Start planning now for exciting 2018-19 events and festivals in Denver. Scroll down our month-by-month list and choose from annual favorites, splashy debuts and exclusive showings.
Blockbuster Exhibitions and Events
¡CUBA! (Oct. 26, 2018–Jan. 20, 2019) – The latest major exhibition at Denver Museum of Nature & Science explores the dynamic culture and abundant biodiversity of the Caribbean’s largest island.
Dior: From Paris to the World (Nov. 19-March 3, 2019) – Denver Art Museum will host the U.S. debut of the renowned exhibition, Dior: From Paris to the World. Surveying more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and influence, the exhibit features a selection of 150 haute couture dresses, accessories, photos, original sketches and archival material.
Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius (March 1–Aug. 25, 2019) – Although Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519, his influence has endured. His extraordinary legacy as an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, sculptor and philosopher comes to life at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. It's the most comprehensive exhibition about da Vinci ever presented.
Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature (Oct. 20, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020) – Denver Art Museum will be the sole U.S. venue for the most comprehensive exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition will feature more than 100 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and will focus on the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked.
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series – See music’s biggest stars amidst stunning scenery.
First Friday Art Walks (first Friday of every month) – Explore Denver's creative neighborhoods when galleries, studios and cultural attractions stay open late for mind-expanding nights of art, food, drink and fun.
Events by Month
Denver Film Festival (Oct. 31 - Nov. 11) – Film fans can’t miss the largest film celebration in the Rocky Mountain Region. Hosted by Denver Film Society, it showcases blockbusters, documentaries, shorts and independent films at a variety of venues around the city.
Denver Arts Week (Nov. 2–10) – This nine-day celebration highlights 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.
Mile High Holidays (beginning Nov. 23) – Denver comes to life during the winter holiday season, and the festivities kick off in November with the Grand Illumination – the city's largest holiday lights display. The performing arts scene gets festive beginning in November, too, with holiday classics like A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker alongside some new favorites.
Mile High Holidays (through Jan. 21, 2019) – 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.
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo (Jan. 12-27) – Held every January at the National Western Complex, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world's largest stock show; and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to Native American jewelry.
Winter Park Express Ski Train (Jan. 4-March 31) – In January 2019, the Winter Park Express by Amtrak will return for its third year of service. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver to spend their aprés ski exploring The Mile High City’s award-winning, chef-driven cuisine, more than 70 local craft breweries, unique live music venues and 10,000 hotel rooms. It’s also a great option for the weekend visitor who wants to get some turns in while they’re in Denver. New this year, Amtrak has increased the round-trip service to include the first two Fridays of each month. The train runs on weekends, including holidays; one-way tickets start at $29 per person.
Winter on the Rocks (Feb. 1) – 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, 2019 headliners will be announced in late 2018.
USA Fencing Junior Olympic Championships (February 15-18) – The USA Fencing Junior Olympic Championships will return to Denver after more than ten years. The Mile High City will welcome junior and cadet fencers competing for National Championship titles and positions on the Junior and Cadet World Team to the Colorado Convention Center.
Denver Restaurant Week (Feb. 22-March 3) – The 15th annual Denver Restaurant Week will feature multi-course menus with three price points at hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants. The three-tiered pricing structure has met with great success since 2017 and will continue again in 2019 (diners can find multi-course menus at $25, $35 and $45 price tags).
UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing Finals (Feb. 23-24) – The American Alpine Club, America’s oldest and largest non-profit organization for climbers – announced Denver as a new North American tour stop for the UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing; The Mile High City’s Civic Center Park will serve as the destination for the 2018/2019 World Cup Ice Climbing Finals.
Denver March Powwow (March 22-24) – 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 31) – 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 Colorado, the country and the world. These individual collaborations mean that every beer tapped will be exclusive to the festival, and every beer has a unique story. This year, the festival will be at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center.
Monster Energy Supercross (April 13) – For the first time since 1996, Denver will be a stop on the 17-round 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Series. During the event, the field at Broncos Stadium at Mile High will turn in to a Supercross track for some of the sport’s most elite riders.
Rodeo All-Star Weekend (April 13-14) – 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 country music headliners, to be announced.
National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Collegiate Club Championships (April 18-20) – Denver and the Colorado Convention Center will be the host city and venue for the 2019 NCVF Collegiate Club Championships. Nearly 450 teams are expected to enter the competition, which Denver will be hosting for the first time.
Cinco de Mayo Festival (May 4-5) – 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.
Five Points Jazz Festival (May 18) – 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.
Colfax Marathon (May 18-19) – Denver’s only full marathon takes runners through parks, neighborhoods, trails and downtown; and iconic highlights include running through Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 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.
Denver Day of Rock (May 25) – 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 supports local charities. Lineup TBA.
Denver Pop Culture Con (May 31-June 2) – Denver Pop Culture Con (formerly 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.
Denver Chalk Art Festival (dates TBA) – Denver’s most historic block – Larimer Square – turns in to a vibrant street museum thanks to the chalk artwork 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 15-16) – 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.
CONCACAF Gold Cup (June 19) – In mid-2018, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced that Broncos Stadium at Mile High will be one of the 15 venues in 13 U.S. metropolitan cities that will welcome the 2019 edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup. Taking place every two years, the CONCACAF Gold Cup features some of the Western Hemisphere’s best players. It is the official national team championship of the region, crowning the best national team in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Groups and schedule will be announced in coming months.
SeriesFest Season 5 (June 21-26) – SeriesFest is a five-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, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and various other locations around the city.
Independence Eve (July 3) – Held in Denver’s Civic Center Park, the annual Independence Eve celebrations feature a free patriotic concert, an innovative light show on the Denver City & County Building and a stunning fireworks finale over the city.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 5-7) – 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. Throughout the weekend, there are also concerts, pop-up performances and more.
Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo (July 12-14) – 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.
Slow Food Nations (July 19-21) – Slow Food Nations will return to Denver for its third year, gathering leaders, eaters, farmers, chefs, educators and families for a weekend of tastings, tours and talks. Modeled after the renowned Terra Madre – the original Slow Food event in Turin, Italy – Slow Food Nations in Denver has become the center of the North American food world.
Underground Music Showcase (dates TBA) – The Underground Music Showcase (UMS) 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 28-29) – 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 marketplace, Taste of Asia food courts, Dragonland for the kids, a traditional lion dance and a partnership with Colorado Anime Fest.
Colorado Classic and Velorama (dates TBA) – Professional bicycle racing returned to Colorado in 2017 with the Colorado Classic, a series of men’s and women’s races in three Colorado cities. In 2019, world-class pro teams will return for the third year to compete in circuit races throughout the state – 2019 cities are TBA – ending in Denver on the final stages. During the Denver stages, there will be a three-day music, beer and food festival in the River North (RiNo) Art District for spectators and athletes.
A Taste of Colorado (dates TBA) – 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. The festival also features live music from more than 25 national and regional artists, family-friendly activities and more.
Denver Food + Wine Festival (dates TBA) – Denver Food + Wine Festival is a six-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education, promotion and tastings. Events include 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.
CRUSH Walls (dates TBA) – For about a week each fall, CRUSH (Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony) organizes artists, in partnership with local businesses, to splash color and concepts across the RiNo (River North) Art District through the use of mural art. The event has become a platform for artists from around the world to gather, create and share ideas and techniques, all to the delight of some 20,000 spectators and visitors. Started in 2010 as a low-key gathering, CRUSH Walls is quickly becoming one of the largest street art festivals in the world, accumulating popular acclaim and formal accolades.
11th Annual Denver Beer Week (Sept. 27-Oct. 5) – Denver Beer Week is a nine-day celebration leading up to (and including) the Great American Beer Festival – the largest beer festival in the world. The 11th annual Denver Beer Week 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.
Great American Beer Festival® (Oct. 3-5) – 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.
42nd Annual Denver Film Festival (dates TBA) – 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 (Nov. 1-9) – The 13th annual Denver Arts Week will be a nine-day celebration of 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 Art Walks, 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 Nov. 22) – Denver comes to life during the winter holiday season, and the festivities kick off on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend 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.
Mile High Holidays (through Jan. 21, 2020) – 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, a 16-day celebration of Western heritage.