What to do Memorial Day weekend Denver: BBQ Fest, Vail Comedy, Art Fest

BBQ blowout at Empower Field

Saturday-Sunday. Barbecue fans will assemble on Saturday, May 27, at Empower Field at Mile High, for the 5th Annual Q BBQ Fest. The event features 3,000 square feet of grill space and no shortage of ribs (8,000 lbs) and brisket (5,000 lbs), with only slightly smaller amounts of chicken, sausage, beans and potato salad.

The event also includes live music, beverages, BBQ tutorials and demos, games and family activities. On Sunday, May 28, the Colorado Brewery Running Series teams up with Q BBQ Fest for a run-walk-jog 5k on the Empower Field grounds (registration includes admission to the festival).

Daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., then 4 p.m.-8 p.m. (closed 3-4 p.m. each day). 1701 Bryant St. in Denver. Tickets: $109-$145 for adults; $35 for ages 13-20; kids 12 and under are free. qbbqdenver.com or ticketmaster.com

Colorado Freedom Memorial turns 10

Saturday. There’s hardly a better time to celebrate The Colorado Freedom Memorial, and its 10th anniversary, than during Memorial Day weekend. The striking installation at 756 Telluride St. in Aurora honors active and veteran members of the military with various events 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 27.

The free lineup begins with an 8-10 a.m. pancake breakfast and performance by the Beverly Belles, and military displays by History Colorado, the Military Vehicle Collectors Club of Colorado and personal collections (throughout). The annual Colorado Remembers Ceremony features remarks by local dignitaries, a drill demonstration by the U.S. Air Force Drill Team from Joint Base Bolling in Washington D.C., a ceremonial laying of wreaths, a firing of a Howitzer by the Colorado Army National Guard, and more.

All events are free. Visit coloradofreedommemorial.com for more.

David Cross, Vail Comedy Festival

Through May 31. Alt-comedy godfather and go-to character actor David Cross (“Mr. Show,” “Arrested Development”) has a pair of shows coming up in Denver and Boulder this weekend, including at Englewood’s Gothic Theatre on Tuesday, May 30, and at Boulder’s Fox Theatre on Wednesday, May 31. Tickets to the acerbic, subversive comic’s “Worst Daddy in the World” tour stops are $39.50-$149.50 via axs.com.

Also this weekend: Vail Comedy Festival returns for its sophomore showing with an impressive variety of offerings compared to most stand-up events. Organizer and comic Mark Masters is bringing back not only the free, family-friendly programming (including street-magic shows) and an all-day comedy school, but the showcases, podcast recordings, and the smart booking that made last year’s inaugural event a success.

Featuring 31 local and national comics on 7 stages, Friday, May 26-Sunday, May 28. Full festival pass is $180, with VIP options. See the lineup and schedule at vailcomedyfestival.com. Note: Last year’s event sold out, so buy now.

Denver Arts Fest in Northfield

Saturday-Sunday. What once was a flat patch of runway-adjacent land in Northeast Denver has in recent years turned into a dense residential and commercial area — a.k.a. Northfield — which makes it an ideal spot for the latest Denver Arts Festival.

Celebrating its 24th year, the all-ages gathering boasts 150 booths of local artisans and artists, live music (Denver Concert Band, Wendy Woo and Wirewood Station), food, wine and beer, and a Kids Art Zone. About 50,000 people are expected over 2 days.

The festival runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 27, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 28, at the Conservatory Green in the Northfield neighborhoods of Central Park (8304 East 49th Place). See the full lineup of artists at denverartsfestival.com.

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