Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

BrewGrass, Picnic in the Park lead summertime fun near DU

They’ll be pickin’ and grinnin’ on South Pearl Street and partyin’ in Platt Park this summer as part of a number of community festivities in July and August. All events are within hollerin’ distance of the DU campus.

Platt Park picnic

The Platt Park People’s Association on July 24th meets on the lawn at Logan Street between Florida and Iowa avenues. The gathering is for the group’s annual picnic, which could see more than 500 people before the sun sets.

The annual Picnic in the Park will feature everything from music by the Denver Jazz Band to face-painting and balloons for kids. The event is free. For information, go to

Bluegrass festival

If picnicking in the park whets your appetite for music and fun, you’ll find plenty on Aug. 8 at the BrewGrass festival on South Pearl Street. The 10-band musicfest goes from noon to 10 p.m. rain or shine and costs $5. The lineup of musicians isn’t yet complete, but there are enough bands committed to guarantee a knee-slappin’ good time.

Sample the sounds at the bands’ Web sites and you’ll hear everything from traditional old-time bluegrass and cowboy twang to razor-edge harmonies and hard-driving banjos and guitars. Two of the bands are former winners at Telluride: the Blue Canyon Boys in 2008 and Greensky Bluegrass in 2006. Both belt out a classy mix of energetic instrumentals and tight vocals that are clear, clean and creative.

The old time swing style of Steppin’ In It will make you think Lansing, Mich., is at the heart of Bluegrass Nation. And when honky-tonker Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams crank up the pedal steel guitar and sing that “my other car is an Appaloosa,” you’ll swear you’re in the hills of West Virginia. Only there’s no moonshine in a mason jar, just carefully crafted suds from 11 of Colorado’s top brewers.

The stage will be set up in the 1200 block of South Pearl Street, only a block from the Louisiana-Pearl Street light-rail station. Bluegrass fans are urged to arrive by train, as parking in the area is limited. Chairs and blankets are OK but no outside food or beverages are allowed. Children are welcome, but pets are not.

For information, call 303-734-0718 or go to for the lineup, music links and performance times. BrewGrass is sponsored by Old South Pearl Street merchants and Swallow Hill Music.

Summer social

Also on tap for August will be University Neighbors’ Sweet Summer Social on Aug. 16 from 4–6 p.m. in DeBoer Park at South Vine Street and Harvard Avenue. University Neighbors represents residents from University Boulevard to Downing Street and Buchtel Boulevard to Yale. For more information, call Liz Ullman at 303-733-1442.

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