The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

There are festivals for everything this weekend — honey, October, chiles, immigrants and beer (some things are eternal). Pick your favorite and start your celebration: Here are the six best events on the culinary calendar from September 22 through September 24.

Friday, September 22
Roll out the barrel — and the tubas, steins, lederhosen and dirndls – as Denver Oktoberfest ushers in another season of festive Bavarian tradition. Since 1969, the German celebration has been part of Denver's history, beginning on Larimer Square and then moving to Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd streets. The gemütlichkeit (that's good vibes to you) will start flowing at 11 a.m. Friday, September 22, with food, music, competitions, polka and, of course, plenty of German and American beer. The fun continues until 9 p.m., then repeats during the same hours on Saturday, September 23. Can't find the wiener dogs? Come back on September 29 and 30 for the Long Dog Derby, more pretzels and sausages, and live music from the Milk Blossoms and DJ Chonz. The party is free, but you'll need to purchase tickets to exchange for beer; food vendors will accept cash and credit cards. VIP tickets, which cover a T-shirt, mug, unlimited food and other goodies, can be purchased at Prost!

There are not a lot of good reasons to endure the drive to Pueblo, but the annual Chile and Frijoles Festival is one of them. From Friday, September 22, through Sunday, September 24, you'll be enveloped by the smell of roasting chiles — the quintessential fall aroma — as you pull up to Union Avenue in downtown Pueblo. It's our favorite fall fest: There's plenty of fried fair food, baskets of Pueblo chiles waiting to be roasted and loaded into plastic bags for their trip home to your freezer, air-conditioned bars along the street serving pale yellow beer to quench your thirst and soothe your palate, and tents hosting ’80s glam-rock cover bands. The festival runs from 3 p.m. to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, and admission is a mere $3. And if you haven't filled up on funnel cake, get an iconic Pueblo slopper before hitting the road back to Denver. Find out more at

click to enlarge These bees are from Tupelo, honey. Find the real thing at the Colorado Honey Festival. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
These bees are from Tupelo, honey. Find the real thing at the Colorado Honey Festival.
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, September 23
Who says the suburbs never have any fun? On Saturday, September 23, the Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce will host a food festival worth a trek from the heart of town. Forks, Corks and Ales will set up at Park Meadows Retail Resort, 8401 Park Meadows Center Drive, with plenty of wine, beer and food from area restaurants all day at the festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be live music, including an appearance by the Samples. Admission is only $10 for adults and even less for the kids; be sure to bring extra cash if you want full pours from the bar or a little something special from the festival's marketplace. Go to for advance tickets and more information. There's more than just soccer fields and parking lots out there!

The Aurora Cultural Arts District continues to find new ways to celebrate its diversity and introduce the rest of the region to its unique multicultural makeup. New this summer, the ImmiFest (short for the Colorado Immigrant Festival) is another link in that effort, shedding light on a quartet of Aurora’s major resident immigrant groups, including folks hailing from Africa, Southeast Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean, over four months. September's installment showcases Hispanic cultures thriving in Aurora with a mixture of Mexican and South American food, drink, dance and products, and includes a special focus on ACAD’s fair-trade ACADIA Project immigrant creative community. Get a taste of the real Aurora from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, September 23, at ACAD Studios & Galleries, 1400 Dallas Street in Aurora. Admission is free. The final mini-fest celebrates the Caribbean on October 28; get more information at

Want a pet, but your apartment building doesn't allow them? Consider beekeeping! The little guys are so quiet, your neighbors will never know they're there! Just kidding — don't do that (or at least don't tell your landlord this is where you got the idea). But if you have the outdoor space and have been considering getting started with hives, the Colorado Honey Festival is a great place to begin. Saturday, September 23, is dedicated to all things apian at the Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can attend a Beekeeping 101 class, learn what plants are good for the striped pollinators, network with other beekeepers and find out firsthand what they make with their honey and beeswax hauls. The event is totally free; see the Facebook page for more details.

click to enlarge Get to the saloon before it's gone. - STATE 38 DISTILLING'S THE CORNER SALOON
Get to the saloon before it's gone.
State 38 Distilling's The Corner Saloon
Sunday, September 24
State 38 Distilling's The Corner Saloon, 1123 Washington Avenue in Golden, will soon be a thing of the past, as the distillery is closing down the bar in a few short months. But you still have time to make one last pilgrimage and save some money, too: On Sunday, September 24, at 3 p.m., the saloon is offering buy one, get half off specials on cocktails. If you show up before 3 p.m.? No worries: Enjoy the game without ever finishing your drink, as bottomless cocktails are just $20. Saying goodbye has never been so enjoyable.

Plan ahead for the following food and drink events....