This Thursday marks the official start of summer (although the scorching temps would have you thinking it arrived at least a month ago), which is why we'd be remiss if we didn't follow up on this previous blog post with...you guessed it...more inexpensive and/or FREE ways to take advantage of the few months of the year that Colorado is gloriously free of snow. The festivals and events listed below are scheduled for nearly every weekend from now until the leaves fall, so buckle your seat belts for a jam-packed summer!
Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 6-8)
Taking place the weekend after the 4th of July holiday, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival is an award‐winning celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts. As one of the most popular arts festivals in Colorado, CCAF has welcomed approximately 350,000 visitors each year, giving attendees the rare and special opportunity to meet and talk with international juried visual artists, sample fine cuisine, enjoy live musical performances and artist demonstrations, and entertain their families with interactive “ARTivities.”
Colorado Black Arts Festival (July 13-15)
Beginning in 1987, the organizers of this festival wanted to provide what they felt was lacking in other Colorado arts festivals—an African American voice. Now in its 32nd year, the weekend festival is still going strong and has more to offer than ever. As Colorado’s premiere celebration of African-American art and culture, the Colorado Black Arts Festival provides a medium for local African-American artists to express themselves, as well as an opportunity for community education and engagement. The whole family will enjoy the local cuisine, visual and musical art, as well as an arts and crafts area for kids.
Free/Low-Cost Ongoing Events
First Friday Art Walks
If you haven’t checked out First Fridays, you're missing out: Denver's Santa Fe Art District has some of the most eclectic art galleries in the country, and on the first Friday of every month, thousands descend on Santa Fe Drive to view art from hundreds of artists in galleries, studios, co-ops, upstairs, downstairs, in alleys, on the street—everywhere! Local restaurants and food trucks line the street for the droves of art lovers, and there's always a performance or two from a local dance or musical group to take in as well.
Film On The Rocks
One of Denver's top summertime events, Film On The Rocks lets you enjoy blockbuster entertainment on the big screen in none other than Red Rocks Amphitheatre. And the movie viewing is just part of the fun. Each Film On The Rocks event features an opening comedian or band as well as interactive, audience participation contests. Doors open at 6:30 pm, bands begin playing at approximately 7 pm, and movies start at dusk. Don’t miss a chance to watch these great films under the stars:
June 18: Heathers
July 9: The Big Lebowski
July 23: Happy Gilmore
August 7: The Goonies
August 13: Black Panther
City Park Jazz
Denver’s City Park hosts a variety of jazz acts on Sundays throughout the summer, rain or shine. Bring camping chairs and/or a blanket and a picnic, and you're set for the night. Shows run from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Pavilion. If you forgot to pack snacks, no problem! Food trucks will be available to ensure you're able to jam out with a full belly.
Elway’s Summer Music Series
Wednesdays during the summer you can catch great local acts while enjoying the menu at Elway’s. Granted, the food isn’t free, but the music is. Stellar local acts provide the entertainment on beautiful Colorado nights. Check out the food and stay for the free music.
Coohills Beats on the Creek Summer Concert Series
Party on the creek this summer at Coohills Beats on the Creek. Entering its sixth season, the event will take over the historic Wewatta Bridge every Tuesday from June until August for a free concert starting at 6:30 pm. Enjoy the city under the night sky and contribute to Conservation Colorado Education Fund in the process. A great way to spend a mid-week summer night in the city.
What free events do you plan to attend this summer?