Ten festivals you don't want to miss this summer
Summer is all about festivals: There's no better way to get away for a day without ever leaving town. International fests take you to faraway places right in your own back yard, others celebrate ethnic cultures, urban enthusiasms, arts-and-crafts, the joy of eating or just being yourself in a judgmental world. Following is our list of ten tried-and-true festival recommendations, listed in chronological order.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Sloan's Lake Park.
Denver Greek Festival
June 14-16, free (small cover after 8 p.m.)
The Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Metropolis Cathedral of Denver
Now in its 48th year, the Greek Festival is one of Denver's longest-running cultural events, and there's a reason that it's been around so long. Actually, several reasons: The mood is joyful, the food authentic and delicious, and the music and dancing folksy and participatory. Other highlights include cathedral tours featuring murals of religious icons painted around the church's main dome; after dark, thick Greek coffee, Greek beer and shots of ouzo fire up the night. And it all ends with a concert by Ethos Elias and its national lineup of musicians.
Juneteenth Music Festival
June 15, free
Welton Street, Historic Five Points
Denver's annual celebration of African-American freedom and achievement is one of the largest in the nation. This year's edition kicks off at 10 a.m. with a colorful parade from Fuller Park, at 29th Avenue and Williams Street, to Welton Street in the heart of Five Points, where the fun continues with food and craft vendors, cultural activities, an art walk and plenty of live music, with everything from blues to hip-hop. New this year at the fest is the first annual Juneteenth Car Show. Let the dancing in the streets begin!
June 15-16, free
Civic Center Park
PrideFest might be Denver's most exuberant outdoor celebration: The two-day homage to LGBT culture and heritage is famous nationwide, drawing national acts to its stages and one of the most colorful audiences you're likely to see this summer. PrideFest's ongoing slate of entertainment includes everything from drag queens and go-go girls to gay square dancers and '80s pop stars (diva Taylor Dayne and Weather Girl Martha Wash are this year's name guests); Sunday's traditional parade up Colfax Avenue from Cheesman Park to Civic Center is the very definition of spectacle, with floats, costumes and Dykes on Bikes leading the way.
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4610 E. Alameda Ave., Denver, CO
First to Third avenues between Clayton and Steele streets, Denver, CO