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9Things to do in Colorado this weekend: Nov. 15-17

With holiday lightings, fairs, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, football, hockey and monster trucks, there's so much to do in Colorado this weekend.

COLORADO, USA — It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Colorado this weekend.

Holiday lighting ceremonies are scheduled in Castle Rock, Loveland, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins. Christmas-rock icons Tran-Siberian Orchestra are also in the Centennial State this weekend while holiday fairs and festivals are in full swing and Santa makes his arrival at local malls.

Sports fans will enjoy four college football games in Colorado, the DU Pioneers men's ice hockey team is back at Magness Arena, and monster truck legend Bigfoot visits Denver.

No matter where you live in Colorado, there's a unique and festive fall event near you this weekend.

> Have an event tip? Send it here. 

9Cares Colorado Shares

COLORADO — For 37 years, 9Cares Colorado Shares has been the region’s largest single-day food drive, collecting food for more than 130 Colorado food banks. Join us on Saturday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. at any of our three Denver Metro locations to make a donation. 9NEWS will also have 35 remote locations set up at King Soopers and City Market stories across the Centennial State. Food and toiletry donations are given to more than 100 food banks in metro Denver and along the Front Range from Fort Collins to Castle Rock. Our partner, Food Bank of the Rockies coordinates the food distribution. We will also be collecting household items, toys, clothing and coats. 

LEARN MORE: 38 places to donate this Saturday

RELATED: Donate to 9Cares Colorado Shares online

Credit: Jason McEachern; Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

DENVER & COLORADO SPRINGS — The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming back to Colorado this weekend with a throwback to the album that made them famous. The "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" tour is a nod to the album of the same name and the first in a Christmas-themed trilogy. The 2019 winter tour will feature brand-new production, staging and effects. The multi-platinum Christmas rock group will perform at Pepsi Center in Denver on Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and then at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs on Sunday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Centennial Holiday Celebration

CENTENNIAL — Get into the holiday spirit this weekend with free cookies, hot cocoa and festive lights at the City of Centennial’s Holiday Celebration. The free festival runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Center Park Amphitheater with performances by the Denver Ballet, the Spotlight Performing Arts Center and local school choir groups. Don’t forget your camera for photos with Santa Claus. 

Outlets at Castle Rock Tree Lighting Concert

CASTLE ROCK — The Outlets at Castle Rock will flip the switch to illuminate more than 8,000 bulbs at Saturday's Tree Lighting Concert. The family-friendly free concert kicks off with local favorite band Raising Cain at 3:45 p.m. followed by headliner AJ Mitchell at 5:30 p.m. Festivities at the Outlets begin at 3 p.m. leading up to the grand finale lighting at 6 p.m. Santa Claus himself will lead the countdown to the lighting of this year's 55-foot white fir treeFood and drink vendors will be on hand to help shoppers enjoy the start of the holiday season. There will be free photo ops in front of the tree from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

RELATED: Christmas tree arrives at Outlets at Castle Rock

Credit: Visit Loveland

Winter Wonderlights

LOVELAND — Winter Wonderlights, a walkable holiday lighting attraction, opens this weekend at Loveland's Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. Guests will be mesmerized at the more than 80,000 holiday string lightstwinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures and 30-minute music and light shows every night. Winter Wonderlights opens Friday at 5 p.m. with special performances by the Mountain View High School Choir and Takapenga Zimbabwean Marimba Band. Djembe and Fale Jive, the Loveland & The Conservatory Dance, Loveland Flute Ensemble, and UNC’s Northern Lights A Capella will perform Saturday night. The magical Winter Wonderlights light show runs nightly through January 1. Each show is 30 minutes and repeats from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

PHOTOS: Loveland’s Winter Wonderlights

Credit: Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins

Brewery Lights at Budweiser Brewery

FORT COLLINS — Anheuser-Busch's Fort Collins Brewery "flips the switch" for the holidays with the annual Brewery Lights this weekend. Brewery Lights is free and open to all ages and will be open every Thursday to Sunday through Sunday, Dec. 29 with a synchronized light show, s'mores, tree maze, food, gifts and more. Brewery Lights has new family-friendly activities, a unique 4D holiday photo opportunity, beer samples for guests 21 and older, delicious food and festive entertainment.

Credit: Getty Images

Trees of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony

COLORADO SPRINGS  The 35th annual Trees of Life outdoor community tree lighting ceremony takes place Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Loved ones’ names will be read in remembrance while numerous trees are illuminated with white lights. The ceremony will also have local musicians and complimentary refreshments. If you’d like to remember someone special during Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care’s Trees of Life ceremony, visit PikesPeakHospice.org.

RELATED: 2 drive-through Christmas displays with 1.5 million LED lights each coming to Colorado

Credit: Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Santa Express Train

CAÑON CITY — More than 30,000 guests ride the unique Santa Express Train each year. The fun holiday tradition features new and old Christmas music, delicious food, cookies and cocoa as kids and their families make their way to the North Pole where each child receives a holiday bell from Santa and his Elves. The Christmas train, along the historic Royal Gorge Route, begins running Thursday and has departures planned through Monday, Dec. 30. Reservations sellout quickly at RoyalGorgeRoute.com.

HOLIDAY GUIDE: Everything you need to know about celebrating the holidays in Colorado

Credit: Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

DENVER — William Shakespeare’s comedy of a shipwreck, mistaken identities, hilarious hijinks, unrequited love and gender-bending disguises opens at the Space Theatre this weekend. Twelfth Night features captivating characters and one of Shakespeare’s most-dynamic heroines in Viola, stranded after a shipwreck in Illyria. The comedy from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts opens Friday and plays at the Denver Performing Arts Complex through Sunday, Dec. 22. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: Getty Images

The Brightness of Light featuring Renée Fleming

DENVER — Superstar soprano Renée Fleming returns to the Colorado Symphony this weekend with baritone Rod Gilfry for the Colorado premiere of The Brightness of Light. Conducted by CSO Music Director Brett Mitchell and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, The Brightness of Light presents the letters of artist Georgia O’Keefe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, written over the years they lived apart. The story of a great artist who ultimately turns from a painful marriage to embrace her work will be accompanied visually with three large screens in the concert hall. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Boettcher Concert Hall with tickets at ColoradoSymphony.org. 

Space: The Symphonic Frontier

GREELEY — The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra will take its audience on a journey throughout the stars with Friday’s performance of Space: The Symphonic Frontier. The program will reveal how without Korngold’s Kings Row Fanfare, Holst’s The Planets, and John Williams’ Star Wars, space may not have sounded the way we know it. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Union Colony Civic Center. Visit GreeleyPhil.org for tickets.

It's a Wonderful Life

BOULDER — It’s a Wonderful Life is the newest production from the Elkund Opera Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Based on the classic 1946 Frank Capra movie, It’s a Wonderful Life is a new opera adaptation that follows a young guardian angel named Clara as she attempts to prove to George what an incredible impact he’s had on his small town. CU’s College of Music will present It’s a Wonderful Life with lavish scenery, costumes and musicianship at Macky Auditorium on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visit CUPresents.org for showtimes and tickets. 

Credit: TEDxMileHigh

TEDxMileHigh: Imagine

DENVER — Denver's Bellco Theatre hosts TEDxMileHighImagine on Saturday. The event features two live sessions of speakers, interactive exhibits lounge, spaces for reflection and opportunities for discovery. This weekend’s event will encourage the use of our imagination to solve challenges with new technology, engage in peaceful alternatives to violence, create innovative design, improve our environment through scientific research and form stronger communities. Imagine opens at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. AXS.com is the place for TEDxMileHigh tickets.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Holiday Food & Gift Festival

DENVER — One of the largest holiday celebrations in the West opens Friday at the National Western Complex. The 33rd annual Holiday Food & Gift Festival features hundreds of exhibitors, vendors, artisans and crafters with one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothing, woodcraft, music, photography, art, crafts, food, toys and Christmas décor that can't be found anywhere else. Rumor is Santa Claus will also make an appearance at the festival to help create perfect family photos. The Holiday Food & Gift Festival runs Friday to Sunday with tickets (and discount coupon) available at HFGF.com. 

Winterfest Craft Fair Expo

COLORADO SPRINGS — More than 100 craft vendors will be at the Norris Penrose Event Center on Saturday with unique handmade gifts and retail products. Get your holiday shopping done early and grab some food and refreshments at the Winterfest concession stand. Tickets to the Winterfest Craft Fair Expo are $5 and kids 15 and under are free. The fair will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Holiday Craft Fair

AURORA — Cherokee Trail High School will host a Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair, which offers free admission and parking, will have more than 150 vendors showcasing and selling their one-of-a-kind creations for everyone on your shopping list.  

Eaglecrest High School Craft Fair

AURORA — Eaglecrest High School’s annual Fall Craft Fair will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5100 South Picadilly Street. 

Harvest Craft Fair

BRIGHTON — Harvest Fellowship in Brighton is holding its 11th annual Harvest Craft Fair this Saturday. Last year was a record year and the show will be even bigger this year with 70 to 80 vendors, silent auction, full-service coffee bar, breakfast burritos and lunch. Vendors will have special holiday crafts, jewelry, clothes, make up, oils, picture frames, holiday gifts and more. 

Rue de Noel: A Paris Street Christmas Market

CASTLE ROCK — Rue De Noel: A Paris Street Christmas Market is an indoor, two-day holiday market with vintage, antiques, artisans, apparel, holiday décor and more. The market opens at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the Douglas County Events Center with free admission and free parking.  

Manitou Springs High School Craft Fair

MANITOU SPRINGS — The annual Holiday Craft Fair at Manitou Springs High School opens Saturday at 9 a.m. The fun fair will have over 70 craft vendors with one-of-a-kind gift ideas and homemade specialties.  

Carbondale Christmas Boutique

CARBONDALE — The 43rd annual Carbondale Christmas Boutique will take place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District. Featuring local artisans with handmade gifts, stained glass, holiday décor, jams, cookies, breads, wreaths, natural fiber art, soap, jewelry, leather, ornaments, crochet and knitted goods, candles, succulents and more, a portion of Saturday’s proceeds benefit the Carbondale Fire Department. 

Eagle Winter Market & Holiday Fair

EAGLE  The Eagle Winter Market & Holiday Fair arrives Saturday at the Eagle River Center. The event will offer one-stop shopping for those who crave must-have holiday crafts, beauty products, food and more. Santa Claus will be on hand for family photos and there will be face painting, coloring and adult refreshments. The market, which is free and open to the public, runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

> Have an event tip? Send it here. 

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Santa’s Arrival at Town Center at Aurora

AURORA  Santa makes his big arrival at Town Center of Aurora this weekend with a parade around the inside of the mall beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. Santa will take up residence for the season in Center for photo opportunities with guests. There will be craft stations, a coloring station, and reindeer games for the whole family. 

Santa's Grand Arrival at Cherry Creek

DENVER — Santa’s Flight Academy lands at Cherry Creek Shopping Center on Saturday! Kris Kringle himself arrives at 1 p.m. with holiday entertainment, Spinphony, the Original Dickens Carolers, giveaways, face painting, sweet treats and more.

RELATED: Where to find Santa around the Denver area

Credit: Thinkstock

Western Colorado Native American Market

GRAND JUNCTION  Grand Junction’s Mesa Mall will host the Western Colorado Native American Market from Friday to Sunday with Native American vendors showcasing hand-made goods including sculpture, jewelry, pottery, bead work, art, baskets, blankets and more. The weekend show will also have performances and dances including a special presentation by Lakota educator and world-renowned hoop dancer Kevin Locke. 

Credit: Getty Images

Northern Colorado Home For The Holidays Show

LOVELAND — Northern Colorado’s largest home show features local and national vendors in home, outdoor living, décor, DIY and more. If you’re looking for inspiration, services or advice in home renovation, home automation, security, remodeling, design, solar power and more, this is the show for you. The Northern Colorado Home for the Holidays Show runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at The Ranch Events Complex. 

Credit: Just Between Friends Denver

Just Between Friends Winter Sale

LONGMONT  The Just Between Friends Sale is massive consignment sale where you can find everything you need from newborns to teenagers. There will be thousands of items at 50 to 90% off retail price including maternity items, children's clothing, toys, room decor, feeding, bathing and toileting items, cribs, beds, infant equipment, bouncy chairs, strollers, high-chairs and much more. The sale is open to the public Thursday through Sunday at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

Credit: Kicker Monster Truck

Kicker Monster Truck Winter Nationals

DENVER — Bigfoot returns! The Denver Kicker Monster Truck Show brings the legendary Bigfoot back to the Mile High City along with some of the baddest monster trucks in the business including Bounty Hunter, Scarlet Bandit, Kamikazee, Vendetta, and Jekyll & Hyde competing in freestyle, wheelie and racing competitions that will put families on the edge of their seats. The kid-friendly, adrenaline-charged entertainment show takes place Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the National Western Events Center. Pre-show pit party and driver meet-and-greet tickets are available as well. Grab your tickets today at TicketsWest.com.

Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Colorado State vs. Air Force

FORT COLLINS — The Colorado State Rams football team is looking for bowl eligibility and the Air Force Falcons stand in their way. The CSU Rams (4-5) will host the AFA Falcons (7-2) at 5 p.m. Saturday in a nationally-televised game at Canvas Stadium. Tickets for the Tackle Cancer, Health Care Professionals Day, and Poudre School District Day game are sold at CSURams.com. 

Colorado Mesa vs. New Mexico Highlands

GRAND JUNCTION  The Colorado Mesa Mavericks football team plays their final home game of the 2019 season at Stocker Stadium on Saturday. The CMU Mavericks (5-5) will kick off against New Mexico Highlands (2-7) at 1 p.m. on Military/First Responders Appreciation Day. Reserve your tickets today at CMUMavericks.com. 

Fort Lewis vs. South Dakota School of Mines

DURANGO — The Skyhawks of Fort Lewis College close out a disappointing 2019 football season with a game against South Dakota School of Mines & Technology this weekend at Ray Dennison Memorial Field. The Skyhawks (3-6) and Rockers (2-8) kick off at 12 p.m. Saturday in Durango.  

Colorado State-Pueblo vs. Western Colorado

PUEBLO — After a stunning 58-0 win over Black Hills State last weekend, the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves look to close out the 2019 season with double digit wins. The Thunderwolves (9-1) host the Western Colorado Mountaineers (5-5) at 12 p.m. Saturday for Senior Day. Tickets are available through GoThunderwolves.com or at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl ticket office.

> Have an event tip? Send it here. 

Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

DU Pioneers Men’s Hockey vs. North Dakota

DENVER — The University of Denver men’s ice hockey program returns to Magness Arena for two tough games against rival North Dakota. The puck drops between the DU Pioneers and UND Fighting Hawks at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the Denver campus. Pick out your perfect seat at DenverPioneers.com.

Credit: Pumpkin Pie 5K/10K; Colorado Runner

Pumpkin Pie 5K/10K

DENVER — The race that ends with a huge slice of pie is back this weekend. The Pumpkin Pie 5K and 10K kicks off the holiday season with family-friendly run/walk at Denver's City Park. All finishers get a large slice of pumpkin pie, as well as a race shirt, finisher's medal and finish line expo access with vendors and food. The runs take place Saturday, with the 5K starting at 8:45 a.m. and 10K at 9:30 a.m. Race registration can be completed online. 

Girls on the Run 5K

DENVER — Girls on the Run aims to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through a curriculum that integrates running. The organization will hold its Denver Metro 5K this weekend at Empower Field at Mile High. Girls on the Run 5Ks are an event where all girls celebrate themselves and one another as they cross the finish line. More than 6,400 runners and spectators are expected for the Denver race which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. You can run, hop, or skip alongside one of the girls by participating in the 5K and registering at GirlsontheRunRockies.org. 

Mac n' Cheese 5K

DENVER — Denver’s cheesiest 5K ever is sure to be Sunday’s Mac ‘N Cheese 5K. The event will have mac ‘n cheese, fried mac ‘n cheese, mac ‘n cheese socks, professional photos, costume contest and cash prizes. The cheesy 5K takes place at 12 p.m. Sunday at Denver’s Wash Park. Registration can be completed online.

> Have an event tip? Send it here. 

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Home of Heroes Spirit and Brewfest

PUEBLO — The first annual Home of Heroes Spirit and Brewfest takes over the Pueblo Convention Center on Saturday. The Brewfest will offer plenty of spirits, beers and food for attendees 21 and older. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Assistance League of Pueblo, Posada, and Humble & Hungry, Inc. Home of the Heroes Spirit and Brewfest begins Saturday at 6 p.m., but VIP tickets allow access starting at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are available at PuebloTix.com, the Memorial Hall box office and Barrel Brother liquor store.

Credit: Wings Over the Rockies

Free Day at Wings Over the Rockies Blue Sky Gallery

ENGLEWOOD  Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is offering everyone free admission to its Blue Sky Gallery location in Englewood on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

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 a tremendous weekend! 

HOLIDAY GUIDE: Everything you need to know about celebrating the holidays in Colorado

RELATED: Where to find Santa around the Denver area