Summer activities aim to transform downtown Denver

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DENVER -- The Downtown Denver Partnership and the city kicked off a summer full of events aimed to transform the downtown neighborhood.

A number of summer programs will be a key part in a strategic planning effort led by the city.

“We are researching, we are studying, we are watching what people like and what people don’t like,” Downtown Denver Partnership’s Brea Olson said. “We’re getting public feedback and we are asking for the public’s participation.

This summer’s programs will be studied to help the city hone in on long-term enhancements to downtown’s public spaces.

“How can we do things differently? Let’s study them, let’s test them and then ultimately let’s define what the future of these spaces will be for Denver,” Olson said.

Highlights of upcoming programs include:

Reimagine the 16th Street Mall with Meet in the Street, five consecutive weekends beginning June 25. Meet in the Street, funded by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, returns for a third year to offer residents and guests something new to experience as we transform the Mall into a fully activated pedestrian zone with activities ranging from expanded outdoor cafes and live music to fitness classes, cultural performances and more.

Through a partnership with RTD, the Free Mall Ride Service will be moved to 15th Street and 17th Street via the Free MetroRide buses during programmed weekends. Meet in the Street will also include:

  • Corn hole tournament on July 9: Play corn hole outside your favorite watering hole along the 16th Street Mall.  If you win your location, you can compete to become Denver’s premier corn hole champion.
  • Inaugural Downtown Denver Prototyping Festival on July 23-24: The final weekend of Meet in the Street presents community members’ public art, participatory design and interactive technology creations on display.

 Experience arts, culture and music with special concerts and displays at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Next Stage NOW pilot program is funding arts and entertainment to activate the nontraditional event spaces throughout the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Artistic visions from residents are coming to life in Sculpture Park, the Galleria, the Studio Loft and more as the Arts Complex blooms this summer with new displays of public art and music sure to bring out the culture lover in all of us.

  • Meet Marceline the Vampire Queen and Hunson Abadeer from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time on June 17: The Denver Public Library brings the team on the eve of Denver Comic Con to celebrate the publication of their most recent book, “Adventure Time: The Enchiridion and Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook.” Come prepared for music, laughter and memorable stories.
  • Make Music Denver on June 21: A free all-day music celebration with musical performances from all genres. It will be a day of local music at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
  • “Brass Under Glass” on July 10, Aug. 8 and Sept. 11: The Denver Brass began a collaboration with the Denver Performing Arts Complex in the summer of 2015 with a free public three-concert summer series, and will be returning for another series this summer.
  •  The Gift of Jazz on July 16, 23 and 30: Come and enjoy the free concerts during this three concert series that will bring hip and smooth sounds to downtown this summer.
  •  Supernova on Sept. 24: An outdoor festival of digital animation and art. Presented by Denver Arts & Venues, Denver Digerati and the Denver Theatre District.

 Explore Downtown’s public spaces and parks. Downtown’s public spaces and parks offer the gift of nature in the heart of our urban core, and will be brimming with fun events and activities for all ages. The “Outdoor Downtown” will host a variety of activities, including:

  • Summer Fun in Skyline Park - Free games, an exciting miniature golf course, a pop-up dog park and a children’s play area, brought to you by the City, Partnership and the BID, will transform the blocks of Skyline Park (16th and Arapahoe streets) this summer. All activities are free and open daily, weather permitting. The free summer movie series in Skyline Park begins its monthlong run on July 7 with "Pitch Perfect."
  • Union Station Farmers Market beginning June 4: Wynkoop Plaza at Denver Union Station will transform into a vibrant market Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with approximately 30 of Denver’s favorite local vendors.
  • “Wings of the City” on display beginning June 10: An urban artistic project that includes nine large-scale bronze sculptures created by Jorge Marin, a renowned contemporary Mexican sculptor, will be along the promenade at Commons Park. The display is presented by Denver Parks and Recreation in collaboration with Denver Arts & Venues, the Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Mexican Cultural Center and Riverfront Park Community Foundation.
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