Things to Do

The 21 Best Events in Denver, January 8 Through January 14

The Stock Show stampedes back to Denver this week!
The Stock Show stampedes back to Denver this week! Brandon Marshall
Hold your horses, cowboy: Are you ready to rope and ride at the 2019 National Western Stock Show, which starts January 12? (The kickoff parade will mosey through downtown starting at noon on Thursday, January 10.) If you'd rather steer clear of our cowtown heritage, this week Colorado gains a new governor in Jared Polis, who will celebrate at his cheeky Blue Sneaker Ball; Ullr Fest returns to Boulder; The Pharcyde rocks Ophelia's; and Denver will finally decide which is the better British rock group, the Stones or the Beatles. Learn about all that and more on our list of the best things to do in Denver!

Tuesday, January 8

Yee haw! The National Western Stock Show rolls back into Denver this week, and before everyone gets down and dirty at rodeos and concerts, the 2019 Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale will hold its annual red carpet reception to benefit the National Western Scholarship Trust on Tuesday, January 8, starting at 5:30 p.m. In addition to getting a chance to meet the artists, stick a red dot on featured pieces and rub shoulders with real mooovers and shakers, you can bid on more works by many of the featured artists in a special auction. Tickets to the reception, held on the third floor of the Expo Hall at the National Western Complex, are $225 at The exhibit will remain up until January 27, through the run of the Stock Show, and grounds-admission tickets will get you in. Find the complete National Western schedule at

Whether you voted for him or not, it’s time to dance Jared Polis into office. Break out your finest cocktail attire — and blue sneakers, if you have them — to welcome the incoming governor and new lieutenant governor, Dianne Primavera, at the Blue Sneaker Ball Inauguration Celebration, which starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, amid the dinosaur bones, taxidermied butterflies and moon-landing paraphernalia at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. A cheeky ode to Polis's preferred footwear, the evening will include performances by Cyndi Lauper and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Admission, $35 to $75, includes light snacks and access to both the concerts and select museum exhibitions (but bring cash for the bar); get tickets at

Got an urge to start the Great American Novel but finding yourself stuck in writers' block hell? Amanda E.K. — local poet, author and editor-in-chief of Suspect Press — is ready and willing to rev you up with prompts, thematic exercises and a welcoming attitude for writers of all skill levels and ages at a series of weekly Drop-In Writing Classes, beginning on Tuesday, January 8, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Hooked on Colfax, 3213 East Colfax Avenue. Drop-in fees are $10 cash per class at the door, or via @AmandaEK at Venmo; learn more about Amanda E.K. at

Wednesday, January 9

The Denver Architecture Foundation continues to build on a stellar series of programs with a look at the Marriage of Art & Architecture at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 9. Moderator Mary Chandler will lead a panel comprising Dean Sobel, director of the Clyfford Still Museum; Taisto Mäkelä, associate professor of the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning; Hugh Grant, director of the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art; and Jim Olson, founding partner of Olson Kundig, as they focus on two examples of the melding of art and architecture: the Kirkland Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum. The presentation will be at the Still Museum, 1250 Bannock Street; admission is $10 for DAF members and $15 for non-members. Find out more at

Tap into the power of ancient stories at Folktale Circle, a monthly gathering at metaphysical-goods store Ritualcravt, at 2842 West 44th Avenue. For this month's installment, pagan psychotherapist Amber Raye will read a folktale, “The Story of the Year,” and discuss how the imagery and symbolism in it can help us better understand our own lives. The program goes from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9; for information and tickets, $25, visit Ritualcravt's Facebook page.

Coloradans embrace winter mostly out of necessity — but also because snow can be a lot of fun. Breckenridge has celebrated the season for 55 years with Ullr Fest, which pays homage to the mythical Nordic god of snow through — what else? — a lot of parties. From Wednesday, January 9, through Saturday, January 12, an estimated 12,000 Ullr fans will gather in Breck for a host of celebrations, including a crazy-float parade, the world's longest shot ski, a bonfire and the Ullr Ice Plunge. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with the crowning of the Ullr King and Queen at the Riverwalk Center, 150 West Adams Avenue in Breckenridge; find more information, including a full schedule of events, at

Hear how Matt Wright survived Naked and Afraid XL. - DISCOVERY CHANNEL
Hear how Matt Wright survived Naked and Afraid XL.
Discovery Channel
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