Celebrate Summer and Service this Memorial Weekend in Denver

Welcome to summer!
by Carrie Dow on May 11, 2016 in Roundups

Well, it took a while for the sun to appear in Denver this spring. After all those spring snow storms, we are ready for some outdoor fun. Memorial Weekend will give us three whole days to enjoy our first taste of summer, and the holiday is on May 30 this year. Here are some fun things to do with a beverage in hand for Memorial Day. Don’t forget the reason for this day off of work — we say thank you to all those who served and sacrificed for our country.

Amusement Parks

Elitch Gardens
After snow delayed the park’s opening weekend, Elitch Gardens is ready for Memorial Day. While the kids enjoy the rides and waterpark, parents can enjoy the Blue Moon Beer Garden with pub food favorites like wings and nachos along with 12 premiums beers on tap. This is also where guests will find Elitch Garden’s specialty brews, which were created by Wynkoop Brewery, near the Mind Eraser. Guests can also dine at J.M. Mulvihills Pub, which has six beers on tap and house margaritas. For those on the move, hit Draughtworks beer and pretzel station with eight beers on tap. Find both near the Sidewinder and Turn of the Century. The park will open at 10 AM Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Weekend. Purchase tickets for the day or season passes on the website. (2000 Elitch Circle, I-25 & Speer Blvd.)


On Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall will host ArtStir, an all-Colorado art show. Peruse, meet and buy art from over 100 artists in a variety of media, including painting, photography, textiles, furnishings and handmade goods from 11 AM - 7 PM both days. There will also be food and drink available for purchase from Denver Pavilion restaurants, including Hard Rock Café, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Beer will be provided by event sponsor Budweiser. Proceeds from the event will support VSA Colorado, a non-profit that encourages creative opportunities for people with disabilities. The event is free to enter. (500 16th St., 16th & Glenarm Pl.)

Music and Festivals

The Big Wonderful
If you haven’t been to The Big Wonderful yet, Memorial Weekend is a good time to check out this unique festival that is like a neighborhood yard sale on steroids. The event calls itself “an outdoor sustainable market that blends food, flea and entertainment.” However, there is so much more, including a live music stage featuring local and regional bands, beach volleyball, an urban farm, and most importantly, a beer garden. For Memorial Weekend The Big Wonderful is moving to Geneva Park near downtown Littleton. Admission is free and the food, drink and fun are Pay As You Go. The event is also kid and dog friendly. Hang out on Friday, May 27, from 4 -10 PM or Saturday, May 28, from 12 - 8 PM. Music will be by The Workshy and Wonderlic.  The Big Wonderful will hold events all summer long so check the website for more dates and locations. (2225 W. Berry Ave., Littleton)

Denver Day of Rock
Head downtown Memorial Weekend and rock out on the 16th Street Mall on Saturday, May 28. The 7th annual Denver Day of Rock features five stages with a variety of local, regional and national musicians performing a wide variety of music. There is something for everyone — pop, gospel, rock, ska, acoustic and much more. Featured performers include A Great Big World, Marc Broussard, The Burroughs, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, and Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers. The full band line up is available online for anyone wanting to find their favorite performer. While the event is free to enjoy, special VIP tickets are available that will get patrons access to five VIP tents at each stage with catered food and an open bar. VIP tickets are $250 per person and can be purchased through the website. The event is a fundraiser for Amp the Cause, which supports over 50 child-focused health and education organizations. (Skyline Park, 16th & Arapahoe St.)

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
For music lovers, Red Rocks in Morrison is a shrine, and this year is the arena’s 75th Anniversary. It will be filled with music and fun each day of Memorial Weekend. Starting on Thursday, May 26, see and hear The Flaming Lips and on Friday, May 27, groove to The Devil Makes Three and Shakey Graves. Then, Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, enjoy a double dose of My Morning Jacket. All shows start at 7:30 PM. On Memorial Day, Film on the Rocks will feature the cult classic The Big Lebowski starting at 7 PM. Find tickets on the Red Rocks website. (18300 W. Alameda Ave., Morrison)

Professional Sports

A fun way to start off the summer is with a hotdog and a beer at a baseball game. The Colorado Rockies, who are having a great start to the season thanks to rookie phenom Trevor Story, will host division rivals the San Francisco Giants Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 27-29, and then take on the Cincinnati Reds Monday and Tuesday, May 30-31. Coors Field is the only MLB park with its own brewery, Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Sandlot, and there are 52 taps at the 52 feet, 80 inches long bar inside The Tavern at the Rooftop. Rooftop tickets with limited seating are only $14 and include a $6 concession and merchandise credit. Tickets are available online or at the park ticket windows daily. (2001 Blake St.)

Excuse us — we should really call it football. The Colorado Rapids will host the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, May 28, at 7 PM. Be a part of the action by joining the Centennial 38 Supporters Terrace in the north goal stands. This is where “enthusiastic” soccer fans can let loose. Banners, flags, drums, musical instruments, chanting and singing are welcome. Featuring over 1,600 seats covering three sections, the Supporters Terrace also has its own bar with special pricing. There are rules to enter this section and tickets are purchased through a special fanpage, but if you want to experience football the way the Europeans do, this is the place to be. Learn the rules and purchase tickets by visiting the C38 website. (6000 Victory Way, Commerce City)

Outdoor Lacrosse
Denver’s football stadium is not quiet in the summer when football season is over, as outdoor lacrosse takes over in May. For Memorial Weekend, East meets West when the Boston Cannons play the Denver Outlaws on Saturday, May 28, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Game time is 8:30 PM, so there's plenty of time for tailgating. (1701 Bryant St.)

Get Active 

Arapahoe Basin
Not only is Arapahoe Basin open for Memorial Weekend, but on Sunday, May 29, enjoy Festival of the Brewpubs after a morning of skiing. Starting at noon, guests can sample beers from over 14 different mountain breweries. There will also be a BBQ tent and live music by Jakarta. Tickets are $30 per person for general admission, beer included, but food is extra, or $55 per person for a VIP pass with food included. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the resort’s website. (Highway 6, Loveland Pass)

Bolder Boulder
Named “America’s All-Time Best 10K” by Runner’s World magazine, this 38-year tradition is one of the largest timed races in the country. This is also one of Memorial Day’s biggest parties, with over 50,000 of your closest friends running with you and the entire town of Boulder cheering you on. Bolder Boulder is a 10K road race through downtown on Monday, May 30, and it ends with participants running inside the stadium at Folsom Field at the University of Colorado. While this is a serious race for serious runners, for the rest of us. it is really just a big party. Live bands will play music all along the route, participants dress up in crazy costumes, and locals will set up water slides and spray gun stations to keep runners cool. One resident is famous for handing out bacon to runners. At noon, participants and guests will honor American’s armed forces with a celebration in Folsom Field featuring a 21-gun salute, jet fly overs, and parachuting paratroopers. Oskar Blues has been the official beer sponsor since 2014, and those 21 and over will receive a free can after the finish. Visit the website to register and get race information. Professional runners will begin at 6:55 AM. (Starting line is 30th & Walnut St., Boulder)

Photo via Flickr user Jeffrey Beall

Tags: Beer, Block Party, Cocktails, Festival, Food, Fundraiser, Holiday, Sports
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