There are plenty of hot times ahead, with summer just days away. But the city is already full of free music and markets, with more annual celebrations on the horizon. This year's Juneteenth Music Festival is the biggest yet, and Pride events are rolling out, too. And you can head to the hills for still more action.
Keep reading for six of the best free events in Denver (and beyond) this weekend:
Victor Gem and Mineral Show/Oddities Alley
Sunday, June 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
North Third Street
Sunday, June 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There’s gems in them thar hills — and oddities, too. The historic gold-mining town of Victor has retooled itself as a tourist attraction, a destination of its own or a side trip from nearby Cripple Creek. The annual three-day gem show is mostly an outdoor affair for rock hounds; this year, the Monarch Hotel is also hosting Oddities Alley, an indoor exhibit of arcane artifacts, including potions, creatures both taxidermied and stored in jars, bones, skulls, preserved insects and other side-show wonders; there will be performances, too. Admission to both is free; find out more about Oddities Alley here
, and the gem show here
Silverton Arts Festival: An Avalanche of Arts
unday, June 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Notorious Blair Street, Silverton
What started as a gold-mining strike deep in the San Juans made its real fortune as Silverton, which kept pulling silver from the mountains until the silver market went bust. Now it’s a tourist town and famous for being the end of the road for travelers on the nail-biting Million Dollar Highway or passengers on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. While the scenery alone is enough reason to visit, there will also be lovely things created by humans at the Silverton Arts Festival, which highlights the town's status as a remote creative district. Admission is free; find details here
Third Annual Juneteenth Bike Ride
Sunday, June 19, 10 a.m.
Patagonia, 2600 Walnut Street
Local nonprofit Ride for Racial Justice will take to the streets of Denver for its third annual Juneteenth racial justice bike ride. The bike ride will kick off at the Patagonia store at 2600 Walnut Street before taking bikers eieven miles around town. Entry is free; just come with a bike, helmet, water bottle and eagerness to push Ride for Racial Justice to raise awareness and funds for a partnership with SBT GRVL to secure spots at the famous gravel bike race in Steamboat Springs for Black, Indigenous and other people of color in August. Find out more here
Juneteenth Music Festival
Juneteenth Music Festival
Sunday, June 19, noon to 8 p.m.
Juneteenth will be bigger than ever this year, with dozens of music acts, food trucks and other vendors lining the historic Welton Street corridor to mark the annual observation of the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned they were free. Admission is free; find out more here
Glamp AF Summer Market
Sunday, June 19, noon to 6 p.m.
Dairy Block, 1801 Wynkoop Street
Dairy Block is partnering with American Field to host the second annual Glamp AF Summer Market over three weekends this summer. Each Glamp AF Market will celebrate all things outdoors – from Rocky Mountain camping and hiking to summer road trips, featuring a curated selection of outdoor and lifestyle goods by top Colorado merchants. There will also be live music, food and drink specials and pop-up bars. Find out more here
Juneteenth Live from the Hollywood Bowl
Sunday, June 19, 5:30 p.m.
Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue
In Partnership with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Sie FilmCenter is presenting a free showing of the JUNETEENTH: A Global Celebration of Freedom,
a live show by Khalid, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Roots, Lucky Daye, Jhené Aiko, Robert Glasper, Killer Mike, Billy Porter, Mary Mary, Anthony Hamilton, Michelle Williams, Mickey Guyton, the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and more. And Thomas Wilkins and Derrick Hodge lead the Re-Collective Orchestra, marking the first-ever performance of an all-Black symphony orchestra in the Hollywood Bowl’s 100-year history. Get more information here
Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
Sunday, June 19, 6 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street
During an era when jazz was the nation’s popular music, Mary Lou Williams was one of its greatest innovators. As both a pianist and composer, she was a font of daring and creativity who helped shape the sound of twentieth-century America. And like the dynamic, turbulent nation in which she lived, Williams seemed to redefine herself with every passing decade. The Dairy Arts Center is offering a free screening of the film Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
in honor of Juneteenth; register 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]