After the excitement of the All-Star Game, Denver is back...in a big way. Events are blossoming all over town, and the fun is spreading through the foothills into mountain festivals.
We've collected plenty of free fun in this list; keep reading for ten of the best ticketed events in and around town this weekend:
Snowmass Rendezvous 2021
Through Sunday, July 18
Welcome Party: Friday, July 16, 5 to 9 p.m. Bottomless Adult Beverage Tasting: Saturday, July 17, 2 to 6 p.m.; Sunday Brunch: Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Snowmass Mall, Snowmass Village
You know life is getting back to normal when you can head to the mountains not just for fresh air, but for a festival complete with unlimited beverages. The annual Snowmass Rendezvous is finally back, in a slightly altered, bigger and more spread-out version, complete with the legendary Saturday Bottomless Adult Beverage Tasting at three locations, complete with Colorado brews, wines and spirits to sample all afternoon. That’s sandwiched between a free evening welcome mixer and a leisurely Sunday brunch (pay as you order); RSVP for all three days and purchase a beverage-tasting wristband that will keep your cup full on Saturday for $40 here.
Saturday, July 17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton
Chatfield Farm, the Denver Botanic Gardens' country cousin, adds 2,000 lavender plants of different types and colors in rows every summer and then invites the public to wander through them with noses wide open. Along with the obvious beauty of the lavender beds, this fest will offer food and vendors, artisanal lavender products for sale, live music, and barrel-train rides and hayrides for the little ones. Admission ranges from free to $13; learn more and RSVP here.
2021 People's Tiny House Festival
Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
The Ranch Events Complex, 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland
Tiny houses aren’t necessarily made for tiny people, nor are they primarily useful as temporary housing for the homeless. They're an ingeniously compact and sustainable space to fit anyone’s needs, but first you have to believe. Get the lowdown on less-is-more living at the 2021 People's Tiny House Festival, coming to the Ranch in Loveland with speakers, panel discussions, tiny-house tours and layouts, and some DIY know-how that you won’t get anywhere else. Find information and tickets, $10, here.
Blues N BBQ for Better Housing
Saturday, July 17, 11 to 7 p.m.
Citizens Park Pavillion, West 22nd Avenue, Edgewater
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is hosting this bash; with plenty of barbecue and live music, including Nick of Time at 11; Teledonna at noon, Mojo Mama at 1 p.m., Eef and The Blues Express at 2, the Cass Clayton Band at 3, Zepp11 at 4; Cast Iron Queens at 5, Wild Love Tigress at 6 p.m. and the Duke Street Kings at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 (free live music, but you'll pay for the 'cue) and up; get yours here.
Boulder Creekside Beer Festival
Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, noon to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily
Boulder Creek Path, 1212 Canyon Boulevard
As always, the Boulder Creek Festival is free. But if you want to enjoy unlimited tastes of beverages from Boulder-area breweries, distilleries, cideries, wineries and hard-seltzer companies, you’ll have to put down $25 to reserve a two-hour session and a trusty commemorative mug. Before and after, you can enjoy the rest of the fest, with music, performances, vendors, games and other festivities for all ages. Learn more and reserve admission to the beer fest at Eventbrite.
Twentieth Annual Denver SneakerFest
Saturday, July 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn Denver Union Station, 1999 Chestnut Place
Desperately seeking sneaks? Head over to the Denver SneakerFest, a showcase of sneaker vendors who buy, sell or trade high-value, rare, vintage, hard-to-find and even everyday sport shoes and culturally related streetwear. Vendors and ticket holders alike will be automatically entered in a raffle to win a pair of Jordan 4 Unions — just in case you can’t find the sneaks of your dreams. Tickets are $10 at Eventbrite.
Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival
Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, 1 to 5 p.m. daily
River Run Village, 140 Ida Belle Drive, Keystone Resort, Keystone
Groove along with a long roster of Colorado jazz musicians at the returning Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival in River Run, where you can while away an afternoon choosing between tastes of hundreds of wines and grazing on food by local vendors. Ticketing offers a few wine and food options ranging from $60 for a food-only pass to $180 for two wine glasses and one food pass for couples; learn more here and find ticket options at Eventbrite.
Blue Crab Boil & Brews
Saturday, July 17, 1 to 5 p.m.
Monkey Barrel, 4401 Tejon Street
Bayou Boys will be serving up the blue crab — along with shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage — and Monkey Barrel will be pouring over twenty Colorado craft beers. There will also be live music from Jimi Hendrix tribute band A5CV, led by Maurice Avatar. Find out more here; to guarantee a table in the shade, make reservations ($15 to $65) on Eventbrite.
Halau Kalama Lei Day 2021
Saturday, July 17, 7 p.m.
Civic Green Park, 9370 South Ridgeline Boulevard, Highlands Ranch
Highlands Ranch isn’t known for being a tropical paradise, but on this night, you can imagine that you are basking in the shadow of Kilauea, swaying with hula dancers and fire-spinners while wolfing down short ribs, Kalua pork and poke bowls with a shaved-ice dessert, all prepared by local food trucks. Hosted by Halau Kalama, a nonprofit that teaches and promotes Polynesian dance and culture, Lei Day in Highlands Ranch is a little taste of Hawaii in the midst of your everyday life. Bring chairs and blankets for the outdoor performances; tickets range from free to $20 here.
33rd Annual Charles Sawtelle Memorial Mountain Jam
Sunday, July 18, noon to 4:30 p.m. (doors at 11:30 a.m.)
Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main Street, Boulder
KGNU will continue a three-decade tradition when three Colorado bluegrass bands — Sugar Moon Band, High Lonesome and the Sam Armstrong Zickefoose Band — come to Gold Hill. No barbecue this year, but there will be a food truck, and beverages will be available for purchase; you can bring snacks, and low-backed chairs are recommended. Tickets are $35 for KGNU members, $40 for non-members, all $5 higher day of show, so get yours now here.
And three plan-ahead bonuses:
Tuesday, July 21, 7 p.m.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
While the Film on the Rocks presentation of Jurassic Park on July 19 is sold out, there are still some tickets ($16-$32) available for Top Gun — if you move quickly. Get them here.
Sci-Fi Film Series: Jurassic Park
Tuesday, July 21, 7 p.m., online
If you miss out on Jurassic Park at Red Rocks, there's plenty of room in this virtual discussion of the film by Vincent Piturro, professor of film and media studies at MSU Denver, as well as Denver Museum of Nature & Science experts. Presented in partnership with Denver Film; register for your $10 spot here.
UnWine Wednesday: Dulcette
Wednesday, July 21, 5 to 7 p.m.
Marjorie Park, 6331 South Fiddler’s Green Circle, Greenwood Village
Unwind on hump day at UnWine Wednesday, at the newly renovated Marjorie Park at Fiddler’s Green, a lovely spot to hang outdoors during happy hour with a fine glass of wine in hand. This round showcases Dulcette, a port-style California wine from vintner Gary Farrell, and throws in pies by Simply Pizza, art demonstrations and live music for atmosphere. The $20 adult ticket includes two free drinks, and bring the kids: They get in free if they’re twelve or under. Reserve tickets and find info here.
Know of a great event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to email@example.com.
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