Colorado’s Western heritage and bright future will be celebrated through exhibits, performances, and demonstrations at the 29th annual A Taste of Colorado. Featuring entertainers showcasing the state’s cultural traditions and diversity, the four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment Festival will take place Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park.
Festival hours are Friday, Aug. 31, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 3, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A Taste of Colorado provides numerous opportunities to experience music and dance that reflect the uniqueness of the state on the TUMS Freshers Heritage Stage presented by Westword. The Max Wagner Trio will play a wide variety of jazz styles. Sheikha explores the exotic world of Middle Eastern belly dancing during Shimmy with Sheikha, varying her act with swords, fans, Thai fingers, veils, candles, and more. Describing their sound as “organic acoustic music,” The Metamoocil Mountain Boys will combine Americana and a hint of bluegrass, swing, and show tunes into their concert. Flamenco Denver, a dance troupe under the direction of María Vázquez, will demonstrate Flamenco dance. Known for their spectacular aerial figures, Calico & Boots will incorporate American square dance, Appalachian clogging, New England contras, quadrilles, and couple dances into their performance.
The following is a lineup of music, dance, and cultural performances on the TUMS Freshers Heritage Stage presented by Westword:
FRIDAY, Aug. 31
11:45 a.m. – Jon Romero y Amanecer
2:00 p.m. – Max Wagner Trio
4:15 p.m. – Shimmy with Sheikha
7:30 p.m. – A Taste of Tango
SATURDAY, Sept. 1
10:45 a.m. – Konark Arts and Laya Dance Academy
1:00 p.m. – The Metamoocil Mountain Boys
3:45 p.m. – The Buddy Rich Project Band
5:30 p.m. – The Mighty Nice Band
8:15 p.m. – Jazz del Barrio
SUNDAY, Sept. 2
11:00 a.m. – Tyree Morris & Hearts of Worship
12:45 p.m. – Grupo Huitzilopochtli Danza Azteca
2:00 p.m. – Flamenco Denver
3:15 p.m. – Suzanne Morales Quartet
5:30 p.m. – “Ferdinand the Bull” performed by Fiesta Colorado
6:45 p.m. – “La Magia de Mexico” performed by Fiesta Colorado
8:00 p.m. – Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra with the Fiesta Colorado Dance Company
MONDAY, Sept. 3
10:45 a.m. – Calico & Boots
12:30 p.m. – 79th Highlanders Pipe Band
2:15 p.m. – “Germany in Song & Dance,” featuring Steve Rock’s Tanzkapelle Band & The Edelweiss Schuhplattler Dancers
4:15 p.m. – Bella Diva Dance
6:00 p.m. – Conjunto Colores
In addition to these cultural demonstrations and performances, families can journey back to the roots of Colorado and have fun learning about the state’s pioneer past, nature, and the environment. In the Festival of Mountain and Plain area, featured artisans will demonstrate Navajo weaving and culture, spinning, rug braiding, lace crocheting, felting, and quilting, along with the popular blacksmith demonstrations.The Raptor Education Foundation (REF) uses non-releasable eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls to educate children and adults about the natural world. At the Festival, view live raptors and enjoy informative and entertaining presentations about these fascinating birds. Memberships are also available; check out the “Colorado Respects Wildlife” license plates, which feature a bald eagle.
More than 50 of Colorado’s favorite food establishments will be selling a wide variety of small portions to full meals, ensuring that there will be something for every palate. The Fine Dining area will host some of Denver’s finest restaurants. The Albert Bartlett Culinary Showcase presented by 630 KHOW features local and nationally-renowned chef demonstrations creating simple, yet elegant meals. Festivalgoers can also shop in more than 280 Marketplace booths for original arts and crafts, home and gift items, furniture, jewelry, imports, and more. Fine Art in the Park will display original works in a variety of mediums created by artists from around the country. Shoppers also can explore the Home & Lifestyles area, which features a variety of exhibitors displaying products and services such as window installation, kitchen remodeling, cookware, basement refinishing, and salons and spas. There will be plenty of music, magic, clowns, and puppets on the Comfort Dental KidzStage presented by MIX 100, and the KidZone features play equipment and hands-on craft activities. Kids and adults also can enjoy carnival rides and games Saturday through Monday.
Festival of Mountain and Plain … A Taste of Colorado is a community celebration that is produced by and benefits Downtown Denver Events, Inc., the Downtown Denver Partnership family’s community events nonprofit organization. The Festival is an opportunity for people throughout the region to come together to experience and appreciate our diverse cultural traditions, and to learn more about our state’s Western heritage. The Festival highlights visual and performing arts in addition to featuring educational programs and culinary demonstrations.