Where to Celebrate Labor Day in Denver

Salute hard work with some play
by Carrie Dow on Aug 29, 2016 in Roundups

While some people view Labor Day Weekend as the end of summer, here in Denver, the fun is just beginning. With fall comes some of the city’s best weather and best outdoor events — from music to food to professional sports, the Mile High City has plenty of options to enjoy the weekend of September 2-5. With that in mind, here are some of Denver’s best events, which include beverages, for Labor Day.


Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series
On Thursday, September 1, this summer concert will feature Colin Hay and The Milk Carton Kids. Some of you older folks might remember Colin Hay from the band Men at Work. Shows at the DBG allow guests to bring their own alcohol, as alcohol is not sold on site. Guests can also bring food, but food will also be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online. (1007 York St.; 720-865-3500)

Phish at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
For the sixth year in a row, jam band Phish will perform Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day Weekend at the soccer pitch. Three day passes are available. Camping opens at noon on Friday and closes at noon on Monday. Camping costs extra, but it also means you can BYOB, so long as it is not in a glass container. Tickets and camping can be purchased online. (6000 Victory Wy., Commerce City; 303-727-3500)

Riot Fest at National Western Complex
This multi-day metal, punk and hip-hop festival has moved from the outskirts of the city into the National Western Complex and features some of the best independent bands from a variety of genres. There will also be food, carnival rides, and more. Sponsored by Dos Equis and Stongbow, this year’s headliners include Death Cab for Cutie, Jane’s Addiction, Bad Religion, and Tyler the Creator. Dates are September 2-4 and tickets can be purchased online. (4655 Humboldt St.; 303-297-1166)

Red Rocks Amphitheatre 75th Anniversary Concert Series 
Soak in the sun at this amazing music venue, which is celebrating its 75th Anniversary with some of the best bands around. Bands performing for Labor Day Weekend include Chainsmokers (September 1), Atmosphere (September 2), Mad Decent Block Party (September 3), Gregory Alan Isakov (September 4), and Sammy Hagar and The Circle (September 5). Tickets can be purchased online for individual shows. (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy, Morrison; 720-865-2494)


Colorado Rockies v. Arizona Diamondbacks
Have an All-American Labor Day at the ballpark. Our Colorado Rockies take on division rivals Arizona Diamondbacks for a Labor Day baseball series September 2-4. A series win would boost the Rockies chances for the playoffs. Purchase tickets online. (2001 Blake St.; 303-292-0200)

Rocky Mountain Showdown at Mile High
Football is back as in-state rivals the University of Colorado Buffalos and Colorado State University Rams meet at Mile High for a game that only Denver can handle. Game time is 6 PM on Friday, September 2, and there will be tailgating at Sport Authority Field at Mile High. (1701 Bryant St.; 720-258-3000)

Food and Art

A Taste of Colorado
The city’s biggest food festival is held every Labor Day Weekend. A Taste of Colorado features culinary creations from over 50 of the area’s best restaurants and food trucks. There will also be live music on several stages from rock to country to R&B. Headliners for each day include Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Boyz II Men, Taylor Dayne, Blues Traveler and Kenny Wayne ShepherdCoors Brewery will host the Sports Zone, a tent where people can watch their favorite sports event on HGTVs. Other beverage sponsors include Blue Moon, Zingtea, Colorado Native and Barefoot Wines. Kids’ activities, carnival rides and an arts and crafts fair will round out the events. The festival and concerts are free to the public, but the food and drink are pay as you go. (Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave.; 303-964-2522)

Brews & Views at Hudson Gardens
This Labor Day Weekend outdoor event is only in its second year, but it has grown quickly. Enjoy the beautiful flora and mountain views of Hudson Gardens while sipping Colorado craft brews from over 40 local breweries. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for general admission. Get VIP tickets for $50 per person and enjoy hour early entry, a Brews & Views T-shirt, a commemorative glass, a special entrance, and a private lounge area with snacks and dedicated restroom facilities. The sipping begins at 2 PM. (6115 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton; 303-797-8565)

First Friday Arts Walks 
Several of the city’s art districts hold First Friday Art Walks, and with the first Friday in September being the start of Labor Day Weekend, there will be plenty of galleries open late along with serving food and drinks and playing live music. In between the art galleries along these streets are a diverse and fun selection of bars, restaurants and breweries. The city’s art districts are South Pearl Street, Santa Fe Arts District, RiNo (River North) Art District, and the Tennyson Street Cultural District. (Various Locations)

Photo via Flickr user Larry Johnson

Tags: Beer, Festival, Food, Holiday, Music, Wine
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