Get Psychedelicized

As one of the founders of the Denver County Fair, event maven Dana Cain is practically a household name in this city — but her first dalliance with local fame came with her first big success: the Denver Modernism Show, which in its ninth year might still be her favorite show to throw. A love letter to mid-century design and culture, the show has grown into a three-day festival, complete with its own tiki bar and 50,000 square feet of the coolest retro-vendor booths in the region.

This year’s shindig will put special emphasis on the psychedelic ’60s, and to pep up the programming even further, Cain has brought in burlesque, cocktail and vintage costuming expert Michelle Baldwin to up the day-glo vibe. She’ll also showcase the work of local rock artist Lindsey Kuhn, who designed the 2014 Modernism Show poster.

“The important thing to me is to have it be fun,” Cain says. “Some modernism people are so strict about what modernism is, what’s cool. But at this show, we always lean toward the fun side of retro fabulosity.” To that end, crowd favorites like the Miss Modernism pageant, the Charles Phoenix retro slide show and the Motorama Car Show will be back, along with such new events as a ’60s Psychedelic Rock & Art slide show with Erin Behrenhausen and other ’60s-flavored fun, from a dance contest to a fashion show. “And the vendors will run the gamut, from real-estate booths to people selling ridiculous tchotchkes,” Cain adds. “You can spend ten dollars or ten thousand dollars and walk out with something mind-blowingly cool.”

The Denver Modernism show opens tonight with a preview party from 6 to 10 p.m. and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the National Western Complex, I-70 and Brighton Boulevard. Admission is $20 to $50 for the Friday-night party and includes weekend admission, or $8 daily on Saturday and Sunday. Go to for information.
Fri., Aug. 22, 6-10 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2014

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd