The National Western Stock Show gallops into town on January 7. The annual extravaganza is not often associated with culinary delight, but the burgeoning BBQ Throwdown may soon change that. Also pulling into Denver tomorrow: The Winter Park Express, a new ski train, which has inspired tonight's neon ski party at Union Station. Keep reading for the five tastiest events in Denver this weekend.
Friday, December 6
MCA Denver's first Black Sheep Friday of 2017 may be the oddest yet: ’40s and Forties brings together two diverse tastes — swing dancing and large-format malt liquor. Get a lesson in partner dancing and take part in tastings of only the finest forty-ounce beverages. The event goes from 6 to 8 p.m., with the museum's happy hour running from from 5 to 7 p.m.; admission is $5.
The Winter Park Express ski train will start chugging along tomorrow, so Union Station is throwing an ’80s Ski School party tonight at the Terminal Bar, bringing the sexy excitement of such classics as Hot Dog The Movie to the city. Don your best safety-orange headbands and pastel snowsuits to compete in the costume contest, and enjoy beer and Ski Train cocktail specials at the bar, plus swag giveaways and a raffle with prizes like skis, Winter Park lift tickets and a trip for two on the Winter Park Express. The party goes from 8 p.m. until midnight, and the raffle drawing is scheduled for 9 p.m. Raffle tickets are $20; admission is open to all those 21 and older. Throughout the train's run, the Terminal Bar will be serving up après-ski snacks on Saturdays and Sundays.
Read on for more food events.
Saturday, December 7
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The National Western Stock Show marks 111 years of roping, rodeo, livestock and Western cuisine starting this weekend. At 10 a.m. today, the BBQ Throwdown will hunker down on the grounds, where forty teams will compete to cook up the best pork, ribs, chicken and brisket and win the title of Grand Champion. Guests can sample the grillmasters' product, catch live cooking demos, hang out at the beer garden, enjoy live music and more. The fire won't stop until 4 p.m., and entry is included with a grounds admission ticket ($17, $3 kids). Get yours online and check out the rest of the Stock Show schedule, which runs through January 22.
It's a years-long custom for La Loma to celebrate the National Western Stock Show with a special menu. A Colorado tradition itself, La Loma has a new location, at 1801 Broadway — right across from the Brown Palace, which will soon display the grand champion steer — and diners can enjoy specialties like buffalo fajitas with fried serranos and a fresh take on Texas tea. Stock Show dishes are available from 5 p.m. nightly through January 22. Check on reservations at La Loma's website.
Sunday, December 8
Acorn's BBQ pop-up has proved to be quite popular at the Source, and it's returning in 2017 for what could become a semi-regular residence. Today's spread will include slabs of ribs, housemade sausage, Carolina pulled-pork sandwiches, pit beans, coleslaw on the side and a lot more. Barbecue is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until it's gone.
For more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to email@example.com.