The Denver Flea has become a Mile High City staple. And with new vendors and a brand-new location, this weekend’s 11th edition of the artisan market provides more opportunities than ever to get your “fleak on.”
Last fall, Denver Flea founder Blake Adams spoke at an Urban Land Institute panel on university and neighborhood development about the the downturn of big box retailers and the future of pop-up experiences. The Summer Flea is right on trend. This year’s event will host 200-plus vendors at the old Kmart space at Broadway and Alameda Avenue in Baker, which closed its doors in April (RIP).
The Denver Flea, which has been hosted in partnership by Adams and local events-production company Two Parts since 2014, continues to grow. About 50 vendors are new to the this weekend’s extravaganza. Adams says he is especially excited about new vendor and partner, Shinesty, a Boulder-based clothing company that specializes in garish, hilarious clothing (picture American-flag tuxedos and pizza-covered fanny packs). Attendees should also keep their eyes peeled for Flea veterans like Boulder-based outdoor apparel company Mountain Standard, men’s wear Ratio Clothing, and handcrafted soap and lotion store Spinster Sisters Co.
Though Kmart isn’t necessarily known for its attractive interior, the 100,000-square-foot building and its adjacent parking lot are getting an upgrade with seasonal decorations, such as tiki hut bars and a (faux) indoor bonfire. In keeping with the theme, Flea bar manager Ryan Conklin has dreamed up tiki-inspired cocktails and sorbet floats, made with Teakoe Tea, Corvus Coffee, or fruit- and nut-butter-based sorbet from Sorbabes, one of the event’s partners. You can also grab grub at 16 different food trucks—pick up a childhood favorite at Hey PB&J, or pair one of OG Burgers’ spicy Denver Delight sandwiches with a beer from Great Divide Brewing Company.
To round out the event, the Flea has partnered with the Underground Music Showcase (UMS). Though the independent, multi-venue music festival doesn’t happen until next month (Thursday, July 27 through Sunday, July 30), Flea attendees can preview UMS acts like folk/Americana artist Patrick Dethlefs and blues artist RL Cole throughout the weekend.
So put on your walking shoes, pack some sunscreen, and kick off summer in style at one of Denver’s hottest seasonal events.
If you go: The Summer Flea takes place June 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and June 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the former Kmart at 363 S. Broadway. Tickets are $5. Find more info here.