Arts and Culture

The Five Best Free Events in Denver This Week

Kick off your Fourth of July festivities at Independence Eve in Civic Center Park on July 3.
Kick off your Fourth of July festivities at Independence Eve in Civic Center Park on July 3. Evan Semón Photography
Denver is exploding with free events this week. In addition to the red, white and blue parties and fireworks spectacles marking Independence Day, as well as the last day of the Cherry Creek Arts festival, there are also shows highlighting activist poets and opportunities to shop for dogs. Although all of the events listed below are free, some have a suggested minimum donation — and we encourage you to pony up even more; our local artists need all the help they can get.
Evan Semón Photography
Independence Eve 2017
Monday, July 3, 8 p.m.
Civic Center Park

When the Fourth of July rolls around, it’s hard to avoid fireworks shows, which light up the sky for miles. And who wants to avoid them, anyway (dogs excepted)? For urbanites who can’t wait to have a blast, Independence Eve 2017, starting at 8 p.m. Monday, July 3, at Civic Center Park, is the way to go. The eighth annual celebration gets rocking with party band Soul X before giving way to the pomp and circumstance of the 101st Army Band of the Colorado National Guard. For convenience’s sake, there will be food trucks on hand, although you’re free to bring your own eats, too. You’ll definitely want to bring your own seating and arrive early to grab a good spot for the show and the fireworks that top off the night. That’s entertainment! Admission is free; learn more at

click to enlarge C/O LARIMER ASSOCIATES
C/o Larimer Associates
Stars & Stripes Express Fest
Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4
Union Station
This year, relocate your Independence Day celebration from the back yard to Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, for the Stars & Stripes Express Fest, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4. The Terminal Bar will double the size of its patio to fit more revelers, and Denver Beer Co. will be pouring lots of locally brewed suds; there will also be plenty of live music and family-friendly entertainment. Stars & Stripes is a free event (but the beer isn’t), and it will end early enough for you to catch a local fireworks display.

click to enlarge C/O ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL
C/o Aspen Music Festival
Fourth of July Concert
Tuesday, July 4, 4 p.m.
Benedict Music Tent, Aspen

Class up your Fourth of July festivities with the Aspen Music Festival and School band as they play their way through an all-American repertoire. Featuring classic patriotic compositions like Yankee Doodle, the Hudson River Rhapsody, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Armed Forces Salute and more, the program also livens things up with selections from Westside Story and John Philip Sousa's El Capitan. The free concert kicks off at 4 p.m. in the Benedict Music Tent, 960 North 3rd Street, Aspen, leaving guests with plenty of fireworks-watching time once it's over. Visit to learn more.

Keep reading for more free events this week.

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