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July events: Pick a festival, any festival

by | July 3rd, 2015

With reliably warm weather, July is the quintessential festival month here in Colorado. Which ties in nicely with the celebratory mood the Fourth puts us all in. While you’ll find wonderful festivals to explore all over the state, there’s no need to travel given this perfect lineup of events in our own backyard.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival-July 3-5
It’s hard to imagine Denver without it, but it was 25 years ago that the Cherry Creek Arts Festival made its grand debut. (Today it’s ranked #1 among the nation’s art festivals, drawing in 350,000+ visitors each year.) This year celebrates that anniversary with an opening gala, daily anniversary cake, and surprise performances, along with the regular joys of purchasing and admiring the work of acclaimed artists, boogying to live music, eating delicious food, and trying your own hand at a community mural.  Held in Denver’s Cherry Creek North Shopping District. Admission is free. Learn more.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Colorado Black Arts Festival-July 10-12
Immerse yourself in three days of art and culture presented by the creative talents of local, regional, and national African-Americans. With a theme of Rock Steady, this 29th annual festival invites you to enjoy two stages of jazz, blues, reggae, gospel, traditional African drum, and dance performances; watch the family-favorite Boogaloo Celebration Parade; stroll the Watu Sokoni (People’s Marketplace); go on a cultural scavenger hunt; and “rock steady” in the streets, dancing to the music of one of Denver’s hottest DJs. Held in historic City Park. Free. Learn more.

Colorado Black Arts Festival

Patriotic BBQ & Country Music Concert-July 11, 5:30pm-8:30pm
Pumpkin seed spittin’ and lasso jumpin’ are just a few of the antics planned for this favorite event at the BackCountry Amphitheatre. Headlining the evening is Chris Daniels & The Kings, one of Colorado’s hottest country rock bands. Buffalo Bill, a uniquely talented cowboy, will preside over the spitting and lassoing contests while teaching rope tricks, too, and a “branding station” will affix some glittery tattoos. BBQ is available: adults $13, kids $6 each. Please order meals online through ActiveNet or at the Sundial House by July 6.  If you plan on attending but not ordering a meal, please RSVP at

4th of July at BackCountry

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival-July 18-19
Here’s a feast for the senses! Held at Sloan’s Lake Park each year, this Asian festival features dragon boat races between 53 teams. (A 2,000-year-old tradition, dragon boating is a sport that happens all over the world now.) Five stages offer 100+ music and dance performances honoring various cultures and, of course, authentic Asian food vendors, including one who won an Iron Chef Competition on the reality show Cutthroat Kitchen and two more currently showcased on the Food Network. Learn more.

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

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