COLORADO, USA — Summer in Colorado means music festivals, beer festivals, car shows, sporting events — and Santa Claus! Kris Kringle opens his Colorado workshop this weekend while Denver runners tighten their laces for a major Colorado event.
From festivals and fairs to expos and runs, there are over 50 things to do, see and explore in Denver and Colorado this third weekend of May.
> Have an event tip? Send it here!
DENVER — This free jazz festival on Saturday celebrates the history of Denver's Five Points neighborhood. The neighborhood was once known as the Harlem of the West and was home to several jazz clubs. This family-friendly street festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday with a parade down Welton Street led by grand marshals, Daphne Rice Allen, Gene Bass and Terri Gentry and featuring Otone Brass Band. Fifty bands will be playing live music on 11 stages throughout the day on Welton between 26th and 29th streets. To download a festival map or see the full 2019 schedule of musicians, click here.
9NEIGHBORHOODS | Denver's Five Points neighborhood
HARLEM OF THE WEST | Denver's Five Points keeping jazz culture alive
LONE TREE — RTD’s Southeast Rail Extension opens this weekend, bringing 2.3 more miles of track and three new light rail stations to the E, F and R Lines. Station Sensation, a street festival at Sky Ridge Light Rail Station, will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with dancers, music, art, games, performances, food trucks and fun. A grand opening ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Friday at RidgeGate Parkway Station followed by free rail rides between Sky Ridge and RidgeGate Parkway through 2:30 p.m. The entire RTD rail system will be free on Saturday.
DENVER — Spread the Word Music Festival’s 7th annual extravaganza features a diverse selection of Colorado’s favorite bands and DJs across eight different stages. The three-day festival in downtown Denver offers live music at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and Other Side on Friday, Denver Coliseum on Saturday and Levitt Pavilion on Sunday. Styles of music this weekend include rock, jam, funk, electronic, reggae, folk and every kind of fusion in between. The 2019 lineup includes BoomBox, Wookiefoot, Mike Love, The Werks, A-Mac & The Height, Bill & Jill Nershi, The Jauntee, Yak Attack, Analog Son, Gasoline Lollipops, Chris Karns, Rob Drabkin, Aaron Bordas, Mama Magnolia, Brothers of Brass, Float Like A Buffalo, Pickin’ on the Dead, The ReMINDers, Eldren, Chewy&Bach, Future Joy, Collidoscope, Dog City Disco, Metafonics, Shuj Roswell, the Spread The Word Family Band (featuring members of SunSquabi + Thievery Corporation + Pretty Lights Live Band + String Cheese Incident) and more. For a complete schedule and tickets, visit SpreadtheWordFest.com.
DENVER — This weekend's Colfax Marathon is the ultimate urban tour of Denver. The race, which begins and ends at Denver's City Park, runs through Broncos Stadium (twice), Denver Fire Station No. 1, along rivers, lakes, bridges and historic neighborhoods. The Colfax Marathon is also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. The Bellco Colfax 5K begins Saturday at 9 a.m. with a marathon, half marathon, urban 10 miler and relays taking place on Sunday. To register and learn about all the races, visit RunColfax.org.
ROAD CLOSURES | Expect delays near Colfax Marathon this weekend
COLFAX MARATHON | What to do instead of freak out before the Colfax Marathon
DENVER — Beer Here!, the newest exhibit at History Colorado, explores Colorado’s brewing past, present and future. Featuring beer-brewing equipment from then to now, a massive bottle-breaker from Prohibition days, the nation’s first aluminum beer cans, the exhibit offers a wealth of artifacts from Colorado’s hoppy history. After viewing the exhibit, museum guests can enjoy a sampler tray of historic beer styles. Beer Here! opens Saturday at History Colorado and runs through Aug. 9. Grab your passes at HistoryColorado.org.
BEER HERE | New exhibit showcasing Colorado's hoppy history
COLORADO — Pack up your unneeded receipts, bank statements and other documents and bring them to the 2019 Shred-a-thon on Saturday. The Shred-a-thon is a yearly fundraiser for the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers program. For a donation to help fight crime in your community, you can have up to three legal-sized paper boxes or kitchen sized garbage bags of personal documents shredded on the spot. The trucks will start shredding paper at 6 a.m. on Saturday at the 9NEWS Studios on Speer and Logan in downtown Denver. Six other locations will begin shredding at 7 a.m. and continues through noon.
READ MORE | 9NEWS Shred-a-thon 2019
GRAND JUNCTION — Downtown Grand Junction will welcome summer with the 2019 Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival. The festival, which runs Friday to Sunday, is now in its 30th year. There will be three stages of free music and the beer and wine garden will span four blocks of Main Street. The Grand Junction Off-Road bike event will be taking place as well with both professional and amateur riders enjoying Grand Junction's trail system. Visit DowntownGJ.org for a complete festival lineup and more information.
PAONIA — Paonia welcomes summer with a day of live music, local food, craft drinks, workshops, vendors and exhibits. The 5th annual North Fork Community Fair, which takes place Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., marks the beginning of the summer festival season in the small town located at the foot of the West Elk Mountains. Visit ColoradoFarmFood.org to see the fair’s music lineup.
ERIE — The 23rd annual Erie Town Fair & Balloon Festival arrives this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Erie Chamber of Commerce’s largest event of the year features hot air balloon launches, more than 200 craft and food vendors, carnival games, inflatables, face painting, pedal cars, live music, beer garden and more. There will also be a balloon glow and fireworks this weekend as well. Visit ErieChamber.org for a complete event schedule.
CASCADE — Colorado's favorite Christmas-themed amusement park opens for the season this Saturday. The park has been a must-see for every child in the state since 1956. The park includes a Christmas village with Santa's Workshop at the center, featuring the jolly old elf himself. The admission price includes unlimited rides, shows, attractions. Located at the base of Pikes Peak just west of Colorado Springs, the park will remain open until Christmas Eve. Visit NorthPoleColorado.com to download a discount coupon.
DENVER — Art festival season kicks off this weekend with the Park Hill Arts Festival. The 6th annual festival in the heart of Denver’s historic Park Hill neighborhood is a juried fine art and fine craft show on the grounds of the Park Hill Masonic Lodge on Montview Boulevard between Dahlia and Eudora Street. Featuring terrific paintings, jewelry, sculptures, pottery, music, food and more, the festival is free and open to the public.
FORT COLLINS — Kids in the Park, formally Kites in the Park, encourages Colorado kids to get outside and play. Hosted Saturday at Twin Silo Community Park, the free event offers recreational activities, live music, food trucks, kites, games, stick horse rodeo and more. First National Bank will again provide free kite-making kits to the first 1,000 visitors.
CASTLE ROCK — Downtown Castle Rock will host a Spring Kickoff Street Party and Concert this Friday. The street party offers bounce houses, family activities, food vendors and live music. Grayson Little will kick off the party at 5 p.m., followed by Winchester Grey from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
DENVER — University of Denver Native Student Alliance presents the 9th annual New Beginnings Pow Wow on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Pow Wow offers Native American jewelry and crafts, food and traditional dancing. Held at the Ritchie Center’s Hamilton Gymnasium on the University of Denver campus, the event is free and open to the public and all tribal affiliations to celebrate and honor the cultural history of Native American people.
BRIGHTON — BBQ for the Birds, the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ annual celebration of people, birds and land, is set to take place Saturday at Barr Lake Nature Center. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be guided bird walks, live birds and bird banding demonstrations, educational games and activities, exhibits and displays, native plant presentations, a live airing of Bird Talk Radio, a catered lunch and more. BBQ for the Birds admission is $5 per person which includes park entrance fees, lunch and event activities. Registration can be completed at BirdConservancy.org.
DENVER — Denver’s National Western Complex will be home to this weekend’s Nourished Festival – the Gluten-Free, Allergy and Special Diet Festival. Formerly the Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly Expo, the event is an outstanding resource for those living a gluten-free, allergen-friendly or special diet lifestyle. With five unique zones – Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, Keto & Plant-Based – the festival offers hundreds of products, brands, coupons and educational classes in a family-friendly setting. The Nourished Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday and tickets are available online.
DURANGO — Durango kicks off summer on Sunday with southwest Colorado's premier food festival. The very-delicious festival features local craft breweries, cocktails and lots of samples of Durango's world-class restaurants. The festival will have lots of music and dancing as well. The festival is free with tickets available for food and drink purchases. Taste of Durango gets underway at 11 a.m. in downtown Durango.
DENVER — Flavors of Denver, an annual fundraising event for the American Liver Foundation, will be held Thursday night at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. The delicious event features 21 of Colorado’s top chefs together to create a unique, four-course meal, complete with beverage pairings, for each table of ten guests. Reserve your seats to Thursday’s Flavors of Denver at ALFFlavors.org.
LONGMONT — Leftapalooza and The Mile High Tribute Band Competition returns for an 9th year in Longmont. The music festival showcases Colorado's best tribute bands who will battle for top honors and a huge prize package. The event is for all-ages featuring cover bands playing all the music you know the words to. All the proceeds benefit the non-profits Love Hope Strength, Team Left Hand & The National MS Society and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. This year’s Leftapalooza also features the Longmont Artisan Market with over 25 local handmade artists, jewelers, craftsment and more. Leftapalooza takes place Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Longmont's Roosevelt Park. Get your tickets online now before the price goes up the day of the event.
DENVER — The Colorado Spirits Trail, a map built by the Colorado Distillers Guild, is a guide through the craft distilleries across the Centennial State. This weekend’s Colorado Spirits Trail Festival brings together more than 60 of those craft distiller for one event. The festival runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at The McNichols Building in downtown Denver. Colorado Spirits Trail Festival tickets can be purchased online.
COLORADO SPRINGS & BOULDER — Two walks are scheduled in Colorado this weekend with the goal of ending multiple sclerosis for good. Walk MS: Boulder will begin Saturday morning at the Duane Physics Building on the CU Boulder campus. Walk MS: Colorado Springs will offer one and three-mile routes Saturday morning starting from Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs. Funds from the walks will support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in its fight to stop the unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
COLORADO SPRINGS — Families and runners alike are invited to the four-mile walk/run on Saturday at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The course curves through the zoo up to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun and back down into the zoo. The picturesque course (with 1,000-foot elevation gain) offers stunning views of Colorado Springs below. Registration for the run/walk, which benefits the non-profit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, can be completed at CMZoo.org.
DENVER — Denver’s Washington (Wash) Park is the site of Sunday’s 2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis. The event aims to raise awareness, hope and funds to end the life-altering disease. One in every four Americans has arthritis, making it the country’s leading cause of disability, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The walk will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday. Registration can be completed at Arthritis.org or at Wash Park starting at 7:30 a.m.
BOULDER — This year’s edition of the Heart & Sole Half Marathon & 10K takes place Sunday at Boulder Reservoir. Named by Colorado Runner magazine as “Colorado’s Best Half Marathon,” the event also offers a 10K and the Hearty 5K – a Bolder Boulder qualifier. Complete your race registration here.
EDWARDS — Law enforcement members and first responders in Eagle County will help raise money and awareness for Special Olympics by running, walking and biking at this weekend’s Torch Run. The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Edwards’ Freedom Park and is open to the public. Two runs are scheduled including a 5K and a fun run. Eagle County Torch Run registration and donation information can be found online.
FRANKTOWN — Turkey Vulture Day (aka TV Day) arrives Saturday at Castlewood Canyon State Park. The celebration of the efficient birds takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live turkey vulture education, TV dinner (hamburgers and hot dogs) and other activities.
HAYDEN — The 6th annual Ride the Cog is Saturday with all the proceeds supporting the Hayden Heritage Center museum. There are several ride options including a 31-mile ride and a 26-mile mud. The finish line will be at The Wild Goose at the Granary with an after-party that features live music and great food. The long rides will begin at approximately 9 a.m. Tickets are available online at HaydenHeritageCenter.org.
DENVER — A cappella fans, rejoice! Three-time Grammy Award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix have announced a Pepsi Center concert on Sunday. "The World Tour" concert stop will also feature special guest Rachel Platten. Tickets for the Denver concert are sold at AltitudeTickets.com, or by phone at 303-893-TIXS.
BOULDER — The Boulder Ballet’s production of the classic fairy tale Cinderella opens Friday at the Gordon Gamm Theater at Dairy ARTS Center. The story of the mistreated stepdaughter who is forbidden to attend a Royal Ball will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday with stunning choreography, scenery and costumes set to a score by Sergei Prokofiev. For tickets to Cinderella, visit TheDairy.org or call 303-444-7328.
DENVER — This weekend, the Colorado Symphony celebrates film score composers and those who influenced them. Associate conductor Christopher Dragon leads the performances of Bernard Herrmann’s Suite from Psycho, Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose and Danny Elfman’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, “Eleven Eleven.” Soloist Sandy Cameron will also be on hand for Elfman’s piece, which she helped debut in 2017. Colorado Symphony performances are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Boettcher Concert Hall, with showtimes and tickets available at ColoradoSymphony.org.
COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents Boléro this Saturday and Sunday at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts. Led by conductor Charles Lindberg, the orchestra will tackle Maurice Ravel’s Boléro, Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia, Leopold Mozart’s Concerto for Alto Trombone, Ryotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, and Jan Sandström’s Echoes of Eternity. Tickets for this weekend’s performances can be found at CSPhilharmonic.org.
BOULDER — Colorado MahlerFest, one of only two North American organizations to have received the Gold Medal of the International Mahler Society, returns this weekend in Boulder. MahlerFest XXXII, which began Wednesday and continues through Sunday, features several chamber and orchestral concerts at the University of Colorado’s Macky Auditorium. For a complete event schedule and tickets, head to MahlerFest.org.
LITTLETON — The last production in Town Hall Arts Center’s 2018/19 season opens this weekend. Sister Act, based on the 1992 comedy, is an uplifting musical that was nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Musical. Featuring music by Alan Menken and lyrics from Glenn Slater, Sister Act is directed by Bob Wells with a cast that includes Sheryl Renee, Maggie Lamb and Bella Hathorn. Sister Act opens Friday and runs through Sunday, June 16 with tickets on sale at TownHallArtsCenter.org, by phone at 303-794-2787 x 213 or at the Town Hall Arts Center box office.
GOLDEN — On Friday, Miners Alley Playhouse presents the world premiere of award-winning playwright Josh Hartwell’s new play Queen of Conspiracy. Based on the true story of Mae Brussell, considered to be America’s first mainstream conspiracy theorist during the 60s and 70s, the new drama, set in present-day Denver, imagines the family who inherits Brussell's legacy. Featuring a stellar cast that includes Abby Apple Boes, Chloe McLeod, Sinjin Jones, Bill Hahn, Erica Borrillo and Damon Guerrasio, Queen of Conspiracy opens Friday in Golden and plays through June 23. Tickets are available by calling 303-935-3044 or MinersAlley.com.
LOVELAND — A member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour phenomenon returns to the Centennial State this weekend. Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White will perform Friday at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center with signature cigar and tequila (instead of scotch). Ron White tickets can be purchased at BudweiserEventsCenter.com or by phone at 877-544-TIXX.
MORRISON — The annual Global Dub Festival is set for Saturday night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This year’s festival features a packed lineup including Adventure Club, Bear Grillz, Said the Sky, Riot Ten, Dirt Monkey, Kai Wachi, Kompany b2b Tynan, and YAKZ b2b Somnium Sound. Doors for the all-ages concert are at 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are sold via AXS.com.
MORRISON — Stand-up comedian and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is bringing his “Loud & Clear Tour” to Red Rocks Ampitheatre this weekend. Doors for the event open at 7 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, head to AXS.com.
GLENDALE — Your Glendale Raptors return to Infinity Park this Saturday for a match with the talented Seattle Seawolves. The match is set for 4 p.m., but you don’t want to miss the Raptors’ Fan Zone, with fun activities, food trucks and adult beverages, which opens at 2 p.m. Game tickets can be purchased at GlendaleRaptors.com.
COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC of the USL are home this weekend to take on rival New Mexico United. The Switchbacks and United will kick things off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Weidner Field. Fans in attendance will also receive free vuvuzelas (!). Snag your tickets at AXS.com.
DENVER — The Last Podcast on the Left, a weekly podcast hosted by comedian Ben Kissel, researcher Marcus Parks and comedian Henry Zebrowski, brings their show to Colorado this weekend. The crew will be live at Denver’s Paramount Theatre on Saturday night at 8 p.m. For tickets, visit AltitudeTickets.com.
MORRISON — The summer racing season gets into swing Saturday night at Bandimere Speedway. The NAPA Night of Fire and Thunder features 290-mph jet dragsters, the world's fastest street cars, nitro funny cars and dragsters and non-stop sports action. There will also be delicious carnival-style food and drinks. Tickets are available online at Bandimere.com.
LITTLETON — The Volkswagens on the Green Car Show is back for a 25th year at Clement Park in Littleton. Sunday's show is free to attend and popular for the whole family. The show features not only classic VW's but the newer models as well plus air-cooled Porsches. The car show will have food and drink vendors and live music from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
FLORENCE — The 18th annual Florence Merchants’ Association Car Show runs Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is a laid-back noncompetitive showing of classic cars, good food, fun events and shopping in historic downtown Florence featuring many antique stores and art galleries. Admission to the car show is free. The 1st annual Cruise Above the Gorge will begin at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
DENVER — Over 100 local makers and food and fashion trucks will be at this weekend’s RiNo Spring BAZAAR. The two-day event will take over Walnut Street between 28th and 29th in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood. General admission passes, as well as beer and cider sipping tickets, are available at DenverBazaar.com.
AURORA — The Spring Simply Vintage Market will take place on Friday and Saturday at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. The event will feature antiques, primitives, vintage, retro, mid-century, farm relics, architectural salvage, industrial, re-purposed and upscale homemade goods. Tickets can be found at SquareUp.com.
LONGMONT — The 49th annual Longmont Strawberry Festival Vintage & Antique Show will be held Saturday and Sunday. The festival is the St. Vrain Historical Society’s (SVHS) longest-running fundraiser. This weekend’s market opens at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Boulder County Fairgrounds featuring an array of vendors in vintage, antiques, collectibles, furniture, retro, vintage, books, primitives, décor, toys, western, collectibles, glass, fine jewelry, costume jewelry, vintage clothing, glass and more. Admission is just $5 per person and children 12 and under are free.
GREELEY — This weekend’s Just Between Friends Sale will have thousands of name-brand baby and kids' items at 50-90% off retail. Some of the items for sale include clothing, shoes, toys, books, games, nursery equipment, toys, strollers, car seats, cribs, maternity and nursery items, room décor and more. The sale runs from Friday to Sunday at Greeley’s Island Grove Regional Park and admission is free if you register online.
AURORA — The Aurora Public Library will be hosting its 2nd annual free festival about comics, superheroes, cosplay and all things pop culture on Saturday at the Central Library on Alameda Parkway. The family-friendly event includes crafts, panel discussions, exhibits, cosplay and more. The Mini-Con runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and admission is free. For a complete list of venders and activities, visit AuroraGov.org/Mini-Con.
LOVELAND — From ancient healing traditions to new age technology in the holistic and metaphysical field, the Body Mind Spirit Expo features a collection of over 70 professional readers, healers and exhibitors. The expo will be held at The Ranch Events Complex's South Hall on Saturday and Sunday. Admission tickets are $7 at the door. To see a lineup of speakers, visit BMSE.net.
MILLIKEN — The Pet Expo in Milliken celebrates everything pets – with information about groomers, veterinarians, boarding, accessories, photography and more. There will be presentations, a jump house for the kiddos, food truck and door prizes. The expo takes place Saturday at Thompson Rivers Parks & Recreation District’s MAC Center from 10 a.m. to 3 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a spectacular weekend!
PHOTOS | Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver, Colo.
RELATED | Who's playing Red Rocks in 2019?
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Feature stories from 9NEWS