Published on : Thursday, April 20, 2017
Denver is known for its 300 days of sunshine and the abundance of urban adventure that comes along with its Rocky Mountain backdrop. This summer, The Mile High City will be home to new international events, blockbuster exhibitions, family-friendly festivals and plenty of hotel deals for an ideal summer getaway.
“This summer is going to be one of the best we have ever seen in the city,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “With the return of a professional cycling race, groundbreaking culinary events, world-class art exhibits and creative festivals, paired with our exceptional weather, this summer in Denver is going to be remarkable for our visitors.”
There is an abundance of activity in Denver this season – from romantic date nights and girlfriend getaway ideas to family events; sports and recreation options to music festivals and unique museum exhibits, and a bit of everything in between. There are also dozens of discounted hotel rates to encourage visitors to make a weekend of it.
NEW: Slow Food Nations, July 14-16
For the first time ever in the United States, Slow Food Nations will gather leaders, farmers, chefs, educators and foodies for a weekend of tastings, tours and talks. For three days, downtown Denver will become the center of the North American food universe. Innovation meets tradition during exciting culinary workshops, seminars, dine-around dinners, tours, informal eating and drinking and a grand tasting hall. Under the banner of Slow Food Nations, Slow Beer, Slow Fish, Slow Meat, Slow Grain, Slow Wine, Slow Gardens, Slow Money and other Slow Nations will organize product-specific seminars, tastings, and culinary workshops for both experts and novices. Denver’s cellars, warehouses, and restaurants will become spaces for food enthusiasts, chefs and industry experts to interact with each other and taste new flavors.
Arts & Culture
The five-time Tony Award-winning new play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel of the same title, will run for three weeks at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is the story of an exceptionally intelligent teenager who falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.
Contemporary works and abstract expressionist masterpieces converge in Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford, a collaborative presentation by the Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still Museum. Paintings by renowned contemporary American artist Mark Bradford will be on view at the Denver Art Museum, alongside related canvases by Clyfford Still. An exhibition of Still’s work curated by Bradford will also be on view at the Clyfford Still Museum. Shade underscores the legacy of abstract expressionism and Bradford’s exploration of abstraction’s power to address social and political concerns.
Cultural Events and Festivals
More than 200 professional, amateur and student artists will show off their incredible talents in what has become one of Denver’s most treasured events. Over the course of two days, the artists will take to the streets armed with vivid pastel chalks and spend hours recreating major masterpieces or sharing original works of art. Spectators will watch as the intricate chalk paintings come to life and spread out to adorn four downtown blocks in and around Larimer Square. Visitors will enjoy live music, food and beverages while also having the rare opportunity to interact with the artists as they work.
This three-day fan convention at the Colorado Convention Center features the best in comics, sci-fi and fantasy television shows, movies, Japanese animation, cosplay, toys, gaming and celebrities. Announced guest speakers include: Nathan Fillion, best known for his roles on “Castle” and “Firefly”; Wallace Shawn from “The Princess Bride” and “Toy Story”; Lou Ferrigno from “The Incredible Hulk”; Garret Wang, who played Harry Kim on “Star Trek: Voyager”; and Bonnie Bright, who played Ginny Weasley in all eight “Harry Potter” series films.
Musical Performances & Festivals
This free festival takes place on the third Saturday of May and celebrates the history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Once known as the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music’s legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more. The festival features a diverse lineup of music – from Latin to blues to funk and many other styles of jazz.
The popular music festival of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Project Pabst, will return to Denver for the second year in a row this May. The festival will be held on Larimer Street, between 27th and 28th Streets with two outdoor stages and will feature Danny Brown, Kurt Vile and the Violators, STRFKR, Noname, Twin Peaks, Deap Vally and more.
Sports & Recreation
The Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo is one of the country’s best and biggest gay-centric rodeos. It features classic events including riding, dogging and barrel racing, along with royalty crownings for multiple genders.
Denver will host a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup group C stage double header at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, featuring matches between the Mexican national soccer team and the Jamaican national team, and El Salvador against Curacao.
Epicurean & Craft Beer Experiences
Showcasing Denver’s top independent restaurants in an outdoor setting at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, The Big Eat will feature bites and sips from 75 of Denver’s best restaurants. The event will also serve as the opening night of Slow Food Nations weekend.
This festival, held in Denver’s Civic Center Park and on the surrounding streets, highlights some of Colorado’s favorite food establishments – from ethnic specialties to traditional favorites, diners can enjoy full-sized or sample portions of their favorites throughout the festival.