Larimer Square

Larimer Square

In 1858, a group of American Indians and settlers struck gold at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Their discovery soon spread back to the East Coast, prompting people to pick up and move west. The site of the original pioneer camp (known back then as Auraria) soon grew into the charming area now known as Larimer Square. Although the city has since expanded, this historic neighborhood remains the heart and soul of the Mile High City, and according to some, it’s the place to start your Denver experience. Recent visitors attest that Larimer Square is always buzzing with life, thanks to the area’s numerous restaurants, shops and nightlife venues.

16th Street Mall

The 16th Street Mall is to Denver what Rodeo Drive is to Los Angeles. This mile-long pedestrian thoroughfare, which stretches across the southern end of the LoDo district and bypasses Larimer Square, is lined with a variety of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, making it a popular place to visit at nearly all hours of the day (although some travelers note that the area can feel a bit dicey at night, despite a heavy police presence). Even if you’re not looking to give your credit card a workout, recent visitors recommend taking a stroll along the 16th Street Mall, as it leads to some excellent people-watching.

The Irish Rover on South Broadway

South Broadway

one of the city’s most eclectic neighborhoods, South Broadway, Denver features vibrant antique shops, restaurants, pubs, and galleries for a creative, independent vibe locals love. If you’re moving to South Broadway, there are plenty of ways to get to know your new neighborhood. Put these local-approved stops on your list and see the best of South Broadway, Denver.

Denver Union Station

Union Station

Denver’s Union Station is a two for one: it’s a working public transit station and a highly praised dining and shopping center. The station was a huge success when it first opened to the public in 1881, providing railroad service until the center of the building caught fire in 1894. The architecture from the 1917 redevelopment remains and today, it’s home to an Amtrak hub and a bus concourse. Located in the hip Lower Downtown neighborhood (aka LoDo), with multiple dining options and boutiques, and The Crawford Hotel, Union Station is a newfound entertainment center.

Denver Festival

Denver Festivals are among the best in the nation and happen all year long, we made this list of top spring and summer festivals for you to quickly find once to attend.

MARCH

ROCKY MOUNTAIN STEAM FEST 2020 

WHEN: March 7–8, 2020
WHERE: Boulder County Fairgrounds – 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont, CO 80501
Experience all the fun that you can possibly imagine under one roof at Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest 2020. With more than 100 indoor, hands-on activities, this event has something for everyone: science, technology, entrepreneurship, arts and making.  

St.-Patrick’s-Day

ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE 

WHEN: Mar. 14, 2020
WHERE: LoDo

Join one of Colorado’s largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and enjoy Irish dancers, bagpipes, bands, equestrians, civic clubs and cultural groups.

OLDE TOWN ARVADA ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL 

WHEN: March 15, 2020
WHERE: LoDo
This family-oriented race/walk is centered around the Irish celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and Spring. After the race, stay for live Irish music and dancers, a beer garden and the Colorado Youth Pipe Band. 

DENVER MARCH POWWOW 

WHEN: March 20–22, 2020
WHERE: Denver Coliseum
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Denver March Powwow features more than 1,500 dancers from close to 100 tribes from 38 states and three Canadian provinces. 

DENVER HOME SHOW 

WHEN: Mar. 20–22, 2020
WHERE: National Western Complex
The Denver Home Show brings together nearly 400 home design experts under one roof! Visit some tiny homes, check out the competition in the Backyard Wars Showdown, learn the art of Japanese floral arranging, get renovation tips from design experts, shop for home goods or simply walk away with inspiration for your next DIY project.

SPRING CRAFT BAZAAR 

WHEN: Mar. 21, 2020
WHERE: Recreation Center at Eastridge, Highlands Ranch

Enjoy a day of indoor shopping, with more than 140 vendors displaying and selling their unique products, including textiles, art, hand-poured soaps and candles, jewelry, quilts, children’s and doll items, delicious food, woodcrafts and more.

APRIL

Grilled Cheese Fest

GRILLED CHEESE FEST  

WHEN: Apr. 4, 2020
WHERE: McNichols Civic Center Building

Cheer on 20 local food and beverage partners as they compete for Best Grilled Cheese in Denver! Experience decadent grilled cheeses you won’t find anywhere else, accompanied by some of the most delicious libations in the city. All of the proceeds benefit the Imagination Library of Denver. 

THEBIGWONDERFUL BEER FEST 

WHEN: Apr. 4, 2020
WHERE: Winter Park Resort, Winter Park

This year’s Beer Fest will feature more than 20 local breweries serving unlimited samples all day long. Between brews, enjoy live bluegrass from Old Salt Union and Pick & Howl, shop from dozens of Colorado makers featuring a wide range of outdoor apparel, locally made jewelry, unique gifts, and more! 

ARVADA KITE FESTIVAL 

WHEN: Apr. 5, 2020
WHERE: Stenger Soccer Fields, Arvada

There’s no better way to welcome spring than at the annual Arvada Kite Festival! Bring your chairs or blankets and plan to spend the day flying kites, shopping local vendors, eating great food and listening to good music. Bring your own kite or buy one here!

BELGIAN BREW FEST  

WHEN: Apr. 26, 2020
WHERE: McNichols Civic Center Building

With four food trucks, two bands and more than 10 local breweries, you won’t want to miss this celebration of Belgian brewing. Bruz Beers only invites a select few breweries that best represent true Belgian-style beers, including Thirsty Monk Brewery Woods Boss Brewing Company  and more. 

MAY 

DUMB FRIENDS LEAGUE FURRY SCURRY 

WHEN: May 2, 2020
WHERE: Washington Park
Walk, drink, eat and more — all to help homeless pets! This year, Colorado’s favorite dog walk and fun run will have everything longtime fans have come to expect and more: a two-mile walk around beautiful Washington Park, a dog-friendly festival, a beer garden, a pancake/pup-cake breakfast and picnic lunch and a pet-themed marketplace. 

Cinco De Mayo Festival

CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 2–3, 2020
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Attendance is free at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Civic Center Park, one of the largest cultural events in Colorado, with more than 400,000 visitors each year. Enjoy live entertainment on three stages, hundreds of exhibitors, great food and drink, children’s activities, a parade — and the hotly contested green chile cook-off.

MILE HIGH HORROR FILM FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 8–10, 2020
WHERE: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Littleton
Recognized as one of the “top 5 coolest horror/sci-fi film festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, the Mile High Horror Film Festival showcases the very best genre films from around the world.

FIVE POINTS JAZZ FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 16, 2020
WHERE: Five Points neighborhood
The Five Points Jazz Festival takes place on the third Saturday of May and celebrates the history of Denver’s iconic and musical Five Points neighborhood.

COLFAX MARATHON 

WHEN: May 16–17, 2020
WHERE: Start and finish in City Park
Take a tour of the city and run through Empower Field at Mile High. If you’re not up to a full marathon, there are shorter races. And with more than 200 charities participating, you can run for a good cause.

DENVER ARTS FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 23–24, 2020
WHERE: Conservatory Green at Northfield Stapleton

During the Denver Arts Festival, more than 100 of Colorado’s most esteemed artists showcase paintings, sculpture, photography, glasswork, woodwork and more. A small set of acclaimed national artists will also display their work. This popular event is expected to bring over 50,000 attendees.

JUNE 

Denver Chalk Art Festival

DENVER CHALK ART FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 5–6, 2020
WHERE: Larimer Square
Every spring, the sidewalks around Larimer Square come to life during the annual Denver Chalk Art Festival,as more than 200 professional, amateur and student chalk artists turn concrete into canvas. This is a don’t-miss event, especially since these masterpieces will be washed away with the next spring shower.

COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 5–Aug. 9, 2020
WHERE: University of Colorado Boulder
See Shakespeare under the stars in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre or inside the University Theatre on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is a summertime favorite. Bring a picnic and arrive early to enjoy it on the lawn before the show. This year’s lineup includes “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “All’s Well That Ends Well,” “The Odyssey,” “Coriolanus” and “Pericles.”

TASTE OF LOUISVILLE  

WHEN: June 6, 2020
WHERE: Historic Main Street, Louisville

Enjoy this opportunity to taste the “Quality of Life” in Louisville with excellent food, local beer, arts and crafts booths, kids’ entertainment and live music from local bands. This will also be the opening day for the Louisville Farmer’s Market.

COLFAX ART FEST 

WHEN: June 13, 2020
WHERE: Lamar Station Plaza, Lakewood
The annual Colfax Art Fest is an all-day, family-friendly event with food trucks, adult beverages, music, kid’s activities, a craft marketplace and, of course, art!

COLORADO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 13–Aug. 2, 2020
WHERE: Larkspur 
Flashback to the 16th century and journey through a medieval city at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Enjoy full-armor jousting, tasty turkey legs, music and a marketplace featuring more than 200 artisans.

SERIESFEST

WHEN: June 18–24, 2020
WHERE: Sie FilmCenter, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and various venues around Denver
This annual showcase of the best new TV pilots brings together industry luminaries, emerging artists and passionate audiences. 

DENVER BBQ FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 19–21, 2020
WHERE: Empower Field at Mile High
It’s Father’s Day weekend, and what does dad want most? A cold brew and some BBQ! Enjoy pulled pork, barbecued brisket, smoked sausage and more at the second annual Denver BBQ Festival. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday. 

DENVER PRIDEFEST 2020 

WHEN: June 20–21, 2020
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Recognized as one of the top 10 pride events in the country, Denver PrideFest is a free, two-day festival that takes place in Civic Center Park. The weekend features activities and entertainment for adults and kids alike, including the annual Coors Light PrideFest Parade, the Pride 5K and three stages of music and entertainment. 

JUNETEENTH MUSIC FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 20–21, 2020
WHERE: Five Points neighborhood
Listen to the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, blues, soul and jazz as nearly 200 vendors line Welton Street. The annual Juneteenth Parade kicks off the fun, and make sure to watch the #DREAMBIG Awards Ceremony.

ARVADA ON TAP  

WHEN: June 27, 2020
WHERE: Ralston Recreation Area, Arvada

Head to nearby Arvada for an afternoon of craft beer and BBQ sampling! There will also be activities for the kiddos and an amateur BBQ competition.

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 27–28, 2020
WHERE: Sakura Square
Japanese culture and heritage are showcased at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Dance, taiko drums and martial arts are featured on the outdoor stage, while inside the Denver Buddhist Temple you’ll find food sales and exhibits.

JULY 

DENVER POP CULTURE CON 

WHEN: July 3–5, 2020
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center
Denver Pop Culture Con is three days of pop culture, costumes and fan fun for the whole family. Come experience a wow-weekend of celebrity encounters, comics, sci-fi and fantasy TV, gaming and movies.

CHERRY CREEK ARTS FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 3–5, 2020
WHERE: Cherry Creek North

This free, outdoor extravaganza — the city’s signature cultural celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts — gives more than 350,000 annual visitors the chance to meet and talk with international visual artists, enjoy a wide range of family-friendly fun and sample fine cuisine. At the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, experience Artivity Avenue, a full block of interactive activities perfect for youngsters. Visit the Cultural Pavilion, where music, dance and theater from around the globe will be presented. Culinary Avenue features tasty treats and live cooking demonstrations from some of Denver’s most popular eateries.

COLORADO BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 10–12, 2020
WHERE: City Park
This family-friendly event showcases the creative talents of local, regional and national African Americans in art and culture. The three-day Colorado Black Arts Festival also features three performing stages filled with dance, jazz, blues, soul, reggae, gospel, traditional African drum and dance.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL GAY RODEO

WHEN: July 10–12, 2020
WHERE: Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Colorado rides with pride during this annual event. Besides the typical rodeo events, there are some twists like goat dressing and a Wild Drag Race.

UNDERGROUND MUSIC SHOWCASE (UMS) 

WHEN: July 24–26, 2020
WHERE: South Broadway
The Underground Music Showcase, Denver’s very own version of Austin’s South By Southwest Music Festival, takes over the streets and stages of South Broadway for a multi-night extravaganza featuring the cream of Denver’s underground music scene. Over 400 local and national bands play in nearly 20 venues for more than 5,000 music lovers over four days and nights. Music fans can stroll from club to club and stage to stage, catching the city’s rising stars before the rest of the world hears about them.

EVERGREEN JAZZ FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 24–26, 2020
WHERE: Evergreen
Located just 30 minutes from Denver, the scenic mountain community of Evergreen provides an idyllic setting for this three-day jazz festival. Five distinctive, intimate venues ranging from a church to a bar and grill give audiences a delightful variety of listening experiences. 

COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 25–26, 2020
WHERE: Sloan’s Lake Park 
Founded in 2001 to celebrate Colorado’s Asian Pacific American (APA) culture, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has become the region’s fastest-growing fun, family-friendly summer festival. Named “Top Annual Festival” by the Rocky Mountain News and a “Best of Denver” event by Westword, it offers festival-goers the opportunity to explore APA customs through performances, arts and crafts, shopping, dining and the exciting athletic competition of dragon boat racing.  

SUMMER BREW FEST  

WHEN: July 27, 2020
WHERE: Mile High Station

Welcome summer with ice-cold craft brews in a fun festival environment! Indulge in unlimited tastes in an intimate setting and sample special releases and seasonal brews. 

BOULDER COUNTY FAIR 

WHEN: July 31–Aug. 9, 2020
WHERE: Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont
The annual Boulder County Fair is the oldest fair in Colorado celebrating more than 150 years. There is no charge for parking, gate admission or concerts (though there is a charge for rides, concessions, motorized sports, rodeos abd some special events), so come back as often as you like! 

AUGUST 

Denver International Festival

DENVER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

WHEN: August 1st 2020
WHERE: Civic Center Park 
The Denver International Festival celebrates our global heritage with traditional food, music and art from hundreds of countries and cultures from around the world. Dance, eat, drink and play in Civic Center Park.  

COLORADO SCOTTISH FESTIVAL & ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHLAND GAMES 

WHEN: Aug. 1–2, 2020
WHERE: Citizens Park, Edgewater
Since 1964, this annual festival has brought traditional Scottish Heavy Athletics, piping and drumming, Scottish Highland and Country dancing and Celtic culture to Colorado. Enjoy Celtic music and entertainment, Dogs of the British Isles, a British Car Show, Celtic food and merchandise and historical re-enactments. 

COLORADO SPRINGS COMIC CON 

WHEN: Aug. 21–23, 2020
WHERE: Chapel Hills Mall, Colorado Springs
This three-day event features celebrities from all genres of TV, movies and cartoons, some of the best names in the comic art community and some the greatest vendors in the area with hard-to-find toys, comics and collectibles.

COLORADO CLASSIC 

WHEN: Aug. 27–30, 2020
WHERE: Denver
The Colorado Classic is a four-day series of races that brings together the best pro cyclists from around the world. This year’s event is the only women’s stand-alone Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) stage race. 

COLORADO STATE FAIR 

WHEN: Aug. 28–Sept. 7, 2020
WHERE: Colorado State Fairgrounds, Pueblo
The Colorado State Fair & Rodeo features entertainment, rides, games, fair food, shopping and a rodeo! 

SEPTEMBER 

A Taste of Colorado

A TASTE OF COLORADO 

WHEN: Sept. 5–7, 2020
WHERE: Civic Center Park
A Taste of Colorado is the end-of-summer celebration of community pride and spirit in the Denver region. Over 500,000 people make the four-day festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration, enjoying the offerings of more 50 area restaurants, 275 marketplace artisans and vendors, six stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and Western heritage of the region.

DENVER FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL  

WHEN: Sept. 9–13, 2020
WHERE: Throughout Denver

The Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education, promotion and tastings. Through a series of events, the festival aims to highlight industry impact, promote workforce development and celebrate Denver as a culinary destination.

SLOW FOOD NATIONS 

WHEN: Sept. 11–13, 2020
WHERE: Larimer Square
Combining the energy of a street food festival, the rigor of an academic conference and the inspiration of a cultural exchange, Slow Food Nations is the festival to taste and explore good, clean and fair food for all. 

LONGS PEAK SCOTTISH-IRISH HIGHLAND FESTIVAL 

WHEN: Sept. 11–13, 2020
WHERE: Estes Park Events Center, Estes Park
Celebrate at one of the largest Celtic festivals in the nation in the beautiful mountain town of Estes Park. Entertainment will include bagpipe bands, Irish dancing, folk music, and professional Scottish athletes competing in stone-put, hammer toss and caber toss competitions.

CRUSH WALLS 

WHEN: Sept. 15–Oct. 15, 2020
WHERE: Various venues throughout town
Each year, Denverites observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. It’s a month-long celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

DENVER BEER WEEK 

WHEN: Sept. 18–26, 2020
WHERE: Various venues throughout town
A nine-day, citywide celebration of all things beer includes rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, tap takeovers, brewery tours, firkin tappings and a variety of entertaining beer events.

GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL  

WHEN: Sept. 24–26, 2020
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center

Founded in 1982, the Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served in a public tasting event and private competition.

Find more great events like this at Denver Events