The third annual Slow Food Nations Food Festival starts on July 19 and will go through July 21.

Slow Food Nations is a grassroots organization that exists all around the world with a mission to strengthen the relationship people have with their food through bolstering local food cultures and traditions and counteracting the “fast food” way of life. There are more than 160 countries involved, with 150 Slow Food Nation chapters around America that help give local communities access to healthy and clean food. The Slow Food Nations Festival in Denver celebrates this cause with a three-day experience that features slow food summits, workshops, tasting rooms and a Kitchen Counter stage with demonstrations.

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Slow Food Nations Festival. Photo by Heather Fairchild.

Each day you can explore different pop-up demonstrations, vendors and special guests including Drew Deckman, Adrian Miller, Davia Nelson and Alex Seidel – all leading workshops, talks and more with the theme of “Where Tradition Meets Innovation.”

The Summits, hosted by University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning present a chance to learn from Chef Alice Waters, podcaster and producer of The Kitchen Sisters Davia Nelson, designer and artist Ron Finley and more for 30-minutes at a time with small bites or sips.

If you want to get a more hands-on approach on things you can get involved with one of the workshops that are offered. The workshops include a class with chef Regina Escalante Bush in learning more about The Taste of Yucatan Peninsula or you can learn about fermentation with fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz and taste some fermented delights.

Photo by Brittany Werges.

A new feature that Slow Food Nations is incorporating this year is a Tasting Room. The Tasting Room gives you a chance to explore different flavors with makers and hear the stories behind those flavors. You can go through guided tasting journies about American honey, Fortuna chocolate, edible insects, artisanal cheeses and more.

Throughout the three days, you can also experience block parties and tasting events including the Colorado Fare that showcases the best tastes of Colorado, Food Over Fire that explores culture traditions and food preparations over fires and pop-up dinners with participating restaurants.

The best part of the festival? You can shop from a Slow Food Nations Taste Marketplace. The marketplace will take place on Saturday and Sunday and will take over the streets of downtown Denver with a whole slew of makers, artisanal food creators, experts and samples to try from.

Overall the Slow Food Nations Festival is a great way to find some of the best flavors in Denver while supporting an amazing cause and snacking on some great bites while you are at it.

The festival is free, however, the events are ticketed. Prices vary, you can purchase tickets here.