Spring is here, and it’s time to start the festival season in Colorado. All the best in music, film, arts and food come out to play at lots of great local festivals that take place all over the state. These festivals celebrate great jazz music in Denver’s most historic neighborhood, the best in independent Chicano film, tons of great local artists and lots of wonderful gourmet food. Catch them all!
721 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
Dates: April 4-7
Celebrate diversity in independent film at the XicanIndie FilmFest, sponsored by SuTeatro. It is the only film festival in the state that features the best in Chicano, Latino and Mexican independent film. With categories in animation, documentary, experimental, short and feature length, it features a huge variety of amazing films that you probably wouldn’t get to see anywhere else. If you aren’t familiar with SuTeatro, then this is the perfect event to get acquainted with this amazing group. Established in 1971, it is the only performance group that speaks directly to the experience of Chicanos and has a national reputation for excellence.
Related: 2013 Denver Spring Theater Preview
Colorado Arts And Gourmet Food Festival
Denver Merchandise Mart
451 E. 58th Ave.
Denver, CO 80216
Dates: April 5-7
One of the tastiest festivals in the state, the Colorado Arts and Gourmet Food Festival features the best in arts and food from all over Colorado. On the arts side, more than 250 booths showcase local and regional artistic talent with tons of handmade and original items for your home. And for the food side, you’ll enjoy tons of great specialty foods all available to taste and buy. Sample olive oils, goat cheeses, balsamics, barbecue sauces, fudge, jams and so much more. This event is one of the best places to shop for that upcoming Mother’s Day gift.
Five Points Jazz Festival
Washington St. at 27th St. to Welton St. at 26th Ave.
Denver, CO 80205
Dates: May 18
Get lost in a world of local jazz at the annual Five Points Jazz Festival. This free event celebrates the rich tradition of music and culture in one of Denver’s most historic neighborhoods. There will be lots of amazing performances featuring the best in local jazz at five venues throughout the area, along with plenty of food and art vendors along Welton Street. The Five Points Jazz Festival is a great way to learn about Denver’s musical past while enjoying some of the best jazz music in the country.
Related: Top Art Walks In Denver
Downtown Denver Arts Festival
Denver Performing Arts Complex
1101 13th St.
Denver, CO 80204
Dates: May 24-26
For 15 years, the Downtown Denver Arts Festival has been the best festival to check out a huge variety of fine art and craft exhibitions. Held every Memorial Day weekend, the festival is moving this year to the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which is sure to be a great venue for this spectacular festival. More than 150,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival, and it will showcase both Colorado artists as well as national juried artists.
Thornton Multipurpose Fields
11000 Colorado Blvd.
Thornton, CO 80233
Date: May 18
The 17th annual Thorntonfest celebrates all the fun of living in the city of Thornton. Everyone is invited, despite your address, to come and join in the fun. There will be a teen Battle of the Bands, featuring lots of great new emerging talent and several creature exhibits with education about rare animals and opportunities to touch different creatures. Also providing entertainment for the day will be several dance studios performing on the huge stage and many other great well-known professional musical acts like John Chandler and Delta Sonic. Of course, there will also be plenty of food and fun at this great annual festival.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.