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

Castle Rock, Boulder, Loveland, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction 'flip the switch' for the holidays and seasonal shows, expos and fairs pop up in Denver.

COLORADO, USA — Castle Rock, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Loveland and Grand Junction are among the Colorado towns turning on their lights for the holiday season this weekend.

The season is also beginning to feel a lot like Christmas across the Denver metro area with the opening of Camp Christmas, Christmas in Color, Hip Hop Nutcracker, ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Christkindl Market, and productions of A Christmas Carol

Colorado sports fans will see beloved University of Colorado mascot Ralphie V make one final appearance at Folsom Field this weekend, and the Nuggets, Avalanche, and Pioneers all have matchups in Denver. 

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Credit: Versatility Creative Group

Castle Rock Starlighting 

CASTLE ROCK — The "Lighting of the Star" has been a Castle Rock tradition since 1936. The annual event arrives Saturday in downtown Castle Rock. This year's Starlighting offers hot chocolate, non-profit booths, strolling entertainers, live entertainment, outdoor ice skating at the downtown rink and a visit from Santa Claus himself. The annual celebration takes place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the Castle Rock Starlighting ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. at Historic Wilcox Square, with 9NEWS anchor Corey Rose as emcee. A symbol of Castle Rock for over 80 years, the Castle Rock Star will remain lit until the end of the National Western Stock Show in January.

Credit: Downtown Boulder

Switch on the Holidays  

BOULDER — The holiday season in Downtown Boulder's begins with Santa flipping the switch that illuminates lights along the Pearl Street Mall and around the Boulder County Courthouse. Boulder will “Switch on the Holidays” this Sunday at 5 p.m. with 9NEWS meteorologist Kylie Bearse and the Colorado Caroling Company leading the celebration with Santa, Mrs. Claus and Freezie the Snowman.

Credit: Getty Images

Downtown Tree Lighting  

GRAND JUNCTION — Downtown Grand Junction will transform for the holiday season with a tree lighting celebration on Saturday. Local businesses will have deals and hot cocoa beginning at 4 p.m. and the 4th and Main Plaza will host a live performance from Mesa OutLoud. Santa is expected after 5 p.m. when with a wave of his hand – and a sprinkling of magic dust – will light the lights on all of Main Street simultaneously. Mr. Claus will visit with the kids afterwards before returning to the North Pole.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Downtown Festival of Lights 

LOVELAND — Downtown Loveland welcomes the holiday season with its annual hometown festival and traditional tree lighting ceremony this Friday. Festival of Lights will take place downtown along 4th Street from Railroad to Lincoln featuring the debut of holiday lighting throughout several blocks which will remain lit through February. Friday’s festival will kick off at 6 p.m. with music, entertainment, food, shopping and the grand entrance of Santa who will help count down the 25-foot tree coming to life in front of the historic Rialto Theater.

Credit: Getty Images

City of Colorado Springs Tree Lighting Ceremony 

COLORADO SPRINGS — The City of Colorado Springs’ annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Acacia Park gets underway at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The celebration offers ice skating, games, live music, a visit from Santa Claus and the lighting of the tree. The ceremony is free to attend, but there is a fee for ice skating.

Credit: The Broadmoor Seven Falls

Winter Lights at Seven Falls

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Seven Falls tradition that began in 1947 continues Saturday with the 5th annual Winter Lights event at The Broadmoor Seven Falls. More than 100,000 individual lights will line the path leading to the Falls and multi-colored lights will illuminate the cliff faces of the Pillars of Hercules and the Falls. The spectacular sight is a photographer's dream for holiday family photos. Festivities, which begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, include a kids’ scavenger hunt, hot chocolate, a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and more. A portion of each Winter Lights ticket will support The El Pomar Empty Stocking Fund and Springs Rescue Mission. Reserve your tickets at Broadmoor.com.

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

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Brown Palace Hotel’s Champagne Cascade

DENVER  The Brown Palace Hotel’s 32nd annual Champagne Cascade is an iconic Colorado holiday tradition. Master swordsmen use Napoleonic sabers to sever the bottlenecks of champagne which is then poured into the uppermost glass of a two-story high, 6,000+ glass pyramid. As the champagne is poured, it cascades into the glasses below, creating a stunning display of bubbly liquid as it is cheered on by live holiday tunes and the crowd lining all levels of the holiday-decorated atrium. All tickets sold to Sunday morning’s event benefit Make-A-Wish Colorado.

Camp Christmas 

AURORA — The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Off-Center will open "the ultimate Christmas immersive experience" on Thursday. Filling the 10,000-square-foot Hangar at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, Camp Christmas will take people on a journey through different eras of Christmas celebrations with extravagant installations. Camp Christmas will have self-guided tours where photos are encouraged, festive food and refreshments, plus visits from Santa Claus each Saturday before Christmas. Created by Colorado-based installation artist Lonnie Hanzon and Hanzon Studios, Camp Christmas will run through Sunday, Jan. 5. Tickets for the “over-the-top holiday extravaganza as big as the season it celebrates” can be reserved at DenverCenter.org.

RELATED: 10,000-square-foot Christmas installation to open in Colorado

ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

AURORA — Scenes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are brought to life in a winter wonderland carved from more than two million pounds of colorful ice at newest attraction at Gaylord Rockies. ICE!, a walkable attraction kept at a wintry nine degrees, was crafted by master artisans and features complimentary parkas for children and adults. Tickets for ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which will be open through Sunday, Jan. 5, are available at GaylordRockies.com. 

Credit: Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

AURORA — Gaylord Rockies’ family holiday spectacular Cirque Dreams Holidaze opens Friday. The in-the-round theatrical experience includes some of the world’s best acts, dazzling costumes, stunning aerialists, world-class singers and dancers. A Broadway musical and new cirque adventure wrapped into one family-friendly holiday show is a celebration with toy soldiers, snowmen, reindeer, gingerbread, penguins, Santa, holiday characters and more. The Cirque Dreams Holidaze show plays at Gaylord Rockies through Saturday, Jan. 4 with tickets sold at GaylordRockies.com.

Hip Hop Nutcracker

DENVER  Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a holiday mash-up for the whole family. The contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music is a unique and joyful family event. With a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ, violinist, and hip hop founding father MC Kurtis Blow, The Hip Hop Nutcracker plays Denver’s Buell Theatre on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets and showtimes, visit DenverCenter.org.

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Credit: Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

A Christmas Carol – The Musical

ARVADA — Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities tackles Charles Dickens’ classic tale with its new production of A Christmas Carol – The Musical. Featuring music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, the musical version of Ebenezer Scrooge’s life and redemption is a perfect holiday tradition for the entire family. A Christmas Carol – The Musical plays the Main Stage at the Arvada Center through Dec. 22. Tickets and showtimes can be found at ArvadaCenter.org.

A Christmas Carol

LONGMONT — Longmont Theatre Company's production of Charles Dickens' classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim opens this weekend. The Romulus Linney adaption of A Christmas Carol remains a perennial holiday favorite, reminding everyone of the true spirit of Christmas. Tickets for Longmont Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol, which plays through Sunday, Dec. 8, are available at LongmontTheatre.org. 

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

Credit: Vintage Theatre

Tuck Everlasting

AURORA — Tuck Everlasting, the newest production at Aurora’s Vintage Theatre, opens Friday. Based on the best-selling novel by Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting is the story of an 11-year-old free-spirited girl who longs for adventure. After discovering a family who holds the secret to everlasting life, she faces an extraordinary decision: return to her own family or join the Tucks for eternity. With music by Chris Miller and lyrics by Nathan Tysen, the musical celebration Tuck Everlasting plays the Vintage Theatre through Jan. 5, 2020. Reserve your tickets at VintageTheatre.com.

Credit: Getty Images

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

DENVER — Angelo Xiang Yu makes his highly-anticipated return to Denver as a featured soloist in the Colorado Symphony’s performances of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto this weekend. Music Director Brett Mitchell will lead the performance of a piece initially considered so difficult to perform that the premiere was delayed after Tchaikovsky’s first two soloists declined the invitation. The Colorado Symphony will perform Violin Concerto at Boettcher Concert Hall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For showtimes and tickets, visit ColoradoSymphony.org.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa's Arrival

CENTENNIAL — The 11th annual Holiday Tree Lighting at The Streets of SouthGlenn will kick off the season with a festival holiday community tradition. The celebration from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday will have ice skating, Santa’s arrival, free photos with Santa (bring your camera) and family fun.

RELATED: Where to find Santa around the Denver area

Credit: Downtown Castle Rock

Rink at the Rock 

CASTLE ROCK — Castle Rock's Rink at the Rock opens Saturday in time for the annual Castle Rock Starlighting. The rink is a community recreational rink in the heart of downtown Castle Rock. Open skating hours are Thursdays to Sundays, with extended hours around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Skate rentals are available at the rink. Rink at the Rock will be open through President's Day weekend in February.

RELATED: Outdoor ice rinks across Colorado this winter

Credit: KUSA

Christmas in Color

FEDERAL HEIGHTS & MORRISON — The organizers that brought an impressive drive-through display to Water World last holiday season are returning for another year and are opening a second display at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison. Christmas in Color features 1.5 million LED lights arranged into tunnels, trees, giant candy canes, snowflakes and more, all synchronized to a festive holiday music lineup. Both locations, Water World and Bandimere Speedway open for the Christmas season on Friday. Visit ChristmasinColor.net for tickets.

RELATED: Drive-through Christmas displays coming to Colorado

Credit: Denver Christkindl Market

Denver Christkindl Market 

DENVER — The 19th annual Mercedes-Benz Denver Christkindl Market will be open daily from Friday through Monday, Dec. 23 in downtown Denver in Skyline Park on 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe Street. Guests to the market can savor the season while enjoying authentic Glühwein (mulled spiced wine), Bavarian-style Biers, European coffee, or hot chocolate while shopping for unique artisan gifts and holiday treats sold by local Coloradoan, European, and international merchants in wooden huts. In 2019, the festival's heated hall will have live entertainment and food options such as Bavarian-style pretzels, fresh smoked salmon, KnödelGoulasch or Nürnberger Sausages. Daily entertainment planned this holiday season includes accordion players, polka music, Schuhplattler dancers and classical performances by the Denver Philharmonic, a partner of the Bavarian Philharmonic.

RELATED: Get unique gifts at these Colorado holiday markets

Credit: Getty Images

Sugar Plum Bazaar 

DENVER  The 9th annual Sugar Plum Bazaar is a makers’ market with more than 100 vendors from multiple states showcasing their unique handmade and local goodies. The holiday show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at The Denver Mart at 58th Avenue and I-25.  

Mollie McGee's Holiday Market 

LONGMONT — The 39th annual Mollie McGee's Holiday Market takes place at the Boulder County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building on Saturday and Sunday. The market offers 160 booths with vendors selling crafts, jewelry, clothing, pottery, photography, glass, metal, fiber, art, hand-turned wood, specialty foods and more. Market admission is $4. 

Christmas in Windsor Craft Show 

WINDSOR — The Windsor Rec Center will be home to this weekend's Christmas in Windsor show. The event offers more than 100 vendors selling handmade arts, crafts and holiday items. Admission is $3 at the door on Saturday and Sunday. 

Willow’s Holiday Craft Show 

PUEBLO — Some of Colorado’s finest handmade artisans and craftspeople will be showcasing their holiday crafts, jewelry, clothing, and Christmas décor at the Willow’s Holiday Craft Show on Saturday. The free event at Pueblo Community College will also feature door prize giveaways, balloons, face painting, photo booth and more. The show runs 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. 

Rangeview Art and Craft Fair 

AURORA — Homemade holiday crafters and vendors will converge on Aurora’s Rangeview High School for the annual Art and Craft Fair this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Fall Frenzy & Holiday Fair 

AURORA — More than 100 crafters and vendors will be at this unique and upscale fair at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. With shopping for the entire family, admission to the fair is $1 and parking is free. 

Vintage Market Days 

COLORADO SPRINGS — With original art, antiques, jewelry, clothing, handmade goods, home décor, outdoor furnishings, food, plants and more, Vintage Market Days is a unique indoor/outdoor market. The market will open in Colorado Springs Friday and run through Sunday. Tickets will be available at the gate of the Norris Penrose Event Center. 

Denver Botanic Gardens Winter Gift Market 

DENVER — Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting its annual Winter Gift Market this weekend at its York Street gardens. Start your holiday shopping Thursday with one-of-a-kind, handcrafted holiday items, pottery, jewelry, clothing, antiques, food items and more. Denver Botanic Gardens admission is free during the market and members receive a 10-percent discount on purchases. The Winter Gift Market is open Thursday to Saturday.

Applewood Arts Festival 

LOVELAND — More than 130 artisans will be on hand for this weekend's 42nd annual Applewood Arts Festival in Loveland. The festival, held Saturday and Sunday at The Ranch Events Complex, will offer live music, face painting, free giveaways and food, wine and beer vendors. Kris Kringle will make a Loveland stop on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Ouray County Nonprofit Holiday Bazaar 

RIDGWAY — The Ouray County Nonprofit Holiday Bazaar runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Ouray County Fairgrounds and 4-H Event Center with holiday shopping, fresh baked goods, Santa Claus, entertainment by local groups and more.

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Credit: L'Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour

L'Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour 

DENVER — L'Esprit de Noël, Central City Opera Guild's holiday home tour, returns Friday and Saturday for a 43rd year. The tour features magnificent homes in Denver's University Park neighborhood near the University of Denver campus, beautifully decorated for the holidays by accomplished florists and table designers. L'Esprit de Noël raises funds to help support programs of Central City Opera including Education and Community Engagement programs. Tickets for this weekend's tours are available at CentralCityOpera.com or at King Soopers stores.

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

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jeffco Holiday & Home Expo

GOLDEN  The Jefferson County Holiday & Home Expo takes place Friday to Sunday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. The expo offers the latest advice, services and ideas in home improvement, remodeling, design, outdoor living and more. Local and national vendors will be on hand to help you tackle any size project this holiday season. Admission and parking are free this weekend.

Credit: AP

Big Boy Steam Engine

LIMON — The world’s largest steam engine, the Big Boy, steams into Lincoln County this weekend. The engine arrives at the Hugo Union Pacific Roundhouse at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Limon Museum and Roundhouse will be open Sunday for viewing and photos. The Big Boy 404 departs Limon at 8 a.m. Monday.

RELATED: Big Boy, world's largest steam engine, to arrive in Colorado Saturday

Credit: Thinkstock

Used Book Sale

DENVER — More than 60,000 books, CDs and DVDs are up for sale at bargain prices at the Denver Public Library. The library's Winter Used Book Sale is being held at its 14th Avenue and Broadway location in downtown Denver this weekend. From children's books and cookbooks to music sheets and movies – there's a lot to look through at the big sale. The sale is in the conference room of the Denver Central Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sunday.

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow

DENVER, DURANGO & FORT COLLINS — A pair of film stars are headed to Colorado this weekend to premiere their latest motion picture. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith will present their new movie Jay and Silent Bob Reboot at Durango’s Fort Lewis College on Thursday, Denver's Sie FilmCenter on Friday and Fort Collins’ Lyric Theatre on Saturday. Visit RebootRoadshow.com for details.

Credit: Laura Roberts/Invision/AP

Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers 

DENVER — Singer, songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson is returns to the Mile High City this weekend. The A Star is Born legend will perform at Denver’s Paramount Theatre on Sunday. Tickets are sold at ParamountDenver.com or by phone at 720-727-6628. A three-time Grammy Award winner, Kristofferson has recorded 28 albums, including three Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings.

Credit: Meow Wolf

Meow Wolf Dark Palace

DENVER — “Rave against the dying of the night” at Meow Wolf’s three-day electronic dance music party and arts festival at the National Western Complex. Meow Wolf Dark Palace features art installations and three nights of dance music including MK, Guy Gerber, Claude VonStrokeCharletheFirstShlohmo, Late Night Radio, VCTRE, Dirt Monkey, Shades, Of the Trees, Lauren Lane, and more. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday tickets are sold at MeowWolf.com.

Credit: Turkey ROCK Trot; HAL Sports

Turkey Trot 5K 

BRIGHTON — Brighton's 35th annual Turkey Trot is Saturday at the Brighton Recreation Center! This 5K run/walk is a Bolder Boulder qualifying race. Registered participants receive a t-shirt and breakfast and are eligible for great prize giveaways. Start time is 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Turkey Trot registration can be completed at BrightonCO.gov.

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Credit: Colorado Freedom Memorial

Colorado Freedom Memorial 'Light Their Way Home' Luminaria Tribute

AURORA — The grounds of the Colorado Freedom Memorial will be transformed into a breathtaking display of light as 6205 glass luminarias are lit across the grounds during the 5th annual “Light Their Way Home” event this weekend. One luminaria will be lit for each Colorado veteran killed in action since the Spanish-American War. Light Their Way Home is one of two major events held at the memorial in Aurora that pay tribute to the sacrifice of Coloradans from every branch of the military and every conflict since Colorado became a state.

Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Buffaloes vs. Washington Huskies

BOULDER — The Colorado Buffaloes fight to remain bowl eligible this weekend in their final home game of the season. The Buffs (4-6) host the Washington Huskies (6-4) in a 8 p.m. Saturday game on national television at Folsom Field. Beloved mascot Ralphie V will make one final appearance, but not run, Saturday before retiring to an Adams County farm. Grab your tickets at CUBuffs.com.

RELATED: Ralphie V to retire after 12 seasons with CU

Credit: AP Photo/Young Kwak

Northern Colorado vs. Cal Poly 

GREELEY — Saturday's UNC football game is Senior Day at Greeley's Nottingham Field. The University of Northern Colorado Bears (2-9) conclude their season against Cal Poly (2-8) at 12 p.m. Saturday. Tickets can be reserved at UNCBears.com.

Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

DU Pioneers Men’s Hockey vs. Western Michigan 

DENVER — The DU men's hockey team looks to snap a four-game winless streak when they welcome Western Michigan to Denver. The Pioneers (8-2-2) host the WMU Broncos (6-4-2) at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Avoid the ticket lines and reserve your seats at DenverPioneers.com.

RELATED: Fan hit by puck at DU hockey game asks for extra safety netting

Credit: https://denverpioneers.com/schedule.aspx?schedule=265

Denver Nuggets vs. Boston Celtics/Phoenix Suns 

DENVER — Your Denver Nuggets play not one, but two games at Pepsi Center this weekend. Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets host the Boston Celtics at 7 p.m. Friday and Phoenix Suns at 6 p.m. Sunday. Friday's game is a Mile High City Night featuring a halftime performance by 3LAU. Sunday's game is a Family Night with special ticket packages available. Visit AltitudeTickets.com for all the details.

RELATED: Altitude files antitrust lawsuit against Comcast as dispute continues

Credit: AP Photo/Craig Lassig

Colorado Avalanche vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche are back in action at Pepsi Center this weekend. The Avs host the Toronto Maple Leafs at 5 p.m. Saturday. General tickets and family packs are available at AltitudeTickets.com.

RELATED: Avalanche coach Jared Bednar to be inducted into ECHL Hall of Fame

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

9Health Fair

DENVER — It’s the final weekend to visit a 9Health Fair during the fall health fair season. You can learn more about you, take advantage of free and low-cost health screenings, talk to several medical professionals and get a free flu shot/flu voucher. Register in advance or just show up, it’s that easy! Find a fair near you at 9HealthFair.org.


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 terrific weekend! 

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

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