are $5 at the door Saturday and Sunday.

Brush Oktoberfest 

BRUSH — The town of Brush has a September weekend schedule packed with events. The 39th annual Oktoberfest is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Brush Memorial Park. There will be a beer garden, car and motorcycle cruise in dance, dog show, live entertainment, polka dance and more. Visit BrushChamber.org to see the complete Oktoberfest weekend schedule.


ALAMOSA — The annual Oktobrüfest in Alamosa offers tastes from Colorado breweries, distilleries and food vendors, as well as games, contests, fun activities and live music. Oktobrüfest runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Alamosa's Sunset Park. Admission is $5 and tasting wristbands are $30. General admission and VIP tickets will be available to the festival. Check out the complete brewery list at AlamosaChamber.com.

Credit: Brent Hofacker - stock.adobe.com

Morrison Ciderfest 

MORRISON — The Morrison Ciderfest will be held this Saturday on the grounds of Bear Creek Care & Rehab at the corner of Highway 8 and Summer Street in downtown Morrison. The event kicks off in the morning with plenty of family-friendly activities including cider presses, kids' area with bounce castle, arts and crafts exhibits, hay and pony rides and live music. The Morrison Ciderfest runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to dark and admission is free.

Cider Days

LAKEWOOD — The Cider Days Hard Cider Tasting at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is back this Saturday. More than 50 varieties of hard cider are available at an afternoon tasting from noon to 3 p.m. and an evening tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. Tasting tickets are $40 and include a commemorative glass and unlimited pours; designated driver tickets are $15. For more information, visit Lakewood.org/HardCider.

Credit: 9NEWS

Fall colors

COLORADO — Autumn is one of the most beautiful times to live in Colorado. Hillsides turn stunning shades of gold, orange and red. This is a prime leaf-peeping weekend across western Colorado. Typically, colors peak in the Colorado's northern mountains throughout the month of September. The central mountains peak the last week of the month. For our southern mountains, it’s the first week of October. Here's when and where to see the leaves change.

HIKES: 9 hikes where you can see fall colors in Colorado

DRIVES: The 9 best drives to see fall colors in Colorado

> Text COLORS to 303-871-1491 for leaf-peeping info.

Credit: Dennis Wegewijs - stock.adobe.com

Corn mazes

COLORADO — Summer is great, but anyone who loves leaves, apple cider, sweaters and some good old-fashioned fun, knows that corn mazes are where it’s at. Luckily, Colorado has more than its fair share of these fall treats, which also happen to come with sweet pumpkin patches and amazing corn mazes, great local food and all sorts of activities that will make you wish this season never ends. 9NEWS has put together a handy list and map of corn mazes in Colorado.

RELATED: 21 corn mazes to explore in Colorado

Credit: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

ANTONITO — Are you ready to see the Colorado "Gold Rush"? Hop aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad this weekend to see the spectacular autumn colors. The railroad travels through several different ecological zones at different elevations, including low meadows and up the top of 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass, so you're sure to see some beautiful aspens. There are daily departures on the train through Sunday, Oct. 24 as well as a special dinner train. Fall rides are extremely popular, so book early at CumbresToltec.com.

Credit: Daniel Avram - stock.adobe.com

Denver American Indian Festival

BRIGHTON — The 8th annual Denver American Indian Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at Riverdale Regional Park in Adams County. The free festival offers educational and cultural events celebrating the tradition and culture of American Indians. All are welcome at the festival, which will have dancers, drummers, American Indian food, children's activities and vendors. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Credit: DedMityay - stock.adobe.com

Great Aardvark Embark

GREELEY — The 4th annual Great Aardvark Embark Hot Air Balloon Launch begins bright and early Saturday morning with breakfast burritos and coffee available for purchase on-site at Aims Community College. Pilots from Colorado Balloon Club will set up, inflate and launch majestic hot air balloons at the event field north of Cornerstone Event Center.

Credit: Melissa Plantz

Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors

TELLURIDE — The 6th annual Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors is an automotive celebration set against the stunning gold leaves of the San Juan Mountains. Several events are planned from Thursday to Sunday including Concours on the Golf Course, Motorcycle Concours, and Cool Cars on Colorado car show. Single-day, two-day and multi-day passes for the Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors, plus a complete event schedule, can be found at CarsAndColors.com.

Credit: Volkswagens on the Green

Bug’n Out Car Show

NORTHGLENN — O’Meara Volkswagen hosts its annual Bug’n Out Car Show on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The car show is free to enter and attend and there will be music, prizes and food trucks. All makes and models are welcome.

Credit: Central City Opera

Central City Plein Air Festival 

CENTRAL CITY — The 3rd annual Central City Plein Air Festival runs Friday to Sunday. The event, presented by Central City Opera and the Gilpin County Arts Association, will feature artists from across the country painting fall landscapes and historic architecture within a radius of the Central City Opera House. Painting takes place all day Friday through Sunday and the event is free for the public to watch and ask questions of the artists. The public can also attend the Exhibition and Sale at the Teller House starting Sunday at 4 p.m. where the festival judge will select the winning paintings from over 60 on display.

Credit: AEG Live

Twenty One Pilots

DENVER — Grammy Award-winning duo Twenty One Pilots began its "Takeøver Tour" in Colorado earlier this week. The duo is playing in Denver at four different venues: the Bluebird Theater, Ogden Theatre, Mission Ballroom and Ball Arena. The Mission Ballroom concert is Thursday and the Ball Arena performance is Friday night. Twenty One Pilots will also be performing multiple nights in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Columbus, Atlanta, and London at intimate and large venues in each city.

RELATED: Twenty One Pilots to launch tour at 4 Denver concert venues

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Van Morrison

GREENWOOD VILLAGE — Singer-songwriter Sir George Ivan Morrison, also known as Van Morrison, is in the Centennial State for a concert at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre. Morrison will be joined by Taj Mahal at the 7 p.m. concert this Saturday. Tickets start at $45 for the all-ages show. Tickets are sold at AXS.com.

Credit: Zarlengo Foundation

Triple Threat Comedy Night

DENVER —The trio of Frank Caliendo, Sal Vulcano and David Spade will take the stage together in Denver this weekend. Caliendo, Vulcano and Spade will perform at Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center at 8 p.m. Saturday. The event was rescheduled from its previous date of Sept. 12, 2020. Tickets to the 2020 show will be honored this weekend.

The “Triple Threat Comedy Night” benefits The Zarlengo Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports schools and programs for children with learning disabilities in and around the Denver community. Tickets to the show range from $60 to $90 and are available now at AXS.com.

Credit: University of Northern Colorado Athletics


College football Saturday

Northern Arizona vs. Northern Colorado

  • Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m.
  • Nottingham Field, Greeley
  • Tickets at UNCBears.com

Florida Atlantic vs. Air Force Academy

Chadron State vs. Colorado Mesa

  • Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m.
  • Stocker Stadium, Grand Junction
  • Tickets at CMUMavericks.com

Fort Lewis College vs. Western Colorado

Credit: Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies close out the 2021 home schedule with a series against the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals. The Giants and Rockies play Friday, Saturday and Sunday on "Larry Walker weekend." The Rockies will have a fireworks display Friday night and the team will retire the Hall of Famer's No. 33 jersey on Saturday. The Nationals begin a series at Coors Field on Monday. Visit Rockies.com/Tickets to see the freshly mowed grass, mountain vistas and boys of summer one last time.

RELATED: Larry Walker inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids

COMMERCE CITY — Your Colorado Rapids are proudly sitting in third place in the Western Conference standings. The Rapids (12-8-4) hope to keep up in the playoff race when they welcome Toronto FC (4-6-15) to Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The match begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in Commerce City. Snag your tickets at ColoradoRapids.com.

Credit: Alison Bowden - stock.adobe.com

Aspen Ruggerfest  

ASPEN — The 53rd annual Aspen Ruggerfest runs from Thursday to Sunday. This four-day rugby tournament hosts between 30 and 40 teams at Aspen's Wagner Park. There is no charge to watch the action as fans come from afar to watch and enjoy Aspen's stores, hotels, restaurants and bars at the end of each day. To learn more about the tournament and to view the event schedule, check out Aspen-Ruggerfest.com.

Credit: Colorado Railroad Museum

Day Out With Thomas

GOLDEN — Thomas the Tank Engine is back at the Colorado Railroad Museum this weekend with his "Day Out With Thomas" tourKids and families can ride Thomas the Tank Engine as well as meet Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of Thomas’ railway. There will be Thomas-themed activities including live entertainment, scavenger hunt, hay bale maze, stage shows, sing-a-longs and moreThomas the Tank Engine will be at the museum in Golden on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Grab your tickets at TicketWeb.com.

Credit: Rawf8 - stock.adobe.com

Bridal Festivals Wedding Expo

LOVELAND — If you're planning to say your "I Do's" soon, the Bridal Festival Wedding Expo could be right up your alley. The show, which takes place Sunday at Loveland's The Ranch Events Complex, offers the latest in wedding planning from florists and dresses to DJs and wedding destinations. Tickets can be purchased online.

Credit: Wasim - stock.adobe.com

National Alpaca Farms Days

BENNETT — The 15th annual National Alpaca Farm Days is this Saturday and Sunday. Alpaca farms across North America are opening their gates to the public, including LaZyB Acres Alpacas in Bennett. Located 25 minutes east of Denver, the farm will let the public meet their alpacas and learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals, the luxury fiber they produce and why the alpaca business is perfect for environmentally-conscious individuals. Guests can also shop in the farm's alpaca boutique where you find alpaca products (scarfs, socks, gloves, blankets and hats) and yarns, rovings and raw fleeces.

Credit: Joseph Rouse - stock.adobe.com

14er Fest

BUENA VISTA — The 14er Fest, which runs Friday to Sunday, is a multi-sport mountain festival for all trail users, ages and abilities. There are events and tutorials in vehicle off-roading, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, trail running and more. A 5K is set for Friday afternoon and a new 14K run will be held Sunday morning. To see a complete event schedule, register for an activity or sign up for camping in Buena Vista, head to 14erFest.org.

Hero Fest at Town Center at Aurora

AURORA — The 4th annual Hero Fest at Town Center at Aurora is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A celebration for Colorado’s first responders, the free fun-filled day features emergency vehicles for kids to tour, face painting, food trucks, and more.

Credit: ALS - Rocky Mountain Chapter

Walk to Defeat ALS Car Parade

FORT COLLINS — The ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter will hold a car parade Saturday in northern Colorado. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Fort Collins’ Schneider Electric - Fort Collins Parking Lot. Registration and donation information is available here.

Credit: Alzheimer's Association: Colorado Chapter

Walk to End Alzheimer's

DURANGO & EAGLE — You can help take the first step towards a world without Alzheimer's at this weekend's Walk to End Alzheimer's in Eagle and Durango. The southwest Colorado walk begins after 10:30 Saturday at Durango's Rotary Park. Those in the Vail Valley can join the walk at Eagle's Brush Creek Park & Pavilion after 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Race registration and donation information can be found at Act.Alz.org.

Credit: The Bear Chase Trail Race

The Bear Chase  

LAKEWOOD — This weekend's The Bear Chase Race Endurance Festival includes 100K, 50-Mile, 50K, half marathon and Baby Bear 10K Trail Races. The races at Lakewood's Bear Creek Lake Park feature a variety of terrains as well as sweeping panoramic views. The 100K, 50-Mile and 50K take place Saturday and the 10K and half marathon begin Sunday morning. Race registration and information can be found at BearChaseRace.com.

Credit: Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group

13th Floor Haunted House

DENVER — 13th Floor Haunted House has opened for the 2021 season. Celebrating 14 years of scares in the Mile High, this season brings terrifying twists and turns, new characters and new add-on attractions that are sure to thrill. Enter if you date — at 3400 East 52nd Avenue.

Credit: Jag_cz - stock.adobe.com

Aspen Filmfest

ASPEN — The 42nd Aspen Filmfest is now underway and continues through Sunday. Held at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House and Metropolitain's Isis Theatre in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale, the festival has anticipated fall previews and award-winning films from the international circuit. There are also panel discussions and special guests. Head to AspenFilmfest.org to see a list of show times and to get tickets. 

Credit: Universal
Ben Platt stars in "Dear Evan Hansen"

Movies this weekend

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" has led the weekend box office for three-straight weekends. The Marvel superhero movie is on its way to passing "Black Widow" as the top grosser of the pandemic era. Clint Eastwood's "Cry Macho" had a quiet opening in third place as the movie is already available to stream at home.

"Dear Evan Hansen," the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, arrives in theaters this weekend with the goal of toppling Disney and Marvel. The movie will have one weekend at the cineplex before competition arrives the first weekend of October with "The Addams Family 2," "The Many Saints of Newark," and "Venom: Let There Be Carnage."

Last weekend's box office

  1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — $21.7 million
  2. Free Guy — $5.1 million
  3. Cry Macho — $4.4 million
  4. Candyman — $3.5 million
  5. Malignant — $2.7 million

RELATED: 'Shang-Chi' tops box office for 3rd straight weekend

> 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.



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