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Chase away the dog days of summer with these summer festivals and markets in Denver

With several heat waves already underway in Mile High, it’s fair to say we’re now in the dog days of summer. While it may be tempting to cool off indoors, Denver offers the best mix of culture, food, music, and shopping to bring our community together all summer long. From the bustling farmers markets showcasing Colorado’s finest produce to the lively festivals celebrating our city, spending your summer at these local events is guaranteed to provide unforgettable experiences that are better than sitting in front of a fan all day. Whether you live here or are just visiting for the season, Escape the heat with our roundup of summer festivals and markets in Denver and the surrounding area.

Denver Water Lantern Festival

People outdoors, lights, water, nightly festivals and markets in Denver
Photo courtesy of Water Lantern Festival

Where: 10698 Garfield St, Thornton

When: 12-13 July, 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The facts: If you are looking for a unique family-friendly festival or market in Denver to enjoy a summer night, the water lantern festival returns to Colorado this July.

Start your evening with hearty meals from local food trucks and rhythmic music to dance and sing along to. Each ticket includes a set of floating lanterns, an LED candle, playing cards and conversation cards to create unforgettable moments with your loved ones. Decorate your lantern as you wish using sustainable materials such as rice paper and wood and use it to set goals and intentions or to let go of past challenges. At 8:30pm it’s time to release the lanterns into the water! Come together and watch thousands of lanterns light up the water, spreading joy and peace all night long.

Tickets for this event start at $28.33, with prices increasing depending on the event dates in June and July.

French Bastille Festival

Photo courtesy of the French American Chamber of Commerce Rocky Mountain on Facebook

Where: Fillmore Plaza, Cherry Creek, 105 Fillmore St, Denver

When: July 12, 2024, 2:00 p.m. – July 14, 2024, 7:00 p.m.

The facts: Celebrate July 14, Bastille Day with three days French charm At the Fillmore PlazaJust in time for Paris will host the 2024 Olympic Games, French Bastille Day celebration celebrates the best of France from our Mile High home! All are welcome to commemorate one of the oldest nations through authentic cuisine, French wines, art and shops from local and French artisans. Relax in the lounge bar The Cafe de Paris And Treat yourself sparkling wine and hearty delicacies from the heart of France. Spend the summer weekend with a taste of European charm and luxury and say “Vive la France!”

Douglas County Fair and Rodeo

Photo courtesy of Douglas County Fair and Rodeo.

Where: 500 Fairgrounds Drive, Castle Rock

When: 26 July – 4 August

The facts: Nothing screams summer more than the nostalgic smell of crispy corn on the cob and doughy funnel cakes, the taste of tart, ice-cold lemonade, the sounds of children cheering for prizes, and the sight of the Ferris wheel lights flashing in the sky on a warm July night.

No matter how old you are, celebrate your inner child in Douglas County Fair and Rodeo. Enjoy the classic thrill of the carousel, pet rabbits and goats in the Kodiak Ranch Petting Zoo and feast on fried foods all day long. This year you can sing along to the award-winning country artist’s chart-topping singles, Chris Janson with #1 hits like Drunk girl And Buy me a boatExperience the excitement of the rodeo all week long with bareback riding, bull riding and steer wrestling. Whether it’s your first time or your fifth year in a row, the Douglas County Fair will take you back to your childhood with nostalgic fun for everyone.

Admission to the fairgrounds is free for everyone. Fairground wristbands for unlimited rides start at $32, and tickets for special events vary in price.

Lavender Festival

Lavender plant, outdoors, Denver Festivals and Markets
Photo courtesy of botanicgardens.org

Where: 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton

When: 20 and 21 July, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The facts: At Chatfield FarmExperience the scent of summer with the sights and smells of over 2,000 lavender plants at the 2024 Lavender Festival at the Denver Botanic Garden. Explore miles of violet bushes and other manicured gardens while breathing in the therapeutic scent. Take the opportunity to support local growers and artisans by purchasing handmade lavender products. Watch performances by local Colorado bands, including the Altaira Flute Ensemble at the Lavender Garden. This event offers fun for the whole family with blacksmithing demonstrations, barrel train rides, lawn games, a kids’ craft area and a selection of foods to keep the stomach happy.

Tickets are $9 for children, $13 for students and seniors, and $15 for adults.

Denver Tattoo Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Villain Arts

Where: Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St, Denver

When: 19 – 24 July

The facts: If you are looking to get your first tattoo or expand your collection, escape the summer heat in Colorado Convention Center for the 7th Annual Denver Tattoo Arts Festival. Meet featured artists like Jack Hatchet, Flip Shades and Cody Gower, and let your body be transformed into a gallery at this Denver festival. If you’re not ready to commit, the festival offers plenty of other activities and entertainment. Experience stunning performances by AThe stars of “America’s Got Talent,” performances by the Ringling Brothers, and stunning burlesque artists.

Do you have a misspelled word or a scary image that has lingered too long? Enter the Inkless Ugliest Tattoo contest to win free tattoo removal treatments. Do you have a tattoo you’re proud of? Enter the Best of Show contest!

Single-day tickets are $23. Three-day tickets are $45. Children under 12 are admitted to the festival free.

RiNos outdoor film night

Where: 2631 Larimer St, Denver

When: 2nd Thursday of the month, 11 July – 10 October

The facts: Grab your cozy blankets, comfortable chairs and best friends for RiNos outdoor movie night series At the Go to Larimer. What better way to spend a beautiful summer evening than with a movie under the stars? Relax and watch classics like Back to the Future, The parent trap And The Addams Family in a crazy tradition while slurping free Topo Chico and snack on various foods from the market. Take this opportunity and enjoy a free film screening at sunset by October!

A Parisian street market

Photo courtesy of aparisstreetmarket.com

Where: 7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton

When: July 6, August 3, September 7 and October 5, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The facts: Out of July to Octoberroam the streets of France right here in Colorado at Aspen Groves “A Parisian Street Market”. Browse vintage and artisan treasures from unique vendors. Browse through a selection of Paris-inspired clothing and jewelry, antique tableware and handmade jewels similar goods directly from the shops of France! This is a great summer activity to support local vendors while experiencing a foretaste of wonderful Paris.

Cherry Creek Fresh Market

Chase away the dog days of summer with these summer festivals and markets in Denver
Photo courtesy of Colorado Fresh Markets

Where: Cherry Creek Shopping Center, East Side, 3000 E 1st Ave, Denver

When: May 4 – October 12, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The facts: Every SaturdayWhether it is raining or the sun is shining, take a walk and buy local products from Traders and farmers in Colorado at Cherry Creek Fresh Market. Since 1997this market offered the best seasonal products, local dairy products, aromatic flowers and specialties from across the state. Shop for plump and juicy cherries or stock up on locally grown veggies at one of Denver’s best summer festivals and markets. Spend your summer Saturdays soaking up the sun and shopping for fresh produce from Mile High and beyond.

Cherry Creek Fresh Market offers parking reimbursement.

Saturday Night Bazaar

Photo courtesy of denverbazaar.com

Where: 1611 Raleigh St., Sloan’s Lake

When: Saturdays, June 18 – September 24, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The facts: If you are looking for a Saturday Denver Festival or evening market, Saturday Night Bazaar In Sloan’s Lake offers over 50 traders, delicious street food, freshly made cocktails and a place to network. Listen to live bands and buy handcrafted gems from Vixin Jewelry, Soapherb, Mile High Mud, Buddy Scrub and more. Find a new favorite shop or street food from local vendors. Enjoy bratwurst from Billy’s Gourmet Hot Dogs or refresh yourself with a delicious dessert from Eskimo brothers. Nitro ice cream. Since 2015Denver BAZAAR has a “ongoing celebration of art, food and creativity” for locals and visitors to Mile High.

Urban Market at Union Station

Union Station, buildings, outdoors, cars, Denver Festivals and Markets
Photo courtesy of Denver’s Union Station on Facebook

Where: 1701 Wynkoop, Denver

When: Various dates, 6 July – 17 November, 12 to 18 o’clock

The facts: Spend sunny afternoons in the Denver’s historic Union Station Discover the most versatile local providers around the Mile high at one of Denver’s best markets. From handmade jewelry and unique furniture to exciting live music and delicious food, Urban Market at Union Station offers a free immersive experience. This year, the heart of Denver celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a refresh of the transport hub and destination in the city centre, including the Great Hall and the Crawford Hotel (the iconic hotel at Union Station). Commemorate this special year by stopping by Urban Market and see what makes it one of Denver’s best summer festivals and markets.