Celebrating solstice, Denver-style

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    April 07, 2015

    Summer Solstice, Summer, Outdoors, Music, Foodie, Family, Colorado

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Chasing the sun in the Mile High City

On June 12, 1947, just nine days before the first day of summer, Denver, Colorado, was surprised with the latest snowfall on record. Sixty years later, on June 8, 2007, pre-summer snowflakes sprinkled down on the city again. 

Although it’s uncommon for the Mile High City to get fresh powder so late in the year, it doesn’t keep Denverites from crossing their fingers for clear skies and warm weather once summer rolls around. 

This June, with high hopes of sunshine, locals and tourists are starting their Denver summer solstice celebrations a day early. On June 20th, join the city’s festivities with our suggestions of the best things to do in Denver on summer’s eve.  

Sunrise: It’s Saturday and the solstice sun is rising at 5:32 a.m., so there’s no hard feelings if you can’t drag yourself out of bed just yet. Sleep a little longer and then head to Purple Door Coffee, a local café that employees homeless youth. By supporting this java joint, you’ll have a good deed under your belt before even taking your first sip of the day.  

Viewfinder Tip: Cyclists must wear helmets and obey all traffic laws during the Denver Century Ride.

Morning: Hop on two wheels and go the distance. Coldwell Banker is hosting the Denver Century Ride, a 100-mile bike ride through the region’s mountains, plains, and pastures. If you’re not up to the 100 miler, there are one-quarter, one-half, and three-quarter century courses, too. Sweat it out and cycle to the finish line for the Post Ride Street Party at the Shops at Northfield Stapleton. The ride starts at 6:30 a.m., and registration proceeds benefit Bicycle Colorado, BikeDenver, and Bike Jeffco. 

Midday: It’s that time again! Denver PrideFest 2015 is hitting the streets. From the Dogs in Drag Parade to the Big Gay 5K, it’s no wonder this city’s celebration is rated among the best pride events in the nation. Families and kids are welcome at all the events. The race starts at 10 a.m. in Civic Center Park, while the live music and entertainment begin at 11 a.m. 

Evening: The 21st Westword Music Showcase is rattling the city with indie pop, electronica, rock beats, and more. From noon to 10 p.m., more than 100 musicians will jam out at Golden Triangle district venues in celebration of the city’s largest one-day music festival. Flume, The Black Angels, and MisterWives are among some of the headliners, but countless local bands are taking the stages, too. 

Sunset: Round out the solstice with some serenity. Venture over to City of Kunming Park, a peaceful plot of land with epic views of the Rockies. After nearly 15 hours of daylight, the sun will set at 8:31 p.m., so arrive early to score a seat on one of the benches facing the horizon. 

Regardless of the weather in Denver this weekend, channel the sun and shine on. If you’re visiting the Centennial State during the solstice, stay at one of the many hotels in Denver. 

Here’s what you missed during the 2014 Denver summer solstice:

-We started summer with a sunrise hike at Lookout Mountain and brunch at Snooze.

-Denver PrideFest 2014 celebrated with its colorful street parade.

-The Denver Outlaws played lacrosse against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at the Mile High Stadium.

-Skrillex headlined at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. 

What’s your favorite way to spend a summer’s day in Denver?

Body Copy Image Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/jimmy thomas/Via/https://flic.kr/p/9XSorb

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