June has arrived and with it the 45th annual People’s Fair at Civic Center Park, Saturday June 4, 10 a.m—8 p.m., and Sunday June 5, 10 a.m.—7 p.m. Produced by the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN), who describes it as the “premier Arts & Crafts festival” in Colorado, this two–day gathering highlights the diversity of local talent with a spattering of artists, musicians and food and booze booths. When the Fair began in 1972 there were only enough people to fill the Morey Middle School, but now the event boasts over 200,000 attendees, 500 vendor booths and requires over 300 volunteers. With all benefits going to CHUN and other non–profits, the fair remains a delightful example of collaboration and neighborhood pride and is a staple to Denver’s summer schedule. Free and open to the public— except for carnival attractions, games, food and beverages— tickets for which can be purchased in the center of the park, mid–Bannock, mid–Broadway and at the four intersections of the event.
With so many options at your disposal we wanted to make it easier with a breakdown of what not to miss at the People’s Fair this year.
Fine Art Avenue: Partnering with the Denver Arts Festival this year to showcase 85 local and regional artists along 14th avenue between Broadway and Bannock streets, the Fine Art Avenue will include ceramics, digital, drawing/graphics, fiber, glass, jewelry (all parts original), leather, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and wood.
Art in the Park: New to the festival, this is your chance to create your own masterpiece with instruction by Tommy Nahulu while sipping on some wine at the wine pavilion. There will be three sessions each day and the themes are (in order): Red Rocks, Monet, Tree Frog. Tickets are $25.
There are four stages where a variety of concerts by local artists and performers will take place, with genres ranging from reggae to jazz, and performances by a cappella and dance troops. For a complete schedule and line–up visit the website. The four stages are—
CHUN Main Stage: Located on the sidewalk on the east side of Bannock facing the park, this stage will feature P–Nuckle, Tnertle, Potcheen and the Motive Vocal Band. There will be 20 concerts in total here.
The Pepsi Stage: At the northwest corner of 14th Avenue and Broadway, this stage will feature bands and performance groups like Park Hill Dance Academy, The Constant Tourists, Catfish Kray Band and Coral Creek.
The Cruisin’ 1430 Bandstand: Near Colfax and Broadway on the southwest corner, this stage will have 22 bands. Some of the ones not to miss are Knight Groove, 3 Man Big Band and Confluence Music Group.
The Musicians in Action Stage (MIA): Featuring School of Rock Denver House Band, Solar and Danielle Antonio among many others, the MIA is special because it works at mobilizing musicians to aid Colorado’s homeless population. Located on Broadway south of 14th Avenue.
Food & Booze
There will be two food courts—one on Bannock and one on Broadway—for the appetite you will surely create by exploring the fair. With local bites, Mediterranean and Chinese menus, sweet potato fries and even the less–healthy–but–tasty alternatives like funnel cakes and turkey legs to satisfy any of your munchies.
New this year is the Tivoli Beer Garden, operated by Tivoli Brewery, bringing a fine selection of local craft brews to the festival. They will feature Tivoli Helles Lager, Sigi’s Wildhorse Buck Beer, Jet Malt Liquor, Zang’s Free Coinage Pale Ale and Zang’s XXX Export Imperial IPA along with 34 other local beers.
For those winos out there, do not fear, there will be the People’s Fair Wine Pavilion by the Cruisin’ 1430 Bandstand. Here you can enjoy a selection of samples, and if you purchase a punch card for 16 tickets it will allow you to try six tastes, two glasses of wine, or one glass of wine and three tastes.
Whether you want to shop and look at the artist booths, have delicious food and booze outside or enjoy local music (or all of them) head over to the People’s Fair this weekend. Make it an eco–friendly adventure and use public transportation or bike over—there will be secure bike parking at Broadway and Colfax for a suggested donation.