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Things to do in Denver: Brown Palace Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo, Ukefest and more

Going big (and little) for Cinco de Mayo

Through Sunday. Given that Cinco de Mayo falls on a Thursday this year, Denver’s extending its themed parties through the weekend. That includes the giant, outdoor event at Civic Center on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 — the Cinco de Mayo Celebrate Culture Festival — which is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors. Free admission. cincodemayodenver.com

Smaller events featuring live music and Latino-focused programming on Saturday, May 7, include Mile High Flea Market (milehighfleamarket.com/en), Longmont’s renewed Cinco de Mayo Celebration (longmontcincodemayo.com), and free entertainment at everything from the Forney Transportation Museum to the Cinco de Mayo in Westwood street fair, the latter offering lowriders, kids’ activities, and lucha libre wrestling (hechoenwestwood.com/cincodemayo.html).

Ukefest’s sprightly showcase

Friday-Saturday. First Friday, Cinco de Mayo, Derby Day and Mother’s Day have nothing on Ukefest. The annual celebration of all-things-ukelele at Swallow Hill Music returns Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, following the May 5 kickoff party.

Friday night’s concert features live music from Del Rey, Danielle Ate The Sandwich and Smiley Gatmouth, followed by Saturday’s daytime workshops (taught by the musical headliners) and a concert with Kris Fuchigami, The Birdwatchers, Casey Cormier & Daniella Katzir and Denver Uke Community.

Events take place at Swallow Hill Music, 71 E. Yale Ave. in Denver. Tickets: $31-$145. swallowhillmusic.org or eventbrite.com

Free admission to Governor’s Art Show

Through May 22. Launched in April, the 31st Governor’s Art Show is one of the state’s largest juried fine-art events, with 60 artists from Colorado, in-person and online art sales, awards and other events. Admission is $7, but on Saturday, May 7, it’s free as part of the May 6-8 Celebrate Colorado, which offers discounts and gratis-admission to various statewide cultural events (celebrate.colorado.gov for more).

Besides free admission, the show at the Loveland Museum and Gallery on May 7 includes 11 a.m.-2 p.m. artists demos with Crystal Despain, Lisa Hewett and others, followed by a 2-4 p.m. meet and greet with artists such as Beth Appleton, Robin Cole and Sheri Farabaugh.

Saturday’s event runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave. The show runs through May 22. Call 970-962-2410 or visit governorsartshow.org for more.

Derby Day parties, refreshed

Saturday. The thing about Derby Day parties is that, like most events, they’re not much fun online. That’s why this year’s likely to be more crowded than we’ve seen since 2019. There’s no way to list them all, but here are a couple of the biggest. (Note: post time for the Derby is 4:57 p.m. MT.)

The Brown Palace’s ritzy event starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, with themed food and cocktails, all-day contests (best hat, best dressed couple, etc.), live music from Hazel Miller and Jennifer Lane Lice, and VIP perks ($50-$250, eventbrite.com). Denver Union Station run its public events from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. with a pre-race brunch at Cooper Lounge (11 a.m.-2 p.m.; ticket required), live music at the Terminal Bar Patio, 2-6 p.m. specials for the main event, and VIP options. Brunch tickets are $75 at exploretock.com/cooperlounge.

TheBigWonderful at Belleview Station celebrates with a pair of live bands on Saturday (Pick & Howl, followed by Trout Steak Revival), local craft beers, food trucks and more. General admission is $35, and the show is part of the BeerFest series, which costs $60 (eventbrite.com). Aurora’s Southlands Shopping Center is even holding one, 2:30-5 p.m., with live music from Montage, lawn games, food, special drinks, contests and the running of the race on the big screen. (Free admission; shopsouthlands.com/events-programs)

Note: Denver Derby Party’s 20th installment at McGregor Square, the city’s biggest, is already sold out, but there’s still room at the Four Seasons, Avanti, Stanley Marketplace and other high-profile celebrations. Check out denverpost.com/calendar for the latest.

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