Everybody knows about Colorado’s scenic drives to see the famous colors of aspen trees in the fall, and of course the fun farms with enormous corn mazes and pick-your-own pumpkins, but there are many fall festivals in the area as well. From brand new festivals to long-standing, well-known festivals to brand new events, here are five that my family will be attending this fall.
1. Arvada Harvest Festival – Olde Town Arvada – September 11 – 13, 2015
The Arvada Harvest festival is the second longest running festival in Colorado for a good reason. It has been a community tradition since 1925 and is currently run by the Arvada Jaycees. Street vendor booths will open on Friday evening at 6:00 pm. Saturday morning don’t miss the Harvest Festival Parade at 9:00 am with bands and floats galore! There are a ton of free family activities, entertainment, carnival rides and food/vendor booths. Last year my son loved pretending to be a hamster in a giant bubble roller ball. Saturday evening there will be an outdoor movie in the park for your family to enjoy. Come on out and make a day of it!
2. Festival Italiano – Belmar Center, Lakewood – September 12-13, 2015
Buon appetito! The Festival Italiano Food & Wine festival is held every year at Belmar Center and is a fun way for your family to experience a taste of Italy close to home. Over 70 Italian food, wine and art vendors will be selling everything from sculpture, flowers, gelato, produce and everything else you can imagine. There will be wine tasting for adults, Italian music and dancing, Italian cooking demonstrations, bocce ball tournaments, Italian movies and a grape stomp for the kids.
3. Oktoberfest – Ballpark Neighborhood – September 18-27
After “traveling” to Italy the week before, let’s visit Germany next! Oktoberfest is a German celebration and tradition since 1810 that is now celebrated all over the world. Denver’s Oktoberfest began 46 years ago in Larimer Square. You and your family can enjoy music from German touring groups, international dance performances, booths selling German goods, fun decorations, an accordion concert, children’s activities, and of course authentic food and drink.
4. Denver Zombie Crawl – 16th Street Mall – October 18, 2015
By far, my family’s favorite event of the fall is the Denver Zombie Crawl. As the largest zombie event in the nation, it hits new Guinness World Records every year. Healthier zombies can start the day off at 11:00 am with the Organ Trail 5K run, walk or crawl. Zombies are separated into teams to solve clues similar to an undead Amazing Race and end up all together in a haunted house. Out of the 16,000-plus zombies you’ll see at the crawl, creativity ranges from scarecrow zombies, zipper-face zombies, superhero zombies, Playboy bunny zombies, headless zombies and yes, even the dogs are zombies. Every year there is a flash mob set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” that the brave dancers in your family can join. The actual parade happens in the afternoon but there are zombies filling the mile-long 16th Street Mall all day. Come dead in full makeup and costume or come alive as a spectator, but you gotta check it out! If you dare!