Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Taste of Colorado Festival



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.



 We also enjoyed the combo plate of a crab slider, Randy's signature slider, and a strawberry trifle at the Randolph's restaurant booth, and the shrimp cocktail (no photo) and a wild game sausage sandwich at the Broker restaurant booth. We also sampled some craft and locally brewed beers at the special "Pub in the Park" booth.







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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44 comments:

The Gathering Place said...

That looked like a fun festival! I like the idea of being able to sample different foods that you might not dare try if it were your only menu item.

Nellie said...

This really sounds like a lot of fun! So glad you enjoyed it!

I continue to remember your son-in-law - and the entire family, as you continue to grieve the loss of a dear family member.

Hugs,
Nellie

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I am so sorry about the loss of this young man. How sad for all of you. It's nice to see the photos of Denver...it's been so long since I've been there. Looks like you had a great time. I wonder if I would have stuck to getting familiar favorites in the food! lol Maybe I'm not as adventurous any more! Sweet hugs!

Vee said...

Coloradans know how to have a good time. Those foods sound so yummy...not bad prices at all for all that sampling. Next, you'll be back out on those trails.

(My condolences to your son-in-law on the death of his brother. How good that they had had a recent conversation that is providing comfort.)

podso said...

I'm sorry for your son in law's loss of his brother.

You always make me feel like I've been with you in your posts. This event looks wonderful--we have one in our city and should go sometime! Love all the purple in the photos!

Old Kitty said...

The Colorado dome looks like the top of St Paul's cathedral (except the gold bit!!)! Amazing!

And real cactus?!?! How did that taste like!??!

What a great event - and great food samples too! I am keen to find this rooster potato! I love love love roast taters in their skins! And the pics here have got me salivating!

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!! Take care
x

ellen b. said...

That's so sweet that your son in law has that great conversation to remember his brother's last days by. We really don't know the number of our days for sure.
What a great spot for this festival. It's been years since I've attended a "taste of" I'm glad you had a good time and tried some good eats!!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Famous Daves, I know that pig:@) Looks like you had a fun day Pat! Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Snap said...

I love festivals of all kinds ... eat, drink and be merry! This looks like a lot of fun. Denver is a lovely city. Adventure on! :)

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

A food festival? Count me in. I'm amazed with all of the events in Denver.

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers Pat. Please pass my thoughts along to your son-in-law & your daughter on the death of his brother.
Sam

Wandering Wren said...

How lovely that you were able to enjoy a fun day out after your recent family loss. The Taste of Colorado looks like a great day out.
Wrenx

gracie1961 said...

Wow this is huge! I'm sure you had fun!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

We have a food festival in Tampa, but it costs. Lucky you!

Thanks for joining in to celebrate Blue Monday’s 5th Blogiversary!

Ola said...

I think that's a good idea for restaurants to advertise this way!

Tracy said...

BEAUTIFUL, FUN and YUM all in one... LOL! Such a great, big event! Thanks for giving us a taste, Pat. Enjoy the long Labor Day weekend :o) ((HUGS))

eileeninmd said...

Pat, what a wonderful festival. Sampling the different foods sounds yummy to me. It is a great idea for the restaurants to drum up new business too. Thanks for sharing, great photos. Have a happy day!

Jeanne said...

Good morning Pat, another interesting post about a special festival. I want to go too. It sounds wonderful. The capital building will be beautiful and it sounds like the food was delicious. Great photos...I feel like I was there.

Happy Labor Day in beautiful Colorado.
xo, Jeanne

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

I love these taste festivals. We have gone to the Buffalo Taste several times.

Cathy said...

I love big outdoor events such as this and always look forward to ours here in Portland. A big part of the fun is being able to sample so many delicious dishes. And I always love the music.

acreativeharbor.com said...

Lots of healing energy hugs to you and your family ~ always hard to lose our loved ones ~

Fantastic photography of a great event ~ almost felt like I was there ~ thanks for sharing all of it ~ carol, xo

FABBY'S LIVING said...

What a great festival, all that fun and yummy food! I'm glad you had a Little bit of a good time, as I'm sure you're always having your Young son in law's passing. My heart goes out to your entire family. May God conforts you all sweet lady.
FABBY

FABBY'S LIVING said...

I'll refrase correctly about your 'Sil's brother'...sad, a Young man indeed.
FABBY

Mama Zen said...

That festival looks like a blast!

Sara said...

The festival seemed to offer lots of good things to taste! I will be keeping my eyes open for those rooster potatoes; yummy.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I could almost feel the festive spirit as I read down through this post. What an enjoyable way to spend a day. I know some little ones who would love it all too.

Beverly said...

Looks and sounds like fun, Pat.

Our town had a food truck rodeo yesterday which we had hoped to attend, but we had strong storms for hours. We ordered wings to eat at home where is was nice and dry.

Pondside said...

I'm just catching up after being away from the computer for a while. I am so very sorry to hear about your son-in-law's terrible loss. It is so good that you are nearby to support him and his little family at this time.
Once again you've shown us a great event near where you live - one that makes me wish for just a little bit of that American spirit of celebration up this way!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Would love to be there.. Should never have read this just before dinner tho )))! We have Colorado kids...maybe we need to visit next Labor Day!

Annesphamily said...

We have never attended the Taste of Colorado because we can rarely afford extras! But a few years ago a girl I worked with won tickets to a fundraiser that was quite costly and she took me along! We sampled foods from very exotic places here in Colorado! It was a lot of fun and you were lucky you went when the weather was a bit cooler. I am tired of the heat! As always, your photos are very lovely.

Lorrie said...

What a fun event to attend. That's a wonderful line-up of chefs they had. Sampling food is great fun.

So sorry to hear about your son-in-law's older brother's passing. Life really is uncertain.

Jim said...

It looks like fun.

Gary Phillips said...

A cooking tour, I'm all for that!!Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a fabulous event! I can think of a few others who would have enjoyed being there! :)

My condolences to your son-in-law and the whole family...on the sudden passing of someone near and dear...and so young! My heart goes out to all who have been impacted by his passing.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of such a young person. I will include you and your family in my prayers.
Thank you for bringing us a slice of the food world of Colorado. I must have had rooster potatoes sometime during my travels in the UK and Ireland, but I will be on the lookout for them now. Our capital dome in CT is also gold plated and is magnificent in the sunlight. I'm looking forward to seeing the reveal of yours!
Again, my deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Linda

Tracy Cook said...

This looked a good event, I would have been first to enter for ice cream contest

edenhills said...

That looks like quite the delicious event! Those potatoes do look divine! I might have to try to find those rooster potatoes!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

We do a Taste of the Wasatch here which is very similar and I missed it this year so I am enjoying your pictures and waiting for next year...


fredamans said...

Looks like an awesome festival!

Barbara said...

Pat, your picture of the Capitol building's tent-like cover is very interesting. I don't get to downtown Denver very often any more, so I keep forgetting the Capitol is getting a facelift.

Allow me to also extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family for your recent loss. May the Lord bless you with comfort during this time of grief.

Granny-Guru said...

The food all sounds delicious. My husband's a foodie, so we usually travel from one restaurant to another. Sounds like we need to include Colorado in our plans.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Here I am eating a plain tomato sandwich at lunch looking at this gourmet fest :)

AdriBarr said...

Well, I am starting to be sorry I do not live in Colorado. {Pat, your posts are all so wonderful, and this is no exception. What a terrific food event! Thee were so many great food personalities, and of course, the ice cream eating contest was something after my own heart! How much ice cream did the winner consume? Did you see it?

And the dome of your state capitol is a real glory. As always, thanks for the wonderful post!

Best,
ABC

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It looks great.

Jenny said...

This looks like a fun-packed little adventure...

There are so many pleasurable ways to pass the time here!

Perfect post for the letter "P".

Thanks for linking.

A+