The Ten Best Summer Arts Festivals in and Around Denver

WAVE: Light + Water + Sound.
WAVE: Light + Water + Sound.
BreckCreate

Summer festivals bring throngs of people out into the sunshine for one-size-fits-all fun, and leave no room for anyone of any age to get bored. That’s why we love them: It’s easy to get lost in a sweaty crowd and eat and drink and dance and look and look and look. The pinnacle of arts festivals in Denver would be the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, with its iconic stature and emphasis on tony perusing, but there are so many other ways to get into your festival groove. Here are ten of the best arts festivals in the area, in chronological order.

WAVE: Light + Water + Sound.EXPAND
WAVE: Light + Water + Sound.
BreckCreate

WAVE: Light + Water + Sound
June 1-4
Downtown Breckenridge
Free
breckcreate.org/wave

BreckCreate’s innovative early-summer multimedia fest WAVE, which debuted last year, sets a new highbrow standard by bringing world-class art installations to the streets of Breckenridge, best known these days as a ski town. But you don’t have to be an art snob to enjoy and interact with these colored lights: There’s eye-popping fun for everyone during WAVE, especially after dark, when video projections, music and dance mingle brightly. If you like what you see, come back in August, when the Breckenridge International Fest of Arts brings another round of multi-disciplinary interactive art to the mountainside.

Denver Chalk Art Festival.
Denver Chalk Art Festival.
Brandon Marshall

Denver Chalk Art Festival
June 3-4
Larimer Square
Free

larimersquare.com
After fifteen years, the Denver Chalk Art Festival has earned its place as a local tradition like no other. It’s an opportunity to get outdoors and welcome summer in the heart of the city while watching artists transform the pavement into a temporary art gallery and taking advantage of Larimer Square’s restaurants, boutiques and general urban charm. 

People's Fair.EXPAND
People's Fair.
Brandon Marshall

People’s Fair
June 3-4
Civic Center Park
Free

peoplesfair.com
Denver’s oldest community festival, with a history going back nearly fifty years to its modest advent on the grounds of Morey Middle School in Capitol Hill, the People’s Fair has grown to attract thousands of fans to Civic Center Park over two days every June. This year’s fest, under new management, will continue in the family-friendly vein that Denverites have come to expect over the decades, with a well-curated selection of artisan vendors, live cultural entertainment and music, including national headliners. And don’t forget the kids’ activities and rides galore, as well as lots of foodie fun, a drag show, free morning yoga sessions and even a morning happy hour for all-adult beverages.

Art Students League of Denver Summer Art Market
Art Students League of Denver Summer Art Market
Ruthann Maze

Art Students League of Denver
Summer Art Market
June 10-11
200 Grant Street
Free
asld.org

Many aficionados of the Art Students League’s Summer Art Market don’t want you to know about it — the art is just that good, and the prices are right. The two-day sale on the grounds of the Art Students League of Denver is a community event, gabby and downright friendly while still supporting more than 250 local artists, some of whom teach for the ASLD. While little hands are kept busy with art demos and hands-on activities, adults can shake a groove to live music and down a few brews

Salida Art Walk.
Salida Art Walk.
Courtesy Salida Art Walk

. Come see who’s making art in your own back yard.

Keep reading for more summer arts festival.



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