Everything to Do in Denver This Weekend

Fireworks or no fireworks, you can still celebrate the 4th.

Fourth of July weekend is definitely a little (OK, a lot) different this year. All of the fireworks in the Denver metro area have been canceled, but there are some other ways to celebrate virtually and outside. Support artists via an online auction, stroll down Tennyson for First Friday, or head to Stanley Marketplace for an outdoor celebration of cultural diversity in their 48,000-square-foot field. And if you really need a taste of some loud explosions, check out the cannon firing at The Fort in the foothills. As COVID numbers in the state begin to rise (which lead to the re-closure of bars this week), it’s important to celebrate safely, whether you’re heading out or staying in. Wear those masks, practice social distancing, and don’t forget the hand sanitizer -- and sunscreen. You still need that too. 

Hit up Tennyson’s First Friday celebration

Friday, July 3
Tennyson Street
In-person First Friday fun is making a comeback on Tennyson Street (with some social distance-friendly changes). Take a stroll through this neighborhood to check out the specials from local businesses like live folk music at Feral starting at 7pm, an arm (instead of face) painter at Jolly Goods, and a new beer release at Empourium Brewing.
Cost: Free to attend

Bid on works by local artists during the CherryArts Artist Relief Auction

Friday, July 3 - Friday, July 10
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival won’t go on as normal this year, but CherryArts has found a new way to support the artists that make this festival a summer must year after year. This week-long online auction will feature 200 works by 70 artists -- many from Colorado, and 90% of the proceeds will go directly to the artists themselves.
Cost: Depends what you bid on 

See Wildermiss perform on the MCA rooftop, virtually

Friday, July 3
Indie 102.3 Facebook page
B-Side Music Fridays are a beloved tradition with local artists taking to the rooftop stage for live performances to kick off the weekend. Instead of inviting you to the roof this summer, MCA Denver and Indie 102.3 have teamed up to bring the music to you. It all kicks off this Friday with local favorite Wilermiss performing via Facebook live. The museum itself is also now open again for in-person visitors and bonus -- weekend tickets are free if you reserve them ahead of time.
Cost: Free

Head to an outdoor celebration of American Diversity

Friday, July 3 - Saturday, July 4
Stanley Marketplace
Reserve your very own 10x10 socially distant picnic area for you and up to nine friends for this unique event from the Stanley Marketplace. They’re setting up the 48,000 square foot outdoor field west of the Stanley for a 4th of July party that’s all about diversity. Each evening will feature food, drinks, and tons of entertainment including live music, drag queen Dixie Krystals, and a vintage-inspired patriotic tribute.
Cost: An adult ticket with a pre-ordered meal is $49

Have an outdoor BBQ complete with cannon fire

Saturday, July 4
The Fort
There won’t be any fireworks in the Denver metro this year, but if you’re searching for another kind of big bang for the 4th, The Fort will be firing off its 19th-century cannon every hour in celebration. Stay awhile for their special 4th BBQ menu -- reserve your spot ahead of time so you can secure not only some delicious eats, but also a Denver skyline view.
Cost: BBQ rib platters are $39; lower cost outdoor picnic-style options are also available

Hit up a farmers market

Sunday, July 5
Various locations
Once summer favorite that has come back and remains open is many of the area farmers markets, and the produce is only getting better by the week. If you haven't been this year yet, be sure to check the specific guidelines before heading out -- many are asking that you reserve a time in advance and all are requiring masks and social distancing so come prepared. This Sunday, there are several to choose from including South Pearl Street, Highlands, Arvada, and Golden Triangle.
Cost: Free to attend

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Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on food, fun, and life in the Mile High.