Things to Do

The 21 Best Things to Do in Denver, June 12 Through June 18

Get ready for PrideFest!
Get ready for PrideFest! Miles Chrisinger

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click to enlarge PROJECT WORTHMORE
Project Worthmore
Saturday, June 16

A fest with a 5K, a one-mile fun run, team relay races, a yoga class instructed through wireless headphones, kids' activities, food from City, O' City, beer from Great Divide and ice cream from Little Man — all on a community farm — already hits enough Colorado stereotypes to make it appealing to Denverites. But those offerings aren't the true draw of the third annual Dignity Festival, taking place Saturday, June 16, at the DeLaney Community Farm at 170 South Chambers Road in Aurora; rather, the festival is being held in honor of World Refugee Day and will help raise money for Project Worthmore, a nonprofit based in Aurora that assists Colorado's substantial refugee community by providing such services as English-language classes, a dental clinic and access to community farming. The event runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; admission is $35 for adults and $10 for kids twelve and under. Learn more at projectworthmore.org/dignity/festival.

The theme for the 2018 PrideFest is "Say It Loud, Say It Proud," and in the wake of the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision, this year's celebration of equality should be louder than ever. In fact, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the couple who took their complaint against the Lakewood baker who refused to make their wedding cake all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, will be the grand marshals of the Coors Light PrideFest parade, which leaves Cheesman Park at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, June 17. By then, PrideFest will have already filled Civic Center Park with a day of entertainment (on three stages), more than 200 vendors, a family-friendly area and plenty of loud and proud community. Admission is free at the park, where the party runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 16 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 17; other activities will abound around town. Find all the details at facebook.com/denverpridefest or glbtcolorado.org/pridefest.

click to enlarge PrideFest will fill Civic Center Park. - THE CENTER
PrideFest will fill Civic Center Park.
The Center
Denver's Juneteenth was once one of the largest celebrations in the country marking the day that slaves in Texas learned that they were free, and while it suffered through some ups and downs over the past decade, the free festival is back in a big way. Head to the historic Five Points neighborhood on Saturday, June 16, for festivities starting with the annual Juneteenth Parade, which kicks off from Manual High School at 11 a.m. (staging at 9 a.m.); it winds up at the main stage at 27th and Welton streets in time for the #DreamBig Awards Ceremony at 1 p.m., followed by plenty of live music, kids' activities and a very adult Drink Garden. At 7 p.m., rapper Jadakiss takes the main stage to close out the day. Find out more at juneteenthmusicfestival.com.

Denver has been starved for good barbecue, and the inaugural Denver BBQ Festival will bring plenty to the Mile High City, and just in time for Father's Day. Not only that, but admission to the fest at Mile High Stadium, 1701 Bryant Street, is free...until Dad starts eating, that is. Ten "Legends of the Pit" from around the country — including Mike Emerson of Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, Scott Roberts of the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas, and Denver's own Jason Ganahl of GQue Championship Barbecue — will be selling ’cue, and cold beverages will also be available. The free fest is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 17; you can also buy $99 tickets to a special preview party that runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 15. And yes, VIP packages are available, too, including one that will get you and Dad seats at the Denver Outlaws game. Get all the delicious details at denverbbqfest.com.


Boston-born Johnny Cupcakes, aka Johnny Earle, is a traveling salesman of a totally different stripe, packaging custom T-shirts and other hip graphic accessories in pastry boxes and taking them on the road. Cupcakes is strafing Colorado with pop-up markets this summer; he'll be at Vices Sneaker Boutique, 2201 Welton Street, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, when he’ll unpack some fresh cupcake- and sprinkle-themed gear. Yes, there will be cupcakes, too, courtesy of Denver’s Sweet Inspirations bakery, and if you RSVP in advance at eventbrite.com, you'll be able to enter a raffle for free merch. Admission is free, but you know you’ll want cupcakes — both the real kind and the tee kind — if you go, so bring some dough. Learn more and keep up with other Colorado appearances at johnnycupcakes.com.
click to enlarge FLOR DE TOLOACHE
Flor de Toloache

Sunday, June 17


Mariachi music has long been dominated by men, but times are changing. At 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, New York City's Flor de Toloache — billed as the first-ever all-women mariachi band — will take to the stage at Levitt Pavilion, 1380 West Florida Avenue in Ruby Hill Park. The Grammy-nominated band has become an international sensation, and will be joined by Denver’s own Los Mocochetes, the seven-piece Chicano funk band that has been gathering steam and inspiring audiences to dance. Find out more about this free concert and RSVP at levittdenver.org.

Tired of traditional gender roles? Troubled by your assigned sex? Prepping to come out as trans and looking for some support? Head to Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway, on Sunday, June 17, for Gender F*cked: A Binary Busting Hour, put on by Audacious Theatre and Kai Monahan. Dubbed a queer variety show, the evening will include stories, power ballads and talks by people who identify as trans and non-binary. After the entertainment, audience members will be invited to participate in a short talkback about the struggles and social injustice that trans and gender non-conforming people face. The free program starts at 7 p.m.; for more information, call 303-778-7579.

Monday, June 18

Prepare for landing: Governor John Hickenlooper has declared this "Pollinator Month" in Colorado, and it's no coincidence that the Butterfly Pavilion's Pollinator Week starts on Monday, June 18, and runs through Sunday, June 24. The special celebration of "the world's tiny superheroes" includes animal and plant encounters, a milkweed seed giveaway, guided garden explorations, crafts, games, beeswax candle-making and a sommelier-led honey tasting and food pairing (June 23 only). Butterfly Pavilion is located at 6252 West 104th Avenue in Westminster; it's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Most Pollinator Week activities are included with general admission; for more information, go to butterflies.org.

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