Larimer Square
For one weekend each June, Larimer Square becomes a giant canvas for chalk artists. Mimicking the street painting of sixteenth-century Renaissance Italy, dozens apply to the Larimer Arts Association for permission to create their masterpiece on some of Denver's highest-rent asphalt. The lucky are selected on a first-come, first-served basis; all materials are provided, and participation is free. It's also free to watch, and a stroll at dusk through this urban festival is one of the year's most perfect nights in Denver. Just don't tell anyone you're a cheap date.
Last year's inaugural SunStock music festival was R.C. Griffin Jr.'s effort to give acoustic rockers a place to showcase their musical stylings, a place that anyone could access free. A place to spread the love. The only rules were leave nothing but footprints, and hug someone at the festival and express your love. The music-makers at Clement Park included Wendy Woo and a host of other locals. What's not to love?
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
It's rare that rain and concerts go well together. But at Red Rocks, the rain makes a beautiful backdrop. From the concrete seats, listeners get a view of clouds gathering over downtown Denver, and bands often keep playing while everyone watches the lightning strike in the background. Getting stuck in the rain at a concert sucks, but there's always a silver lining at Red Rocks.
Each Saturday morning from late November until Christmas, Golden stages a holiday parade that seems to have time-traveled from an earlier era. School groups, bands, equestrian troupes and more are frequent participants, marching a few blocks through the center of a town that somehow gets more charming as December 25 approaches. Each event draws hundreds of townspeople and visitors, and why not? For a few minutes each week, Golden brings the good old days back to life.
Winter Park Resort
At the end of August, Winter Park Resort gives you a perfect fall getaway with the Famous Flamethrower's High Altitude Chili Cookoff Weekend. It's a small, elite contest, and the winner earns the Rocky Mountain region's spot in the World Chili Cookoff. Meat and spice are all that's allowed -- no beans or other fillers. A few brave souls have been known to hit the Alpine Slide or the Leaps and Bounds Bungee after the sampling, but most are content to sit with a cold beer and ponder how soon those naked green slopes will be white again.

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