A Taste of Colorado is a free admission, four day outdoor festival of food, music, entertainment, shopping and fun! It is held annually in Downtown Denver's Civic Center Park, during the labor day weekend
This was the 30th anniversary of the festival, and the third time I attended. I've always enjoyed sampling foods from different Denver restaurants each time I've attended, and this year was no exception. It was a very warm day in Denver on Saturday, but mercifully the overcast skies kept the hot sun shaded all day, which made walking around for hours pleasant.
There were five stages set up in different locations that hosted entertainment during the four days. The main stage presented such stars as Dennis DeYoung from the group Styx, Aaron Neville, the Wild Feathers, Coloton Dixon from American Idol, MC Hammer, Casey James, and the group America. The other stages had family entertainment, country music, rock music, and heritage music and dance.
The entertainment I was most excited to see was held at the Albert Bartlett Culinary Showcase stage.
Here, nationally renown chefs shared tips and techniques at different times during the festival. Click on the photo above to enlarge it to see the program of events.
I was excited to see a cooking presentation by Daniel Ascher, a chef for the critically acclaimed Denver restaurants Root Down and Linger.
He was very entertaining! He uses the locally grown "Rooster" brand potato, which is a specialty potato developed by the Scottish Albert Bartlett company, and now being grown for the second year in Colorado. We were given roasted rooster potato samples to try. The Rooster potato is similar to a blend of the russet and red potato, with red skins on the outside, but creamy, dense and sweet interiors. They are the most popular potato in Ireland and the UK, and is now coming to select Walmart stores. Chef Ascher made potato gnocchi for us to sample, served fried, in a light, freshly made basil pesto sauce. They were delicious!
Of course the Taste of Colorado Festival is mainly all about tasting food! We try to select foods that we've never had before, or that sound unusual or exotic.
After purchasing tickets, which were sold 15 tickets for $10, we perused all the enticing participating restaurant stands so that we could either have a small sample for a few tickets, or an entire entree for more tickets.
I have to admit we sampled a few foods that I didn't take the time to photograph, as we were so hungry we couldn't wait. We particularly enjoyed Bayou Bob's crawfish etouffee, and Rosa Linda's cactus burritos, both of which you can see partially consumed in the photo above.
The festival had rides for children...
...and many marketplace booths with al kinds of goods, souvenirs, and arts and crafts.
The Taste of Colorado Festival takes place in what is known as the "Golden Triangle" neighborhood of Denver, which contains many galleries, museums, theaters, restaurants, and Denver landmarks. The Denver Art Museum (upper left in the above photo collage) and the central branch of the Denver Public Library (complex in lower left), and the Civic Center building (upper right), are in the area, and add to the opportunities of places available to visit.
Also, the State Capital building of Colorado is in the vicinity, which bears a strange appearance these days!
The capital building's beautiful gold dome, after one hundred years of wear and tear, is being refurbished and restored with new gold leaf, and is presently covered with scaffolding and a screen.
I promise when the restoration is completed, and the dome is viable again, as it was in this photo from a few years ago, I'll go back to show you the final results.
All in all, my husband and I had a wonderful time at A Taste of Colorado, and look forward to attending it again next year!
As a side note, thank you to all who expressed their condolences on the loss of one of my son-in-law's older brothers. His sudden death is still a shock, and although the causes were natural, we are waiting for final autopsy results. Life is so fragile and precious. Enjoy and give thanks for each day and tell those you love how much they mean to you. Thankfully, my son-in-law had a joyous last conversation with his brother over the phone the week before his brother's death, where they were making plans to attend a younger brother's graduation from Navy boot camp. It is a great consolation to him. May his brother rest in peace.
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