If you’re a food lover and enjoy a good outdoor gathering — why not go to a food festival?

Burgers, mac and cheese, donuts, food trucks, fried chicken, tacos, vegan and vegetarian — you name it, there is a food festival for it. All over Colorado this summer, there are tons  some free and some more extravagant. Whether you want to stay in Denver or trek to a mountain town, there are plenty of chances to live out your foodie dreams for a weekend. Check out our round-up of awesome Colorado food festivals taking place from May to September.

May

Photo courtesy of Bacon and Beer Classic on Facebook.

Food Truck Carnival

When: Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 12
Where: Northglenn City Hall, 11701 Community Center Dr., Northglenn
Cost: Free to attend, $30 for all-day carnival pass ($25 with coupon)

The Lowdown: If you’re a fan of food trucks, the annual Food Truck Carnival in Northglenn is a must. This year, the festival will have a grand total of 85 food trucks — I repeat, 85 food trucks. Every type of cuisine you can think of you will find it there. Not only that, eight retail trucks will be on site selling clothes, books, skin care products and more. In addition to the trucks, a huge carnival with 20 rides and tons of games fun for kids and adults will set up for the weekend. We would recommend saving the food for after the rides — unless you’re just going for the food.

Colorado Chocolate Festival

When: Friday, May 10, 4 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Denver Mart,  451 E. 58th Ave., Denver
Cost: $5 for adults, free for kids; $10 for 12 taste tickets, $20 for 24 taste tickets.

The Lowdown: Oh, chocolate — how we love thee. The Colorado Chocolate Festival celebrates this lovely confection with a weekend full of tastings, cooking demos, wine tastings, contests and of course — lots and lots of chocolate for sale. There will be over 100 vendors selling fudge, candy, cookies, truffles, brownies, toffees, cakes, coffees and more. A Bailey’s chocolate martini bar will be on deck and on Saturday it will be serving Bailey’s infused cupcakes. You may want to take your mom here for Mother’s day or buy her a last-minute gift at the Mother’s Day Gift Market.

Bacon and Beer Classic

When: Saturday, May 11, 1 – 6 p.m.
Where: Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St., Denver
Cost: $69 – $95, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Bacon and beer at Broncos stadium? It doesn’t get much more manly than that. The Bacon and Beer Classic is now in its fourth year and this year it will be serving 100+ craft beers and 30+ bacon dishes. All of the participating breweries are Colorado-based and the bacon dishes are also coming from Denver and Colorado-based restaurants and companies. You can also enjoy games, live music and explore the stadium.

Nourished Festival

When: Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver
Cost: $15 for a one day pass, $25 for a weekend pass, get tickets here

The Lowdown: If you have food allergies or are on a special diet like keto, plant-based or paleo, you may want to check out the Nourished Festival. This festival is a nationwide event, and one of the stops is here in Denver. This expo is dedicated to helping people that are trying to live gluten-free, nut-free and any other diet lifestyle. Over 100 vendors will be in attendance, giving out food samples, coupons and discounted products. There will also be informative classes that you can attend.

Taste of Durango

When: Sunday, May 19, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Main Ave. & W. 9th St., Durango
Cost: Free to attend, food tickets can be purchased at the festival or pre-ordered here

The Lowdown: A bit of a trip, but Durango is worth the drive, especially for its abundance of outdoor activities like rafting, fishing and biking. If you’ve been wanting to check this town out, the Taste of Durango festival is a great excuse to get down there. The food and drink event is a celebration of Durango as well as a summer kick-off party featuring local breweries and restaurants. You can also enjoy live music, dancing and artisan cocktails.

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale

When: Sunday, May 19, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Where: The block in front of NOOCH Vegan Market, 10 E. Ellsworth Ave., Denver
Cost: Free 

The Lowdown: The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is in its eighth year and its profits benefit the Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig’s Roost. It’s a big vegan street party in front of NOOCH Vegan Market with tents selling vegan baked goods. In addition, there will be food trucks serving vegan food, art for sale and more. You can also sign up to donate vegan baked goods as well as sign up to volunteer your time at the event.

Chicken Fight

When: Thursday, May 23, 6 – 10 p.m.
Where: Industry Denver, 3001 Brighton Blvd., Denver
Cost: $60 – $130, get tickets here

The Lowdown: If you are a fried chicken fanatic, Chicken Fight is the food festival you’ve been dreaming of. At the event, top Denver restaurants compete for the best overall chicken dishes including fried chicken and wings. But it’s not just chicken, there will also be craft whiskey cocktails and a competition for the best cocktail. As an attendee, you can enjoy unlimited food tastings. Due to limited parking, it is recommended that you take an Uber or Lyft to the event.

Boulder Creek Festival

When: Saturday, May 25 – Monday, May 27
Where: Along the Boulder Creek from 9th to 14th St. between Canyon Blvd. and Arapahoe Ave., Boulder
Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: Boulder Creek Festival is an annual event chock full of live music, dancing, beer, a fine arts expo, a makers market, a kids carnival, health and wellness exhibits — and lots and lots of food. There will be tons of healthy options like salads and smoothies, food trucks with gluten-free and vegan options, sweet treats, international foods and more. A beer and craft bazaar will also be open where you can sip and shop and you can buy unlimited tasting tickets here.

June

Photo courtesy of 25th Colorado BBQ Challenge on Facebook.

Truck Stop Rally – Five Points

When: Saturday, June 1
Where: 26th and Welton, Denver
Cost: Free 

The Lowdown: The second stop for the moving food Truck Stop Rally will be held in the Five Points neighborhood. Several blocks of Welton will be blocked off with tons of food trucks, booze, a live music stage, local vendors, games, giveaways and tables set up for sitting and chowing down. You can find everything from BBQ to tacos to shwarma and craft beverages.

The 7th Annual Whiskey + Doughnuts

When: Saturday, June 1, 2 – 9 p.m.
Where: Number 38, 3560 Chestnut Pl., Denver
Cost: $36 – $69, get tickets here

The Lowdown: A whiskey and doughnut throwdown? Sounds good to us. The annual Whiskey + Doughnuts is a gathering of local Colorado makers sampling their sugary creations and hard drinks. A total of 30 vendors will be there: 23 distilleries and seven doughnut makers. The entry includes unlimited tastings, so come thirsty and hungry.

Taste of Fort Collins

When: Friday, June 7 – Sunday, June 9
Where: Civic Center Park, Old Town Fort Collins
Cost: $20, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Taste of Fort Collins is all about the food with tons of trucks and stalls slinging empanadas, waffles, wings and more. As for drinks, the local breweries Odell and New Belgium will be on tap and there will also be cocktails from Mystic Mountain Distillery. But the coolest thing about this festival is the bands, and this year, Rick Springfield will be playing Saturday and Uncle Kracker on Sunday.

Denver BBQ Festival

When: Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16
Where: Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 1701 Bryant St., Denver
Cost: Free entry; VIP packages here

The Lowdown: Free BBQ festival at the one and only Mile High Stadium? Count us in. The Denver BBQ Festival will feature famed pitmasters from all over the country: Tennesse, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, New York and Jason Ganahl from GQue BBQ here in Denver. This fest has got all of the meat — 18,000 pounds of it to be exact. If you want to try the best of the best BBQ, this is your chance to try.

26th Colorado BBQ Challenge

When: Thursday, June 13 – Saturday, June 15
Where: The Town of Frisco, 1 Main St., Frisco
Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: The 26th Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco will feature 70+ BBQ’ers competing in several different categories. Food sampling, demos and many food vendors will line the street for your eating pleasure. But the highlight of the event may be the cute baby pig races — see the schedule here. You can even run yourself in the Bacon Burner 6k that Saturday morning.

The Big Eat

When: Thursday, June 20, 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: The Galleria at Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St. , Denver
Cost: $65, get tickets here

The Lowdown: The annual Big Eat hosted by EatDenver is a one-night celebration of Denver’s independent restaurants and this year it will bring together over 60 of the city’s best eateries. Here, you can sample bites from some of Denver’s top chefs and drinks from 17 local breweries and beverage makers. If you’re not a drinker, kombucha and tea will be served as well.

Denver Greek Festival

When: Friday, June 21 – Sunday, June 23
Where: Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4610 E. Alameda Ave., Denver
Cost: Free – $5, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Opa! The Denver Greek Festival is in its 54th year and is one of the biggest cultural festivals in the state. It will feature Greek music and dance, a huge Greek boutique full of authentic arts and sculpture, and tours of the iconic ‘Gold Dome’ in the church. Most importantly though, Greek food. Gyros, souvlakia, spanikopita, saganaki (flaming cheese), baklava and much more will be provided.

Arvada on Tap – Craft Beer & BBQ Fest

When: Saturday, June 22, 1 – 6 p.m.
Where: 11200 Ralston Rd., Arvada
Cost: $35, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Arvada on Tap is now in its fifth year of celebrating the town, craft beer and BBQ. General admission to the festival includes unlimited beer tastings from more than 25 breweries and lots of BBQ samples. There will also be music and a kids zone. If you haven’t been to Arvada, this is a fun day to check it out.

Keystone Bacon and Bourbon Festival

When: Saturday, June 22 – Sunday, June 23
Where: 100 Dercum Square, Keystone
Cost: $20 – $55, get tickets here

The Lowdown: At the Keystone Bacon and Bourbon Festival, you can taste and vote on all kinds of bacon creations, go on a Jim Beam bourbon tour, enter into a bacon eating contest and more. In addition, several musical acts will play including two all-girl bands the Sweet Lillies and Hell’s Belles, as well as four other bands. There will also be a kid zone and kids bacon eating contest.

Top Taco

When: Thursday, June 27, 7 – 10 p.m.
Where: Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Cost: $75 for general admission, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Tacos and tequila? It doesn’t get much more summery than that. At Top Taco, tons of local restaurants will compete for the best tacos including top creative taco, top traditional, top vegetarian — and top signature tequila cocktail. Admission to the event includes unlimited taco and margarita tastings, a tequila tasting, four voting chips and live entertainment. There will be over 50 tequilas and mezcals available for tasting, so please do take an Uber of Lyft home.

July

Photo courtesy of Slow Food USA on Facebook.

Truck Stop Rally – Stanley Marketplace

When: Thursday, July 4
Where: 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Cost: Free 

The Lowdown: The third stop for this year’s Truck Stop Rally will be held at the Stanley Marketplace in Stapleton on the fourth of July. If you don’t have any independence day plans, check out this food truck extravaganza. The Stanley has a lot of green space for laying in the grass, drinking in hammocks, playing cornhole and picnic tables for chowing down.

Slow Food Nations

When: Friday, July 19 – Sunday, July 21
Where: Larimer Square, 1430 Larimer St., Denver
Cost: Free entry to the Taste Marketplace; Free and ticketed workshops here

The Lowdown: The annual Slow Food Nations is a lively weekend event that focuses on sustainability and keeping local food cultures alive. The festival is free and open to the public with select ticketed tastings, workshops and talks. Larimer Square holds a Taste Marketplace on Saturday and Sunday with nearly 100 food makers sampling their products and telling their stories.

Breckenridge Food & Wine

When: Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28
Where: 505 S. Main St., Breckenridge
Cost: $50 – $125, get tickets here 

The Lowdown: Breckenridge Food & Wine is a unique wine-tasting experience which transforms the town’s Main Street Plaza and Village at Breckenridge into a mountainside vineyard. This vino filled weekend is full of different events, but the most popular is the Grand Tasting on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. where you can taste unlimited wine samples and vendors will be serving artisan cheese, sweets and more. See the whole schedule here.

VegFest Colorado

When: Saturday, July 27 – Sunday, July 28
Where: 1st Bank Center, 11450 Broomfield Ln., Broomfield
Cost: $12, free for ages 16 and under

The Lowdown: Calling all vegetarians and vegans — this one is for you. VegFest Colorado is all about promoting a plant-based/vegan lifestyle. Enjoy renowned speakers discussing health, diet and environmental issues and food demonstrations from expert chefs. Several food vendors will offer samples and many eco-friendly businesses will exhibit and educate attendees. Learn how to live a healthier, more veggie-centric life at this fun event.

Copper Mac & Cheese Fest

When: Saturday, July 27 – Sunday, July 28
Where: Copper Mountain Resort, 209 Ten Mile Cr., Frisco
Cost: Free entry, food tickets available for purchase here

The Lowdown: A whole festival dedicated to mac and cheese? Um yes, please. The fifth annual Copper Mac & Cheese Fest at the Copper Mountain Resort offers you the chance to sample as much cheesy goodness as you want. Last year, there were eight different restaurants that served awesome creations ranging from Creole to Asian-style to BBQ. You can also sample creative cocktails. Other festivities include kid and adult eating contests, live music and more.

Boulder Taco Fest

When: Saturday, July 27, 12 – 8 p.m.
Where: Foothills Community Park, 800 Cherry Ave., Boulder
Cost: $20, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Boulder Taco Fest is now in its third year and judging from the past two years, you can expect one heck of a party. The festival hosts 10 taco vendors, five craft breweries — and the highlight of the event — lucha libre wrestling. Oh, and margaritas, too — you can’t have tacos without margaritas. There will also be live music and lots of kid activities.

August

Photo courtesy of Denver Burger Battle on Facebook.

Denver Burger Battle

When: Thursday, August 1, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Cost: $65 for general admission, get tickets here and here

The Lowdown: Who makes the best burger in Denver? You will have to attend the Denver Burger Battle to find out. Dozens of restaurants around the city will compete for the number one title and there will be both a judge’s choice winner and people’s choice winner. Go and sip a craft beer or two, sample the burgers and vote on your favorite one. You can also get a package deal for this event and the Vail Rocky Mountain Burger Battle earlier in June with the Double Double package in the ticket link.

Olathe Sweet Corn Fest

When: Saturday, August 3, 11 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Where: Montrose County Fairgrounds & Events Center, 1001 N. 2nd St., Montrose
Cost: $18, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Since 1992, this small southwestern Colorado town has been hosting its annual Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. Olathe Sweet Corn is sold widely in King Soopers and City Market grocery stores each summer. The town celebrates their corn each August with a day of corn eating contests, live music, a climbing wall and other activities. This is a great festival for families and anyone that likes to get a little country.

Denver International Festival

When: Saturday, August 4, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver
Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: The Denver International Festival is the city’s largest celebration of global food, music and art — and it’s now in its fourth year. Our city is home to so many different ethnicities and cultures and this festival really celebrates that. This year, you can expect 30+ international restaurants and food trucks, as well as a beer garden, wine and cocktails. In addition, there will be art from artists all over the world and live music featuring reggae, salsa and more.

Fort Collins Peach Festival

When: Saturday, August 17, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Park, 201 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins
Cost: $5 for adults, free for ages 15 and under

The Lowdown: Now in its ninth year, the Fort Collins Peach Festival has been a successful and (mind the pun) peachy festival, supporting local charities. The festival is a day full of peach centric events starting with a peach pancake breakfast and ending with a peach pie eating contest. There will also be a 5k run and a healthy kids race. Three live bands will play throughout the day as well.

Tacolandia

When: Saturday, August 17, 4 – 7 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver
Cost: $25, get tickets here

The Lowdown: If you’ve ever wanted to explore Denver’s thriving Mexican culinary scene, or just wanted all your favorite traditional taco joints in one place — look no further than Tacolandia. Expect there to be tons of tortillas, all the carne asada and carnitas your heart can handle and gallons of tequila. And since this festival focuses on the more authentic genre of the Mexican street food, you’ll also find a car show and bilingual bands to keep you entertained.

Den Corner Summer Rooftop Party

When: Tuesday, August 27 – Wednesday, August 28, 5:30 -10 p.m.
Where: On the roof of the Sushi Den parking lot garage, directly across the street from OTOTO, a half block south of Sushi Den and Izakaya Den (located near the intersection of Florida and Pearl Street, Denver). 
Cost: $90 for general admission tickets, see event info here

The Lowdown: Are you a sushi and/or Japanese food lover? Well, we’ve got the festival of your dreams right here. This annual event hosted by the chefs of Sushi Den, OTOTO and Izakaya Den is a two-night party featuring 20 handpicked chefs from southern Japan. Enjoy hand rolls, Japanese street food, bowls of ramen, sake, wine and beer on a private rooftop with views of the city and the Rockies. Several celebrated local chefs will be there making food as well such as Carrie Baird of Bar Dough ‘Top Chef, Season 15’ and Alex Seidel of Fruition and Mercantile.

Chef & Brew

When: Wednesday, August 28, 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: EXDO Event Center, 1399 35th St., Denver
Cost: $49, get tickets here

The Lowdown: There’s no debating that Chef & Brew brings the heat when it comes to great bites and showcasing delicious brews. The competition brings together the best of both worlds by pairing 20 brewmasters and top chefs to compete for the best beer and food pairing. Local judges will then make the rounds, picking their favorite for the best duo. Expect to leave full and with a new appreciation for the art of the food pairing.

September

Photo courtesy of Festival Italiano at Belmar on Facebook.

A Taste of Colorado

When: Saturday, August 31 – Monday, September 2
Where: Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver
Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: A Taste of Colorado takes place in Civic Center Park every Labor Day weekend featuring over 50 restaurants and food trucks. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg — a huge arts & crafts marketplace will host 175 booths of unique art and goods. But the coolest part of the event is being able to see top musical acts for free.  The artists are yet to be announced, but last year the lineup included the likes of R.E.O Speedwagon and Sugar Ray. We will update when artists are announced.

Denver Food & Wine

When: Tuesday, September 3 – Sunday, September 8
Where: Various locations, Denver
Cost: $55 – $250. Tickets go on sale soon.

The Lowdown: The Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day palooza of food, wine and spirits education, tastings and more. The big event is the Grand Tasting featuring hundreds of wines and tons of local restaurants which will be held that Saturday at the Pepsi Center Grounds. Another cool event is the ShakeDown where local celebrity chefs and bartenders will compete for the best bites and cocktails, held at the McNichols Building. See the complete schedule here.

Belmar Festival Italiano

When: Saturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 8
Where: Belmar, 464 S. Teller St., Lakewood
Cost: Free admission

The Lowdown: The Belmar shopping center in Lakewood will host its 15th Annual Festival Italiano this summer. The two-day event celebrates Italian culture featuring sights, sounds and flavors of Italy. Transport yourself to Italy with an array of authentic Italian food, wine, flag throwers from Florence, performers and two stages featuring live entertainment. There will also a grape stomping station for kids.

Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival

When: Friday, September 20 – Sunday, September 22
Where: Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo
Cost: $5, free for ages 12 and under

The Lowdown: The Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival is held every year to celebrate the area’s agriculture, particularly green chile and frijoles (pinto beans). The event includes chile cooking competitions, arts and crafts, music and more. Pay homage to one of the areas that produce Colorado’s famous green chiles and taste and take in the culture.

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