The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 5-11

Get nerdy at the Star Wars Variety Holiday Show.
Get nerdy at the Star Wars Variety Holiday Show. Ernie Quiroz
Though the holidays seem to be all about eating and drinking too much and receiving presents, let us remind you of the real reason for the season: giving back. Celebrate accordingly during Colorado Gives Day, or find the perfect stocking stuffers for your loved ones at Pintastic or the Heavy Metal Flea Market. Find more fun events on this week's calendar.

Tuesday, December 5

Colorado Gives Day has raised more than $145 million since the do-good day was introduced in 2010. On Tuesday, December 5, this annual 24-hour effort sponsored by the Community First Foundation and FirstBank will celebrate its tenth anniversary. "It's astounding to think that in 2010, we were hoping Colorado Gives Day would raise $1 million for local nonprofits, and last year alone it raised over $33 million," says Jim Reuter, CEO of FirstBank. Help break that record by going to the new, improved and donating to one or more of the 2,000-plus nonprofits that are part of the project this year.

The best way to absorb the current MCA Denver exhibit Saber Acomodar: Art and Workshops of Jalisco 1915-Now, on view through January, might just be to study its 25 separate slices of artistic vision one at a time. That’s why the museum’s series of three artist residencies in conjunction with Saber Acomodar is so valuable: They give you a chance to get inside an artist’s head so that you can understand what you’re seeing on the wall....and even create some of your own art. Artist Cristian Franco, who’s created his own fictional punk-music scene through invented fliers from repurposed materials, will lead three workshops where you can come up with your own fliers, starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 5, and repeating Wednesday, December 6, and Thursday, December 7, at the MCA, 1485 Delgany Street. Admission is $5 to $10, and registration is required at; learn more on the MCA’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 6

In this season of hope, it's hard to find anything more inspirational than PeaceJam, a homegrown organization that's been spreading a message of peace around the world for more than two decades. That's something to celebrate, which is exactly what you can do on Wednesday, December 6, at the ninth annual PeaceJam Awards Celebration at the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Festivities kick off with a VIP reception at 5 p.m., with doors opening to the public at 5:30 p.m. for the PeaceJam awards honoring young Colorado leaders and the premiere of PeaceJam's newest award-winning film, Without a Shot Fired. The evening will be so energizing that you'll want to stick around for the dance party, which starts at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $20, with discounted $10 tickets for students and senior citizens at

click to enlarge ERNIE QUIROZ
Ernie Quiroz
Thursday, December 7

An annual holiday tradition that grows more relevant every year, playwright Anthony J. Garcia's The Miracle at Tepeyac adapts the tale of Juan Diego — a Mexican native whose visions of the Virgen de Guadalupe sparked a spiritual movement — into a dramatic stage production rich with contemporary resonance. Garcia's play relates the story of Diego's encounters (which inspired him to build a shrine to the virgin at the site of the holy apparitions, despite the misgivings of a skeptical bishop) interwoven with the more timely tale of a group of Guatemalan immigrants hiding out in a church. With a live band performing Tony Silva's unforgettable score, the family-friendly show returns to Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, on Thursday, December 7. The production continues throughout the month, with performances at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday (plus a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, December 17) through December 22. Buy tickets, $17 to $20, and find more information at

Star Wars nerds gotta be nerds, regardless of the season, but with the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi  mere days away, the anticipation is beyond brutal. No worries: The Star Wars Holiday Variety Show, a vaudevillian compendium of live performances, trivia and costume contests interspersed with scenes from the historically awful 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special and replete with a Darth Santa photo booth, should hold the faithful for at least a few hours. The intergalactic silliness shoots into hyperspace at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue, on Thursday, December 7, at 7 p.m.; tickets are $12 in advance at or $15 at the door. And don’t forget to bring a food or toy donation — or both — for Aurora West College Prep Academy and Toys for Tots, which will both receive a portion of the evening’s proceeds.

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