This is a big weekend in Denver, with the Kentucky Derby, Mother's Day and more Cinco de Mayo events! Governor Jared Polis has also declared May 6-8 Celebrate Colorado Days, with free events and deals across the state (find the full lineup for Celebrate Colorado here).
Don't miss our list of free things to do, as well as our guide to ongoing First Friday and related events. Now keep reading for eight more things to do this weekend, all worth the price of admission.
Colorado Chocolate Festival
Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Crowne Plaza DIA Convention Center, 15500 East 40th Avenue
Hot chocolate! The Colorado Chocolate Festival is back at a new location with loads of lovely deliciousness from the best local chocolate makers and vendors, along with Chris Parente, Miss Babette Bon Bon and Chocolatina the Pie Queen. Swoon. On top of these main reasons for attending the fest, there will also be eating contests, demonstrations, games and other novelty events to keep everyone entertained during much-needed breaks from chocolate. Admission is $10 at the door (free for children twelve and under); tasting tickets go for $10/dozen. VIP and tickets to participate in chocolate judging are sold out. Find more info here.
SeriesFest: Season 8
Through Wednesday, May 11
Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax, and other locations
SeriesFest is back for an eighth season, bringing creators, industry and fans together to celebrate episodic storytelling. The week-long event includes panels, parties, pitches, screenings and more; Amber Ruffin will host a special screening of an episode from her NBC series, The Amber Ruffin Show, as well as a performance by rock band Lake Street Dive at Red Rocks on Sunday, May 8 (see our interview with Ruffin here). Find the full lineup and ticket info at seriesfest.com.
Saturday, May 7
Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale Avenue
How does a tiny, four-stringed instrument earn a three-day immersion? True fans of the Hawaiian ukulele can answer that question in their sleep; they hope to be buried clutching one of the instruments in their cold, dead hands. Swallow Hill, understanding this kind of obsession, annual programs a big uke weekend, including a full Saturday of workshops, master classes and shows. Visit Swallow Hill online for a rundown of events; purchase tickets at Eventbrite.
The Chief Bicycle and Comedy Festival
Saturday, May 7
Trinidad and Raton, New Mexico
Make your way down south for a double dose of border-crossing comedy, including a laugh-filled train ride between the towns of Trinidad and Raton. Performances by a mother lode of local and national comics will take place Friday and Saturday in Trinidad and Saturday in Raton. Headliners Emma Arnold (Friday) and Eddie Pepitone (Saturday) will be at Trinidad’s Main Street Live, with a variety of area venues hosting the rest of the weekend’s shows. Find ticketing options, scheduling and much more information here.
2022 Denver Mini Derby
Saturday, May 7, 1 to 6 p.m.
Conservatory Green, 8304 East 49th Place
Derby parties abound throughout metro Denver, but this Derby experience involves far more than a sea of fancy hats and a two-minute run around the racetrack. The afternoon-long event in Central Park does include race-viewing of the 148th Kentucky Derby late in the day, but far away from Churchill Downs, guests can first enjoy mini-horse and corgi “races” for charity, a barbecue lunch with open bar, and a contest for the most outrageous topper and race-viewing garb. Admission starts at $69.99 and benefits Next Step Horse Rescue; get tickets and info here.
Mansion Derby Party
Saturday, May 7, 1 to 6 p.m.
Capitol Hill Location
Reay for an upscale VIP Derby viewing party? This event in a Capitol Hill mansion includes free-flowing bubbles, craft cocktails, and a buffet fit for Churchill Downs, as well as Derby games and giveaways. Tickets start at $125; see if any are still available here.
The BigWonderful BeerFest and Bluegrass
Saturday, May 7, 4 to 8 p.m.
6785 East Chenango Drive
Beer! Live music! Kentucky Derby watch! The BigWonderful kicks off a new season with a special bash that includes a beer fest, as well as the eighth annual Derby party with music from Trout Steak Revival and Pick & Howl. Tickets are $40 at the door, $65 for the show plus the beer fest. Get them at the door; find more info here.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance: Equinox
Saturday, May 7, 6:30 p.m. (with pre-performance cocktail reception); Sunday, May 8, 2 p.m.
Cleo Parker Robinson, 119 Park Avenue West
A month after the death of Tom Robinson, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance returns to the stage with its spring show, which starts with a processional performance. That will be followed by two world-premiere collaborations: "ForFourIn6," created by San Francisco choreographer Robert Moses, and "Ethos," choreographed by Winifred R. Harris, CPRD associate artistic director, in collaboration with Durango-based Diné/Navajo poet Esther Belin’s poetry/spoken-word performance. The evening also includes an a cappella tribute to Tom Robinson by Grammy Award-winning Denver jazz artist Dianne Reeves, and poetry/spoken word by Schyleen Qualls, CPRD co-founder. And there's more! Prices range from $35 to $75; find out more here.
Do you know of a great event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to [email protected]