Things to do in Denver July 28-31

We’re in for a seriously great weekend, Denver.
5 min. read
A musician at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival in 2008. (Tom Pratt/Flickr)

We're in for a seriously great weekend, Denver. It's hard to know where to start. Maybe with buying a time turner?

The biggest party in Denver is taking over South Broadway for the 16th year running. It starts Thursday evening and runs through Sunday. Four-day passes are $55 and... well, there's a lot more to know. Check out our guide.

Final Friday

The UMS is hardly the only party in town. Over in RiNo, the monthly Final Friday block party brought in Roux Black as guest curator.

On one stage: an all-women lineup of DJs. On the other: a showcase of Denver's best hip-hop artists. All around them: food, drinks, art and fashion.

"The way that Final Friday is designed is to be pop-up shops essentially in all the bars in RiNo," said Ru Johnson, Roux Black founder and creative consultant. "It’s designed to bring people down and have them wandering through the neighborhood -- show people what it's actually like in RiNo and have them see it in its rawest form."

The party lasts from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., with both stages playing at the same time. Megafauna, 3102 Blake St., will host The Grammy Family stage in its alley until 10 p.m. The DJs will play The Controlla stage at Backyard on Blake, 3040 Blake St., until 11. Take a look at the lineup, with some comment from Johnson.

On The Controlla stage:

"These are women whose music I’ve been following in the scene for quite a while. They’re women who've built this independent movement for themselves."

  • Valerie Molano: "Valerie has been curating lifestyle events and curating Dance for Mayhem for a long time. I love the music she plays and the kind of music she books."
  • "All kinds of rare mixes and dope grooves." She also does live drumming.
  • FAUXXY: "Trap goddess."
  • Cocina: FAUXXY's sister, brings the "soulful remixes."
  • Erin Stereo: "Plays great underground hip-hop and mixes it in a way to really get crowds to attach and sing along."

On The Grammy Family stage:

It's free to attend, but a $5 donation will help support the artists.

The Denver County Fair

If you're new here, this is all you need to know about the Denver County Fair: It's pretty weird.

Check out the full schedule to see what we mean. A few of the highlights include an "X-TREME" pancake breakfast, unicorn rides, a flea circus and the Kitten Pavillion, featuring Venus the two-faced cat. (Hopefully the latter two attractions are kept far apart.)

But wait, there's more. Competitions include a fattest cat competition, the Zombie Beauty Pageant, the Miss Denver County Fair Drag Queen Pageant, a bug-eating contest, the Young Klingons Bat'leth Tournament and a pugs vs. chihuahuas race.

It all goes down at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St. Tickets and ticket packages range from $5-$25. Hours are 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Dragon Boat Festival
A musician at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival in 2008. (Tom Pratt/Flickr)

The 16th annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival takes to Sloan's Lake to celebrate Pan Asian culture 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

The festivities officially kick off with the opening ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The dragon boat races begin a little earlier, at 8 a.m. They'll continue through 5 p.m. and resume during the same hours Sunday.

It's free to attend., and the festival also features live music and dancing, an anime tent and, of course, food and drinks.

Denver Peruvian Festival

This cultural celebration is happening all day Sunday in Columbus Park (a.k.a. La Raza Park), 1501 W. 38th Ave. (in Sunnyside).

Stop by anytime from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Peruvian food and live music, plus sports and kids activities.  It's all free.

Learn to scuba dive
(Seth Bienek/Flickr)

Want to learn how to scuba dive? Go to the Downtown Aquarium.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, they're offering free lessons (with the price of admission) to visitors 10 years old and up. Just bring your swimsuit and register the day of.

To participate, kids need to be at least 54 inches tall. Kids 10 and 11 years old must be accompanied by an adult and all those younger than 18 must be registered by a parent or legal guardian.

Cupcakes and beer

Over at Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer St., they're teaming up with Church of Cupcakes to pair their creations. From 2 to 5 p.m., $15 will get you flights of three cupcakes and three beers.

Don't think, just do it.

Recent Stories