A Taste of Colorado: A visual tour of the food, vendors, music and family activities

Civic Center Park during Taste of Colorado. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
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Civic Center Park during Taste of Colorado. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

A Taste of Colorado returned again for a 33rd delicious year. Some 275 vendors, 50 food vendors and about 500,000 attendees came out to Civic Center Park for the family- and foodie-friendly festival that took over from Friday through Monday of Labor Day Weekend.

So if you were busy taking advantage of all the other cool stuff in Denver this weekend — or not — here’s a peek at the festivities.

With five stages for live local and national music acts, including Colorado’s beloved Blues Traveler playing Sunday night, carnival rides, art and crafts for sale and, of course, more food than a Denverite could possibly try in one weekend, the Taste of Colorado is a full-blown multi-sensory experience — if you can handle the crowds, that is.

“Everyone thinks it’s all turkey legs and funnel cakes — of course you have to have that too, but its really amazing the variety of food we have,” Christina La Porte, a spokesperson for the Taste of Colorado said.

Serving up Denver-based goodness again this year were Mustard’s Last Stand, which has offered Chicago-style hot dogs since the very first year of the festival; Bayou Bob’s cajun fare, a staple for 15 to 20 years; and 10-year veteran Falafel King for, well, falafel. There were a few new additions to the food and art vendors this year, too.

Let’s start with the food.
Maine Street Barbeque Company was new this year. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Maine Street Barbeque Company was new this year. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Food trucks are a fairly new thing for A Taste of Colorado. And the newest of new this year were Maine Street BBQ Company and Nishi. Did I try them both? Yes.

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Taste of lobster for 8 tickets. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Maine Street’s taste of lobster cost eight tickets. A splurge but it was so so worth it.

Spicy edamame and a veggie dumpling from Nishi. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Spicy edamame and a veggie dumpling from Nishi. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

These little puppies, a veggie dumpling and spicy edamame cost two tickets apiece. A few people in line seemed a bit irate at the wait time — over ten minutes for the two — and then moreso where a serving was only one dumpling. Delicious? Yes. Worth it? Maybe.

Next, music.
Michaela from Spinphony threw down on the electric violin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Michaela from Spinphony threw down on the electric violin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Four ladies from Denver-based Spinphony put on quite the show at the Colorado Heritage Stage, playing pop favorites including Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” and “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin.

Modern Suspects played the World Class Rock stage. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Bart Williams and  Garret Myers from Modern Suspects playing on the KBCO World Class Rock Stage. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Modern Suspects brought poppy indie rock to the KBCO Stage.

How about games?
Two women enjoying a ride. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Two women enjoying a ride. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

There is a mini carnival at Taste of Colorado with all the right rides to make your insides feel wrong after overindulging at the food vendors.

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Evelyn and Anderson Lamb played on recycled instruments. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

The KidZone had a new feature this year: brightly colored instruments made from all recycled material.

 

There were plenty of local vendors.
Purpose and Pine sells furniture made from recycled materials. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Purpose and Pine sells furniture made from recycled materials. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Purpose and Pine launched 18 months ago — it’s their first time at A Taste of Colorado. The founder, Colin, makes furniture from all recycled materials, including beetle kill wood. He says clearing out beetle kill helps to prevent forest fires.

Designs in the Wind is a Colorado-based company that creates metal art. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Designs in the Wind is a Colorado-based company that creates metal art. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Designs in the Wind is a family-owned, Colorado-based company that makes metal art. They are not new this year but — rainbows!

There were art installations.
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This fire breathing owl. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

This apocalyptic owl took up residence near the World Class Rock Stage.

Oh, and yes, there were actually giant turkey legs.
Darren Burton with his giant turkey leg. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Darren Burton with his giant turkey leg. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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