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Watch greater sandhill cranes take flight at sunrise during the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. —Photo courtesy of Abby Jensen

What to Do in Denver (and Beyond): September 7 to September 13

From a culinary battle featuring top area chefs to a party celebrating Denver's beloved Super Bowl champions, here are five can't miss events across the Centennial State this week. 

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Food Fight, September 7

Trade Chopped reruns for Denver chefs battling live at this charitable competition. After local culinary celebrities, including Beast & Bottle’s Jodi Poulson and Dan Kane from Del Frisco’s Grille, craft five delectable courses, you can sample small plates and cast your vote for the most delicious entries. Proceeds benefit the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation, an organization that funds research on the autoimmune disease systemic scleroderma. Wed 6-9 p.m. BAC Appliance Center, 1880 W. Oxford Ave., Englewood, 303-806-6686. $75-$125.

Denver Broncos Kickoff Party, September 7 to September 8

Welcome the 2016 world champion Denver Broncos with a two-day party in the heart of the Mile High City. After you take photos with the Broncos cheerleaders, test your skills on a football-themed obstacle course and snag autographs from legendary players such as former safety Steve Atwater and former cornerback Champ Bailey. Then get pumped for the opening night game with a lively musical performance by Denver-based indie rock group One Republic and country singer Dierks Bentley. Wed 3-8 p.m.; Thu 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Civic Center Park, 14th Ave. and Bannock St. Free.

Ali Wong, September 8

You might recognize this writer-actress-comedian from her Netflix special, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra—but then again, you might not. When the stand-up genius recorded her routine, she delivered raunchy, straight-forward jokes about sex and sexism while seven months pregnant. At this irreverent show, her belly is gone, but this “Best Comedian of 2009” winner will still use her non-nonsense sense of humor to question conventional ideas about motherhood and feminism. Thu 10 p.m. Comedy Works Downtown, 1226 15th St., 303-595-3637. $22-$27.

Colorado Anime Film Festival, September 9-11

Even if you missed comic con, you can still geek out at Colorado’s inaugural cinematic festival dedicated to Japanese cartoons. Catch 10 classic anime films, including a 10th anniversary 35mm screening of Paprika, a science-fiction story about a psychiatrist who can enter her patients’ minds, and Studio Ghibli’s folktale The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Plus, meet voice actors Kyle Hebert and Laura Post during Q&A panels after the films. Fri-Sun, times vary. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 7301 S. Santa Fe Dr., Unit 850, Littleton, 720-588-4107. Ticket prices vary.

Yampa Valley Crane Festival, September 8

Celebrate one of northwest Colorado’s most majestic creatures during this avian-themed festival. At sunrise, take a guided bird walk to glimpse flocks of greater sandhill cranes, then learn more about the long-legged birds in talks by international bird experts, including veterinarian Barry Hartup and Mongolian conservationist Nyambayar Batbayar. If you’re feeling inspired by the graceful creatures, you can even attend a photography workshop or a sketching class to create your own souvenirs. Thu 4-8:15 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:45 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 5:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, 970-276-1933. Ticket prices vary.

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