Photos: Ten toughest Best of Denver categories to win again -- and the current champs

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Big photos below.
We're building up to our annual Best of Denver issue, and we need your help. Click to nominate your faves for Best of Denver 2014 in our readers poll.

As you'll see, the poll includes our most popular categories in food, music, nightlife and more. But which are the toughtest to win two years in a row? Continue to see the current champs in our top picks for the top ten, as seen in photos accompanying the original award text. Do you think any of them can repeat? Judge for yourself below.

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Photos: Top 14 Colorado places for a Valentine's Day kiss

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Big photos below.
One way to make Valentine's Day happier is if you have someone to kiss. But what's the best place to smooch?

We mean "place" as in "place to go." Get your minds out of the gutter (until later, that is).

Well, our friends at the Colorado Tourism Office have compiled a list of the most romantic places in the state to steal a kiss, and as luck would have it, there are fourteen suggestions -- perfect for today. Continue to count down the photo-illustrated suggestions, complete with tourist office text.

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Photos: America's ten fittest cities -- and where Denver finishes

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Big photos below.
It's our first best-cities list of 2014! And the roster assembled by Sharecare.com -- "America's 10 Best Cities for Fitness 2014" -- seems custom-made for Denver.

Did the Mile High City kick ass in a way that showed off its taut musculature? Damn right it did, even besting the community whose football team kicked the collective asses of the Denver Broncos in Sunday's Super Bowl. Look below to count down the top ten finishers, featuring photos and Sharecare.com text.

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Photos: Ten great things to do in Denver before the Super Bowl -- many of them free

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Big photos below.
The City of Denver is celebrating the Broncos' trip to the Super Bowl in plenty of unusual ways -- like Governor John Hickenlooper temporarily renaming Colorado's 14ers for Denver players. And tourism agency VISIT DENVER is no exception.

The staff has come up with a list of things to do in Denver before the big game, many of them free.

Count down the top ten below, featuring photos, links, details and VISIT DENVER text.

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Photos: 2014 Martin Luther King Day Marade in Denver

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Big photos below.
It took four tries for then-legislator Wilma Webb, but in 1984, the Colorado Legislature finally approved creating a state King Holiday -- a few months after Congress made the third Monday in January a federal holiday. Thirty years later, Denver's parade honoring Martin Luther King -- the Marade, as Wilma Webb dubbed it -- is the largest in the country, attracting everyone from politicians (including Governor John Hickenlooper, Senator Mark Udall, Denver mayor Michael Hancock) to protesters as they walked from City Park to Denver's Civic Center yesterday morning.

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Photos: Ten great reasons to visit Denver in 2014

Categories: Things to Do

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Big photos below.
Don't accuse the folks at Visit Denver, the city's main tourism agency, of getting a slow start during this still new year. In fact, they've already come up with a list of ten great reasons to stop by the city in 2014, including a major sporting championship, a new feature at Coors Field and an interactive extravaganza designed to make you say, "Oh, heck yeah."

Count down the top ten below, complete with photos and Visit Denver text.

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Claire Davis: Public memorial tomorrow at the National Western Events Center

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Claire Davis.
Tomorrow at 1 p.m., the public will have an opportunity to remember seventeen-year-old Claire Davis, who was fatally wounded in the December 13 Arapahoe High School shooting, at a memorial service at the National Western Events Center. Tickets to the Celebration of the Life of Claire Davis are free and can be reserved at nationalwestern.com.

Davis was an accomplished equestrian who competed in a horse show at the 2013 National Western Stock Show and was scheduled to compete again in 2014.

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Cruising Colfax, Casa Bonita and other drops in the 2014 bucket list

Categories: Things to Do

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Denver's growth spurts often make it seem unrecognizable as my home town, but I think 2014 has a lot of good in store. In the past couple of years, I saw Smiley's Laundromat and the mid-century-modern diner structure that housed the first Hooter's this side of the Mississippi go the way of development -- but both contemporary incarnations managed to honor the original architecture in a visually appealing way. Broadway is not the secret hideaway for kooky vintage apparel it once was, and Colfax has lost some of its more bizarre tenants, but I have faith that not everything can and will be turned into a bourgeois cheese shop or chain retail store. Ringing in the new year with thoughts of keeping Colorado off-kilter, I've made a list of things I will (or hope to) do in 2014 to remind myself that we may be square, but we're still the best state in the weird and wild West.

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Photos: Twenty amazing Colorado ski posters

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Big posters below.
With Christmas and New Year's coming up, the lucky among us often have some time off work. But how best to spend it? Well, in case you haven't noticed, you happen to live in a state with some of the best ski resorts on the planet, and snow conditions this season have been consistently first-rate.

If that's not inspiration enough to hit the slopes, we offer this -- a collection of great Colorado ski posters from yesterday and today. Check out the twenty that caught our eye below.

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Colorado Gives Day raises more than $20 million for 1,442 nonprofits

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Animal House Rescue
Update: In our post yesterday about the fourth annual Colorado Gives Day, we wondered whether Coloradans would be more generous than last year, when the 24-hour online fundraising bonanza raised more than $15 million. We now know that the answer is yes.

According to the Community First Foundation, which founded the event, yesterday's fundraising blitz brought in more than $20 million thanks to nearly 88,000 donations ranging from $10 to $300,000. The donations will benefit 1,442 nonprofits.

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