Slow Food Nations Festival highlights locally grown and prepared foods and beverages in this three-day event. 

Back for the third year, the ever-popular Slow Food Nations festival will be in Denver, July 19-21. This free international summer festival is all about local food, community, substantiality, and celebrating the ‘slow food’ culture.

Slow food is food that is grown, produced, and prepared with high quality locally sourced ingredients using local culinary techniques and traditions. The movement focuses on taste education, defense of biodiversity, and interaction between food producers. Basically, it's the complete opposite of fast food, as slow food is healthy, fresh, pesticide-free, and benefits all from start to finish.

The grassroots slow food movement started in 1989 and has grown globally since then, with millions of people in over 160 countries. Slow Food USA is a branch of the movement, boasting over 130 chapters in 37 states, including four here in Colorado. Denver has the biggest and most active chapter in the state. The festival is modeled after the Terra Madre held in Italy every other year, a festival that dates back to 1996 and celebrates small scale food and wine producers.

The Slow Food Nations festival is free and takes place on Larimer Square over this three-day weekend in downtown Denver, and thousands of people from all over the world are expected to attend. There will be some ticketed events, though. The range of food topics covered is huge; cider workshops, seed swaps, meat workshops, holistic health tonics, garden to tacos, craft chocolate, as well as demonstrations, tastings, kids' events, block parties, and workshops!

The full list and ticketing information for paid events can be found here.

slow food nations festival

Courtesy of Slow Food Denver (Facebook)

Denver’s chapter of Slow Food USA has worked hard to make an impact on the local food community.  They have sponsored a School Gardens Program part of the national initiative to teach children how to grow, cook and be more involved with deeper knowledge about food.  Denver’s chapter supported 7,500 students, 300 school gardening classes, 48 cooking classes, 40 schools, and 70 youth farm stands in 2017.  The Community Table Programs offer ways for people to connect through food with Slow Food Socials, a DIY Book Club, local workshops, and much more all year round.

This looks like a great weekend full of fun, food, family, and community and we are looking forward to tasting all that slow food.  Have you been a part of the slow food movement here in Colorado or attend last year’s festival? Share with us your favorite vendor and events to attend as well as your thoughts on the slow food movement in the comments section below.