Denver’s City Park Jazz Review (& The Haunted Prismatic Electric Fountain)


Although I’d already seen many of Denver’s wonders, a few more were still in store before I left, including fountain that may have even been haunted.

Yep, it’s true. But I’m getting ahead of myself. To start, I found out that every sunday in the summer, Denver’s City Park hosts free jazz concerts on their outdoor stage. The program is called City Park Jazz, and the city of Denver sponsors it every summer, usually from the beginning of June to the beginning of August. It’s free, and all you have to do is show up. So, I decided to show up, and I got more than I bargained for.

Free Music and Free Water?

Saxophone and Guitar duo on stageThat sunday, an especially groovy jazz fusion band was playing, and after a while, a crowd of dancing people formed in front of the stage! It was wonderful to watch, and a real feeling of community was in the air.

Denver Water company was also there. They may even been have sponsoring the event, but I didn’t ask. I was glad they were there though, because they were giving out free filtered water, and who can say “No” to free filtered water?

Some City Park Jazz Tips

People walking past a huge picnic crowdIf you’re going to check out Denver’s City Park Jazz, there’s a few things you should know. Here’s the list I wish I would have seen before I went:

1. Get there early to claim your spot.

There tends to be a big picnic crowd that spans for hundreds of meters, so if you want a spot closer to the stage, you should get there at least an hour early. The picture to the right of this list is a good example of how large the crowd can be.

2. Bring snacks.

I headed over to the jazz concert on a whim that afternoon, but I wish that I’d brought some food. Towards the end of the concert, my squirrel-like digestive system was pretty hungry, though I was very lucky that someone actually asked me if I was hungry and offered to share!

3. Either bring a good folding chair or a comfy picnic blanket.

Depending on if you want to have a picnic or not, you should either bring a chair or a blanket. Be aware that this venue has no seating, just grass. It’s flourishing grass, but it’s just grass.

An Unexpected Delight: The Prismatic Electric Fountain

Going to the park and staying until the end of the concert had a surprise bonus for me, though. As the sun sank under the horizon, I noticed that beyond the stage, way out in the middle of Ferril Lake, was an illuminated fountain. Later, I found out that this beautiful fountain is called the Prismatic Electric Fountain (named so because it produces a rainbow of colors just like a prism does), and it’s the 21st century replacement for the original fountain built for City Park in 1908. This new fountain was dedicated in August 2008, one hundred years after the original fountain was completed.

Watching the fountain cycle through reds, indigos, and blues was mesmerizing; and I was very thankful to have my Fujifilm camera on hand so I could use its 10x optical zoom. For this shoot, I decided to keep the film speed at 400 ISO because I didn’t want much noise in the pictures. However, this resulted in longer exposure times, so to make up for the longer exposures, I braced myself on a nearby railing. It worked. 😀

As with any shoot, the more photos you take, the more likely you are to capture a photo that truly suspends the magic of the moment. For instance, I took 21 photos of the fountain, but only 6 of those were worth post-processing and adding to the gallery. In particular, I’m rather pleased at how this red and fuchsia one came out:

Prismatic Electric Fountain in red and fuchsia

And for some of the photos, I allowed the camera to leave the shutter open for a bit longer, and some of those pictures created a ghostly effect for the fountain. Like this one, for instance:

Prismatic Electric Fountain in ghost-like violet. Could this fountain be haunted?

Kinda creepy-looking, isn’t it? That’s because THE FOUNTAIN IS ALIVE.
Just kidding! (Maybe.)

Don’t be a goon! Be jazzy, instead.

So, to recap, if you’re in Denver during the summer and you like jazz, you’d be a goon to miss City Park Jazz. And if you don’t like jazz, you should at least stop by Denver’s City Park at dusk and witness this beautiful prismatic fountain! The City Park Jazz schedule is on their website and more information on the Prismatic Electric Fountain can be on its website.

And if the fountain turns ghosty again, try not to worry to much.
I’m pretty sure it’s benevolent.

Pretty sure.

Next time, we see a rainbow in the clouds from the top of a MOUNTAIN.

Continue the journey →


Photos from this trip are in the Denver City Park Jazz album. All photos in the Gallery can be used as desktop wallpapers because they are high resolution (1920×1440).





3 bits on Denver’s City Park Jazz Review (& The Haunted Prismatic Electric Fountain)

  1. This event sounds amazing. Maybe I should go to City Park next summer. I love jazz and it will be very relaxing. Nice weather, nice music, free concerts… Yes, you gave me a good idea! Thanks for sharing this story 🙂

  2. That’s great news! Denver’s City Park hosts free jazz concerts? That’s my favorite music, and it’s really awesome to hear!