Things to Do in Boulder in 2019

In Attractions, Entertainment, Living by Aimee HeckelLeave a Comment

New year, new fun. Boulder, Colorado, welcomes 2019 with a packed calendar of events. Many highlights are annual events and others are one-time hits.

For the city’s most exciting entertainment, get excited for the 2019 Summer Concert Series at the Chautauqua Amphitheater, as well as several notable events at the Fox Theatre and Boulder Theater. Sign up for the theaters’ newsletter to stay up-to-date on weekly announcements. Of course, the TravelBoulder.com calendar on our home page will always collect the best events as they come up, too.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Boulder or making a try-this list, here’s a look at some of the most exciting events in Boulder for 2019.

January

Jan. 12: BDT (Boulder Dinner Theater’s) performance of “Disenchanted” starts. This adult-only dinner theater musical features “disenchanted” princesses and fairy tale stars. Poison apples aren’t the only naughty thing on this stage.

Jan. 20: Got a New Year’s resolution to improve your health? Sign up for the Prairie Dog Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Louisville. The race starts at the Coal Creek Golf Course, 585 Dillon Road.

Jan. 27: Get inspired at the Boulder Wedding Showcase at the Boulder Theater. Get ideas for everything from fashion to gifts and music. Even wedding astrologers and kundli makers.

Also in January: At the Boulder Theater, don’t miss George Clinton Jan. 11 and OPIUO Jan. 12.

February

Piff the Magic Dragon and his chihuahua. Courtesy photo

Feb. 1: February begins at the Boulder Theater with a show by Piff the Magic Dragon. If you aren’t one of the 100 million who have seen him online, Piff performs magic while in a dragon suit. With “the world’s only magic-performing chihuahua.” His shows are sold out across the country and beyond.

Feb. 9: Mmm, chocolate. The Chocolate Lovers’ Fling, complete with chocolate tastings, pairings and other tasty desserts, is right in time for Valentine’s Day. It benefits the Safehouse.

“The Weight of Water.” Courtesy photo

Feb. 28-March 3: One of the most anticipated events in Boulder is the Boulder International Film Festival, an annual film event that draws more than 25,000 people. The fest screens films, presents music and offers special events, like food and film pairings. The 16th-annual film fest has been named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. It features more than 40 new films and all kinds of star-studded entertainment. On March 1, participate in the CineChef event (a fusion of food and film). Highlights for 2019: “The Weight of Water” film will sell out fast; expect some celebrity visits; and this year, the festival is expanding to Fort Collins March 8-9.

Also in February: Musical highlights include King Tuff Feb. 2; J.I.D. Feb. 6; Dean Lewis Feb. 23; and Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls Feb. 26, all at the Fox Theatre.

March

Wintercraft

The Winter Craft Beer Festival. Courtesy photo

March 2: Boulder loves beer, and the city will pay tribute to local brewers at its annual Winter Craft Beer Festival for one night only at the Twenty Ninth Street mall. “Disrupt, drink and discover” is the mission behind the annual event, which takes over the underground parking garage in the Twenty Ninth Street Mall. The celebration typically draws about 2,000 people and features more than 50 breweries. But unlike many Colorado beer fests, this one doesn’t just feature local brewers. It mixes out-of-state brands with local ones, big names with small, hidden gems. The variety makes it unique. So does the time of year.

March 7-18: The annual Boulder Jewish Film Festival kicks off March 7. The event centers around films about the Jewish experience.

Disco Fever

Part of the Frozen Dead Guy Day parade. Photo by Andrew Wyatt

March 8-10: Early March is for one of the weirdest events in Boulder County (and let’s face it, the world). It’s Frozen Dead Guy Days, a festival in Nederland that features dozens of live bands and odd events, like coffin faces and frozen T-shirt contests. The event was inspired by a man who died and asked to be frozen in a Tuff Shed on dry ice near Nederland.

March 15-17: It’s time for the Local Lab New Play Festival, a three-day event of readings, theatrical workshops, production of a new play and more.

Chelsea Cutler. Courtesy photo

March 16: Chelsea Cutler is scheduled to perform at the Fox Theatre, as part of her Sleeping With Roses Tour Part II.

March 29-April 6: Boulder Arts Week is a full week filled with art. Expect art exhibitions, stage performances, music, dance and more at various locations throughout Boulder.

Also in March: This month is big at the Boulder Theater, with Welcome to Night Vale March 6; Bad Suns March 8; The SteelDrivers March 14; and Mandolin Orange March 15.

April

Spring time at the Farmers Market means succulents. Photo by Tyler Percy

April: Early April is when the Boulder Farmers Market opens. It opens April 6 in Boulder and Longmont, and then May 1 for the Boulder Wednesday. The Denver Saturday market starts May 11, and Lafayette’s Thursday market begins June 6. This exciting, huge outdoor market was named the No. 1 farmers market in the nation by USA Today readers. It’s been a Boulder staple since 1987 and features tons of great food, shopping, live music and more.

April 7: Boulder welcomes springtime with its annual Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival on the Pearl Street Mall. Hundreds of kids dress up like fairies and elves, and the “tulip fairy” celebrates the 15,000 colorful tulips annually planted along the mall.

April 9-13: The weeklong Conference on World Affairs is always an anticipated, educational event on the CU Campus. The public is welcome to pop in on about 200 different panels, events and concerts for free, featuring world-famous thinkers, teachers, leaders and innovators. Even more exciting: This year marks the conference’s 71st anniversary.

April 28: Foodies and artists, this one’s for you. The Taste of Pearl takes over the Pearl Street Mall and downtown Boulder every spring. Local restaurants, art galleries and wineries come together to bring this interactive, walking tour of Boulder’s creative and delicious side. Participants stroll through different shops and galleries, taste food paired with beverages and learn more about Boulder’s makers.

May

May 13-19: For five days, Boulder honors its innovators and start-ups at Boulder Startup Week. This free educational and inspirational event features more than 200 community events.

May 13-19: Boulder’s annual Mahlerfest celebrates composer Gustav Mahler. The highlight of the weeklong event is an orchestra show featuring (of course) Mahler’s music.

May 14-19: The annual MediaLive event, at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, explores art and technology through different performances and special events.

May 23: The Boulder Bach Festival has many events throughout the year, but a highlight for 2019 will be “The Romantic Period Orchestra and Piano, featuring the chamber orchestra and vocal ensemble, plus a piano soloist on an Erard concert grand piano built in Paris in 1845.

Boulder Creek Fest 2017

The Boulder Creek Fest from above. Photo courtesy of Meg Denbow

May 25-27: The Boulder Creek Festival is one of Boulder’s biggest community events, centered along the banks of Boulder Creek. For more than 30 years, the free fest has featured food, entertainment, vendors and family fun. This year, expect more than 500 vendors, nine event areas, three stages and carnival rides.

May 27: It’s the BolderBoulder’s 41st anniversary. This 10K is one of the biggest, most famous races in the world. The BolderBoulder claims its event also includes the nation’s biggest Memorial Day celebration; a ceremony that honors service people is the grand finale of the race.

June

June 5 (through Aug. 7): Downtown Boulder’s annual Bands on the Bricks outdoor summer concert series starts June 5. Listen to live music, dance if you want and sip on beer from the beer garden. The heart of Bands on the Bricks is the 1300 block of Pearl. This year marks the 22nd anniversary of this free, 10-week tradition that runs from 6-9 p.m. every Wednesday in the summer.

The show in the University Theatre. Photo by Zachary Andrews

June 7 (through Aug. 11): Early June kicks off Boulder’s annual Colorado Shakespeare Festival, where you can watch Shakespeare plays outside in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre (and indoors at University Theatre, too). This year, highlights include “King Charles III,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “As You Like It.”

June 9: In true Boulder style, one of the biggest events of the summer is the Ironman Boulder race, the biggest Ironman competition in the world.

June 14-16: Ever wanted to be involved with creating an opera? Wonder what goes into the production of a big theatrical performance? The CU New Opera Workshop provides a unique opportunity to participate in the process of creating an opera; then watch the final product hit the stage.

June 13-16: The biggest yoga event in Boulder and one of the best in the state comes to Boulder every summer. The annual Hanuman Festival brings famous yoga teachers to town, plus live music and other workshops.

July

July 4: The biggest Fourth of July party in Boulder County is Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast in the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field. See an impressive fireworks display and celebrate the nation’s independence. There are also other Fourth of July events throughout Boulder County.

July 5, 6: Dead & Co. comes to Boulder to perform at Folsom Field for two nights in a row.

July 19: Tube to Work Day is when locals take a tube down Boulder Creek, theoretically to commute to work, although the internationally recognized event (sponsored by the City of Boulder) is more of a party than a serious meeting.

July 21-22: Art, art, art is the heart of the Pearl Street Arts Fest. This weekend event honors all mediums of art in Boulder and beyond. See artists from around the nation and find plenty of ways to participate yourself, too.

July 28-Aug. 10: The annual Aerial Dance Festival, organized by Frequent Flyers Productions, is one of the most esteemed aerial dance events in the world. It brings renowned aerial dancers to Boulder, from whom the community can learn skills like trapeze and aerial silks. The fest also includes jaw-dropping performances that you can only see in Boulder.

August

Aug. 4: Because one Ironman isn’t enough for Boulder. The Ironman 70.3 (a half Ironman) centers around Boulder Reservoir. This is a popular event to participate in, as well as watch.

Aug. 14-25: The Boulder International Fringe Festival is about independent art and pushing creative boundaries, presented in unexpected places around town. The Fringe Festival features theater, dance, music and more.

Aug. 24: There’s a winter beer fest, and there’s a summer beer fest. This is Boulder’s summer tribute to craft brew. In North Boulder Park, this annual event features more than 25 craft breweries, live tunes and food. There are tons of beer fests in Boulder County, but the Boulder Craft Beer Festival is worth highlighting.

Aug. 23-25: Nederland isn’t just for frozen dead guys. It’s about music, too. The 21st-annual NedFest Music and Arts Festival turns this small mountain town into a hoppin’ outdoor music festival every summer.

Aug. 30: The University of Colorado’s football team kicks off its 2019 football season Aug. 30 with a game against cross-state rivals, Colorado State University. This game is actually at the Broncos Stadium at Mile High, but the 2019 CU schedule is one of the best and most competitive home schedules the school has seen in the past two decades.

Aug. 31-Sept. 2: The Boulder Creek Festival starts summer in Boulder and the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival ends summer. This event, located in Central Park, includes live music, a race, a car show, beer, food and more over Labor Day weekend every year.

September

Sept. 13-15: In case you missed one festival or want a second in September, there’s also the Downtown Boulder Fall Fest. This event (celebrating its 31st year) also features food, beer and music (see a trend?). But it’s downtown. And has carnival rides for kiddos. And the Firefly Handmade Market for shopping.

Sept. 19: More than three dozen shops participate in Downtown Boulder Girls’ Night Out (not that the event is limited to a specific gender; anyone can join). It’s a night of shopping, walking the mall, drinks, samples, prizes and special events.

Sept. 19-22: The annual Adventure Film Festival brings new, hand-picked films to Boulder, where they are debuted before heading off on a world tour. The topics here: rock climbing, outdoor adventures, extreme sports and activism.

Sept. 20-20: The annual Zee Jaipur Literature Festival is three days of readings, writing workshops, music, performances, talks and more. The whole event is free.

October

Oct. 10-13: The Flatirons Food Film Festival brings together three of our favorite words: food, film and the Flatirons. Enjoy local food, watch foodie-centric films, listen to speakers, attend special events and immerse yourself in Boulder’s food culture.

Oct. 19: If you enjoy singing or are just looking for an event to warm your heart, head to the Pearl Street Mall Oct. 19 to celebrate World Singing Day with Boulderites. The Great Sing-Along Boulder brings people together to sing songs as a group. It’s like living in a real-life musical theater production.

TBD: For two weekends every October, local artists invite the public into their studios and homes to see art being made up close and personal with Open Studios. Watch creativity blossom and meet the artists.

A child trick-or-treats at the annual Munchkin Masquerade. Photo courtesy of Downtown Boulder Partnership

Oct. 31: Boulder celebrates Halloween with its annual Munchkin Masquerade. The Pearl Street Mall is flooded with kids in costume and they trick-or-treat the downtown businesses, which always decorate big for the occasion.

November

November TBD: If you enjoy wine, don’t miss the Burgundy Wine Festival in November, three days of rare Burgundy wine served at some of Boulder’s finest restaurants.

November TBD: First Bite, Boulder County Restaurant Week, is a great time to try Boulder’s best food on the cheap (well, for Boulder). For this one week, 40 restaurants offer special three-course menus for a discounted rate.

Nov. 23: St. Nick on the Bricks starts and runs through Dec. 22. This is a fun, family-friendly event downtown where kids can meet Santa Claus for free.

December

Holiday lights on the courthouse downtown. Photo by Flickr user Raymond Johnson

Dec. 1: Boulder starts the holiday season with its annual Lights of December Parade in downtown Boulder. This parade has beautiful floats, music, singers and, of course, Santa.

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