The 21 Best Events in Denver, January 2-8, 2018

Celebrate a true Denver tradition at the Stock Show Parade.
Celebrate a true Denver tradition at the Stock Show Parade. Brandon Marshall
Well, congratulations: You made it through the holidays. If you feel a sense of dread now that the happy times are over, fear not! We have enough events to keep your social calendar busy through the first week of the new year. Keep reading for the best events in Denver this week.

Tuesday, January 2

Did your childhood dream of being a circus clown crumble under the realities of paying rent and buying groceries? Perhaps your craving to be a nomadic fire dancer gave way to pragmatism, and now you sit in a cubicle eight hours a day. Alas, it's not too late to embrace your inner busker: From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, Massachusetts-based performance art troupe Extraordinary Arts will present the Extraordinary Workshop Series in Boulder, three classes for aspiring circus folk and curious Muggles alike. The group will offer instruction in flexibility (helpful for those aerial acrobatics), stiltwalking, and improv and character performance. So call your office and tell them you got stuck traveling over the holiday weekend; no one has to know you got stuck in a contortionist's bendy handstand with a half split. Classes sticking safely to the ground are $35; the stiltwalking class runs $65; and all three are offered for $125. See the event's Facebook page for details and payment instructions.

Wednesday, January 3

The return of an old sitcom isn't always a good thing, but we're eager to welcome back Buntport Theater Company’s Magnets on the Fridge. The popular live sitcom, based on friends half-heartedly involved in a book club and dealing with the “new” Denver, ran from 2001 to 2006; now the theater company is reviving the show on the first Wednesday of every month. The newest iteration of Magnets kicks off at 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 3, at Buntport, 717 Lipan Street. Find tickets, $8 in advance and $10 at the door, at

Thursday, January 4

For the last two years, the Art Gym has selected recent art-school graduates to participate in its Create Award Residency program. Participants are given a six-month membership to Art Gym, a materials stipend, support from the gallery's staff, and a final exhibition to bolster the start of their careers. This year, the gallery will showcase the art of Rowan Salem and K. Vuletich during Unseen. Salem has created a film/dance installation reflecting on how we experience stories and information, and Vuletich has created mixed-media projects based on interviews she conducted with homeless youth from the nonprofit Urban Peak, where she works. The exhibit opens Thursday, January 4, with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at Art Gym Gallery, 1460 Leyden Street. The show will stay up through January 27; for more information, call 303-320-8347 or visit the Art Gym Facebook page.

Denver natives and newcomers alike can agree on at least one thing: In January, this is a real cowtown. The National Western Stock Show, which kicks off on January 6, is the reason why, of course, and it will be welcomed back in style by the Stock Show Parade, which starts at Union Station at noon on Thursday, January 4, and runs fifteen blocks along the length of 17th Street to the Wells Fargo Building, where a National Western BBQ Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m., complete with Western music and a Western fashion show. (Don’t forget: This is also Dress Western Day.) Tickets to the barbecue are $10 and benefit 4-H; watching the parade is free — and priceless. Where else can you see a cattle drive of longhorns on a major downtown street? Find out more at

If you only go to one beer festival in 2018, make it Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines, a three-day fest that kicks off on Thursday, January 4. Yes, it's only four days into the year, but we guarantee there won't be any better event for fans of dark, sweet, spicy, malty, high-alcohol beers in the state. Seminars and dinners kick off on Thursday, but our don't-miss event starts at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, when over 150 breweries (Dogfish Head, Paradox, Duvel and Jester King among them) will be pouring suds at the Beaver Run Conference Center, 620 Village Road in Breckenridge; seminars for die-hard beer geeks (or pros) earlier that morning are included in the $75 ticket price. Visit for a complete schedule of events.
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Learn about fiber art from the master.
Courtesy of the Denver Art Museum
Friday, January 5

If you’re the sort who likes to dive headlong into the new year with a project that keeps your hands busy and your mind stimulated, the Denver Art Museum might have exactly what you’re looking for: Fiber Art in the Museum with Boulder fiber artist Steven Frost. The workshop, which meets from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 5, (and every Friday through the 19th) at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, promises a combination of art-appreciation strolls through museum collections, lectures on the history of textile art, and hands-on experimentation with fabric mediums — all culminating in a major soft-sculpture project to take home. Sign up under Lectures and Programs on their website or call 720-913-0130; registration is $75 (or $65 for DAM members). Some materials are provided; a complete list of items you’ll need to bring is also available at the website.

Who says making dessert has to be serious? Reconnect with the more creative side of baking at MCA Denver's Black Sheep Friday Teen Edition. Head to the museum, 1485 Delgany Street, at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 5, prepared to bake something delicious and ridiculous. Prizes will be given to the most insane treat. Black Fridays aim to teach and encourage creativity, so go as wild as you want with your treat — just make sure it's edible. The event is free for teens and $5 for attendees over eighteen. Happy-hour drinks for all ages will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Find out more information and RSVP at

There may be ice on the ponds, but an avid angler’s heart always melts at the thought of the next season. Even amateurs will be hooked by the array of information at the Denver Fly Fishing Show, which lands at the Denver Mart, 451 East 58th Avenue, on Friday, January 5, and runs through Sunday, January 7. The expo offers endless displays and demonstrations on everything from casting to fly-tying. There are classes for those who really want to immerse themselves ($85 tuition includes entry to the show); you can also catch the world premiere of the 2018 Fly Fishing Film Festival starting at 6:30 p.m. January 5 (tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door). Regular admission to the show is $15 per day, $25 for two days, or $35 for all three; find out more, including hours, at or call 814-443-3638.
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Luis Navarrete/Access Gallery
In an unusual twist, Denver’s Access Gallery paired eight resident artists with disabilities with sixteen students from the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning to create architectural concepts for a more perfect Access. “Over the past year, we began to think big, asking ourselves: What if we had an opportunity to rethink Access Gallery, to imagine a physical community built around our artists, a place where they can create, sell and actually live?,” explains Damon McLeese, executive director of Access Gallery. “Part of the magic of Access Gallery is the community we foster by creating a safe and welcoming environment. While our artists come from all over the city, many of them see us as their home away from home.” The architecture students took it from there. The result of this meeting of the minds goes on display at the gallery in Art of Architecture, which opens with a First Friday reception on Friday, January 5, at 5 p.m. at Access, 909 Santa Fe Drive, and runs through January 19. Get more info on their website.

When it comes to losing a whole bunch of legendary, beloved artists, 2016 is tough to top. That said, 2017 gave it the old college try, with tough losses including Tom Petty, Chris Cornell and Fats Domino. Toward the end of the year, we lost another gem: AC/DC co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young. Sure, his brother Angus was always the focal point of that band, but Malcolm didn’t need a school uniform to shine. The great man deserves a proper Denver sendoff, and who better to do it than local AC/DC tribute band Black Ice? The band plays at Herman's Hideaway, 1578 South Broadway, on Friday, January 5, and you can guarantee that every AC/DC tune will be faithfully executed, along with every killer guitar part that Malcolm made famous. Local cover band Lowdown and Ramones tribute band Blitzkrieg Bop will get the crowd warmed up. Hey! Ho! Let’s go! Find tickets on

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