Over 500,000 people make the four-day Festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration and enjoy the offerings of over 50 area food establishments, 250 marketplace artisans and vendors, six entertainment stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and western heritage of the region — all for no admission fee. Originally named Festival of Mountain and Plain and established in 1895 as a carnival similar to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, the Festival was created to boost the city’s morale and vitality following the silver panic. The event, unsuccessful in ending Denver’s depression and declining in attendance, folded in 1902 when organizers were unable to obtain financial support. In 1983, the Downtown Denver Partnership decided to bring back the spirit of the original Festival to commemorate the opening of the 16th Street Mall. The following year, A Taste of Colorado was added to the Festival of Mountain and Plain name and concept and moved back to Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver, where the event first began.