Top Summer Art Festivals In Denver

June 15, 2015 6:00 AM

A scene from the Colorado Renaissance Festival in 2014 (credit: CBS) A scene from the Colorado Renaissance Festival in 2014 (credit: CBS)

Shopping for art doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience. Sure, you can head to one of the many beautiful local art galleries and hope you find an artist you love but most galleries only feature a handful of artists at a time, making it tough to find that truly special piece. Instead, try shopping at one of the many summer festivals happening all over Colorado. You’ll find lots of beautiful and affordable art pieces to buy, you may even get a chance to meet the artists to learn more about their work. It also helps that you’ll find lots of food, music, dancing and other fun at all these festivals, so it’s more than just shopping for a piece of art, it’s a whole family experience.
Denver PrideFest 2015
Civic Center Park
E. Broadway Ave. and Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 733-7743
www.glbtcolorado.org

June 20 and 21, 2015
Price: Free to attend

Denver’s PrideFest is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the country. Now in its 40th year, the festival includes a ton of amazing free entertainment on three stages, plus more than 200 vendors serving up loads of great food, drink and tons of arts and crafts. Show up early to enjoy the parade before it heads to Civic Center Park, where all the fun really begins. This is a great place to find lots of unique, creative and colorful works of art for your home or business, and you’ll most likely be able to meet the artists and even chat a bit before you make a purchase, since everything here is truly local. More than 365,000 people attended the Denver PrideFest in 2014, so prepare for some crowds and get ready for a really fun time.

Colorado Renaissance Festival
650 W. Perry Park Ave.
Larkspur, CO 80118
(303) 688-6010
www.coloradorenaissance.com

Weekends from June 13 through August 2
Price: $19.50 for adults/$8 for children ages five to 12

If renaissance style art is your thing, then you’ll want to race down to Larkspur to check out the annual Colorado Renaissance Festival. In addition to all the fantastic entertainment, music, rides and food, you’ll also find more than 200 little shops loaded with handmade and unique art, including everything from jewelry, clothing and costumes to weapons, pottery and shoes. You can also visit the local blacksmith to watch a live demonstration or check out the live demonstrations of pottery, glassblowing and both leather and woodworking. The Colorado Renaissance Festival is the best place in Colorado to stock up on lots of unusual works of art from an era very long ago. Meet the artists, find a special piece and proudly display your new art at home.

Related: Top Art Walks In Denver

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
Sloan’s Lake
Sheridan Blvd. and W. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80219
(303) 953-7277
www.cdbf.org

July 18 and 19, 2015
Price: Free to attend

Now in its 15th year, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is always a wonderful highlight of the summer festival season. The festival originally set out to celebrate the rich diversity of Denver’s Asian community but has grown to a massive community event, bringing in more than 125,000 people every year. At the center of the festival are the huge dragon boats that race around Sloan’s Lake, however while you are between races or just waiting for your team, you can peruse lots of wonderful vendors offering beautiful handcrafted Asian art. You’ll find tons of beautiful jewelry, fashion, arts, crafts and other items that will showcase your own passion for the Asian art styles. For those that love this beautiful and highly detailed art style, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is a don’t-miss event.

Denver County Fair
National Western Complex
4655 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216
www.denvercountyfair.org

July 31 through August 2, 2015
Price: $10 for adults/$5 for kids, seniors and military

The annual Denver County Fair is so much more than an art show but the art portion of this event is one of the biggest of its kind. Start your day at the Fair by enjoying the many different pavilions, covering everything from rides and kids entertainment to home and gardens and different types of culture. Then head over to the Art Pavilion where you can enjoy the huge juried art show covering everything from painting and photography to mixed media, digital art, sculpture and more. There will also be an art playground just for the kids to enjoy and an activity booth to make and take your own artist trading cards. The Denver County Fair is so big that you’ll probably want to attend for more than one day, just be sure to mark several hours so you can browse through the Art Pavilion to check out all the amazing local artists.

A Taste Of Colorado
Civic Center Park
E. Broadway Ave. and Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 295-6330
www.atasteofcolorado.com

September 4 through 7, 2015
Price: Free to attend

Everyone knows that A Taste of Colorado is all about the food. It’s the best time of the year to learn all about the many different culinary experts in Denver, and to get a sample of tons of different types of cuisine. Once you fill up, however, you can peruse the 250 arts and crafts booths featuring clothing, home and gift items, jewelry, furniture, art and more. Head to Fine Art in the Park at the festival to check out all the different visual art pieces from artists all over the country. It’s a fun way to learn about new artists and to discover something special for you to take home. Shopping at the Arts and Crafts Marketplace at A Taste of Colorado is the perfect way to pause between meals, to get a little exercise before you head over for dessert, or to just discover your new favorite artist.

Related: Top Art Galleries In Denver

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

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