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Winter 2019: Denver’s Best Events, Sports and Blockbuster Exhibitions

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 The first few months of 2019 will mark the return of Denver’s annual favorite events, like the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo and Denver Restaurant Week, as well as exciting new events, including the UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing Finals and Barbegazi winter carnival and new, world-class stage performances.

 Below are just a few examples of the experiences taking place in Denver in the beginning of 2019. For a complete event calendar, including hotel information, please go to the VISIT DENVER website.

Blockbuster Exhibitions

¡CUBA! (through January 20) – ¡CUBA!, the latest major exhibition at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, explores the dynamic culture and abundant biodiversity of the Caribbean’s largest island. Although its complex politics and vibrant music have primarily attracted the attention of the world, Cuba is also home to the unexpected. It is a place of stunning contrasts: mysterious caves and bright boulevards, sweltering fields and cool forests, hard challenges and high energy. This lively experience—presented in English and Spanish—takes a look at the people, landscapes, unique species and daily life of this intriguing country.

Dior: From Paris to the World (through March 3) – Denver Art Museum is hosting the U.S. debut of the renowned exhibition, Dior: From Paris to the World. Surveying more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and influence, the exhibit features a selection of 150 haute couture dresses, accessories, photos, original sketches, and archival material. Curated by Denver Art Museum’s Florence Müller, it traces the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house, its founder – Christian Dior – and the subsequent artistic directors who carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

 Aftereffect: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Painting (February 14 – May 26)

MCA Denver will host Aftereffect: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Painting, an exhibition that brings together a select group of artists whose work resonates with that of Georgia O’Keeffe. From her formal innovations, to her ambition to transcribe her ideas and emotions, to her distinctive approach to abstraction and the landscape of New Mexico, O’Keeffe’s legacy is identifiable in the work of several generations of painters.

Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius, (March 1 – August 25) – Although Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519, his influence has endured. His extraordinary legacy as an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, sculptor and philosopher comes to life at Denver Museum of Nature & Science in Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius, the most comprehensive exhibition about da Vinci ever presented. Dozens of replicas of da Vinci’s machine inventions, built using his detailed codices, reveal how his fundamental scientific and artistic principles continue to impact the world today. In addition, the exhibition will feature the fascinating Secrets of the Mona Lisa exhibit, with super-magnified visual examinations and the only 360-degree replica ever made of the iconic painting.  

Signature Events

Winter Park Express Ski Train (January 4 – March 31) – In January 2019, the Winter Park Express by Amtrak will return for its third year of service. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver to spend their aprés ski exploring The Mile High City’s award-winning, chef driven cuisine, more than 70 local craft breweries, unique live music venues and 10,000 hotel rooms. New this year, Amtrak has added a bi-level Superliner® Sightseer Lounge Car with windows that start at the floor level and wrap into the ceiling of the railcar; service will also include food and beverages for the first time. Additionally, Amtrak has increased the round-trip service to include the first two Fridays of each month.

 National Western Stock Show & Rodeo (January 12-27) – Held every January at the National Western Complex, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world’s largest stock show; and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to Native American jewelry.

Icelantic’s Winter on the Rocks (February 1) – Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre’s only winter show, Winter on the Rocks is an annual tradition featuring a blend of hip-hop and electronic music. Presented by Icelantic Ski Company, 2019 headliners include Atmosphere, De La Soul, Living Legends, Watsky, deM atlas, The Lioness, DJ Keezy and DJ Cassidy.

 Denver Restaurant Week (February 22 – March 3) – The 15th annual Denver Restaurant Week will feature multi-course menus with three price points at hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants. The three-tiered pricing structure has met with great success since 2017 and will continue again in 2019 – diners can find multi-course menus at $25, $35 and $45 price tags.

 UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing Finals and Barbegazi Winter Carnival (February 22-24) – The American Alpine Club recently announced Denver as the first-ever North American tour stop for UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing; Civic Center Park will serve as the destination for the 2018/2019 World Cup Ice Climbing Finals. The world’s top men and women ice climbers will compete for glory on a 40-foot tall wall of sheer ice. Additionally, all weekend long, the park will be transformed into Barbegazi, a free winter carnival with fun for all ages, including axe throwing, a huge ice maze, a 300-foot long fat tire biking course and a snowball target range. Spectators can also enjoy food trucks, fire pits, an ice bar, a beer garden and music.

 Collaboration Fest (March 16) – Known as America’s most creative beer festival, Collaboration Fest features brews that are a result of collaborations between two or more breweries from around Colorado, the country and the world. These individual collaborations mean that every beer tapped will be exclusive to the festival, and every beer has a unique story. This year, the festival will be at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.

 Denver March Powwow (March 22-24) – One of the largest events of its kind in the country, the Denver March Powwow at the Denver Coliseum is an American Indian Festival that features more than 1,600 dancers from nearly 100 tribes, representing 38 states and three Canadian provinces. Each session of the three-day event begins with the Grand Entry, a colorful spectacle featuring traditional song and dance. Throughout the weekend, there are traditional drum and dance groups, storytellers, and more than 170 tribal craft booths.

 U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Australia (April 4)

US Soccer’s Women’s National Team will take on Australia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for a match before they head to France to participate in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

 Monster Energy Supercross (April 13)

Experience the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing championship in the world. Monster Energy AMA Supercross, a FIM World Championship, is comprised of 17 heart-stopping races in North America’s premier venues – including a stop at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Every week, the greatest athletes from across the globe seek to outperform each other on the sport’s most challenging tracks as they accumulate points leading up to the world championship. Featuring tight corners, fast straightaways, challenging rhythm sections, triple jumps and whoops sections, these tracks pack excitement into every inch of dirt.

Performing Arts

A Bronx Tale (January 8-20)

Performed at the Buell Theatre, Broadway’s hit crowd-pleaser takes place on the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s — where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Bursting with high-energy dance numbers and original doo-wop tunes, A Bronx Tale is an unforgettable story of loyalty and family.

 Justin Timberlake: The Man of the Woods Tour (January 28)

International superstar, Justin Timberlake, will bring his “Man of the Woods” tour to Denver’s Pepsi Center.

 Colorado Ballet’s The Wizard of Oz (February 1-10)

Follow the yellow brick road to new adventures in this exciting premiere. From the creator of the huge 2014 hit Alice (in wonderland), The Wizard of Oz will delight audiences of all ages. Choreography by Septime Webre and music by Matthew Pierce, performed live at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, combined with new sets, costumes, projections and special effects make this a spectacular new ballet that is not to be missed.

 Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour (February 6-7)

Legendary singer/songwriter, Elton John, will bring his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to Denver’s Pepsi Center for two unforgettable nights.

Hello, Dolly! (March 27 – April 7)

Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in Hello, Dolly! – the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, this new production at Buell Theatre pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.

Xanadu (through April 28)

Xanadu, performed at the Garner Galleria Theatre & Bar, follows the journey of a magical Greek muse, Kira, who descends from Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, California in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first roller disco.

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