Brace yourselves, dear foodlings: It's a busy weekend around town, with activities for any level of energy or laziness. Bike to ten farms? Got it. Stay in and binge-watch the Travel Channel? Got that, too. Drink beer, eat tacos, and learn about possessed dolls? Yep. Here are ten events for your perusal, from Friday, August 18, through Sunday, August 20.
Friday, August 18
Start the weekend off in a serene setting with the Farm to Fork Dinner at Humphrey History Park and Museum, 620 Soda Creek Road in Evergreen. The history of the park dates back to 1878, when it was originally homesteaded and a cabin (which still stands, amazingly) was built in the Evergreen foothills; it remained a working ranch through the 1940s. Revel in the history, scenery and summer weather while enjoying four courses with four wines for just $40. Tickets for the event, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m., are on sale at eventbrite.com.
Saturday, August 19
Fans of the Travel Channel's Food Paradise will want to tune in on Saturday, August 19, at 3 p.m., as Denver gets some love (and long-overdue recognition). Our Best Barbecue Restaurant for the past two years, Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que, 2387 South Downing Street, will make an appearance on the episode "Chow Down Meat Town." Now, before you get your panties in a wad about how lousy Denver's barbecue scene is, tune in for a look at some of pit master Coy Webb's excellent bison ribs — or better yet, get yourself over to the restaurant and chow down before making an anonymous Internet comment you'll later regret.
If your weekly trip to the farmers' market just isn't promoting the kind of relationship you crave with your farmer, head north to the Fort Collins Farm Weekend. These two days are all about meeting farmers on their own turf (literally). Kick off the weekend with Tour de Farms on Saturday, August 19. The 45-mile bike ride starts at 8:30 a.m. and will stop at three different farms in north Fort Collins for refreshments; registration is $50 and also includes entry and a free beer at the Fort Collins Peach Festival later that day. Continue the cycling on Sunday, August 20, with the 3 Forks Progressive Farm Dinner. From 5 to 9 p.m., bike to three farms and enjoy a course at each location. Not so excited about the prospect of having to sing (or bike, as it were) for your supper? No worries: A shuttle will be provided to ferry you from farm to farm. A complete schedule for the weekend is available at fortifiedcollaborations.com.
Weekend beer festivals are as ubiquitous as Wednesday night wine dinners. This week's installment comes to you courtesy of the Fourth Annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival, where thirty breweries will take over North Boulder Park from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 19. Food trucks including Arepas Caribbean Food and the Ginger Pig will be on hand to help soak up the suds, and live blues bands will be on hand to help you boogie away some of that beer. The event has sold out in previous years, but tickets ($35 or $50) are currently available at the event website; VIP tickets will get you in at noon and promise exclusive beer samples and a souvenir hat (we hope it's a beaver-skin top hat).
What to do on a hot summer afternoon, especially if you're not the beer-drinking type? Why not check out Uncorked Kitchen's Oyster Fest on Saturday, August 19, for a chill afternoon? A bit of a departure from the cooking school's usual hands-on classes, this event focuses more on tasting and less on creating. For $49, guests will slurp freshly shucked oysters with a variety of vinaigrettes — and a whopping 21 wines to pair and sip. And we're not just talking sparkling wines; white and red wines will also represent. The fest runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at 8171 South Chester Street in Centennial; get tickets at uncorkedkitchen.com.
Grandma's House collective brewery has admirers and detractors: Among the latter are people who can't stomach the thought of drinking beer while creepy porcelain dolls look on. But for blank-eyed-doll enthusiasts, the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, 1880 Gaylord Street, is doubling down with its Dolls, Demographics and Dysentery lecture on Saturday, August 19. Show up at 5 p.m. for a tour of the museum, a beer from Grandma's House and a presentation on how dolls both reflected and influenced history across the years. Tickets are just $15 and are on sale at eventbrite.com. Just hope one of those creepy fuckers doesn't follow you home.
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues at Read in Red, a "cocktail book drive" for Children's Hospital Colorado, on Saturday, August 19. Guests are encouraged to get dolled up in the color of love and bring a children's book to Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, where you'll drink and dance the night away from 7 to 10 p.m. with catered apps and dessert to keep your strength up. There will also be silent auction with goods to bid on from Bigsby's Folly, the Denver Zoo and Comedy Works. Tickets, $65, are on sale at readinred.com.
Sunday, August 20
Tacolandia brings more than forty restaurants, taquerias and food trucks together at Civic Center Park for one glorious day of tacos — from the tastiest traditional street-style eats to more modern creations. Celebrate Mexican cooking and culture with food, drinks, music and art on Sunday, August 20. The price of admission gets you unlimited tacos from 4 to 7 p.m. from the likes of Garibaldi's Mexican Bistro, Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Panaderia y Taqueria Contreras, Tortas ATM, Los Chingones and many more, along with entertainment and a cash bar. VIP pricing includes early admission at 3 p.m., two drink tickets and access to a VIP lounge with exclusive tacos from Lola Coastal Mexican. Get your tickets at westwordtacolandia.com, y nos vemos a Tacolandia!
For nearly forty years, the Colorado Mycological Society's annual Wild Mushroom Fair has celebrated the joys of fungi; it will pop up again from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 20, at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street. Marvel at a massive display of wild mushrooms of varying shapes, colors and sizes while learning how to identify certain species from on-site experts. You can also find out how to cultivate and cook mushrooms, and even how to photograph them in a natural setting. Young fungi fans will have their own “kiddy korner.” The fair is included with standard DBG admission fees of $12.50 for adults and $9 for students and children. Go to botanicgardens.org for tickets, and learn more about the fair at www.cmsweb.org.
The word "edible" might seem redundant in the name of a food festival, but not at one designed for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance who've had to suffer through years of flavorless and unpalatable substitutes for baked goods and other wheat-, barley- and rye-based products. The Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair will bring an array of delicious gluten-free products to Denver Mart, 451 East 58th Avenue, on Sunday, August 20. Come by between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for samples, kids' activities, a silent auction and plenty of educational materials on living a healthy, gluten-free life. The event is free for members of the Celiac Support Association and their families, and just $10 per household for non-members; tickets are available at denverceliacs.org, along with a list of participating vendors and sponsors.
Friday, August 25
Plan a few days ahead to support the American Cancer Society on Friday, August 25, with Cooks Against Cancer at Uncorked Kitchen, 8171 South Chester Street in Centennial. For $89 per person, you'll get a three-course meal prepared from the ACS cookbook, the New Healthy Eating Cookbook, with dishes like rice noodles with shrimp, bok choy and mint; a salmon bowl with Asian dipping sauce; string beans with ginger and garlic; and roasted pineapple with toasted coconut. The dinner runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are available on the Uncorked Kitchen website.
Saturday, August 26
Another beer festival in Denver isn't anything new, but Levitt Pavilion Denver, 1380 West Florida Avenue, is. And you can enjoy the city's newest concert venue at the Levitt Pavilion Beer Festival on Saturday, August 26. From 4 to 7 p.m., you'll get unlimited beer from the likes of FATE Brewing Co., Platt Park Brewing Co., Declaration Brewing Co. and Cerebral Brewing. After the beer is gone, you can sober up with a free concert by Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Unlike most of the events at the venue, this isn't free to the public; tickets will run you $25, or $65 for VIP (which includes private restrooms, catered snacks, a goody bag and up-close seating for the show). Check out the Facebook event page for all participating breweries, and get your tickets at levittdenver.org.
Thursday, August 31
The 5th Annual Chef and Brew Festival returns to Exdo Event Center, 3500 Walnut Street, for a night of indulgence on Thursday, August 31. Participating restaurants will team up with local breweries to pair small plates with craft beers — and each team will provide at least two different plates and two different beers, giving guests a whopping forty pairs to sample (so far). Teams to watch? Wit's End Brewing Co. and Hearth & Dram, Ratio Beerworks and Fish N Beer, and Crooked Stave and Citizen Rail. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and will set you back $49, though a VIP ticket will get you in an hour early (and at $69 is probably worth it to beat the crowds). Get your tickets and a full list of competitors at chefandbrew.com.
Saturday, September 2
Salida is better known for FIBArk than fermentation, though that's changing with Wood's High Mountain Distillery and the annual Brewer's Rendezvous, now in its 21st year. And on Saturday, September 2, the town rounds out its alcohol portfolio with the 6th Annual Salida Winefest. Eighteen Colorado wineries will set up shop in beautiful Riverside Park from 1 to 6 p.m., where attendees can spread out on the banks of the Arkansas River while sipping their way through unlimited wine samples. If you're a locavore oenophile with early-onset grumpiness (is there any other kind?), we suggest hitting this festival sooner rather than later, so you can spend the next six years complaining about how much better the fest was when nobody knew about it. Tickets are a steal at $20; get them at salidawinefest.com.
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Tuesday, September 5, through Sunday, September 10
The Denver Food + Wine Festival is less than a month away, and if you're considering hitting any of the events this year, it's time to get moving. Tickets are on sale now, and depending on what whets your appetite, they'll set you back a very reasonable $40 to a steep $195 — and there's even a VIP Grand Tasting ticket available for $250 if you want to go all in. Our pick? The Culinary Cinema Series will screen the documentary Barbecue on Tuesday, September 5, at 7 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. The movie is sure to make your mouth water, which won't be a problem, as the $40 ticket includes bites from Hearth & Dram, Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que and the Nickel; drinks will be available for purchase at the theater's bar. Snag tickets and find the rest of the festival's schedule at denverfoodandwine.com.
Thursday, September 14, through Sunday, September 17
Fall is grape-harvesting season in the Centennial State, and it seems every mountain town is celebrating the season with a wine festival in August and September. From Thursday, September 14, through Sunday, September 17, it's Breckenridge's turn to lure the bikers, hikers and drinkers up the hill with gorgeous fall weather and great wines at the Breckenridge Wine Classic. There are luncheons, seminars, tours, hikes, tastings and bike rides to be had — all of them geared toward highlighting the beverage of honor. The best part about Breckenridge's celebration? Its proximity to Denver: You'll barely have to spend ninety minutes commuting to feel like you're in a different world (though the drive back to Denver might be a different story). A full schedule is up, and tickets ($55 to $145) are on sale now at breckenridgewineclassic.com.
See the Westword calendar for even more food and drink events, and if you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.