Top Taco: A Culinary Extravaganza Like No Other

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Top Taco has quickly earned a spot as the "can't miss" tasting party of the summer. This culinary throwdown takes place on the evening of Thursday, June 27th, when more than 50 restaurants -- including Comida, Dos Santos, Margs, Los Chingones Tamayo, and Los Dos Potrillos -- compete head to head for the Top Taco title in the Creative Taco, Traditional, Vegetarian Taco and Signature Tequila Cocktail categories.

As a guest, you'll enjoy unlimited samples of all the tacos and margaritas, along with unique tequila samples, beer, wine and more. Be sure to dance away the evening to the live rhythm and beat of La Candela, Denver's hottest salsa band!


Ticket Types:

VIP: Early entry at 6pm plus a separate tasting area inside the festival with additional taco and tequila tastings, lounge and separate bathrooms.

First Taste: Early Entry at 6pm, plus tastings from our 50 restaurants

General Admission: 7pm entry and tastings from our 50 restaurants

SPECIAL DISCOUNT TICKETS

Restaurant list: Coming Soon

FAQ's:

• When: Thursday, June 27th • Entrance Times: 6:00pm VIP/First Taste, 7:00pm GA

• Where: Stanley Market Place Lawn

• Bring your ID. This event is 21+ only and you will not be able to enter without it.

• We highly suggest you take cab, Uber or Lyft. Paid parking info and directions at TopTacoDenver.com

• You will have an e-ticket furnished by EventBrite sent to your email. If you have multiple tickets, screenshot them and save them on your phone for faster entry. If you have purchased a Double Down ticket, you will receive your Chicken Fight ticket after separately.

• The festival is rain or shine. It is never a bad idea to bring a rain jacket or layers depending on the weather report. Colorado springs mean varied weather.

• We will have water stations in various locations, clearly marked, around the festival.

• No kids allowed. This is an over 21-year-old event. Please leave your children at home. We aren’t afraid they will drink, we just don’t want them in the vicinity of adults who are drinking.

• NO PETS! Pets are not permitted. Service and working animals are not considered pets and are exempt from this policy.

• No smoking. Smoking is not allowed.

DO NOT BRING:

• Weapons of any kind

• Illegal substances

• Squirt guns, misters, spray bottles, etc.

• Laser pens and similar focused-light devices

• Chairs

• Pets (service and working animals are not considered pets and are exempt from this policy)

• Bicycles, scooters, personal motorized vehicles need to be parked outside of festival grounds (bike parking will be available).

• Musical instruments

• Fake IDs (these will be confiscated and your wristband will be cut without refund)

• Outside food or drink

Discount Tickets Click Here

Redzikowski Brothers Battle on Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay" January 17th


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Chef Steven Redzikowski of Boulder’s OAK at fourteenth and his brother Brian Redzikowski, Executive Chef of Kettner Exchange in San Diego are competing on the Food Network’s show Beat Bobby Flay Thursday, January 17. The two brothers will battle it out in the kitchen to determine who has the skills to compete against Chef Bobby Flay himself in this episode titled Oh Brother. The winner will be decided by Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and Chopped's Alex Guarnaschelli and will air at 10pmEST/8pmMST Jan 17.

Steven Redzikowski’s (OAK) Thai Eggplant & Bok Choy & Chicharrones

Steven Redzikowski’s (OAK) Thai Eggplant & Bok Choy & Chicharrones

Before opening OAK with business partner Bryan Dayton, and then Acorn in Denver’s The Source, Chef Steven worked his way up in some very impressive restaurants around the US. For example, Le Cirque in New York, Little Nell in Aspen, and Boulder’s own Frasca Food and Wine. His appearance on the Food Network will add to his list of accolades, especially if he succeeds in Beating Bobby Flay!

To celebrate the brothers’ Food Network premier, OAK shut down dinner service to host a special Dim Sum party cooked by a number of accomplished local chefs from Denver and Boulder. OAK’s open kitchen allowed those who attended to smell, see, and hear the dishes being made well before the Dim Sum carts rolled up to their tables. Guests enjoyed a total of fifteen different dishes from the different chef’s along with wine, Japanese beer, sake, and the house cocktail OAK Tea Time. The food was delicious, adventurous and gave guests unique dishes they won’t find on the menu at any of the Colorado chefs’ restaurants. Below is the full menu, with those in bold being our favorites.

Pork Belly Bao Bun

Pork Belly Bao Bun

Steven Redzikowski (OAK) - Thai Eggplant & Bok Choy

Steven Redzikowski (OAK) - Crispy Wontons with pork and shrimp

Boneless Chicken Wings with bang bang sauce

Boneless Chicken Wings with bang bang sauce

Steven Redzikowski (OAK) - Crispy Chicharrones with Thai spice and trinity aioli

Brian Redzikowski (Kettner Exchange - San Diego, CA) - Pork Belly Bao Bun

Kyle Mendenhall (Arcana) - Sesame Bun

Adam Dulye (Brewer's Association) - Brisket Spring Rolls

Sarah Beckwith (OAK) - Shrimp Toast

Sarah Beckwith (OAK) - Seaweed & Cucumber Salad with sesame

Chase Devitt (BriDer) - Pork Sui Mai

Chase Devitt (BriDer) - Kung Pow Brussels Sprouts

William Cusack (OAK) - Penang Curry Sweet Potato

Paul Jaramillo (Acorn) - Boneless Chicken Wings with bang bang sauce

William Espercuieta (SMOK) - Hoisin-Glazed Pork Ribs

Kate Horton (OAK) - Coconut Sticky Rice & Mango

OAK Dining Room

OAK Dining Room

Words & Photos by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Ribs

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Ribs

It's The Most Wonderful Time For A Beer....Denver Beer Festivals Is Upon Us

Denver Beer Festivus Has Arrived.

It’s that time of the year once again. Time to don that ugly holiday sweater and head out to Denver Beer Festivus. Always in our top five events we cover every year. The Denver Festival is a celebration of all things….beer. With over 70 breweries set to take over the Sports Castle this year, add to that fun activities such as silent disco, lucha libra wrestlers, food trucks, and a pop-up coffee shop from Method Roasters paying homage to a Seinfeld cafe it’s sure to be an amazing time.

The event takes place this Saturday, December 15th at the Sports Castle located at 1000 Broadway from 3PM to 6PM. Special VIP packages include perks such as early entrance and an awesome Festivus Koozie. More ticket information can be found here.

Festivus With the Best of Us!


Cheesman Bark's Charlie Brown Holiday Portraits

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Good grief! The holidays are upon us and it’s only appropriate that we celebrate with portraits of our pups. Thursday December 6th, CheesmanBark will be photographing pups in honor of the beloved Charlie Brown character, Snoopy.

We will be creating a custom photo set that will include this iconic scene from Charlie Brown! A sad Christmas tree and a reproduction of Snoopy’s doghouse will bring the set, and your pups pic, to life!

As if you needed another reason to attend, 10% of all of the portrait sales will go to the MaxFund Animal Adoption Center! A wonderful organization who we are proud to align with once again.

CheesmanBark’s Charlie Brown Holiday Portraits:

Thursday Dec 6th 6-8pm @ Skylight

There will be 100 portrait spots for this event and it’s sure to sell out! As of right now, we will only be accepting online reservations.

Each portrait spot is $40 and will include just a few minutes in front of the lens. The purchase of $40 include one printable digital image. Additional images are $25

We’ve done over 40 of these events and typically photograph between 7 and 9 dogs every ten minutes! 1-3 minutes is enough for you to have 3-5 GREAT images to choose from.

IMPORTANT: We will only be photographing one dog per portrait spot, so if you have multiple dogs you must purchase multiple spots! No exceptions!

Things you can do to make sure your dog is a perfect poser:

Exercise them before they come

Arrive early 15-20 minutes early to let them sniff the area and get comfortable

Practice sit and stay in an environment of high stimulation

If your pet has reactivity concerns, let us know! We will gladly make accommodations to ensure your pet’s portrait experience is a successful one!

The Rise of VR Arcades in Colorado

It’s been a couple years since advanced virtual reality (VR) consoles entered the mainstream market and broke everyone’s idea of what VR can actually do. These latest developments in VR technology are lightweight, intuitive to operate, and adaptable to a number of applications and multi-sensory inputs – essentially pulling our science fiction-based conceptions of VR much closer to reality. However, when retail prices for modern VR systems proved to be too expensive for common households, the media hype surrounding VR took a slow turn.

Enter the VR arcade. Thanks to these futuristic establishments suddenly popping up in Denver and other cities in the state, you no longer need to spend hundreds of bucks to get your hands and eyes on the latest entertainment tech. But can Colorado’s currently available VR entertainment facilities actually live up to the hype? Is this new VR the experience that gamers and tech enthusiasts have been waiting for? The short answer to that is a resounding yes..

Head Games: the First Public VR Arcade in Denver

"This is somewhere anyone of any age or background could come and try out VR and any kind of experience they want to – have a different experience every time, explains Head Games co-founder Nathan Hostetler in an inverview with 9 News. But why take anyone’s word for it when you can just go there yourself. Located at W. Colfax Avenue, right in the heart of the state capital, this VR arcade opened just last year as the first public VR facility in the city. Today, they offer four separate HTC Vive headsets, each connected to a HyperX Cloud II headphone and assigned to its own open space – designed for free omni-directional movement of up to five feet. With over 40 games and experiences offered here, it’s the perfect place for first-timers to sample VR’s never-before-seen capabilities brought to life.

Veterans, Take Your Places at Kaboom VR

Meanwhile, near Windsor Lake is a VR arcade that has a total of 15 machines – comprised of not just VR headsets, but also the auxiliary controllers that expand the VR experience in this youthful place. But don’t let the chill vibe fool you. This is one of those arcades that make veteran gamers both excited and comfortable. It’s all thanks to the fact that Kaboom VR actually holds regular player tournaments to show off stuff like their racing cockpits, other sports controllers, and top-of-the-line PCs (for more “traditional” gaming). If you’re confident in your skills, you can work your way to the top rankings of games like Project Cars 2, Beat Saber, and Holoball, with the added chance of your name being features at Kaboom VR’s website.

Epic VR's Growing Epic Community

This one’s all the way down in Citadel Mall at Colorado Springs. Epic VR is proof positive that even sleepy mountain towns appreciate cutting edge entertainment technologies. The rather huge spaces available here allows Oculus and HTC Vive headset users to move freely, with facilities that also allow your guests to watch your virtual experience. Much like the founders of the other pioneering VR arcades operating in Colorado, Epic VR’s Joseph Johnson is all about sharing potentially groundbreaking experiences with the rest of the community. I saw an opportunity, and I’d like to give people an opportunity as well, to do things that they sometimes can’t afford. So we tried to make it affordable, where people could come in and play anytime.”

VR Literally Shows the Future of Real Estate

While these arcades started opening for business just last year, VR-enabled tools for enhancing business processes have actually been gestating in this state for quite some time now. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Colorado's red hot property market. The Denver Post provides an in-depth look at how real estate firms like Kentwood City Properties and NAVA Developments have already been using the same tech to attract early buyers of their yet-to-be-finished residential units. “We started our pre-sales very early with several years to go before move-ins,” explains NAVA’s director of marketing Sarah Stone. As potential luxury condo buyers walk through the completed, fully-furnished, and completely digital versions of their future homes, it’s easy to see how useful and influential practical VR tech can eventually become.

VR: An Emerging Central Player in Nearly Every Key Industry

As you can probably already imagine, different applications of VR have already been making similar leaps and bounds across other states and industries. Where do you think the equipment for the above-mentioned arcades were sourced from? In the east coast, it's doubtless that there’s serious money to be made via VR. In fact, online casino guide Gambling.com offers a comprehensive list of New Jersey-based virtual casinos already delving into VR-enabled game play. It is in fact not rare for regular players of live VR casinos to sometimes develop friendly, amiable relationships with the live dealers that they consistently encounter online, some of which have actually garnered their own small group of loyal fans. Meanwhile, in institutions like the University of California, VR has taken a central role in the practical training of both students and professionals in various medical fields and specializations. In fact, during the last couple years, VR developers and engineers have been collaborating with some of the most experienced doctors in the country with one goal in mind: to create the most efficient, medically-accurate, realistic, and intuitively-designed VR training modules for nearly every medical procedure that can be considered essential, extremely risky, or impossibly difficult.

Yes, you read that right: the same advanced entertainment system which rewards you for accurately swinging virtual sabers to a given beat could also be responsible for creating the most well-informed and well-trained generation of medical professionals in history.

Given these recent and major developments in VR, we’d likely have to feign surprise when concert organizers eventually offer VR passes for absent but dedicated fans. This bodes well for the unlucky folks who live in Colorado but somehow often miss the best nights at Red Rocks – like that one time when visionary trip-hop musician Bonobo shared the stage with Chet Faker. Of course, nothing beats actually being physically present at your favorite artists' performances. But with VR tech already undergoing heavy development in a number of significant American industries, who knows just how epic it will be to attend future gigs from the comfort of your own virtual reality.

Denver Holiday Markets

Denver Christkindl Market | Nov. 16 - Dec. 23 

This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver’s downtown (1515 Arapahoe St.)! Guests can find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and much more. Live entertainment is featured inside the festival tent every evening, and dancing is encouraged! This market is planned and executed by the German American Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter (GACC-CO).

Denver Christkindl Market

Denver Christkindl Market

Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea | Friday's-Sunday's Nov. 23-25, 30-Dec. 2, Dec. 7-9 & Dec. 14-16th, 2018

The Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea will include four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun - kicking off on Black Friday, Nov. 23 at the historic Denver Union Station! 100s of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the Plaza of Union Station each weekend throughout the season along with music, eats, drinks, activities and more. We’ll be there opening day (Friday 23rd) so check our Instagram @ultra5280 to see this year’s market in action! Tickets are $5.

Denver Flea

Denver Flea

Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR | November 29, 2018

Shop, Sip, and Mingle with Colorado’s finest craft, fashion, and art makers for one night only at Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR inside The Shops at Northfield. This BAZAAR will feature over 40 craft vendors including Beer, Cider, Wine & Spirit tastings throughout the evening, along with festive music and more! 4-10 PM, GA Admission is free.

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR | December 7-9, 2018

Taking over Walnut Street at 28th St. from December 7 – December 9, the RiNo Holiday BAZAAR hosts over 100 hand-picked local craft, fashion, and food vendors, with local breweries, cideries and mead booths onsite pouring holiday-themed drinks and participating in the BAAZAR’s Shop & Sip program.

A combination of outdoor pop-up shops sprinkled with fashion trucks and cozy, heated tents, the RiNo Holiday BAZAAR will spark the festive spirit for all with warm drinks and fire pits, funky music, and a selection of Denver Metro’s best food trucks on hand and a full bar! RiNo BOOZ hall, located in the heart of the BAZAAR, will be open all weekend long serving an array of Colorado crafted spirits and has bottles available to purchase.

Admission to RiNo Holiday BAZAAR is free until 7 PM on Friday, and before 12 PM on Saturday and Sunday, with GA tickets available for $5 at the door. Or RSVP at denverbazaar.com for free admission all weekend! Drink sampling packages are also available, with a range of options to fit your Shop & Sip experience. Please click here for details and more information on all Shop & Sip packages.

Yes Please Makers Market | December 8 & 9, 2018
Keeping it real this holiday season with a free, maker-hosted, vendor-friendly market starring 100(ish) of our favorite makers. After being part of the local Denver market circuit, Yes Please founders Kiwi Schloffel (of Craft Boner) and Taylor Barkin (of Moore Collection) wanted to create something with the vendor experience in mind: accessible, affordable booth pricing, attention to locals-only goods, and a friendly, supportive community. Tickets are free, but an RSVP is required. The first 50 people to show up each day get awesome totes from Craft Boner. 

Yes Please Makers Market

Yes Please Makers Market

By Tiffany Candelaria

Westword Feast Hit the Spot

Last Sunday, September 30, Westword Magazine's annual foodie "Feast" event returned to downtown Denver’s McNichols Building for a few hours of food and booze-infused fun! Over 45 of Westword’s food writers and readers favorite restaurants were there sampling from their menu alongside local and national booze brands.

A VIP ticket offered perks such as early entrance, two private lounge areas (one indoors one outdoors) with an open bar, restrooms, goodie bags, and special food tasting from the Cherry Creek sushi spot Matsuhisa. All the perks were great, but for all those in GA things weren't bad at all! The lines stayed moderate all day, if one table had a long line, you could try back in 30 minutes and it'd be gone. People seemed to congregate together creating hype, and amazingly (as we see this happen all the time at foodie events) none of the restaurants ran out of food until the end! So VIP or not, everyone got the unlimited food and booze samples they were promised, even food samples to go from RxBar, Duke's Smoked Meats & Naked. Another plus, there were plenty of tables, water stations and restrooms for all.

Our favorite bites included the following: Roaming Buffalo BBQ had these (pictured above) tasty tamales with BBQ beef and pork inside. Sugar Fire Smoke House had not only pork belly, but also the most succulent béarnaise beef. Gypsy Q served their Brisket Banh Mi Sandwich and Kimchi Mac & Cheese. Frijoles Colorado served their Cuban Lechon Moro y Maduros (roasted pork with black beans, rice & sweet plantain). Jackdaw, an Irish restaurant we've never heard of showcased superb Corned Beef on homemade sweet soda bread. Milk & Cake and Little Man Ice Cream treated us to scrumptious cupcakes and ice cream.

Photos by Robert Castro Words by Tiffany Candelaria

OmFest Colorado Review

OmFest Colorado returned for its fifth year last Saturday to Founders Green bringing Denver a day full of free yoga, barre, meditation and mindfulness.

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This year's OmFest featured the local yoga and fitness community, musicians, food trucks, artisans, local breweries and wineries! Again they incorporated fun for the whole family with yoga for all ages and free kids activities. Every hour from 9am to 6:30pm there was a yoga or fitness class, with the day culminating in a live band taking participants and the local community into the lovely summer evening. 

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The day was sunny and warm, and many people filtered in and out of the festival thought the day. The final yoga flow took place as the sun set and a cool breeze cooled everyone off. What a wonderful day of practice and community in the grassy courtyard.

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Photos by Samantha Bliss

OmFest Colorado Returns to Denver Sept 15

OmFest Colorado returns to Denver for it's fifth year on Saturday, September 15th for a full day of outdoor yoga, fitness, music, and local vendors at Founder's Green.

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OmFest began when Jeannene Orofino moved to Denver from New York (where she worked as a yoga teacher) and wondered why Denver didn't have a local yoga festival. Together with two local yoga instructors, the three woman created a family-friendly yoga festival for the Denver community. “Our goal was to make a local festival that was affordable, because a lot of people can’t afford the other festivals with big-name teachers that they fly in,” Orofino remembers.

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This year's OmFest features local talent within the yoga and fitness community, musicians, food trucks, seven local artisans, local breweries and wineries! They've also incorporated fun for the whole family with yoga for all ages, kids activities and free admission for those 12 and under. Every hour from 9am to 6:30pm there will be a yoga or fitness class (or both) with the day culminating in a live DJ and drummer teaming up to take us into the evening. 

Tickets can be purchased online for $49 at http://omfestcolorado.com/

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Korean BarbieQ Pop Up Experience

Last weekend, the vacant restaurant space beneath Larimer Square transformed into a special pop-up experience themed around Korean BarbieQ. Odd concept, but cool creation that blended Barbie-themed decor and drinks with Korean barbecue. The pop up experience returns again this Thursday through Saturday August 25th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 1414 Larimer, Denver. Tickets include dinner and drinks - get tickets here:  https://www.thricepopup.com/#tickets

After this weekend, the BarbieQ will then be deconstructed to make way for another pop-up concept by OZ Architecture Associate Principal and Director of Brand Experience Design Abigale Plonkey. “I’ve always wanted to create a pop-up event, and I’ve seen them successful in New York and LA and thought this was an opportunity to bring it to Denver,” Plonkey said. "So we came up with the concept of Thrice — food, drink, design. It always has to have those three elements to make it unique. It can’t just drink, it can’t just be food and it can’t just be about design.” Chef Bill Espiricueta of Smok is preparing the food for this pop-up, and Shawn Campbell, lead bartender at El Five, curated the cocktails.

After the Korean BarbieQ wraps up this weekend, be on the lookout for the next concept — Cosmotropical, a David Bowie-inspired event where outer space meets tiki bar. The decor will focus on astronomy and have lots of neon. The third event will be Chroma, during which the room will change colors as different courses are served!

Photos by Josh Stephens

The Big Eat 2018 Delivers Just That

The Big Eat is Denver's signature food-and-drink showcase that brings together more than 60 of Denver chefs/restaurants to show off their best bites. Unlike many of Denver’s other food and booze events, the Big Eat is one of our favorites because it brings the restaurant scene together in camaraderie rather than competition and provides a comprehensive scope of eats and drinks in a fun, laid-back environment.

This year’s Big Eat was last Thursday and kicked off Denver’s second year hosting Slow Food Nations festival. Click here to read our coverage of that festival. For the past eight years, Eat Denver, a non-profit network of independent restaurants, has organized this event to highlight the hard work and delicious dishes of our local eateries. The event provides Denver diners the opportunity to sample small plates from the big names such as Root Down, Vesta, Jax Fish House, Snooze and Racines, while introducing them to the lesser known gems.

As always, this year’s event was full of fabulous food, craft cocktails and beer, and short lines! Take a look at our photo gallery below for the full picture and let us tell you what our favorite eats were this year, in no particular order. The “Batman & Ruben” from Vine Street Tavern was a scrumptious smoked beef pastrami brisket with Brussel sprout kraut, mustard and Russian aioli. Fish & Beer was serving two types of oysters (garlic or spicy) fresh off the grill which were wonderful. The best sweet and savory combo was found at Cap City Tavern in their Pork Belly Donut Hole with bacon fat caramel!

There were a few fantastic tacos at the Big Eat and our favorites were the Smoked Salmon Tostada (above) with jalapeno goat cheese from blueAgave and the Carne Asada tacos with fresh guacamole from Borracho Taco.

Aside from all the heavy, protein laden dishes, this year the event aimed for one-third of the dishes to be meat-free. So we saw pastas, salads, a soup and a couple vegetarian dishes along with a few desserts such as cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and fancy pancakes!

The water stations and of course cocktail kept us going, with neighborhood-themed spirits from Colorado distilleries such as the Family Jones Spirit House and Woody Creek Distillers and beers from The Post, Ratio, Vine Street, LowDown and Prost Breweries. The Big Eat lives up to its name and is a foodie fest not to be missed!

http://eatdenver.com/the-big-eat/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria     Photos by Samantha Bliss

Denver Comic Con Returned To The Mile High City For Another Amazing Weekend

Denver Comic Con arrived back in Denver with a slew of characters. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The comic con scene is alive and well in Denver nowadays. Denver Comic Con continues to grow exponentially year after year with bigger crowds and more importantly bigger guest celebrities. This year was no exception.

This year boasted the likes of childhood heroes of mine such as Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy of Sixteen Candles fame. Val Kilmer was in attendance, Mr. Iceman himself. A who's who of current television stars such as Jason Momoa (Justice League and Game of Thrones), David Harbour of recent Stranger Things fame and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy). The list goes on and on.

This year's crowds seemed on par with last years  in terms of numbers. Vendors still maintained their strong threshold with a vast opportunity to get your collectables. With 3 Main Events stages, 25 session rooms, and almost 750 hours of celebrity Q&As, panels, workshops and demos there wasn't a dull moment at this years con. There was something to keep you busy all three days.

Lot's of time and dedication went into this years cosplays. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The amount of hours people put into their cosplays this year did not go unnoticed, vast amounts of different array of costumes adorned the convention hall, from your usual Star Wars and Dr. Who to more intricate costumes from the world of anime and comic books.

Photo Gallery: Jason Pendleton

This years attractions such as Opening Night, Celebrity Summit, Artist Valley and Booktopia provided guest unique and one of a kind experiences. It is these experiences that people love to come to and participate in.

The Riverdale panel with KJ Apa, Skeet Ulrich and Molly Ringwald. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

This years panels were a big hit. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

Photo Gallery: Austin Voldseth

Top Taco | Showcase of the Best Tacos in Denver

Once a year when summer finally starts, Top Taco takes Denver as the largest taco and tequila festival. In its fifth year, over 60 local restaurants participate in serving up hundreds of their top tacos and cocktails to hungry Denverites. The event has grown into a large-scale taco and tequila extravaganza with two live music stages, lucha libre wresting, lounge areas, lots of giveaways from the booths and vendors, and some of the best chefs and mixologists in Denver. Be sure to scroll the gallery below.

A ticket provides guests unlimited tacos and drink samples, and there are over 50 brands of tequila and other spirits served straight and/or in cocktail form to get you every penny’s worth of your ticket price. There’s also plenty of water and other non-boozy beverages available to keep you in check, in fact, this festival wins for best water stations and tasting trays of any foodie festival I’ve been to. There were large coolers set up around the grounds full of ice and water bottles, and I never saw them run low. Everyone receives a tray upon entry, and they were properly sized, made of sturdy plastic, and had a great built in cup holder. These trays let you fit a few tacos, a cocktail, and a shot on your tray before retreating to eat.

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While we’ll get to the judge’s choice and people’s choice winners, we want to tell you which tacos and cocktails we thought were standouts! If you’re game for rabbit, you’ve got to try the rabbit taco with crunchy potato from Lola Coastal Mexican. I actually went back for another later in the night and one of their bright hibiscus margaritas. The Edge Steakhouse served a high-end steak taco with bacon that was so flavorful and juicy. Their thyme infused margarita was also one of our favorites because it had a nice balance of flavors and wasn’t overly sweet like many of the other drinks we tried. For Most Creative, Range served a Mediterranean style taco on a pita with taziki and radish. For the Traditional taco category our favorites were Adelitas Cocina, Comida, Que Bueno Suerte and Uno Mas Taqueria.

Now for the Judges and People’s Choice winners, and these may have been the best, but apparently we didn’t make it to the winning taco tables – there was just so much to do, and drink, and eat!! For Traditional Taco Los Dos Potrillos Mexican Restaurant took first place from the judges, but Adobo Food Truck won People’s Choice. Necio Latin Eatery won Judge’s Best Creative Taco and Dos Santos won their Best Vegetarian vote. The Top Cocktail winner was from Former Saint (inside Hyatt Regency), Los Chingones took second, and in third place was Los Dos Potrillos Mexican Restaurant (they also won best traditional taco).

Just like Top Taco festival, Denver has a ton of taco restaurants that deserve a visit. Tacos are cheap (usually), so go out and eat and find your favorites. Top Taco 2018 supported Denver Urban Scholars, a non-profit service organization, that partners with high poverty, high performing schools to unlock the potential of students facing added challenges by creating individual pathways to career and college.

Written by Tiffany Candelaria     Photos by Bridget Burnett

New this June at Denver's Longest-Running Block Party | People's Fair

People’s Fair Art & Music Festival is Denver’s largest and longest-running block party, which celebrates its 47th year at Civic Center Park, June 1-3, 2018. People’s Fair celebrates the best of the Mile High City, including music; culture; fitness; food and beverage; fine art; and a makers’ marketplace produced in partnership with Denver Flea.

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They are kicking things off Friday, June 1. with a featured concert from MAX, who's current hit, “Lights Down Low,” ft. gnash, hit number one on Billboard’s Emerging Artists and Adult Pop Songs charts earlier this year. A variety of free concerts will follow MAX’s performance throughout the weekend: a full day of bluegrass performances on the festival’s main stage on Saturday, June 2, featuring Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs, Turkeyfoot, Lonesome Days, Kitchen Dwellers, and Trout Steak Revival. Sunday, June 3, Moon Taxi will make their only Colorado appearance this summer at 4:30 pm, with The Other Black  opening for them at 3 pm. Additional live entertainment will showcase an eclectic range of Denver talent, including performances from Dazzling Divas Drag Show, Colorado Mestizo Dancers, and dance groups performing everything from ballet to belly dancing!

The Mural Project is back this year, a live art competition in which teams of young, local artists paint murals onsite during the festival. Many teams return to the Mural Project year after year, allowing attendees to witness transformations in the up-and-coming artists, who develop positive self-expression, time management, critical thinking and more through participating in the project. There is also a fine art show featuring more than 100 artists, beer & wine garden, a variety of fitness vendors, fitness-oriented events, such as free community yoga classes courtesy of CorePower Yoga, hosted at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on the main stage. New this year, the “Outdoor Adventure Fest” will invite attendees to experience the Colorado outdoors in the heart of the city, with a climbing wall, a kayak pool, goat yoga and more.

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In addition to highlighting the unique communities found in every corner of Denver, People’s Fair raises funds for nonprofit organizations. The event primarily benefits Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, although all of the beverage booths at the festival are staffed by volunteers from various nonprofit organizations, who raise funds via tips received at their bars. 2018 community partners include Project Angel Heart and Colorado Gay Rodeo Association.


Reserve VIP tickets, your free yoga ticket, or $5 general admission ticket to MAX at  https://peoplesfair.com/tickets/

Photos by Ryan Cox

BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY RELEASES THE 2018 OFFICIAL COMIC CON BEER “RAZZNAROK”

Launch Party to Take Place Thursday, May 17th at Stoney's Bar and Grill

WHO:  Breckenridge Brewery and Denver Comic Con (DCC) will officially launch the 2018 Comic Con Beer, RAZZNAROK, on May 17th at Stoney's Bar and Grill with live music, games, cosplay, and the first of many collectible pint glass giveaways. The beer’s name was the winner of the annual “Name the Denver Comic Con Beer” contest which beat out more than 800 submissions during the online contest. RAZZNAROK was inspired by the widely popular 2017 Marvel Comic book film: Thor: Ragnarok.

The 2018 DCC beer is a Belgian style witbier brewed with fresh raspberry puree. For the seventh straight year, Breck will be releasing the beer along with limited edition DCC beer pint glasses. This year’s Razznarok glass features artwork by local comic artist Morgan Beem.

After the launch party, RAZZNAROK will stay on tap at Stoney's through Denver Comic Con. Other pubs within walking distance to the Colorado Convention Center will serve the beer leading up to and during the event. Follow Breckenridge Brewery on Facebook and Twitter for information on other pint glass giveaway events during Denver Comic Con. This information will also be posted on breckbrew.com in the weeks prior to the DCC.

WHAT: For seven years Breckenridge Brewery has brewed a special beer exclusively for Denver Comic Con (DCC). The first 200 people to this FREE event will receive a limited collector’s series “Razznarok” pint glass featuring custom design by artist Morgan Beem. Colorado's premiere party band, 6 Million Dollar Band will be bringin' the 80s energy to keep the dance floor movin' all night!

WHERE: Stoney's Bar & Grill 1111 Lincoln St. Denver, CO

When:Thursday, May 17th

- Doors 7pm

- Live music by 6 Million Dollar Band 8pm

- DJ 10pm

About “Razznarok!”

Razznarok is a time-honored, Belgian-style ale with a tart pink twist. Brewed with unmalted wheat, orange zest, coriander and fresh raspberry puree, this unfiltered, light-bodied beer has fruity notes of raspberry & citrus, a touch of spice, and a pink blush of color. Refreshing. Surprising. Sprightly. Whimsical.

Past winners of the "Name the Comic Con Beer" contest are The Fantastic Pour, The Caped Brewsader, Brews Wayne, Hulk's Mash, Snape-ricot, and I Am Brewt.

 

5 Upcoming Events In Denver

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5 Upcoming Events in Denver

Denver hosts a plethora of unique events throughout the year. Regardless of the activities you enjoy or the scene you prefer, it's safe to say that you'll be able to find something that fits your interests. Here are some of the top upcoming events in the Denver area spanning from fashion, food, to music! If you're looking for a way to get around without shuffling ride share services or dealing with traffic, be sure to check out this Boulder Party Bus Service.

 

Denver Beer and Music Festival

May 19 at the Vinyl Events Center

This craft beer and music festival is headlined by the rock band Shwayze, but there will also be other live bands and DJ's at the event. There will be local food vendors at the Tasting Village of Food as well as unlimited samples of 50 different varieties of spirits, wine, and beer. Tickets range from $35 to $50 for VIP admission, and it will be worth every penny.

 

ThriftCon

May 20 at INDUSTRY RiNo Station

For those who enjoy a good bargain or rare vintage find, you're not going to want to miss out on ThriftCon. There will be vintage collectibles, clothing, and home goods to consider buying here. With over 40 vendors, the selection is sure to be solid. You won't leave here without a new piece, guaranteed.

 

Trash Fashion Show

June 9 at EXDO

This evening of innovative fashion features clothes made from reclaimed material by local designers. There will be different categories that the designers will compete in such as "Little Black Dress" and "White Trash". General admission will run you $25, while the $150 VIP ticket includes valet parking, a pre show cocktail reception, gift bag, front row seating, and admission to the Tracks nightclub for the after party.

 

Denver Summer Brew Fest

July 27 & 28 at Mile High Station

The Denver Summer Brew Fest boasts over 100 brews and ciders to choose from 40 different breweries. The brew fest benefits the Swallow Hill Music Association, so it's a great event to support. Tickets range from $35 to $60 for their package deal. General admission runs from 7-10 PM, but VIP holders can show up an hour early to enjoy a special beer and cheese sampling.

 

Reggae on the Grass

July 29 @ Levitt Pavilion

This is a free concert series that's open for all ages. Feel good reggae will be playing on multiple stages with bands like Nase Face, Emcee Rasta Stevie, Colorado Binghistra, Ras Marcus Benjamin, and the Denver Vintage Reggae Society. This is the first annual event, and it's sure to be super entertaining.

Moscow Mules+Mini Golf = The Mule Majors

Spend an afternoon putting your way through the Broadway Sports Castle as it's transformed into an indoor put put course, complete with a unique boozy mule and a tasty bite at every hole! Saturday, April 7th play the Font 9 Holes from 1-4pm or the Back 9 from 6-9pm. Throughout the day, some of the best food trucks around town will be providing the bites: Adobo Food Truck, Banomanom, Funnels, Ohana Grille, Passport Food Truck, Roll It Up Sushi, Sokare, and Wheels on Fire. Need an added pick me up? Try the Hydrate IV Bar!

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Guests are encouraged to dress the part, meaning high fashion golf attire, vibrant Polo's, visors, slacks, and fancy hats! A prize will be awarded to the best dressed for each session. The event will bring the rest of the Major's vibes with great music, fantastic decor, extra activities, and live screenings of the Masters and Happy Gilmore!

A portion of the ticket sales will go towards helping Sports Buddies. Sports Buddies is one of four core youth mentoring programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Their activities are designed to deepen mentoring relationships while supporting self-confidence, goal setting, collaboration, skill development, and healthy lifestyles. For more information and to purchase tickets for Saturday April 7th, visit https://www.themulemajors.com/

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