How To Celebrate Memorial Day In Denver

May 9, 2014 6:00 AM

Water World (credit: CBS)

Water World (credit: CBS) Water World (credit: CBS)

Memorial Day is Monday, May 26, which means it’s time for parades, festivals, art, music and celebration. The weekend is always a huge event in Denver, with so many different things to do that you’ll have a hard time trying to do them all. So grab some friends and plan three days of fun and celebration to ring in the official start of the summer season. The weather in Colorado is usually perfect for enjoying outdoor festivals on Memorial Day, just be sure to use plenty of sunscreen. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy Memorial Day weekend in Denver this year.

Denver Day of Rock
Skyline Park
Arapahoe St. between 16th St. and 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202

Dates: May 23 through 24, 2014

One of the best ways to ring in the summer is at the annual Denver Day of Rock. You can enjoy a full day of free entertainment as lots of great bands perform on five stages from Skyline Park down 16th Street Mall. There will be concerts for the whole family with plenty of food and beer trucks set up to enjoy. This is the fifth annual Denver Day of Rock and it has been growing bigger and better every single year. Ring in Memorial Day weekend with two full days of free tunes, great food and the beautiful Colorado weather.

Denver Pavilions
500 16th St.
Denver, CO 80202

Dates: May 24 through 25, 2014

Downtown Denver is going to be busy on Memorial Day weekend. Head over to the Denver Pavilions for ArtStir, a huge art market dedicated to showcasing exclusively Colorado creativity. You’ll find paintings, sculptures, textiles, furnishings, mixed media, photography, illustrations and more. The artists will be set up around the Pavilions and the surface parking lots just off the 16th Street Mall. You are sure to find a few special pieces that you’ll just have to take home for your very own.

Relate: Top Summer Vacation Activities in Denver

Downtown Denver Arts Festival
Denver Performing Arts Complex
950 13th St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 893-4100

Dates: May 23 through 25, 2014

As if those two huge events weren’t enough for one of the best weekends of the year, you can also check out the Downtown Denver Arts Festival. This huge festival has been a premier art show in Denver since 1999, showcasing fine art and crafts from both Colorado and national artists. More than 125,000 people are expected to attend this special 16th year of the festival. It is the best place in town to discover new fine artists while you mix and mingle with other art lovers.

Related: Top Summer Day Camps in Denver

Memorial Day Parade and Tribute Ceremony
Civic Center Park
101 W. 14th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204

Date: May 24, 2014

It is also important to observe the true meaning behind Memorial Day Weekend. The annual Memorial Day Parade and Tribute Ceremony is the biggest event in Colorado to honor the men and women who lost their lives while fighting for this country. This formal ceremony includes military honors for fallen heroes with a reading of the names. The ceremony is always held immediately following the annual parade, and veterans who never received their earned medals are honored through a special campaign for forgotten heroes. This is a wonderful way to introduce the whole family to the meaning of this important day.

Water World Opening Weekend
8801 N. Pecos St.
Federal Heights, CO 80260
(303) 427-7873

Ring in the summer with the largest family water park in the country. Memorial Day weekend is also opening weekend for Water World. What better way to celebrate the warm weather than to slide down more than 40 different aquatic attractions, huge wave pools, white-water rapids, speed slides and even Colorado’s first ever water coaster? Check out all of the different areas of the huge park like the Big Top Family Fun Zone, Voyage to the Center of the Earth and Wally World For Tots. Bring a picnic lunch, pack plenty of sunscreen and prepare for a whole lot of fun.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at