Things to Do

The 21 Best Events in Denver, July 15 to July 21

The 21 Best Events in Denver, July 15 to July 21
National Western Stock Show Volunteer Photographers
Put your cowboy boots on: The Denver County Fair is back, and it's definitely not your typical county fair. Along with the usual pie-eating contests and chicken judging, you can indulge in a-drag queen pageant, lucha libra matches and a lowrider car show. Slow Food Nations also returns this week, giving food-lovers a look into Colorado's bounty. Keep reading for all the things to do in Denver this week!

Monday, July 15

Whether you’re interested in watching the swearing-in of Denver’s latest batch of candidates — including incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock, new city council members (a few of whom are decidedly anti-Hancock), the auditor and the clerk and recorder — or just interested in swearing at them, head to the Inauguration 2019 ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, July 15, on the steps of the City and County Building. The victors will be celebrated again at a free party at 6 p.m. at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street. Search "2019 Inauguration" at for more information.

Tuesday, July 16

In addition to individual film screenings throughout the year, the Denver Film Society’s CinemaQ Film Festival becomes an entity all its own every summer, with a full week of sneak previews, shorts, documentaries and feature films about gay life. This year’s fest gets started at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, with a fun opening-night nod to both horror films and gay ideals: a sneak preview of Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, which turns the table on horror etiquette as actor Mark Patton reprises his 1985 role as the first-ever male scream queen in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. Patton and co-directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen will lead a discussion after the film. CinemaQ screenings run daily through July 21, when Circus of Books, a documentary about L.A.’s LGBTQ bookstore of the same name, closes out the fest; find a complete schedule and ticket links at

Wednesday, July 17

Travel back to the halcyon days of early-21st-century indiewood cinema at a screening of Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly’s brooding paean to teen angst, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at the Sie FilmCenter as part of its Sci-Fi Film Series. The story of a young man haunted by a demonic rabbit named Frank — and the creature’s apocalyptic visions, which start coming true — is all about the multiverse and mental illness; the film will be introduced by Metro State University film and media studies professor Vincent Piturro and Denver Museum of Nature & Science space scientist Ka Chun Yu. The Sie is at 2510 East Colfax Avenue; get tickets, $12 to $15, and more information at

Thursday, July 18

The local film community landed a big get when the Color of Conversation film festival announced it would come to Denver this year. The five-year-old fest, which will take over the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Illiff Avenue, for three days, will screen some of the best works celebrating African-American films and filmmakers, including the moving Amazing Grace, a documentary that follows Aretha Franklin's gospel album of the same name, rom-coms and a host of shorts. The program will get started with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the Newman Center. Stick around for the lectures, delivered by luminaries in the film industry who will touch on major themes presented in the movies. Find more information, including a complete schedule and tickets, at

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.