The best thing about living in Denver in the summertime is the plethora of outdoor activities. My personal favorite is not the hiking (that'd be too strenuous) but the concerts. Whether they're at Red Rocks, Elway's patio or in the local park, music fills the air like Miller moths. One of the best offerings of the season is the Arvada Center's CenterFest series. Now in its second year, this populist blend of music and dance brings the finest artists in the Rocky Mountain region to the Arvada amphitheatre. Ballet Nouveau, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble and Kim Robards Dance, Colorado Ballet, and Ballet Ariel with Gossamer Winds and Hannah Kahn Dance Company promise to lift and inspire, while a wide variety of music is sure to rouse and woo.
Opry Colorado II gives us a unique blend of bluegrass in the Colorado/New Mexico style, the
Boulder Philharmonic gets all patriotic on the 4th with The Spirit of America, and the Colorado Symphony tune up for two nights with Mozart Under Moonlight and A Tribute to Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops. If Broadway show tunes are your thing, the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra & the Arvada Chorale give us show-stoppers from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Leonard Bernstein after a heart-stopping performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Perennial favorite the Denver Brass ties a Celtic knot with special guest artist, Celtic Colorado Pipes & Drums and Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers in an evening of American classics and Celtic masterpieces.
You'll find me front and center for Fiesta Colorado and Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra during Sketches of Spain and for you romantic culturalists who hate the drive to Boulder, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival brings Romeo & Juliet for a two-night stand in August.
Between the CenterFest and the SummerStage Concert Series (Lyle Lovett/John Haitt, Wynton Marsalis, Indigo Girls, and the Gypsy Kings to name a few), I could pitch a tent at the Arvada Center and be a very happy camper.
Summer memories are easily created by a picnic under the stars with the kids, the family, a friend or a lover; a lovely performance experience. With tickets priced for every budget, there's no reason not to bring the kids to Mozart. Once school starts and the car pool begins, you'll find them humming along with NPR in the minivan... and you will smile.