Cinco de Mayo Festival (May 2-3) – One of the largest cultural events in Colorado, the Cinco de Mayo Festival features live entertainment on three stages, hundreds of exhibitors and vendors, traditional food and drink, a parade, a green chili cook-off and more at Denver’s Civic Center Park. More than 400,000 visitors attend the festival each year to celebrate the tradition and beauty of Latino culture.
Five Points Jazz Festival (May 16) – 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.
Colfax Marathon (May 16-17) – Denver’s only full marathon takes runners through parks, neighborhoods, trails and downtown; and iconic highlights include running through Empower Field at Mile High, a Denver fire station where firefighters and police officers cheer on runners and Colfax Avenue itself, the longest commercial street in the country. Additional races throughout the weekend include a half marathon – which runs through the Denver Zoo – an Urban 10 Miler, a 5K and more.
Denver Day of Rock (May 23) - Denver Day of Rock is a free event that features five stages of live music along Denver’s 16th Street Mall on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Denver Day of Rock unites the community through music and family-friendly entertainment while also generating funds to support Amp the Cause, a Denver nonprofit that raises awareness about critical family issues and supports local charities.
Looking for more May events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
Denver Chalk Art Festival (June 6-7) – Denver’s most historic block – Larimer Square – turns into a vibrant street museum, thanks to the chalk artwork of more than 200 professional and amateur artists. The temporary works of art are accompanied by live music, food, wine-tasting tents and an art gallery, plus a kids’ corner where children will have the chance to make chalk art of their own.
Golden Oldies Rugby Festival (June 8-15) – The world’s largest “over 35’s” rugby festival is heading to Denver in 2020. Teams from all around the world will join in the festival in the spirit of fun, fraternity and friendship. There will be a mix of teams and a comprehensive range of age grouping and playing grades.
SeriesFest Season 6 (June 18-24) – SeriesFest is a six-day festival celebrating the art of independent TV series creation. It showcases the best new pilots from around the world in an international, juried competition. The screenings take place at the state-of-the-art Sie Film Center, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and various other locations around the city.
Denver BBQ Festival (June 19-21) – Some of the country's biggest barbecue legends are returning once again for three days of festivities over Father's Day weekend.
Denver PrideFest (June 20-21) – Recognized as one of the top 10 pride events in the country, Denver PrideFest is a free, two-day festival that takes place in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The weekend features activities and entertainment for adults, kids and pets – from a Dogs in Drag Parade and the annual Gay Pride Parade to the Big Gay 5K and three stages full of music and cultural entertainment.
Juneteenth Music Festival (June 20-21) – Each year, Five Points – a historic district formerly known as the “Harlem of the West” – hosts Juneteenth, a celebration of African-American culture with a parade, concerts, a pageant, a car show, food and more.
Looking for more June events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 3-5) – Every Fourth of July Weekend, the hip, upscale Cherry Creek North neighborhood hosts the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a world-class and award-winning display of visual, culinary and performing arts. More than five full blocks of the neighborhood feature the works of local and nationally known artisans, vendors and activities, including Artivity Avenue, a full block of interactive activities for the whole family. Throughout the weekend, there are also concerts, pop-up performances and more.
Denver Pop Culture Con (July 3-5) – Denver Pop Culture Con (formerly Denver Comic Con) is a three-day, family-friendly fan convention at the Colorado Convention Center featuring the best in comics, along with sci-fi and fantasy TV shows, movies, Japanese animation, cosplay, toys, gaming and celebrity panel presentations.
Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo (July 3-5) – 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.
Underground Music Showcase (July 26-28) – The Underground Music Showcase (UMS) takes place at more than 20 different venues and stages along South Broadway and features more than 400 local and national acts. Having grown from just 300 attendees for four bands at one theater, UMS is one of the best ways to experience Denver’s incredible live music scene.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (July 27-28) – In the tradition of the Chinese Duanwu Festival, Denver’s two-day version centers around the dragon boat competition, with more than 50 teams of boaters racing colorful and intricate boats across Sloan’s Lake. Additionally, the festival features performing arts stages, an Asian marketplace, Taste of Asia food courts, Dragonland for the kids, a traditional lion dance and a partnership with Colorado Anime Fest.
Looking for more July events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
Colorado Classic (Aug. 27-30) – Professional bicycle racing continues in Colorado with a series of stages in several Colorado cities. In 2019, race organizers announced that the Colorado Classic would become a women’s only race – the only UCI standalone women’s stage race in the Western hemisphere; raising the bar with quadrupled prize purse, team stipends, live streaming and longer, more challenging routes. The women’s only format will remain in place for the 2020 event.
Looking for more August events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
A Taste of Colorado (Sept. 5-7) – 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. The festival also features live music from more than 25 national and regional artists, family-friendly activities and more.
Denver Food + Wine Festival (Sept. 9-13) – Denver Food + Wine Festival is a six-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education, promotion and tastings. Events include Dinner Under the Stars, a Culinary Cinema Series, Bartender’s Bash (a cocktail event) and the signature event, The Grand Tasting. Denver Food + Wine Festival aims to highlight industry impact, promote workforce development and celebrate Denver as a culinary destination.
Slow Food Nations (Sept. 11-13) – Slow Food Nations will return to Denver for its fourth year, gathering leaders, eaters, farmers, chefs, educators and families for a weekend of tastings, tours and talks. Modeled after the renowned Terra Madre – the original Slow Food event in Turin, Italy – Slow Food Nations in Denver has become the center of the North American food world.
CRUSH Walls (Sept. 14-20) – For about a week each fall, CRUSH (Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony) organizes artists, in partnership with local businesses, to create an international street art festival. The event has become a platform for artists from around the world to gather, create and share ideas and techniques, all to the delight of more than 150,000 spectators and visitors. Started in 2010 as a low-key gathering, CRUSH Walls is quickly becoming one of the largest street art festivals in the world, accumulating popular acclaim and formal accolades.
12th Annual Denver Beer Week (Sept. 18-26) – Denver Beer Week is a nine-day celebration leading up to (and including) the Great American Beer Festival – the largest beer festival in the world. The 12th annual Denver Beer Week will feature dozens of beer-related events at area breweries, restaurants, tap houses and attractions around the city. From firkin tappings to midnight beer brunches to tap takeovers to beer street parties, there is an event for every type of beer lover.
Great American Beer Festival® (Sept. 24-26) – Great American Beer Festival is the largest beer festival in the world; and each year, it represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served – in both a public tasting event plus a private competition. The festival takes place at the Colorado Convention Center and brings together brewers and diverse beers from across the nation.
Looking for more September events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
43rd Annual Denver Film Festival (TBA) – The Denver Film Festival is the largest premier film celebration in the Rocky Mountain Region. Hosted by Denver Film Society, which works to promote film as both an art form and a civic forum, the festival showcases blockbusters, documentaries, shorts and independent films at a variety of venues around the city.
Looking for more October events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
Denver Arts Week (Nov. 6-14) – The 14th annual Denver Arts Week will be a nine-day celebration of The Mile High City’s vibrant arts and cultural communities, featuring more than 300 discounted events at a wide variety of art galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls in multiple neighborhoods. Signature Denver Arts Week events include Know Your Arts First Friday Art Walks, an evening when galleries and studios are open for people to explore; and Free Night at the Museums, when Denver’s best museums stay open late and admission is free.
Mile High Holidays (beginning Nov. 20) – Denver comes to life during the winter holiday season, and the festivities kick off on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend with the City & County Building’s and downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination – the largest holiday lights display in Denver, as well as the annual lighting of The Mile High Tree. The performing arts scene gets festive beginning in November, too, with holiday classics like A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker alongside some new favorites.
Looking for more November events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.
Mile High Holidays (through January 2021) – The magic of the holiday season continues through December with The Mile High Tree, Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo, Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens, more theater performances and an abundance of New Year’s Eve events, including the two-show downtown fireworks extravaganza. Denver continues to celebrate all the way through the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, a 16-day celebration of Western heritage.
Looking for more December events and activities? Check out the Denver 365 calendar.