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Denver is home to several free festivals, fairs and parades. Annual events, from growing musical festivals to well-established art events, bring thousands of locals and visitors together every year—rain or shine.

Find more events and things to do with the Denver.com Events Calendar and Attractions Directory.

ALSO SEE: Denver’s Top Attractions

[Photo Credit: Taste of Colorado]

  • Parade of Lights

    Winter; Downtown

    After 40 years, the December Parade of Lights has become a Denver tradition at the beginning of the holiday season. A two-mile parade through downtown features festive holiday floats, balloons, performers, marching bands and even a visit from Santa Claus. This event draws thousand of people to downtown every year. It's a good idea to arrive early to check out the downtown decorations and secure a good spot to watch the parade.

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  • Denver Day of Rock

    Spring; Downtown

    For one day in May, downtown Denver transforms into a rock festival with artists from all over the United States. Artists are scattered throughout the area along 15th Street, 17th Street, Champa Street and Welton. Donations benefit local Amp the Cause.

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  • Cherry Creek Arts Festival

    Summer; Cherry Creek North

    Perhaps Denver’s most well known event, the award-winning Cherry Creek Arts Festival takes the cultural pulse of Denver. Three days of activities bring hundreds of artists from all over the country, food vendors from throughout Denver and more than 350,000 guests who enjoy food, performances, activities and fine art. Featured art takes many different forms, including ceramics, metalwork, painting, sculpture, digital and more.

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  • Dragon Boat Festival

    Summer; Sloan's Lake

    The sight of dozens of Dragon Boats racing across Sloan’s Lake makes the July Dragon Boat Festival a memorable experience, but there is much more to the two-day event. Learn about and celebrate Asian culture with ongoing performances, Asian cuisine and martial arts performances on five stages.

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  • Taste of Colorado

    Fall; Civic Center Park

    Taste of Colorado, held in August, offers much more than just a taste of some of Colorado’s culinary best. While area vendors sell their best for visitors to enjoy in Civic Center Park, there is also live music and arts and crafts to entertain the kids. The event originally began in 1895 in effort to raise moral after Denver’s silver panic. It continues today as a way to bid a fond farewell to the long days of summer.

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  • Denver Arts Week

    Fall;

    With a whole week of festivities, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and take part in Denver’s annual celebration of the arts. Events vary from year to year, but count on art showings, live performances throughout downtown coffee and art shops, free museum and zoo days and deals on performances. The entire city turns festive for this November event, making it easy to stumble into a surprise live performance and impossible to ignore Denver’s rich culture and heritage.

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  • ChristKindl Market

    Fall; Skyline Park

    Get an early jump on the holidays at the Christkindl Market, held in November with vendors from all over Denver and Colorado. European food and drink is featured at the event, with abundant goodies from Austria and Germany. There is still plenty to enjoy for those not in need of holiday shopping, including music, dancing and, of course, German beer.

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