This first weekend in May will truly kick off summer in Colorado. There are festivals and outdoor events galore with Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Kentucky Derby parties, horse drives, art walks and more. Sports fans will enjoy seeing one Denver lacrosse team begin their playoff run while another hosts their first game at home. No matter where you live in Colorado there is a unique event near you:
The annual Sombrero Ranches' Great American Horse Drive sees 600 to 800 ranch horses trot through the heart of Maybell, Colorado. The horse drive begins on Saturday in Brown's Park and goes through Maybell on Sunday sometime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Be sure to head to Maybell early enough to by safely out of the way of the horses, wranglers, cowboys and cowgirls as they travel to the Craig ranch for the riding season.
Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival — Estes Park
The 30th Annual Duck Race arrives Saturday in Estes Park with the goal of helping local charities and organizations. The process is simple: you adopt a duck for $20 each (or $22 online) and $19 goes to charity. The race has grown to be one of the biggest duck races in the country with 5 to 7 thousand ducks being adopted and hundreds of prizes for the winners. There is also much more than ducks floating down stream as the event also features a Duck Waddle 5K Race, live entertainment, food vendors, beer garden and family-friendly activities. For a complete schedule of events, or to register for a duck, visit EPDuckRace.org.
Cañon City Music & Blossom Festival — Cañon City
Kickoff summer with the Cañon City Music and Blossom Festival which is celebrating its 80th anniversary! The festival began Wednesday with national high school, middle school and junior high school bands competing in areas of Concert Band, Jazz Band, Parade and Orchestra. On Saturday there will be a parade at 1 p.m. on Main Street and a carnival will be open through Sunday. There is also a rodeo Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. To top it all off, the Blossoms in the Park Craft Fair & Kids Zone will have over 100 craft vendors and kids activities. To see a complete schedule, visit CCBlossomFestival.com.
Dumb Friends League Furry Scurry — Denver
Helping homeless pets is as simple as a walk in the park. The Dumb Friends League is hosting its annual Furry Scurry dog walk on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Denver’s Washington Park to raise money for homeless pets in our community. It's a two-mile walk around Wash Park, followed by refreshments, food trucks, contests, dog demonstrations and more than 150 pet-related vendors and sponsors at the Flea-less Market. To learn more about the Furry Scurry, how to fundraise, form a team or to find out other ways to get involved, visit DDFL.org.
Fruita Fat Tire Festival — Fruita
The 23rd Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival will be held from Friday to Sunday in downtown Fruita. Mountain bike enthusiasts from around the region flock to Fruita to celebrate the passion and lifestyle of the sport. There will be live bands on Friday and Saturday to accompany one of the top cycling expos in the state. To see a complete schedule of events, visit FruitaFatTireFestival.com.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble — Denver
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble’s 47th Anniversary Season continues with a new production of Carmen and two Denver premiere performances beginning Friday. The Ensemble's Carmen is an innovative adaptation of one of the world's best-known operas. Donald McKayle’s Uprooted: Pero Replantado and Viviana Basanta’s work La Mulata de Cordoba will each make their Denver debuts as well. Performances will be held Friday through Sunday and the following weekend May 11-13. Tickets are available online at CleoParkerDance.org or by phone at 303-295-1759.
Cinco de Mayo Celebrations — Across Colorado
Annual Cinco de Mayo celebrations are taking place all across the Centennial State. The biggest celebration will be held in downtown Denver when the Cinco de Mayo "Celebrate Culture" Festival takes over Civic Center Park. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and admission is free. For a complete schedule including when the wonderful Chihuahua races will be held, visit CincoDeMayoDenver.com. To see a list of Cinco de Mayo celebrations click here.
Spartan Race: Fort Carson — Colorado Springs
Tell your family, friends and co-workers that it's time to get off the couch and into the mud. This weekend's Spartan Race at Fort Carson features a course as challenging and inspiring as it gets: participants will be running in mud and water, climbing hills and mountains, under barbed wire and jumping fire. If you're feeling motivated you can participate... or you can simply watch as a spectator. There are several race options on Saturday and Sunday including kids races. Participant registration and spectator passes are available online at Spartan.com.
Kentucky Derby Watch Parties — Across Colorado
The "Run for the Roses" is here: the 144th Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. NBC will have five hours of Kentucky Derby coverage on 9NEWS starting at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" will begin shortly after the post time of 4:46 p.m. MT. Many Colorado restaurants and taverns are hosting watch parties to celebrate this spring tradition. We've compiled a list here.
Autism Speaks Walk — Glendale
This walk is part of the world's largest autism fundraising event dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives and supporters will come together on Sunday for a local walk at Infinity Park in Glendale. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10:15 a.m. Registration is available online at AustimSpeaks.org.
Lakeside Amusement Park — Denver
A Colorado staple opens for the 2018 on Saturday. Lakeside Amusement Park, located at I-70 and Sheridan, has been operating at the same location since 1908. The park features trains, a merry-go-round, drop tower, bumper cars and many spinning rides. Kick off summer right by making lifelong memories with picnics, laughs, food, fun and games at Lakeside.
Opera Colorado's Falstaff — Denver
Opera Colorado concludes its 35th season with a new, traditional production of Verdi's Shakespearean comedy Falstaff. Featuring the lovably oafish knight Falstaff from Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor, the opera is one of only two comedies the composer every wrote. The production opens Saturday at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with additional performances on May 8, 11 and 13. Tickets for Falstaff start at just $25 and are available online at OperaColorado.org or by phone at 303-468-2030.
First Friday Art Walk — Arvada
Hundreds of pieces of artwork created by local high school students will be featured in Historic Olde Town Arvada in its May First Friday Art Walk. The public is invited to view the artwork on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. with live music and free food and drink. Local businesses will be participating in the walk as well, exhibiting hundreds of pieces of art from nearly twenty Jefferson County high schools. Full event details at VisitArvada.org.
Star Wars at the Hangar — Denver
Rebels and Imperials alike descend on Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Saturday for a day of family-friendly activities. There will be appearances by Star Wars characters, live Lego builds, trivia, bounty hunter training camp, arts and crafts and much more! Star Wars fans 18 and older will love "Star Wars After Dark" which starts Friday at 6 p.m. featuring food, drinks, beer specials, live music and lots more. To see a complete schedule of Star Wars After Dark or Star Wars at the Hangar, or to purchase tickets, visit WingsMuseum.org.
The Music of Star Wars — Boulder
A galaxy far, far away comes to Boulder's Macky Auditorium Friday night. The Boulder Chamber Orchestra and the Boulder Chorale are celebrating Star Wars Day (May the Fourth) with music from John Williams' iconic Star Wars soundtrack. Hear your favorite characters, planets, and scenes come to life with a live orchestra. Tickets are available online at BoulderChorale.org.
The Colorado Mammoth are back in the playoffs for the eighth straight season and the 15th time in in 16 seasons. The Mammoth take on the Calgary Roughnecks in the NLL West Division Semifinal game at Pepsi Center Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at AltitudeTickets.com.
The Denver Outlaws lacrosse team hosts the New York Lizards in the 2018 home opener at Mile High Stadium. It's a Star Wars Night for May the 4th. The match is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Denver Outlaws tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com.
Colorado Springs Youth Symphony — Colorado Springs
The Colorado Springs Youth Symphony will present two season-ending concerts this Sunday at the Pikes Peak Center. At 3 p.m. the Pikes Peak Winds and full orchestra of the Youth Symphony, will present "Spring with Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony" and the Allegro Strings, Vivace String Orchestra, Bravo! Winds and Ovation Youth Orchestra will perform "Spring Extravaganza" at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the concerts are available at the Pikes Peak Center box office, by phone at 719-520-SHOW or online at PikesPeakCenter.com.
Walk MS — Grand Junction & Denver
Hundreds will walk together on Saturday to help end multiple sclerosis. Walk MS begins at 9:30 a.m. at Grand Junction's Canyon View Park. No-fee walker and virtual walker options are available. Registration for the Grand Junction walk is available online at here. A Walk MS in Denver starts at 9:30 a.m. at Denver's City Park. Registration is available online here.
Hary Potter-Thon — Denver
The magical world of Harry Potter comes to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday a Harry Potter movie will play on the museum's massive IMAX screen beginning with this weekend's presentation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The Harry Potter-thon continues through June 23 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Tickets are available online at DMNS.org.
Great Western Alpaca Show — Denver
The Great Western Alpaca Show is bringing hundreds of alpacas, alpaca enthusiasts and fiber art enthusiasts to Denver this weekend. The 2018 show at the National Western Stock Show Complex runs from Friday to Sunday and promises to be bigger than ever. The show features alpacas in show ring competition, farm displays and vender booths selling the latest in alpaca fashions and hand-crafted items. The Great Western Alpaca Show features many family-friendly activities and admission is free.
Hope House 5K & Fun Run — Arvada
In addition to supporting the Hope House of Colorado, Saturday's Hope House 5K is also a Bolder Boulder qualifying race. Registration for the 5K and Fun Run opens at 8 a.m. at Lake Arbor Park in Arvada. Both races are open to all ages and strollers are welcome around the paved course. Registration is available online at HopeHouseofColorado.org. Hope House provides free self-sufficiency programs to teen moms including residential, GED, college and career programs.
Mile High Drum & Percussion Festival — Englewood
Saturday's Mile High Drum & Percussion Festival features a full day of performances and clinics by leading artists and ensembles in the percussion industry. Clinics begin at 10 a.m. with the performance concert set for 5 p.m. at Englewood High School. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase all day. Festival and concert tickets are available at the door but are cheaper if you buy ahead of time online at MileHighDrumFest.org.
Chili Cook-Off — Denver
This chili cook-off promises to be the best Friday night meal deal in Denver. The chili cook-off benefits the Denver Press Club and will be held at 1330 Glenarm Place, the site fo the historic DPC. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. and tickets are $15 a person or $25 per family and you can pay at the door. The public is invited to come try chili from 15 competitors plus soda, brownies and ice cream. Firefighters from Denver Fire Station #1 will be on hand to judge.
Free Comic Book Day — Across Colorado
Every year, comic book shops throughout the country give away comic books for free. This year marks the 17th year for the colorful giveaway. Mile High Comics has special Free Comic Book Day events planned on Saturday in Denver and in Lakewood. Use your “x-ray vision” to find other participating shops or, for the those without super powers, use the store locator to find a participating shop.
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