Things to Do

Eight Things to Do for Free in Denver (and Beyond) Today

The Obanoth, painting at the Matchbox during Art RiNo.
The Obanoth, painting at the Matchbox during Art RiNo. Joe Freemond/Art Rino
Summer is almost over, but the cultural calendar continues to heat up with free fun. There are festivals all along the Front Range today, including the culimination of the new Art RiNo festival.

Keep reading for eight free things to do in Denver (and beyond) today:

Union Peak Festival
Sunday, September 11, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Copper Mountain, Center Village, 509 Copper Road, Frisco

Only in its second year, Copper’s Union Peak Festival is more than a music festival. Along with the music on two stages, organizers threw in a focus on fitness, recreational pastimes and sports clinics, along with an art walk and a live art showcase. Over the fest’s three-day run, it will be possible to stretch out in a yoga session, brush up on your golf swing, sample at a beer tasting, and learn about fly-fishing and mountain biking — all in one morning. Then it’s on to the stages. Almost everything is free; find info on what’s not — and everything else — here.

Gold Hill Gold Rush
Sunday, September 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Main Street, Gold Hill

Head to the hills for this fundraiser for the Gold Hill Town Meeting, supporting the community of Gold Hill, a mining town founded in 1859. There will be a bake sale offering homemade pies, cakes and cookies; a rummage sale with antiques, clothing, sporting goods and more; and an arts and crafts fair with handmade items from Front Range artists. Music will be provided by local performers throughout the event. Admission is free; find out more here.

Mid-Autumn Festival 2022
Sunday, September 11, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Far East Center, 333 South Federal Boulevard
There’s a rainbow of ethnic festivals arching over Denver this weekend, including the pan-Asian Mid-Autumn Festival celebration (Tết in Vietnamese) in the city’s Little Saigon row on Federal Boulevard. Traditionally, lanterns are lit and mooncake pastries are served, but at the Far East Center, where they know how to pack it in, you'll find cultural mashups, too, from international food vendors and K-pop dancers to a concert with Vietnamese pop stars and a mooncake-eating contest. Admission is free; find a schedule here.

Art RiNo Bar Crawl
Sunday, September 11, noon to 6p.m.
RiNo Art District

Art RiNo, a new, week-long arts festival in the RiNo Art District, started with mural painting on Monday, with artists Patrick Kane McGregor, Koco Collab, The Obanoth, Yazz, SpeakS and Smug. You can see all their work by wandering through the area, or join the Art RiNo Bar Crawl at noon today. Get details here.

click to enlarge
Jack Black will rock you.
School of Rock
School of Rock Live and on Film
Sunday, September 11, 6 p.m.
Sloans Chapel Plaza, West 16th Avenue and Raleigh Street

The West Colfax BID and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are hosting a special outdoor screening of School of Rock that kicks off with a performance of the Denver School of Rock Band. Admission is free; bring your lawn chairs! Find out more here.

Black Legacy Project
Sunday, September 11, 7 p.m.
Swallow Hill Music, 71 East Yale

Music in Common has landed in Denver with the Black Legacy Project, a musical celebration of Black history designed to advance racial solidarity, equity and belonging, with events and programs for musicians and non-musicians alike. In each community where the Black Legacy Project lands, songs addressing a theme connected to the local community are reimagined and composed. The theme for Denver is “Walking in my Shoes,” which will examine and reinterpret “The Klan” and “The Ballad of the Walking Postman,” songs recorded by Walt Conley, a Black musician who is considered by many to be the founding father of the Denver folk scene. The songs will be rerecorded and performed at Swallow Hill at 7 p.m. on September 11, when the Black Legacy Project documentary short will also be shown. Admission is free, but registration is required; find out more here.

And two ongoing events:

Supernova 7th Dimension: Night Lights Denver
Through September, Tuesdays through Sundays, 8 p.m. to midnight
Clocktower, 1601 Arapahoe Street

Denver Digerati has brought back Supernova, with events all month, including competitive and curated programs coming mid-September downtown, and online programs for members. But there are also plenty of free things to see and do, including catching the animations that Night Lights Denver commissioned to show on the Clocktower every evening after dusk. Find out more here.

Edge Effect: La inclusión de mi raza (The inclusion of my race)
Through November 13, Wednesday through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tail Tracks Plaza, 1550 Wewatta Street
The Biennial of the Americas and Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum partnered on the latest Edge Effect project: La inclusión de mi raza (The inclusion of my race), a temporary public-art installation by Guadalajara-based artist Gabriel Rico at Tail Tracks Plaza. Rico’s outdoor installation includes totemic sculptures composed of an array of objects donated by the Denver community and an interactive AR experience. It's open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through November 13; find out more here.

Do you know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]
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