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9 Things to do in Denver and Colorado this weekend: July 12-14


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Colorado hosts county fairs, rodeos, tiny house and art festivals, Billy Joel and the UFC.

DENVER — The Piano Man is back! 

Billy Joel is ready to perform his first Colorado concert in five years at the state’s largest baseball stadium.

The first Colorado county fairs of the summer season are opening this weekend in Fairplay and Calhan. UFC is back in Colorado for the first time since 2018 with a Saturday night of fighting matches planned in Denver. 

North America’s largest electric vehicle festival is making its debut in Denver for a weekend of electric fun.

From festivals and fairs to expos and runs, there’s lots to do, see and explore in Denver and Colorado this July weekend. Be sure to share your weekend photos with the “Near Me” feature on the 9NEWS app.

Submit an event to 9Things To Do.

Billy Joel

DENVER — The summer concert season has officially arrived Colorado’s biggest ballpark. Live Nation and the Colorado Rockies will host Billy Joel at Coors Field on Friday. Joel last performed in Denver — also at Coors Field — in 2019.  Joel is the sixth best-selling recording artist and the fourth-best-selling solo artist with over 160 million records sold worldwide. Ticketmaster.com is the official source for Billy Joel tickets at Coors Field.

UFC Fight Night

DENVER — Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Colorado this weekend for the first time since 2018. “UFC Fight Night” will be held Saturday at Ball Arena in Denver. The event will also be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. Tracy Cortez will fight No. 6 Rose Namajunas in the main event. Also on the card, a lightweight bout will see Denver’s Drew Dober fight Jean Silva. Dober will make his UFC fight debut in his home city of Denver. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.

Colorado Tiny House Festival

BRIGHTON —The Colorado Tiny House Festival runs Saturday and Sunday at Riverdale Regional Park. The festival features a diverse assortment of small living structures from tiny houses on wheels, bus and van conversions, yurts, container homes, teardrops, overland and expedition trailers, tents, tipis, custom campers, RVs and more. The Colorado Tiny House Festival aims to blend the spirit of the tiny living movement, simplify our lives, encourage minimalistic living and help us live greener. Tickets are $15 when purchased online by Friday. The weekend of the event, tickets are $20. Tickets are good for both days of the event. Kids 12 and under are free.

Denver Union Station 10th Anniversary Weekend

DENVER — Denver Union Station is planning a weekend of special events to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of its renovation. The events on Friday and Saturday will be free and open to all. A concert by Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers and music by DJ Chris will be held Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. A festive party with live music by Denver’s Tunisia, DJ Chris, Paul Borillo and artists from Youth on Record is planned Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be Rocky Mountain Mini Train rides, face painters, balloon artists and more.

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado tradition is underway at the scenic Norris-Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, now in its 83rd year, runs through Saturday with professional rodeo’s top talent competing in bareback, saddle bronc, team roping, barrel racing, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, mutton bustin, bull riding, and freestyle bullfighting. Rodeo events are scheduled through Saturday. The rodeo grounds also have a mechanical bull, pony rides, photo opportunities with longhorns, vendor booths, roadhouse saloon, dancing and food and drink options. Get your tickets ahead of time at PikesPeakorBust.org.


CONIFER — The 5th annual ConiferFest will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The festival-fundraiser, hosted by Conifer Rotary, will have live music, food trucks, beer, wine and margaritas. ConiferFest will be held at Our Lady of the Pines Open Space where the music will start at 1 p.m. Entry is $5 and parking is free.

Cattlemen’s Days

GUNNISON — For 124 years, Gunnison Valley has celebrated the Western way of life with Cattlemen’s Days. Selected by “American Cowboy” magazine as one of the best western events in the country, Cattlemen’s Days honors ranching culture with the “Granddaddy of Colorado Rodeos.” The western celebration, which includes a carnival, parade and 4-H events, runs through Sunday.

El Paso County Fair

CALHAN — The El Paso County Fair in Calhan opens this Saturday and continues through Saturday, July 20, with bull riding, demolition derby, roping and racing events, plus family activities, live music and food. General admission tickets can be purchased at ElPasoCountyFair.com.

Park County Fair

FAIRPLAY — The Park County Fair begins Friday and this year’s schedule is packed. The fair schedule includes 4-H shows, livestock shows, carnival, live music beer garden, kids’ activities, exhibits and parade. The Park County Fair Kick Off Parade begins Saturday at 5 p.m. You can view a complete schedule at ParkCoFair.com. The fair continues through Sunday, July 21. 

Frisco Concert on the Water

FRISCO — The Frisco Bay Marina will host a free concert on the water on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will be free live music from Orca the Band on the Frisco Bay Marina Lighthouse Lawn with drinks from the Island Grill. Power boat and paddle sport rentals will also be available. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and well-behaved leashed pets.

Drums Along the Rockies

FORT COLLINS — Colorado’s biggest marching music event is back at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins this Saturday. Drums Along the Rockies, which steps off at 6:30 p.m., is annually one of the best and most popular events of its kind in the world with bands from Arizona, Utah, California, Texas Washington, Wyoming and Colorado scheduled to compete. An all-star line up of drum corps including Colorado’s Blue Knights are set to appear. Drums Along the Rockies tickets are sold online at CSU’s website.

Electrify Expo

DENVER — The nation’s largest EV festival is coming to Denver this weekend. The outdoor Electrify Expo festival is the only event where consumers can drive, ride and get educated on the newest electric vehicles and recreation products before cashing in on Colorado’s EV and e-bike rebates. Attendees will experience and demo the latest vehicles and technologies from Tesla, Rivian, Toyota, Kia, Super73, Yokohama and more. Kids will enjoy the huge Kids Zone filled with electric go-karts and e-bikes. Electrify Expo will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Yards in Denver.

Arvada on Tap

ARVADA — The 9th annual Arvada on Tap craft beer and barbecue festival is Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ralston Park Addition. Arvada on Tap includes unlimited craft beer sampling, an amateur barbeque competition and tasting, live music, and food trucks. Attendees can purchase presale tickets now and save $10 per ticket. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event. Arvada On Tap is produced by the Arvada Festivals Commission in partnership with Arvada-Jefferson Kiwanis Club, Arvada Sunrise Rotary, and Arvada Vitality Alliance.

Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival

BRECKENRIDGE — The annual Breckenridge Beer Festival returns Saturday at Beaver Run Resort. The festival has dozens of breweries on tap for tastings plus live music, VIP area, food and retail vendors. The Breckenridge Beer Festival runs from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Unlimited tasting, VIP experience, general admission and designated driver tickets are available online.

Rocky Mountain Antique Festival

LOVELAND — Antique dealers from several states will be in Loveland this weekend selling antique items in jewelry, furniture, silver, western, Native American, shabby chic, art glass, pottery, vintage toys, kitchenware, postcards and more. The Rocky Mountain Antique Festival runs Saturday and Sunday at The Ranch Events Complex. Tickets start at $7 online.

Silverthorne Fine Art Festival

SILVERTHORNE — The 6th annual Silverthorne Fine Art Festival will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Silverthorne Recreation Center at the base of the Gore Range in Summit County. The festival will feature artisans in 13 categories from around the world. Admission to this weekend’s festival is free.

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

CRESTED BUTTE — The 37th annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival begins Friday and will continue through Sunday, July 21. The festival offers opportunities for hiking and walking, photography and art workshops, birding and butterfly outings, geology, geobotany, garden tours, cooking classes and backcountry Jeep tours. To learn more about the festival or to register for one of the many offerings, head to CrestedButteWildflowerFestival.com.  

Water Lantern Festival

THORNTON — Experience the magic of floating lanterns as the soft glow reflects upon the water at Thornton’s Carpenter Park. The Water Lantern Festival combines friends, family, great food and an array of twinkling lanterns on the waterfront. There will be local vendors, live music, lawn games and lantern-decorating stations. The festival opens at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and lanterns will be launched between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival

KEYSTONE — No matter if you’re a Chardonnay fan or you prefer a nice Riesling, you’ll find something you’ll like among the hundreds of varieties of wine at the Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival. There will be local food vendors, live music, and wines to sip and savor at River Run Village on Saturday and Sunday.

Castle Rock WineFest 

CASTLE ROCK — More than 180 varieties of Colorado wine from more than two dozen wineries will be available for swirlin’ and sippin’ at this outdoor wine event at Castle Rock’s Butterfield Crossing Park on Saturday. Held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., this event is for adults only, so leave the kids and pets with a sitter. You can buy tickets to the 20th annual Castle Rock WineFest at CastleRockChamber.com.

Denver Trolley

DENVER — The last operating trolley in Denver has begun summer operations. The Denver Trolley has run along the South Platte River for more than 30 years. This summer, the trolley will operate Thursdays through Mondays beginning at 10 a.m. with the last departure at 5 p.m. The Denver Trolley departs from the home platform at REI/Confluence Park every 30 minutes. Roundtrip rides last about 25 minutes and include a narration about the surrounding area.

RELATED: Historic trolley in Denver beginning summer operations

The North Pole: Santa’s Workshop

CASCADE — Colorado’s favorite Christmas-themed amusement park is open for the season. Home to Santa’s village and the jolly old elf himself, The North Pole: Santa’s Workshop, located at 7,500 feet at the foot of Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs, traditionally opens the weekend before Memorial Day and remains open through Christmas. With vintage rides and sweet treats, the park as been spreading Christmas cheer since 1956.

Red Rocks

DENVER — There is no better venue for live music in the country than Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Red Rocks 2024 concert schedule (announced so far) is still growing and this spring and summer looks to be one for the record books.

RELATED: Red Rocks concert season: Here’s the 2024 lineup

City Park Farmers Market

DENVER — The City Park Farmers Market is celebrating its fourth season. The market has more than 100 vendors offering a variety of local Colorado produce and products from area farmers, food producers and agriculture-based brands. The market runs every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Other activations include a run club at 8 a.m., donation-based yoga at 9 a.m. and live music from local acts.

RELATED: Denver farmers market returns for fourth year

City Park Jazz 

DENVER — City Park Jazz is back in Denver for a 38th annual summer series. Delta Sonics Blues Revue headlines the sixth week of the festival at Denver’s pavilion City Park at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The 2024 season will continue each Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. through early August.

Discovering Teen Rex

DENVER — A rare dinosaur fossil is now on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. A juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that was discovered in the North Dakota badlands will be featured at the museum’s new temporary exhibit “Discovering Teen Rex.” The fossil is one of only a handful of juvenile T. rex skeletons that has ever been found.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science said the T. rex fossil was discovered by a family on a hike in 2022. The family contacted the museum who returned to the site to excavate the fossil in 2023. The public will be able to see the fossil being prepped in real time at the museum exhibit, as well as an array of dinosaur fossils, including Triceratops and Edmontosaurus.

RELATED: Teenage T. rex now on display in Colorado

Colorado Renaissance Festival

LARKSPUR — Take a magical tour through time and legend at the annual Colorado Renaissance Festival. The village streets of the festival are full of artisans selling original art, fresh baked goods, roasted turkey legs, steak on a stake and much more. There will be jousting, comedy shows and a cast of hundreds walking and performing throughout the faire. The Renaissance Festival runs on weekends through the first weekend of August. Tickets are available at ColoradoRenaissance.com.

88 Drive-In Theatre 

COMMERCE CITY — The only drive-in movie theater in the Denver metro area has reopened for a 48th summer season. Tickets are $10 per person, and children under 12 are free. Tickets are sold only at the box office starting at 7 p.m. for that evening’s program. This weekend the outdoor theater will have a double feature.

Movies this weekend

After a historically bad first half of the year, the box office is booming suddenly. “Despicable Me 4” led the way over the Independence Day weekend with $75 million in ticket sales last Friday through Sunday and $122.6 million since opening on Wednesday, July 3.

With “Deadpool & Wolverine” tracking for a $160 million launch later this month, Hollywood’s summer is looking up.

Opening this weekend

  • Fly Me to the Moon
  • Longlegs
  • Lumina

Last weekend’s box office

  1. “Despicable Me 4,” $75 million.
  2. “Inside Out 2,” $30 million.
  3. “A Quiet Place Day One,” $21 million.
  4. “MaXXXine,” $6.7 million.
  5. “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” $6.5 million.
  6. “Horizon: An American Saga, Chapter 1,” $5.5 million
  7. “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,” $3.2 million.
  8. “Kaiki 2898,” $1.8 million.
  9. “The Bikeriders,” $1.3 million.
  10. “Kinds of Kindness,” $860,000.

RELATED: ‘Despicable Me 4’ lights up box office with big 4th of July debut

Do you know of a cool, fun Colorado festival, fair, expo, concert, or event you think we ought to mention in this week’s 9Things or the future? Send it to alexander.kirk@9news.com.

RELATED: 4th Cherry Cricket restaurant to open in Colorado

RELATED: Busiest summer yet at Empower Field at Mile High




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