For the fifth consecutive year, Denver will host the exciting conclusion of the USA Pro Challenge (August 23), sending elite cyclists from all over the world blazing past spectators through the heart of The Mile High City.
The final stage of the race is just the beginning of Denver’s summer finale. Through Labor Day, the city will host a number of exhibits, concerts, sporting events and festivals to enjoy during the last days of summer.
“There is a lot to celebrate about summer in Denver,” says Richard Scharf, president, and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are thrilled to have a variety of events and experiences for our visitors and residents during the summer and year-round, from festivals and concerts, to nationally renowned visual and performing arts as well as international, professional and collegiate sports. Denver does not slow down just because the summer does.”
Festivals and Events
The USA Pro Challenge returns to Colorado from August 17-23, when the world watches some of the sport’s top athletes ride their way through Colorado to an exciting finish in Denver’s Civic Center Park. Spectators can line the race route and attend a free festival with food trucks, entertainment and both the stage and overall race awards ceremonies.
On August 28-30, Denver welcomes its second annual Riot Fest & Rodeo – the newest iteration of the popular music festival founded in Chicago – taking place for the first time this year at the National Western Complex.
The weekend-long festival will include carnival rides, sideshow performances, and music from the punk, rock, alternative, metal and hip-hop genres, as well as local elements that are unique to the Denver show. Visit the festival website for ticket, hotel and concert information.
Over Labor Day weekend, foodies can sample some of Colorado’s culinary delights, from ethnic specialties to traditional favorites, at A Taste of Colorado in Civic Center Park. Each day from September 4-7, food establishments from around the state will share appetizers, entrees and desserts in full-sized or sample portions. The festival also features daily cooking demonstrations, a fine dining area that highlights gourmet cuisine from renowned chefs, live entertainment including headliners Kansas and fan favorites Morris Day and the Time, vendor and artist booths and more. Admission is free, and tickets for food and beverages can be purchased at the festival.
Live Concerts and Shows
After two record-breaking runs, nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “The Book of Mormon,” returns to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts this August. From the Colorado-native creators of “South Park,” the Broadway musical follows two young missionaries as they try to convert Ugandan citizens to the Mormon religion, playfully exploring religion, sexuality, poverty and race. The show runs from August 11 – September 13 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour comes to The Mile High City for two nights over Labor Day weekend. On September 5-6, fans can catch Taylor Swift and special guest Vance Joy at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver. According to the Washington Post “While Swift’s set list generally stays the same throughout a tour, she’s always one for surprises: As she’s acknowledged, most of her diehard fans — the ones that ensure she’s the only artist who can still sell a million copies of an album these days — have watched the entire concert on YouTube months before they arrive at the venue.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will once again host one of the most popular jam bands in the world, Phish, for three nights over Labor Day weekend. For the fifth year in a row, Phish will celebrate Labor Day weekend with its devoted following in Denver and from around the country with unmatched jam sessions and an enthralling live show.
Labor Day weekend gives Denver two opportunities to see some of the most respected and well-known comedians in the industry. Brian Regan, who sold out the legendary Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in 2013, returns to the outdoor venue for another show on September 5, 2015. On September 7, comedian-actor, Kevin Hart, gets back on the stage for his new comedy tour, “What Now?” at the Pepsi Center for one night only.
Art & Exhibits
Art lovers can kick off the holiday weekend with Denver’s First Friday Art Walks. Held the first Friday of every month, galleries in Denver’s art districts – Art District on Santa Fe, Golden Triangle Museum District, RiNo (River North) Art District, Tennyson Street Cultural District and more – stay open late for festive street parties featuring local art and food.
On Saturday, September 5, the Denver Art Museum will host its monthly Free Saturday, which allows local and non-local visitors to explore Denver’s vibrant arts scene with free general admission. Additionally, in 2015, admission to the Denver Art Museum became free for everyone ages 18 and under, providing youth with more access to art than ever before. Through August 30, the Foothills Art Center in Golden, just outside of Denver, will present “Ansel Adams: Masterworks.” Featuring images hand-selected by the famous photographer himself, the exhibit consists of 48 works depicting the American West and Southwest.
Through October 4, History Colorado Center hosts Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, an imaginative exhibit featuring some of the most popular toys in history – from Barbie to Mr. Potato Head, Slinky to Spirograph. The exhibit explores the nostalgia, memories and history behind the toys, and their impact on American life; and it encourages people to play, have fun and explore some of the country’s favorite toys.
The wildly popular Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science comes to a close on September 7. Through Labor Day, visitors will have the chance to explore the history, myths and possibilities of mythic creatures – from sea monsters to dragons. New at the museum this summer is The Power of Poison, an exhibit that uses interactive and immersive elements to investigate poison’s role in natural and cultural history.
Denver visitors can expect quite a few events through Labor Day weekend; additionally, some of Denver’s best hotels feature packages and deals that take advantage of these offerings. For a full listing of events, visit http://www.Denver365.com.
For additional information on Denver’s summer finale, as well as hotel deals and more, please visit http://www.visitdenver.com.
Rico Figliolini has published and owns blog sites related to travel and leisure, casting and entertainment news, parks and recreation and social media marketing. Traveling a weekend at a time with family and friends.