DENVER (July 5, 2016) – Labor Day in Denver has always been a long weekend full of late-summer activities; and in 2016, there is so much planned throughout the rest of the week that the vacation can extend well past Monday. From September 2-11, 2016, Denver will feature annual music events and weekend-long festivals, professional sports showdowns, and plenty of cultural and culinary activities to fill a long weekend to a week-long stay.
“Labor Day weekend is shaping up to be the perfect end cap to an amazing summer in The Mile High City,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “In addition to our beautiful weather, beloved annual events and this summer’s world-class cultural exhibitions, like the Denver Art Museum’s own Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit, we have the global extreme sports championships, FISE World Series, making its first-ever US appearance here; mouth-watering new events for the Denver Food and Wine Festival; and several concerts to celebrate Red Rocks’ 75th anniversary. This Labor Day is going to be the best yet.”
Below are just some of the events happening over Labor Day weekend and throughout the week in Denver. For more information, including hotel deals, go to the Labor Day page on the VISIT DENVER website.
Riot Fest, Sep. 2-4
National Western Complex
Riot Fest is a multi-day metal, rock, punk, hip-hop and alternative music festival that started in Chicago in 2005. The festival was so successful that it expanded to other cities, including Denver, where it will come for the third year in a row in 2016. This independent music festival is full of the best of the best in each genre, from well-known artists to new artists and everything in between; and there is food, carnival rides and more entertainment. The lineup features Death Cab for Cutie, Jane’s Addiction, Bad Religion, Tyler the Creator and more.
FISE World Denver – USA, Sept. 3-5
Metropolitan State University and Downtown Denver
Denver has been selected as the first U.S. city to ever be included on the Festival International des Sports Extrêmes (FISE) World Series (FWS) tour – a worldwide action sports series that attracts many of the top international athletes in BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, inline skating and other extreme sports – making it one of only five international cities to host the event in 2016. FISE World Denver-USA will take place over Labor Day weekend and will feature events in skateboarding, BMX and flatland competitions, for both amateurs and professionals. Metropolitan State University of Denver and downtown Denver’s Sculpture Park will host the competition.
FWS also includes the first ever UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup. FISE launched in Palavas, France in 1997 and has since grown into an international phenomenon for extreme sports competitions throughout the world.
Denver Food + Wine Festival, Sept. 6-11
Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education, promotion and tastings, presented by co-sponsors Colorado Restaurant Association and Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado. Events include new and classic events like Dinner Under the Stars, a Culinary Cinema Series, SHAKE DOWN (a cocktail event) and the signature event, The Grand Tasting (Sept. 10). Denver Food + Wine Festival aims to highlight industry impact, promote workforce development and celebrate Denver as a culinary destination.
Denver Broncos Season Opener, Sept. 8
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
The Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers at home in the highly-anticipated ‘big game’ rematch to kick off the 2016-2017 season.
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre 75th Anniversary & Summer Concert Series
Headliners for Labor Day 2016 at this historic venue include Atmosphere, Gregory Alan Isakov, Sammy Hagar and The Circle, Prophets of Rage, Bonnie Raitt and STS9. The park and amphitheater are open daily; Summer Concert Series and event schedules can be found online. Recently named to the National Historic Register and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a world-famous outdoor concert and recreation venue located approximately 30 minutes from Denver. The only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world, Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and ambience, as well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking trails.
Phish, Sept. 2-4
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Legendary jam band, Phish, will play for three nights over Labor Day weekend for the sixth year in a row. Featuring unmatched jam sessions and an always-entertaining live show, Phish will celebrate Labor Day with its devoted following from Denver and around the country.
Arts & Culture
First Friday Art Walk, Sept. 2
Denver’s Art Districts
Denver's vibrant creative communities stay open to the public on the first Friday of every month in The Mile High City's art districts, including Art District on Santa Fe, RiNo (River North Art District) and the Tennyson Street Cultural District. Galleries stay open late as art lovers enjoy live music, food and drink — and, of course, plenty of great art.
Free Saturdays, Sept. 3
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum provides free admission to visitors of all ages on the first Saturday of every month, offering a great opportunity to explore some of Denver’s vibrant arts and culture. Visitors over Labor Day weekend should be sure to see the new, Denver-curated exhibition, Women of Abstract Expressionism (through Sept. 25) – a first-of-its-kind display showing paintings by largely unknown women of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
Labor Day weekend will also be a great time to catch the next installment of Dance!, a campus-wide celebration of rhythm and movement at the Denver Art Museum. Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art (Jul. 10 – Oct. 2), will feature American artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries that chronicle the evolution of dance and its distinct traditions.
The Phantom of the Opera, Aug. 25 - Sept. 11
Buell Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Hailed by critics as "bigger and better than ever before," Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at Buell Theatre boasts many exciting special effects including the show's legendary chandelier, new scenic and lighting designs and new staging and choreography.
Robots 3D, through Sept. 22
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
This new IMAX movie provides a glimpse into the future as scientists and engineers find ways to make robots more human.
National Parks Adventure 3D, through Sept. 22
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Narrated by Robert Redford, this IMAX film lets visitors soar over red rock canyons and hurtle up craggy mountain peaks into the otherworldly realms of America’s legendary outdoor playgrounds. This ultimate off-trail escapade explores Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Arches, and other beloved sites around the country to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
Stories in Sculpture: Selections from the Walker Art Center Collection, through Oct. 2
Denver Botanic Gardens
Stories in Sculpture: Selections from the Walker Art Center Collection is a rare opportunity to see 13 contemporary sculptures on display in Denver. Highlighted artists include Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, George Segal, Saul Baizerman, Deborah Butterfield, Barry Flanagan and Judith Shea.
Colorado Rockies, Sept. 2-7
Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game series at Coors Field, a classic ballpark in the heart of downtown Denver with sweeping views of the city and Rocky Mountains and a new rooftop bar and patio, on September 2-4. Then, they take on the San Francisco Giants from September 5-7.
A Taste of Colorado, Sept. 2-5
More than 500,000 people enjoy culinary offerings from more than 50 area restaurants and food trucks, listen to live music from big-name acts, shop the Arts & Crafts Marketplace and ride classic carnival rides all weekend long. The festival is free and also features a KidzStage, featuring magic, clowns and puppets.