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9Things to do in Colorado this Memorial Day weekend

Parades, ceremonies and remembrances this holiday weekend will honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.


Coloradans will honor those who have died in the service of our country with parades, ceremonies and remembrances across the state this Memorial Day weekend.

The Junior College Baseball World Series is back in Grand Junction, and Colorado's water parks open for the season.

The holiday weekend also offers opportunities to head outside with street, food, and music festivals, as well as free concerts outside in Denver. The Denver Arts Festival, Denver Day of Rock, Boulder Creek Festival, South Gaylord Street Kickoff to Summer Festival, and Colorado Springs' Territory Days all return after pandemic absences.

What are you doing this weekend? Share your Colorado event.

Credit: Water World

Water World

FEDERAL HEIGHTS — One of America's largest waterparks is opening for a summer of fun. Water World has more than 50 attractions for kids of all ages including more family tube rides than any other park in America. Parking at the park is free, and Water World allows food and drinks to be carried in, so grab a picnic basket and let the family fun begin.

New in 2022 is the Colorado-themed area "Alpine Springs" that features the park’s two newest attractions: "Roaring Forks," which features a water coaster with two dueling paths allowing riders to see and taunt their competitors and take fast corners at the park’s first open-air saucer turns, and "Centennial Basin," a two-person raft experience that will fill your heart with Colorado pride as you whirl down an enclosed tube with visual effects that make you feel you are descending at a much quicker rate than you are.

Water World opens Saturday, May 28 at 9:45 a.m. Tickets, park rules, and protocols are available online at WaterWorldColorado.com.

RELATED: Water World opens for 43rd year with 2 new attractions

Credit: Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

Elitch Gardens Water Park

DENVER — The water park at Denver's Elitch Gardens also opens for the season on Saturday, May 28. The water park is free with theme park admission and is open through Labor Day weekend. The water park features thrill rides, as well as family rides for the little ones. Cabanas and tubes are available for rent. Single-day and season passes are available at ElitchGardens.com.

Credit: BolderBOULDER

Bolder Boulder

BOULDER — The Bolder Boulder has grown since 1979 to be one of the largest community running events in the world. More than 40,000 people of all ability levels will participate in the event on Monday, May 30. The 42nd annual race starts at 30th and Walnut streets and winds through Boulder neighborhoods with live music and entertainment at every corner. The finish line inside the University of Colorado's Folsom Field is the perfect setting for spectators to cheer on the participants. Register online for the Bolder Boulder at BolderBoulder.com.

Credit: Territory Days; Old Colorado City

Territory Days

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Old West returns to Old Colorado City in Colorado Springs for the 47th annual Territory Days celebration. Territory Days is a four-block street fair with live music on three stages, food, fun and entertainment for the family. The celebration includes one of the state's largest craft vendor fairs. There will be pony rides, gold panning, a petting zoo, toy train rides, mechanical bull, Native American dancers, live birds of prey, Old West gunfight reenactments, live blacksmithing, two beer gardens and much more. Territory Days runs from Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30. Visit ShopOldColoradoCity.com to see a list of musical performers.

Grand Old West Days 

CRAIG — For four days in Craig, the Old West comes alive. There will be rodeos, live music, delicious food and libations in the Grand Old West Days from Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30. Corey Kent will be performing live in concert Saturday night with special guest Tucker Rose. The Grand Old West Days Parade steps off at 3 p.m. Saturday in historic downtown Craig. For a complete festival schedule or to purchase tickets, visit GrandOldWestDays.com.

Credit: Colorado Veterans Project

Memorial Day Run & March

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Memorial Day Run & March takes place Sunday, May 29 at UCHealth Park, home of the Rocky Mountain Vibes in Colorado Springs. The Memorial Day Run & March invites civilians, veterans and uniformed military to challenge themselves while helping feed homeless veterans. Registration for the 5K, 10K, and 30K races is available at MemorialDayMarch.com.

Colorado Run

FORT COLLINS — The Colorado Run, a Fort Collins Memorial Day tradition, celebrates its 43rd anniversary on Monday, May 30. The event offers a 10K Run/Walk, 10K Ruck, and 5K Run/Walk. The Colorado Run is part of the Veterans Plaza annual Memorial Day weekend celebration in Spring Canyon Park. Race registration can be completed at ColoradoRun.com.

Credit: Colorado Freedom Memorial

Colorado Remembers

AURORA — "Colorado Remembers: To Honor, Educate and Remember" begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 28 at the Colorado Freedom Memorial to commemorate those who have served in the military and their families. Starting at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, there will be a full day of activities, ceremonies, static military displays and concerts, all honoring generations of Colorado’s fallen veterans. While donations will be gratefully accepted, the entire day’s events are free and open to the public. The Colorado Freedom Memorial is located at Aurora’s Springhill Park at 756 Telluride St.

Fort Logan Memorial Day Ceremony

DENVER — The Department of Veterans Affairs and Fort Logan National Cemetery will host a solemn Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony on Monday, May 30. The ceremony will be accompanied by speeches, a moment of silence, playing of Taps, a rifle volley and a flyover by F-16’s. This will be the first public Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery since 2019.

Credit: Veterans Memorial Day Tribute

Veterans Memorial Day Tribute

DENVER — Gold Star families, military groups, veterans and community members will gather to honor the sacrifice of fallen military heroes on Saturday, May 28. Held at Bethany Lutheran Church from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the 23rd Veterans Memorial Day Tribute is a two-hour ceremony that includes images of fallen heroes, a wreath ceremony, stories, military officials, a reading of names, musical ensemble and more.

Commerce City Memorial Day Parade

COMMERCE CITY — After a two-year hiatus, Colorado's largest Memorial Day Parade returns to Commerce City on Monday, May 30 at 9:30 a.m. The Commerce City Memorial Day Parade brings thousands of community members together in the heart of Commerce City each year. Before the parade, the city will host a Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park to honor those who have given their lives in service to our nation.

New to this year’s event is a concert in Veterans Memorial Park, after the parade, from the band Titonic. The event will also feature food trucks and booths from veterans service organizations, city boards, and commissions.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Memorial Day Commemoration 

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society will hold its annual Evergreen Memorial Day Commemoration at Colorado Springs' Evergreen Cemetery on Monday, May 30. The event will start at 10 a.m. with historic displays. The 10th US Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers will be present in the Spanish American War section at 11 a.m. The event is free to the public.

Memorial Day Parade & Celebration 

GRAND LAKE — The Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony honor those who served to protect and defend our country. The parade will begin Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. and traverse Grand Avenue with veterans, service groups, horses, and lots of patriotism. A ceremony will follow the parade with a special service honoring veterans in Grand Lake's Town Park.

Credit: Denver Arts Festival

Denver Arts Festival

DENVER — The Denver Arts Festival is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this weekend at Central Park's Conservatory Green neighborhoods. On Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29, the free festival features some of Colorado's and the nation's best artists. There will be performances from the 4th Infantry Division Jazz Combo, Dotsero Band, and Wendy Woo Band, plus a beer and wine garden, kids' art zone, and more. To see a music lineup or to download a festival map, visit DenverArtsFestival.com.

Credit: Denver Day of Rock

Denver Day of Rock

DENVER — Denver Day of Rock is a free one-day music festival with four stages of live music along Denver’s LoDo District. Chris Isaak and Ingrid Andress will perform free concerts along with dozens of other artists. Denver Day of Rock takes place Saturday, May 28, from 1:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Check out the four-stage lineup at AmpTheCause.org.

Credit: South Gaylord Kickoff to Summer Festival

Old South Gaylord Street Memorial Weekend Festival

DENVER — The 50th annual Memorial Day Kickoff to Summer Festival returns to South Gaylord Street in Denver. The festival kicks off summer with three days of family-friendly entertainment, rides, delicious food, vendors, and more. Live music begins Saturday, May 28, with Hazel Miller Band, Anthony Russo Band, Kory Montgomery Band, Delta Sonics, Jubilingo, Evan James, and The Tuffenuffs scheduled at the festival.

Boulder Creek Festival

BOULDER — The Boulder Creek Festival has been the unofficial kickoff to summer in Boulder for more than 30 years. The festival has vendors showcasing community arts and crafts, three music stages, carnival rides, and food and drinks vendors. The Boulder Creek Festival runs from Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30 in downtown Boulder along the creek between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue. Check out the festival schedule at BoulderCreekFest.com.

Estes Park Art Market

ESTES PARK — Estes Park will be bustling with events and activity over the three-day weekend. Bond Park in the center of downtown will have the 22nd annual Art Market with local, Colorado and national artists presenting their talents in pottery, glasswork, painting, jewelry, sculpture, woodcrafts, metal crafts, fiber art and more. Live music and food will be available all weekend and Estes Park's shops and river-side patios will be ready for summer.

Credit: Todd Bennett; Grand Junction Rockies

JUCO World Series

GRAND JUNCTION — The 64th annual National Junior College (JUCO) World Series returns to Grand Junction's Suplizio Field this Memorial Day weekend. The 2022 series begins Saturday, May 28, and will run through Saturday, June 4. The first pitch this Saturday is scheduled for 9 a.m. A full schedule is available at JUCOGJ.org.

Credit: Matthew Murphy


DENVER — Andrew Lloyd Webber's record-breaking Broadway hit "Cats" is finally back in the Mile High City. Featuring one of the most treasured songs in musical theater ("Memory"), the beloved musical tells the story of one magical night when a tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn. The original Broadway hit won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. "Cats" plays at Denver's Buell Theatre through Sunday, May 29. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: Colorado National Speedway

Colorado National Speedway

DACONO — Colorado National Speedway welcomes summer with one of the biggest weekend events of the season. The two-day Memorial Day Spectacular begins Saturday night with Grand American Modifieds, Pro Trucks and Figure 8s while Sunday, May 30 will see Late Models, Legends, Bandoleros, Pure Stock, and Trains. Fireworks are planned following both performances this weekend. Tickets are sold at ColoradoSpeedway.com.

Credit: Creede & Mineral County Chamber of Commerce

Taste of Creede

CREEDE — Taste of Creede returns to Creede's Main Street for the 34th year. The weekend aims to delight visitors with inspired local art and amazing food. The festival kicks off Saturday, May 28, and continues through Monday's Memorial Day service honoring veterans in Basham Park. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday there will be live music, entertainers, vendors, food tastings, children's activities, museum tours and more. Visit Creede.com for a complete schedule.

Credit: Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

Beaver Creek Craft Beer Festival 

BEAVER CREEK — The Beaver Creek Craft Beer Festival celebrates Colorado's best brews at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain with the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Attendees will sample new beers from favorite Colorado breweries and discover up-and-coming beer makers from across the state on Saturday, May 28, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Festival of the Brewpubs 

DILLON — The annual Festival of the Brewpubs takes place Sunday, May 29, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Mountain Goat Plaza at Arapahoe Basin. The party offers beers from Summit County and beyond including selections from Angry James, Odell, Telluride, Highside, Station 26, STEEP Brewery, Wibby Brewing, Montucky, and Baker's Brewery. Sunday's festival will have live music from Johnny & The Mongrelsand plus several outdoor festival food stations. Beer sampling passes (with commemorative mugs) are sold at ArapahoeBasin.com.

Credit: Scott Majors Photography

MeadowGrass Music Festival

COLORADO SPRINGS — The MeadowGrass Music Festival is celebrating its 13th anniversary this weekend. The festival brings national, regional and local artists to the Black Forest for a family-friendly weekend of entertainment. MeadowGrass opens Friday, May 27 with live music starting on the main stage at 1:30 p.m. and continues through Sunday. Visit MeadowGrass.org for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets.

Credit: Centennial Village Museum

Centennial Village Museum’s Centennial Celebration 

GREELEY — Greeley’s Centennial Village Museum has preserved and interpreted American western heritage since 1976. The living history museum’s Centennial Celebration, set for Saturday, May 28, offers historical house tours, blacksmithing, print shop demonstrations, woodcarving, and more. Performances by the Buffalo Soldiers reenactors begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The 8-acre Centennial Village Museum is located just south of Island Grove Regional Park.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Memorial Weekend Encampment 

FORT GARLAND — The annual living history military encampment at Fort Garland Museum is set for Saturday, May 28. The encampment portrays life at the fort with infantry, cavalry, artillery, blacksmith demonstrations, and more. Kids of all ages are welcome to the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to learn about 19th-century life on a frontier fort.

Credit: Denver Tramway Heritage Society

Denver Trolley

DENVER — The last operating trolley in the city of Denver kicks off its operating season this Memorial Day weekend. The historic Denver Trolley will operate from Saturday, May 28 through Sunday, Aug. 14. Running along the South Platte River for more than 30 years, the trolley will operate on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 10 a.m. with the last departure at 1:30 p.m. Roundtrip rides last about 25 minutes.

RELATED: Denver's last operating trolley makes its return this summer

Credit: stock.adobe.com


BUENA VISTA — Paddlefest is back in Buena Vista from Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30. The weekend-long festival is all about water. There are kayaking competitions, gear swaps, street vendors, guest speakers, races, tournaments and lots of live music. To see a full schedule of all the events or to register, visit CKSPaddlefest.com.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Rocky Mountain Stamp Show

AURORA — The 71st annual Rocky Mountain Stamp Show runs from Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and admission is free. With more than 30 stamp and cover dealers from across the country, 400 frames of world-class exhibits, and a full day of philatelic seminars, the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show is the largest in the region.

Credit: MelissaMN - stock.adobe.com

Wright's Amusements: Spring Carnival

AURORA — The Town Center at Aurora is hosting its annual Spring Carnival. The event runs through Monday, June 6 in the southwest section of the parking lot near JCPenney. There will be about 25 rides, food stations and 18 game booths. Tickets need to be purchased for rides or wristbands may be bought for unlimited rides.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Colorado Symphony & Chorus

DENVER — Colorado Symphony and Colorado Symphony Chorus and a star-studded cast of vocal soloists conclude the symphony's return season with Beethoven’s "Ninth Symphony" and Bruckner’s "Te Deum." Guest conductor Peter Oundjian will lead this weekend's performances at Boettcher Concert Hall. Performances are Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m. Visit ColoradoSymphony.org for tickets.

Credit: Adams VisCom

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" plays through Sunday, May 29 at the Kilstrom Theatre. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
Tears for Fears

Tears for Fears

DENVER — Tears for Fears is out on a new tour in support of its first new album in 17 years. The English pop band will be joined by Garbage for a concert at Denver's Levitt Pavilion on Sunday, May 29. Tickets for "The Tipping Point World Tour 2022" are on sale at LevittDenver.org.

RELATED: Tears for Fears announces Denver concert in 2022

Credit: Sakchai - stock.adobe.com

Angel Run

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 4th annual Memorial Day Angel Run is Monday, May 30 in support of local, veteran-owned nonprofit Angels of America’s Fallen and its mission of caring for the children of fallen service members and first responders through developmental activities such as sports, music, and arts. The event starts and concludes at 2323 Garden of the Gods Road in Colorado Springs. Registration for the family-friendly run/walk can be completed online

Credit: Rocky Mountain Vibes

Rocky Mountain Vibes

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Rocky Mountain Vibes have kicked the 2022 baseball season at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs. The rookie-league minor league baseball team hosts the Glacier Range Riders on Saturday, May 28, Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30. For tickets, visit VibesBaseball.com.

Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Red Rocks

DENVER — There is no better venue for live music in the country than Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Red Rocks 2022 concert schedule (announced so far) is steadily growing and even features some concerts postponed from 2020.

RELATED: Who's playing Red Rocks this summer?

Credit: Adams VisCom

Quixote Nuevo

DENVER — "Quixote Nuevo," the newest production from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), is now open at the Wolf Theatre. Set in the fictional modern-day Texas border town of La Plancha, Quixote and his luckless but trusty sidekick, Sancho, embark on a fantastical quest in search of a long-lost love. Infused with imagination, comedy, and Tejano music, "Quixote Nuevo" reveals the joys and perils of facing down Death and becoming the hero of your own story. "Quixote Nuevo" plays at the Wolf Theatre through Sunday, June 12. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

Credit: stock.adobe.com

Longmont Summer Home Show

LONGMONT — The Longmont Home Show takes over the Boulder County Fairgrounds from Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29. The home and garden event features vendors, expert advice, services, and demonstrations to help you get your home improvement project off the ground this summer. Admission and parking are free at this weekend’s show.

Credit: Jurassic World: The Exhibition

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 3 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 at JurassicWorldExhibition.com.

RELATED: A look at the full summer movie schedule

Credit: Kyle Flubacker

The Art of Banksy

DENVER — The largest touring exhibition of authentic Banksy artworks in the world is currently 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. The Art of Banksy closes in Colorado on Sunday, June 12. Tickets are on sale at BanksyExhibit.com.

Credit: Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in "Top Gun: Maverick" from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Movies this weekend

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was the top-earning film of the weekend for the third straight weekend, but now it faces real competition. Tom Cruise's long-awaited and long-delayed release of “Top Gun: Maverick” opens Thursday, May 26, 36 years after the original blockbuster which is riding sky-high hype.

"The marketing for [Maverick] has been going on for about three years," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. "That’s a pretty long runway to build up excitement."

New movies this weekend

  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • The Bob's Burgers Movie

Last weekend's box office

  1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — $32.5 million
  2. Downton Abbey: A New Era — $16 million 
  3. The Bad Guys — $6.1 million
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — $4.0 million
  5. Men  — $3.2 million 
  6. Everything Everywhere All at Once — $3.1 million
  7. Firestarter — $1.9 million 
  8. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — $1.9 million
  9. The Lost City — $1.5 million
  10. The Northman — $1.0 million

RELATED: 'Doctor Strange' to have serious competition this Memorial Day weekend

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 a nice weekend!

RELATED: Buc-ee's to open first location in Colorado

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