Content Produced in Partnership with A Taste of Colorado

A giant food fest meets street party;  A Taste of Colorado (September 1-4) is one of the most anticipated events of the year, and one of the last great hurrahs to close out summer. It is a signature event of Denver and one of the longest running festivals in the city. Now in its 34th iteration, A Taste of Colorado brings music, food, and revelry to the masses this Labor Day. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

Taking over Civic Center Park, it’s basically your civic duty to attend, but here are a few more reasons you should check it out.

1. Major Free Concerts

While the live music scene in Denver is one of the best in the world, class acts do not come cheaply. There are five stages set up around Civic Center Park so there will always be some form of entertainment to get your toes tapping, but main stage headliners include big name artists like Rick Springfield, Kongos, Five for Fighting, and AJR.

2. It’s a Way to Check an Insane Amount of Things Off Your Foodie Bucket List

If you’re like me, you have a growing bucket list of restaurants you need to try, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day (or meals in the week). And while I love eating out to socialize, it’s not great on the waistline. If you’d prefer to try just a bite from over 60 of Denver’s staples restaurants and 12+ food trucks, menu highlights are readily available in “taster” portions. Eat your way around the world from Bayou Bob’s to Copacabana Grill, Falafel King, Hot Wok Café, and India’s Restaurant before cooling off with a craft beer, wine or cocktail at one of the many local purveyors. Many gluten free, vegan and vegetarian items are available to satisfy even the pickiest palate.

Photo Credit: Evan Semón Photography

3. It’s a Cheap Date Night or Girl’s Day Out

Admission to the festival is free so you can enjoy all the people watching and music you want completely gratis. Tickets for food and drinks are sold in strips of 15 for $10, which you can use for one, two, three, or four ticket samples and beverages. Considering that’s generally the price for one drink around town, this is a way to live the foodie life without breaking the bank. In addition to the tapas style meal, you’ll get to see some of your favorite musical acts – completely free. I like to call that dinner and a show.

Photo Credit: Evan Semón Photography

4. Cooking Demos and Culinary Showcases

An intimate gathering of acclaimed chefs, see some of your favorite Denver haunts like Root Down and D Bar share some of their favorite recipes. Learn from local mixologists the secret to making that perfect drink, or take part in the ice cream eating contest. There’s a demonstration stage featuring presenters every hour on the hour throughout the day so there’s never a bad time to come.

5. It’s a Freakin’ Holiday Weekend

If you’re in town Labor Day weekend, that means you have one extra day to play (or recover). What better way to celebrate than with live music, good eats, and bottomless drinks? It’s family friendly event so everyone from little Joey to crazy Aunt Susie can find something to do with carnival games, rides, arts and crafts, local vendors, and magic shows. You can find me with a corn dog in one hand a large brew in the other because huzzah bikini season is finally over. #sorrynotsorry

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Why you must attend Taste of Colorado, a fun food and music summer / fall festival in Denver.
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