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Ongoing Events/Blockbuster Exhibitions

 

2017 Blockbuster Exhibitions and Events

  • Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume (through April 2) – Explore the artistry of the world’s most recognized cinematic costumes at Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at Denver Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 70 hand-crafted costumes from the first seven blockbuster Star Wars™ films, along with 100 additional pieces, many of which have never been seen, sourced directly from George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch.
  • Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place (February 19 – October 22) – Denver Art Museum’s Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place will feature site-specific installations by 13 Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West. Energizing and vibrant artwork will be presented by Denver artists and Dmitri Obergfell and Jaime Carrejo, as well as Carmen Argote (Los Angeles), Gabriel Dawe (Dallas), Claudio Dicochea (San Antonio), Daniela Edburg (San Miguel de Allende), Justin Favela (Las Vegas), Ana Teresa Fernández (San Francisco), Ramiro Gomez (West Hollywood), John Jota Leaños (San Francisco), Ruben Ochoa (Los Angeles), Daisy Quezada (Santa Fe) and Xochi Solis (Austin).
  • Vikings: Beyond the Legend (March 10 – August 13) – This myth-busting exhibition will bring the largest collection of Viking artifacts in North America to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Vikings: Beyond the Legend lays waste to the one-dimensional stereotype of bearded barbarians with horned helmets. Visitors can marvel instead at a culture of surprising refinement, complexity and achievement, and a supernatural world inhabited by Thor, Odin and other gods and giants. Fresh insights revealed through new archaeological discoveries and more than 500 treasures, many never before seen outside of Scandinavia, show why the Vikings will always capture the imagination.
  • Calder: Monumental (April 28 – September 24) – American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and is known for his bold energetic sculptures. Calder: Monumental at Denver Botanic Gardens will feature his iconic works of bolted steel plate–which rise in sweeping curves, or puncture space with geometric lines–revealing the artist's exploration of forms, volumes, and voids. Using shapes that resonate with the natural world, Calder's large lively abstractions interact with the surrounding landscape.
  • Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series – Recently named to the National Historic Register, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a world-famous outdoor concert and recreation venue located approximately 30 minutes from Denver. Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster, stunning scenery and ambience; Rolling Stone recently called it the best outdoor concert venue in the country. The full calendar for the Summer Concert Series and event schedules can be found online.
  • Dinos! Live (July 1 – October 31) – Denver Zoo will take visitors back in time with Dinos! Live, an exhibit through which 17 animatronic dinosaurs will come to life around the park. Guests will see Mesozoic marvels, from a Tyrannosaurus rex to a Stegosaurus, and be able to compare them to animals that live at the Zoo and in the wild today.
  • Ultimate Dinosaurs (October 6, 2017 – January 15, 2018) – Ultimate Dinosaurs at Denver Museum of Nature & Science will take people beyond familiar dinosaurs to showcase some of the most spectacular fossils unearthed in recent years. Evolving in isolation, the new discoveries from South America, Africa and Madagascar are among the strangest creatures ever found.
  • First Friday Art Walks (First Friday of every month) –  Explore Denver's creative neighborhoods on the First Friday of every month when galleries, studios and cultural attractions stay open late for a mind-expanding night of art, food, drink and fun. Find the pulse of Denver's vibrant creative community year-round on the first Friday of each month in The Mile High City's seven neighborhood art districts. This year, RiNo (River North) Art District and the new Drink RiNo group will sponsor a free bus every First Friday from 5pm-12am (and Saturdays 2-10pm) that will have multiple stops at galleries, studios, breweries and eateries throughout RiNo.

 

February 2017

  • Winter Park Express Ski Train (January 7 – March 26) – On January 7, 2017, the Winter Park Express by Amtrak returned from a seven-year hiatus. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver for après ski, an abundance of culinary options and nearly 10,000 hotel rooms to choose from, including several that offer Ski Train packages. It’s also a great option for the weekend visitor who wants to get some turns in while they’re in Denver. The train runs on weekends, including holidays; one-way tickets start at $39 per person.
  • Denver Restaurant Week (February 24 – March 5) – The 13th annual Denver Restaurant Week will feature multi-course menus with three new price points at more than 250 of Denver’s top restaurants. The three-tiered pricing structure is new this year (diners can find multi-course menus at $25, $35 and $45 price tags) and features Denver Restaurant Week’s lowest price point yet - $25.

 

March 2017

  • The Edge at Denver Zoo Grand Opening Week (March 17-24) – Located on almost a full acre on the southeastern edge of Denver Zoo, The Edge will bring guests closer than ever to the Zoo’s Amur tigers, one of the most endangered species on the planet. The expansive, open space will also offer visitors several unique ways to safely connect with these magnificent creatures and to see them from multiple perspectives in yards that mimic their native habitat.
  • Denver March Powwow (March 24-26) – One of the largest events of its kind in the country, the Denver March Powwow at the Denver Coliseum is an American Indian Festival that features more than 1,600 dancers from nearly 100 tribes, representing 38 states and three Canadian provinces. Each session of the three-day event begins with the Grand Entry, a colorful spectacle featuring traditional song and dance. Throughout the weekend, there are traditional drum and dance groups, storytellers, and more than 170 tribal craft booths.
  • Collaboration Fest (March 25) – Known as America’s most creative beer festival, Collaboration Fest features brews that are a result of collaborations between two or more breweries from around the state, country and world. These individual collaborations mean that every beer tapped will be its first time, and every beer has a unique story. This year, the festival will be at the National Western Complex and will feature the highest number of collaborations yet – more than 100 and counting.

 

April 2017

  • Rodeo All-Star Weekend (April 14-15) – Highlighting the best in pro rodeo, the Rodeo All-Star Weekend features two days of competitions in seven popular events, including bull riding and bareback riding. In addition to the chance to see top-ranked cowboy and cowgirl athletes compete to be named Rodeo All-Star Champion, the weekend also features a fashion showcase, mutton bustin’, VIP social events and live music – including headliner and country music star, Jana Kramer – at Denver’s National Western Complex.

 

May 2017

  • Five Points Jazz Festival (May 20) – This free festival takes place the third Saturday of May and celebrates the history of Denver's Five Points neighborhood. Once known as the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music's legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more. The festival features a diverse lineup of music – from Latin to blues to funk and many other styles of jazz.
  • Denver Day of Rock (May 27) - Denver Day of Rock is a free event that features five stages of live music along Denver’s 16th Street Mall on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Denver Day of Rock unites the community through music and family-friendly entertainment while also raising funds to support Amp the Cause, a Denver nonprofit that raises awareness about critical family issues and local charities. This year’s lineup will feature country superstar, Cam, along with well-known acts such as Austin Young Band, The Dustbowl Revival, The Railbenders and more.
  • Cinco de Mayo Festival (May 6-7) – One of the largest cultural events in Colorado, the Cinco de Mayo festival features live cultural entertainment on three stages, hundreds of exhibitors and vendors, traditional food and drink, a parade, a green chili cook off and more at Denver’s Civic Center Park. More than 400,000 visitors attend the festival each year to celebrate the tradition and beauty of Latino culture.
  • Colfax Marathon (May 20-21) – Denver’s only full marathon takes runners through parks, neighborhoods, trails and downtown; and iconic highlights include running through Sports Authority Field at Mile High (home of the Denver Broncos), a Denver fire station (where firefighters and police officers cheer on runners) and Colfax Avenue itself (the longest commercial street in the country). Additional races throughout the weekend include a half marathon – which runs through the Denver Zoo – an Urban 10 Miler, a 5K and more.

 

June 2017

  • Denver Chalk Art Festival (June 3-4) – Denver’s most historic block – Larimer Square – turns in to a vibrant street museum thanks to the chalk art work of more than 150 professional and amateur artists. Honoring the traditional Italian Piazza dell’Arte (“square of art”), the temporary works of art will be accompanied by music, Italian food, wine tasting tents and an art gallery, plus a kids’ corner where kids will have the chance to make chalk art of their own.
  • Denver PrideFest (June 17-18) – Recognized as one of the top 10 pride events in the country, Denver PrideFest is a free, two-day festival that takes place in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The weekend features activities and entertainment for adults, kids and pets – from a Dogs in Drag Parade and the annual Gay Pride Parade to the Big Gay 5K and three stages full of music and cultural entertainment.
  • SeriesFest Season 3 (June 27 – July 2) – SeriesFest is a four-day festival celebrating the art of independent TV series creation. It showcases the best new pilots from around the world in an international, juried competition. The screenings take place at the state-of-the-art Sie Film Center, Denver Performing Arts Complex and various other locations around the city.
  • Denver Comic Con (June 30 – July 2) – Denver Comic Con is a three-day, family-friendly fan convention at the Colorado Convention Center featuring the best in comics, along with sci-fi and fantasy TV shows, movies, Japanese animation, cosplay, toys, gaming and celebrity panel presentations. This year will feature Wallace Shawn (“The Princess Bride”), Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”), Bonnie Wright (“Harry Potter” series) and more. Every year, Breckenridge Brewery crafts a beer specifically for the event and asks the public to select a name; the brew is then available at the convention, as well as at select breweries around the city.

 

July 2017

  • Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 1-3) – Every Fourth of July Weekend, the hip, upscale Cherry Creek North neighborhood hosts the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a world-class and award-winning display of visual, culinary and performing arts. More than five full blocks of the neighborhood feature the works of local and nationally known artisans, vendors and activities, including Artivity Avenue, a full block of interactive activities for the whole family. There are also concerts, pop-up performances and more throughout the weekend.
  • Independence Eve (July 3) – Held in Denver’s Civic Center Park, the annual Independence Eve celebrations features a free patriotic concert, an innovative light show on the Denver City & County Building and a stunning fireworks finale over the city.
  • Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo (July 7-9) – The Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo is one of the country’s best and biggest gay-centric rodeos. It features classic events including riding, dogging and barrel racing, along with royalty crownings for multiple genders.
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup (July 13) – Denver will host a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage double header at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, including a Group C match featuring the Mexican national soccer team.
  • Slow Food Nations (July 14-16) – For the first time ever in the United States, Slow Food Nations will gather leaders, eaters, farmers, chefs, educators and families for a weekend of tastings, tours and talks. Following in the trailblazing footsteps of the renowned Terra Madre – the original Slow Food event in Turin, Italy – Denver will become the center of the North American food world.
  • Underground Music Showcase (July 27-30) – The Underground Music Showcase takes place at more than 15 different venues and stages along South Broadway and features more than 400 local and national acts. Having grown from just 300 attendees for four bands at one theater, UMS is one of the best ways to experience Denver’s incredible live music scene.
  • Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (July 29-30) – In the tradition of the Chinese Duanwu Festival, Denver’s two-day version centers around the dragon boat competition, with more than 50 teams of boaters racing colorful and intricate boats across Sloan’s Lake. Additionally, the festival features performing arts stages, an Asian marketplaces, Taste of Asia food courts, Dragonland for the kids, a traditional lion dance and a partnership with Colorado Anime Fest.

 

August 2017

  • Colorado Classic Professional Bike Race & Festival (August 11-13) – Professional bicycle racing will return to Colorado in 2017 with the Colorado Classic, a series of men’s and women’s races in three Colorado cities. World-class pro teams will compete in circuit races throughout the state, ending in Denver on the final stages. Following the race, there will be a three-day music, crafts, beer and food festival in the River North (RiNo) Art District for spectators and athletes.
  • Frozen Premiere (August 17 – October 1) – The beloved Disney tale of two sisters torn apart and the journey to find themselves comes to life on the stage in August. Premiering in Denver first – before it reaches Broadway in New York – the highly anticipated new musical will run through October 1, 2017.

 

September 2017

  • A Taste of Colorado (September 1-4) – This festival, held in Denver’s Civic Center Park and on the surrounding streets, highlights some of Colorado’s favorite food establishments – from ethnic specialties to traditional favorites, diners can enjoy full-sized or sample portions of their favorites throughout the festival.
  • Denver Food + Wine Festival (September 5-10) - Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education, promotion and tastings. Events include new and classic options like Dinner Under the Stars, a Culinary Cinema Series, SHAKE DOWN (a cocktail event) and the signature event, The Grand Tasting. Denver Food + Wine Festival aims to highlight industry impact, promote workforce development and celebrate Denver as a culinary destination.
  • Biennial of the Americas (September 12-16) – The Biennial of the Americas connects business, cultural and civic interests throughout the Americas by building lasting relationships and inspiring action through dialogue and art. The Marquee event is an international festival of ideas, art and culture, held every other year.
  • Denver Beer Fest (September 29 – October 7) – Denver Beer Fest is a nine-day celebration leading up to the Great American Beer Festival – the largest beer festival in the world. This year’s ninth annual Denver Beer Fest will feature dozens of beer related events at area breweries, restaurants, tap houses and attractions around the city. From firkin tappings to midnight beer brunches to tap takeovers to a beer street party, there is an event for every type of beer lover.

 

October 2017

  • Great American Beer Festival (October 5-7) – Great American Beer Festival is the largest beer festival in the world; and each year, it represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served – in both a public tasting event plus a private competition. The festival takes place at the Colorado Convention Center and brings together brewers and diverse beers from across the nation.
  • Solar Decathlon (October 5-15) – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 student design competition will challenge 14 collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The city of Denver competed with several other cities to win the opportunity to host the Solar Decathlon, which will feature a free public exhibition of the houses, a community festivals, a sustainability expo, professional development and consumer workshops and education days over the course of the 10-day event.

 

November 2017

  • 40th Annual Denver Film Festival (November 3-11) – The Denver Film Festival is the largest premier film celebration in the Rocky Mountain Region. Hosted by Denver Film Society, which works to promote film as both an art form and a civic forum, The Denver Film Festival showcases blockbusters, documentaries, shorts and independent films at a variety of venues around the city.
  • Denver Arts Week (November 4-12) – The 11th annual Denver Arts Week will be an eight-day celebration The Mile High City’s vibrant arts and cultural communities, featuring more than 300 discounted events at a wide variety of art galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls in multiple neighborhoods. Signature Denver Arts Week events include Know Your Arts First Friday, an evening when galleries and studios are open for people to explore; and Free Night at the Museums, when Denver’s best museums stay open late and admission is free.
  • Mile High Holidays (beginning November 24) – Denver comes to life during the winter holiday season, and the festivities kick off in November with the City & County Building’s and downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination – the largest holiday lights display in Denver. The performing arts scene gets festive beginning in November, too, with holiday classics like A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker alongside some new favorites.

 

December 2017

  • Mile High Holidays (through January 21, 2018) – The magic of the holiday season continues through December with Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo, Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens, more theater performances and an abundance of New Year’s Eve events, including the two-show downtown fireworks extravaganza. Denver continues to celebrate all the way through the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, which lasts until the third week of January.

 

January 2018

  • National Western Stock Show & Rodeo (January 8-21, 2018) - Held every January at the National Western Complex, it is the world's largest stock show; and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, Mexican rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to Native American jewelry.
  • Winter on the Rocks (January 26, 2018) – Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre’s only winter show, Winter on the Rocks is an annual tradition featuring a blend of hip-hop and electronic music. Presented by Icelantic Ski Company, 2018 dates and artists will be announced later this year.