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9Things to do in Colorado this weekend: April 22-24

This weekend brings art and plant sales, science, kite and Shakespeare festivals and monster trucks to Colorado.

COLORADO, USA — Grave Digger, Max-D, Blue Thunder, Jester, Kraken, Bad Company, Black Pearl and El Toro Loco are just a few of the legendary monster trucks arriving in the Mile High City this weekend. Monster Jam is back for a massive stadium show at Empower Field at Mile High.

Season ticket holders will get the first crack at exploring Elitch Gardens as the amusement park prepares for a summer of fun. This weekend, Colorado can enjoy a new ballet, drama, art show, music and Shakespeare festivals. The Nuggets bring the NBA playoffs to Denver and the Colorado Eagles and Rapids are both at home. CU and UNC are also offering fans a first look at their football teams this Saturday.

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Credit: Monster Jam; Feld Entertainment

Monster Jam

DENVER — Following four performances at Ball Arena in February, Monster Jam will return to Colorado this weekend even larger performance. The 2022 Monster Jam Stadium Tour will stop at Empower Field at Mile High on Saturday, April 23.

The 7 p.m. main event will be preceded by a Monster Jam Pit Party on the stadium's south lawn from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. where guests can see the trucks up close, take pictures, meet the drivers and get autographs. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.

RELATED: 26 million pounds of dirt dumped into Empower Field

Tulip Fairy & Elf Festival

BOULDER — Spring has officially arrived in downtown Boulder with Sunday's Tulip Fairy & 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, April 24, will help welcome more than 15,000 tulips to Pearl Street Mall. Visit BoulderDowntown.com for a complete schedule.

FamilyFest

COLORADO SPRINGS — The indoor Colorado Springs FamilyFest features family-friendly vendors, free kid’s activities, vendor prizes, various presentations and diaper and toddler derbies. The festival is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at the Colorado Springs Event Center. Tickets are $5 online, $7 at the door and kids are free.

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, April 23 and Sunday, April 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 30. For tickets and details, visit EltichGardens.com.

Credit: Georgetown Loop Railroad

Georgetown Loop Railroad Opening Day 

GEORGETOWN — A Colorado staple begins its 2022 season on Saturday, April 23. The Georgetown Loop Railroad offers spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. The railroad's website says the train transports riders back to a "time where the railroad ruled, mining was a way of life and outlaws littered the land." You can purchase tickets online at GeorgetownLoopRR.com.

Credit: Colorado State University

Spring Science Extravaganza

FORT COLLINS — The Little Shop of Physics, Colorado State University’s long-running, traveling science-for-everyone ambassadors, will host a “Spring Science Extravaganza” on campus Saturday, April 23. The outdoor event will from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Monfort Quadrangle and Lory Student Center Plaza at CSU and is free and open to the public. In addition to hundreds of hands-on science experiment stations, there will be brand new experiments that are too big to do inside.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Earth Day Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS — The 12th annual Earth Day Fort Collins event is Saturday, April 23 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.

Barr Lake Kite Festival

BRIGHTON — Barr Lake State Park will celebrate Earth Day with its annual Kite Festival this Saturday, April 23. Local kite clubs will be on hand with kite expertise and training. The festival is free if you register online here.

Credit: FoCoMX

FoCoMX

FORT COLLINS — The 14th annual Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX) weekend will host 300+ Colorado bands and solo artists at 30 downtown Fort Collins venues representing a wide variety of genres and styles. This year’s lineup is filled with live music to explore including bands who have made their mark on the Fort Collins’ and Colorado music scene and many new acts for fans to discover. FoCoMX will be held Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23.  

Featured FoCoMX talented Colorado artists include The Burroughs, Alysia Kraft Band, Slow Caves, Liz Barnez, Musketeer Gripweed, John Magnie of the Subdudes, Gasoline Lollipops, SF1, Companion, Sugar Britches, iZCALLi, Write Minded, and Post Paradise. The FoCoMX website has a comprehensive schedule with all the music performances for fans to browse, listen to bands and plan their musical weekend.

Durango Bluegrass Meltdown

DURANGO — The annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown returns this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in downtown Durango. This year’s lineup features Unspoken Tradition, The Special Consensus, FY5, Big Hooray Bluegrass, Old Fuss and Feathers, The Blue Moon Ramblers, Crooked Measures, Fellowship of the Strings, La La Bones, Six Dollar String, Tone Dog, People We Know, Smelter Mountain Boys, Bluegrouse and many more. Bluegrass fans can grab their tickets at DurangoMeltdown.com.

Credit: Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Choir Boy

DENVER — The coming-of-age drama "Choir Boy" is the newest production from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA). Created by Oscar-winning "Moonlight" screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney, "Choir Boy" features uplifting gospel music and electrifying dance routines. The drama "will inspire you to raise your voice and cheer as one student boldly stands up to the traditions that seek to silence him." "Choir Boy" opens Friday, April 22 at the Kilstrom Theatre and plays through Sunday, May 29. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: Peter Stand; Ballet Ariel

American in Paris

LAKEWOOD — Experience springtime in Paris at the Lakewood Cultural Center with three ballets from Ballet Ariel. The company's newest endeavor is set to Gershwin’s orchestral classic “An American in Paris.” Second, Ballet Ariel’s original ballet “Tale of Molly Brown” tells the story of her humble beginnings in Leadville and her rise in Denver's high society. Rounding out the program is “Konservatoriet,” a classical ballet set at the Paris Opera Ballet in the romantic period. Performances of the three ballets are set for Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at Lakewood Cultural Center. Tickets are available online at BalletAriel.org.

Shakespeare Festival

DENVER — The Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) 38th annual Shakespeare Festival returns to the Denver Arts Complex on Friday, April 22 for the first in-person event since 2019. This year’s festival theme is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and will feature student performances on numerous stages throughout the Arts Complex.

More than 40 DPS schools are scheduled to perform throughout the day on various stages and the DCPS Sculpture Park. At 2 p.m., the Shakespeare Challenge Bowl, a premiere event of the festival, will be held inside the Joe Craft Theater within the Helen Bonfils Theater Complex. See the schedule here.

Credit: Colorado Ballet

Ballet MasterWorks

DENVER — Colorado Ballet concludes its season with "Ballet MasterWorks." This program features three world-renowned masterpieces that broadened the boundaries of ballet repertoire in the 20th century: George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs. Ballet MasterWorks plays at Ellie Caulkins Opera House through Sunday, April 24. For tickets and showtimes, visit ColoradoBallet.org.

Credit: Colorado Governor's Art Show

Colorado Governor's Art Show

LOVELAND — The 31st annual Governor’s Art Show & Sale opens Saturday, April 23 for a month-long exhibit 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 60 of the state’s most talented artists will be showcased, including one Legacy Artist.

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. The Opening Night Gala is Friday, April 22 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Loveland Museum.

Credit: 9NEWS

Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets are battling to stay alive in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The Nuggets and Warriors meet for Game 3 at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21 at Ball Arena. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday, April 24 at Ball Arena. Ticketmaster.com is the place for Mile High basketball tickets.

RELATED: Jamal Murray responds to calls to play in playoffs

Credit: 9NEWS

CU spring game

BOULDER — The CU football team's annual Spring Showcase is set for Saturday, April 23 at Folsom Field. The event will consist first of team drills that will end in an offense vs. defense scrimmage for approximately the last hour of the two-hour time slot. This year’s spring session will start at 1:00 p.m. at Folsom Field, and will end by 3 p.m. It will be followed by “Healthy Kids Field Day,” where younger fans can make their way on to the field and participate in several activities hosted by CU student-athletes from several teams.

UNC spring game

GREELEY — Northern Colorado (UNC) football hits the field for their Spring Showcase on Saturday. Catch the Blue & Gold at Nottingham Field Saturday, April 23 at 11 a.m. The spring game is free to attend with entrances open at the north and upper west gates of Nottingham Field. Concessions will be open for the game on the west concourse. Parking for the game is free.

Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Colorado Rapids vs. Charlotte FC

COMMERCE CITY — Your Colorado Rapids return to Dick's Sporting Goods Park this weekend for a match against the expansion Charlotte FC. Charlotte FC has not had much luck on the road this season and is the first expansion club to lose its first four away matches in MLS since Montreal in 2012. The Rapids have won three of its last four matches against expansion sides.

The Rapids and Charlotte FC meet Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. For tickets, check out Ticketmaster.com where Supporters Section tickets start at $20.

RELATED: Sold-out stadium sings national anthem in Charlotte following technical issues

Credit: Colorado Eagles

Colorado Eagles vs. Ontario Reign

LOVELAND — The Colorado Eagles, the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, play their final two regular season games this weekend. The Eagles host Ontario Reign at 7:05 p.m. Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at Budweiser Events Center. Saturday night is Fan Appreciation Night. For tickets, head to ColoradoEagles.com. 

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Rocky vs. Boulder County Roller Derby Double-Header

DENVER — You won’t want to miss Rocky taking on Boulder County in a Colorado flat-track roller derby double-header event on Saturday, April 23. The home teams from both leagues will play against one another back to back and find out which of these local quad squads are the ultimate champions. The event begins at 5 p.m. at The Rollerdome at 2375 South Delaware Street. Tickets are available to purchase online.

Credit: KUSA

Plant and succulent sale 

GOLDEN — The Colorado Cactus & Succulent Society and The North American Rock Garden Society are having a weekend sale that promotes ethical and sustainable gardening in our community. The sale is being held at Jefferson County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is $5.

Credit: Andrea Izzotti - stock.adobe.com

ThriftCon

DENVER — Vintage clothing convention ThriftCon will have more than 100 vendors in Denver this weekend as well as multiple activations and installations celebrating vintage and retro culture as well as sustainability in fashion. ThriftCon will host thousands of products ranging from valuable, vintage Men's and Women's clothing, to classic, vintage collectibles all under one roof. ThriftCon is one day only on Sunday, April 24 at the National Western Complex from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Kids 13 and under are free.

Credit: Andy Dean - stock.adobe.com

Erie Home Fair

ERIE — Start spring off on the right foot and get a jump start on your home improvement projects at the Erie Home Fair. Dozens of vendors and businesses will be at the Erie Community Center on Saturday, April 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with advice, support and services for your painting, flooring, lighting, plumbing, heating, cooling, remodeling or landscaping project.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Mile High 4.20K Virtual Run/Walk

DENVER — The Mile High 4.20K aims to raise awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle with cannabis for medicinal purposes. The run will have a virtual format this year. Registration for the “Mile Higher, A Mile Healthier” event can be completed online.

Canine Classic 5K

LAFAYETTE — Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) presents their annual Canine Classic 5K, a do-it-yourself run/walk fundraiser occurring the week of Saturday, April 23 to Saturday, April 30. Participants will celebrate their involvement in this event with an after party on Saturday, April 30 entitled Fievel’s Follies at 1455 Dixon Avenue in Lafayette. Event registration is available online.

9Health Fair

COLORADO — There are many reasons to attend a 9Health 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 9Health365.org.

Jurassic World: The Exhibition

DENVER — Fans of the "Jurassic Park" franchise can now experience its dinosaurs in a new family-friendly show. "Jurassic World: The Exhibition" is now open at the new Stockyards Event Center of the National Western Center.

An immersive 20,000-square-foot experience based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, "Jurassic World: The Exhibition" has become a global success with more than three million visitors since 2016. Exhibition visitors walk through the world-famous Jurassic World gates, encounter life-sized dinosaurs and explore richly themed environments. Tickets for the Denver run are on sale now at JurassicWorldExhibition.com.

Credit: Kyle Flubacker

The Art of Banksy

DENVER — The largest touring exhibition of authentic Banksy artworks in the world has arrived in the Mile High City. "The Art of Banksy" features more than 100 original Banksy works from private collectors across the globe. The exhibition at the Denver Sports Castle offers the rare opportunity to view authenticated and certified Banksy artworks rarely seen by the general public. Tickets are on sale at BanksyExhibit.com.

Credit: Focus Features

Movies this weekend

"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" got off slow start in its first weekend in theaters. The third installment in the Harry Potter spinoff opened to $42 million in North America. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" continued strong in its second weekend. Three new films arrive this weekend.

New movies this weekend

  • The Northman
  • The Bad Guys
  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Last weekend's box office

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — $42.2 million
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — $29.3 million
  3. The Lost City — $6.2 million
  4. Everything Everywhere All at Once — $6.2 million
  5. Father Stu — $5 million
  6. Morbius — $4.7 million
  7. Ambulance — $4 million
  8. The Batman — $3.7 million
  9. K.G.F.: Chapter 2 — $2.8 million
  10. Uncharted — $1.1 million

RELATED: 'Fantastic Beasts' threequel has less-than-magical start


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 in the future? Send it to alexander.kirk@9news.com.

Have a delightful weekend!

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