Whether you’re into rodeos, craft beer, snow sculpture or extreme winter sports, January brings a full roster of fun events to check out in Denver and at some of Colorado’s coolest ski resorts. We at Realty ONE Group Five Star hope you get out there and explore all this great city and state have to offer.
Jan. 10, Noon
More than 40 longhorn cattle lead a parade through the heart of downtown Denver to kick off the National Western Stock Show. Cowboys, cowgirls, tractors, marching bands and floats join them as they make their way down 17th Street from Union Station to the Cash Register Building for a special barbecue lunch.
No matter how gussied up Denver gets, it will never leave behind its Western roots – not as long as the National Western Stock Show is in town. Since 1906, the city has been overrun with cowboys and cowgirls for the world’s largest stock show by number of animals.
More than 15,000 horses, cattle, sheep, bison, yaks and other creatures great and small are in attendance, not to mention the well over 600,000 human attendees. There are horse shows and rodeo events galore, including the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza and the MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo.
The Winter Brew Fest at Mile High Station in LoDo celebrates craft beer from more than 40 breweries from around Colorado and the nation. General admission is $40 in advance, $50 day-of – or $50 advance/$60 day-of to get in an hour early for the VIP Power Hour. Besides the brews, there’s local music, food and other vendors.
Taste your way through a dizzying array of specialty bourbons and unique whiskies from distilleries both large and artisanal, while you munch on a bevy of smoky, porky treats from Denver’s best restaurants. The $55 general admission gets you into the lively scene inside the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park for samples of sweet-savory bacon from local producers paired with premium whiskeys.
Aspen’s annual toast to winter is a local favorite dating back to 1951. Festivities range from the Soupsköl soup cook-off, to the canine fashion show, to the Fat Cycle Challenge, which gives people the chance to ride bikes across the snow.
The Winter X Games returns to Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain for the world’s best action sports, music and festival experience. All skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling competitions are free and open to the public. The X Games also hosts musical performances by Lil Wayne, Louis The Child, The Chainsmokers and Kygo.
Colorado punches above its weight when it comes to craft brewing, ranking third in the country in craft beer production despite ranking just 22nd in population. Colorado beer is as potent as it is plentiful, with offerings from breweries like Denver’s Great Divide and Boulder’s Avery routinely coming in well above 7 percent alcohol by volume. These are just a handful of the more than 100 brewers who come to the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, which hosts beer tastings, small-plate beer pairings and seminars.
The competitors at the International Snow Sculpture Championships are the best of the best in their field – veritable Michelangelos of snow. The main difference between them and the premier sculptor of the Renaissance is that they use cheese graters and wooden spoons rather than chisels to sculpt their masterpieces. And while Michelangelo’s David has been displayed in Italy for more than 500 years, you only have one week to see the magnificent snow sculptures in Breckenridge.