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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

We might best be known for awesome skiing, or legal marijuana, but Denver also knows how to throw down on truly awesome festivals! Denver festivals are made up of an eclectic mix of interests. You will find everything from food, art, history, music, craft beer…you get the idea.

So once the weather warms up, there’s a festival in Denver to check out nearly every weekend. Not sure which festivals in Denver are worth exploring? Here are a handful of my favorites that are definitely worth a visit.


Check out these amazing annual Denver festivals

Denver Chalk Art Festival

2020 dates: completed
2021 dates: TBD

Denver chalk art festival artist drawing hippos
Art in progress at the Chalk Fest
Photo by Michael Rieger

The Denver Chalk Art Festival comes around at the start of each summer, and it’s an event that always tops my list of things to do in town. Head downtown and visit Larimer Square to see the streets transformed into amazing works of art.

The talent and creativity on display will surely amaze you! Done admiring the art? Luckily you’ll find plenty of vendors around selling food, drinks and art to take home.

While there’s always something worth seeing at this two-day festival, visit on the second day to see these works of art in their final state.

Citizens for the River (formerly the South Platte Riverfest)

2020 dates: TBD

People enjoying the water at Denver's South Platte Riverfest in 2018
Fun in the sun (and water!) at Citizens for the River
Photo by the Greenway Foundation

Head to this Denver festival for some fun in the sun (and water)! Spend a day on the water and a chance to try some activities like stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

While paddle boarding in Confluence Park is definitely the highlight of the day for many guests, there’s plenty to see and do if you don’t feel like getting wet.

The event typically offers demonstrations, fitness classes, climbing walls, and local music performances. As well as local vendors offering beer and bites to eat for sale. This is one event that’s fun for the whole family.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

2020 dates: cancelled
2021 dates: Friday, July 2nd – Sunday, July 4th

A crowd of people exploring vendor booths at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver
Crowds don’t lie when it comes to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Photo by Frank Montanez

This three-day Denver festival is a must-see for anyone who enjoys art. Hundreds of artists from around Colorado and around the world set up exhibits and displays to showcase everything from sculptures to paintings and portraits.

Grab a beer or sample some local cuisine from one of the onsite vendors, and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the festival grounds. You’ll find plenty of pieces on sale, so it can be the perfect time to pick up a one-of-a-kind painting for your space.

A Taste of Colorado

2020 dates: cancelled
2021 dates: TBD

A large crowd of people enjoying a free concert at the main stage for the Denver festival: A Taste of Colorado
The crowd enjoying one of the many free concerts at A Taste of Colorado
Photo by Nathan Zucker

Happening every Labor Day weekend, A Taste of Colorado has something for everyone. Admission is completely free, and you won’t find a bigger food and music festival in all of Colorado.

The streets are lined with vendor booths ranging from delectable bites, beer and wine, games, and everything in between! But the music lineup is really where it’s at, and they cover all genre bases. Prior performances from LeAnn Rimes, George Thorogood, Smashmouth, and more have wowed audiences. All for free!

This is a cannot miss Denver festival for sure. In fact, the festival was recently nominated for USA Today’s Top 10 Food Festivals in the US!

Great American Beer Festival

2020 dates: Friday, October 16th – Saturday, October 17th
2021 dates: TBD

Man serving beer at the Denver Great American Beer Festival
Get your beer with a smile at GABF!
Photo © Brewers Association

If you consider yourself a beer-lover, you’ve gotta add GABF to the top of your list. This is the mother of all beer festivals.

The festival rolls around each fall, but often sells out within minutes of going on sale. So you’ll need to act fast or be willing to buy your tickets off of someone else.

Choose from thousands of beers to sample, snack on some tasty bites from local food vendors, and meet reps from your favorite breweries. And trust my personal experience when I say this…make yourself a pretzel necklace to enjoy while you imbibe! Otherwise you will just look longingly at those who did.

Bloody Mary Festival

2020 dates: Sunday, October 25th
2021 dates: TBD

Shrimp bloody marys at the Denver Bloody Mary Festival
Unique bloody mary offerings at the Bloody Mary Fest
Photo by Bloody Mary Liberation Party

For a boozy Denver festival (that isn’t beer focused) filled with brunch bites and some of the most creative bloody marys you’ve ever seen, check out the Bloody Mary Festival.

Falling in mid October, this event offers several hours of all-you-can-drink tasting opportunities. As well as plenty of food trucks and booths to grab some grub at. Make plans to check this one out with a few friends. Just split an Uber so everyone can have a good time!


Final Thoughts

Denver is a city that always has something fun to do. Whether it’s a sporting event, concert, or an annual Denver festival…you’re sure to find something amazing to please everyone!

Did your favorite Denver festival make the list? If not, leave a comment and let everyone know which Denver festival YOU think is worth checking out!


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