A guide to all the fun events coming soon

After largely being canceled in 2020 and having a pretty shaky 2021 because of the ongoing pandemic, Colorado’s summer festival season is back and better than ever. (There are so many events that you could spend your entire summer hopping from festival to festival, if that’s your thing.)

After two seriously weird summers, now’s your chance to once again enjoy hobnobbing with fellow Coloradans in the sunshine, sipping craft beer, admiring works of art, watching inspiring dance performances, listening to live music and just generally taking advantage of all that this great state has to offer. This isn’t every festival on tap this summer, but it’s a good start. See you there!

May


May 26-30

Planet V. If you’ve never traveled to Naturita in southwestern Colorado, this is your sign to plan a trip. Planet V (formerly known as Burning Van) is a boutique festival with art workshops, music, pond days, fire installations, performers and more. Headliners include Fleetmac Wood, Kiltro, SkiiTour, the Sponges and Birds of Play. CampV, Ee 26 Road, Vancorum. planetvfest.com

May 27-29

MeadowGrass Music Festival. Start the summer off right with three days of live music, camping, yoga, kids’ activities, beer, archery, ropes courses, workshops and more at MeadowGrass, which is now in its 13th year. Organized by the Rocky Mountain Highway Music Collaborative, the festival shines a spotlight on up-and-coming musicians. This year’s lineup includes Ranky Tanky, Darlingside and Marc Broussard. La Foret Conference & Retreat Center, 6145 Shoup Road, Colorado Springs. meadowgrass.org

May 28-29

Denver Arts Festival. Join 50,000 fellow art lovers at this Memorial Day weekend festival highlighting artists from Colorado and beyond. Stroll from booth to booth scoping out the work of creators who specialize in mixed media, ceramics, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, metal, photography and other mediums. Then grab a cocktail or a beer and listen to live jazz from groups like Dotsero Band and the 4th Infantry Division Jazz Combo. Central Park Conservatory Green, 8304 E. 49th Place, Denver. denverartsfestival.com

Cliff Grassmick, Daily Camera

People take a turn on one of the more challenging rides at the Boulder Creek Festival in downtown Boulder in May 2016.

May 28-30

Boulder Creek Festival. Nothing quite says summer like running (or walking!) the Bolder Boulder 10K, then heading over to the Boulder Creek Festival (or stopping by anytime during Memorial Day weekend) for craft beers, live music, shopping and family-friendly activities. Jam out to the tunes of more than 30 musicians while snacking on food from more than 30 food trucks and vendors. This year’s festival also includes a creekside beer fest, a maker’s market and tons of interactive fun for little ones, like family disco and an obstacle course. Broadway and Canyon Boulevard, Boulder. bouldercreekfest.com

Territory Days. For more than 45 years, Territory Days has celebrated the Centennial State’s Wild West heritage with live blacksmithing, a cowboy church service, gold panning, craft vendors, live music and more. Little ones love the toy train rides, costumed characters and the kids’ play area at this three-day festival, so load up the car and take the whole family to Old Colorado City, a National Historic District west of downtown. Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets, Colorado Springs. shopoldcoloradocity.com/territory-days.html

June


June 4

Manitou Springs Wine Festival. Sip Colorado’s finest reds, whites and rosés (and a few meads!) in a park beneath Pikes Peak. Nearly 30 wineries and meaderies will be on hand, pouring their wares into your festival glass. Listen to live music, grab a bite to eat and do a little gift shopping as you enjoy the sunshine. Memorial Park, 502 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs. manitousprings.org/calendar/manitou-springs-colorado-wine-festival

June 4-5

Indian Market & Ceremonial Dance. Organized by the Tesoro Cultural Center, this two-day festival honors the Native American tribes that helped shape the culture of Old Bent’s Fort in the 1840s. The festival brings together members from more than 40 Native American nations to share their history, art, dance, drum groups and more. There’s also artwork from award-winning Native American artists. Tesoro Cultural Center at The Fort, 19192 Colorado 8, Morrison. tesoroculturalcenter.org

June 5-Aug. 7

Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Sit under the stars and listen to the 400-year-old language of Shakespeare (and other playwrights) at this annual summer gathering. This year’s lineup features “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Coriolanus,” plus Ben Jonson’s “The Alchemist” and Lauren Gunderson’s “The Book of Will.” Many of the performances are held at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, which is lovely during warm summer evenings. Others are held indoors at the University Theatre. University of Colorado Boulder campus. cupresents.org/series/shakespeare-festival

Chalk artists Adrienne Hunter, left, and ...

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Chalk artists Adrienne Hunter, left, and her sister Kelly Euser, standing right, work on their piece that is based on the painting by Gustav Klimt called “Lady with a Fan” during the Denver Chalk Art Festival on June 2, 2019.

June 6-7

Denver Chalk Art Festival. Watch as talented chalk artists take over Larimer Square for two days during this interactive festival. You can engage with more than 200 professional artists as they work, listen to live music and check out the activities for kids. Larimer Square, Denver. larimerarts.org

June 11

Lake Dillon Beer Festival. Held on the shores of picturesque Lake Dillon, this beloved festival is back for its 10th year and includes tastings from more than 30 Colorado breweries. Also enjoy live music and food. You can feel good about buying your ticket, too, because a portion of the proceeds benefit the Blue River Watershed Group, a water-focused conservation organization. Dillon. townofdillon.com

June 10-12

Parker Days. Expect four fun-filled days when you head to Parker for this festival, now in its 45th year. Organized by the Parker Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the event features live music, street performers, cooking demonstrations, food from more than 30 restaurants, activities for kids, carnival rides and a marketplace with more than 200 artists and vendors. Downtown Parker. parkerdaysfestival.com

June 12-18

Colorado New Play Festival. No sets, no costumes, just raw, unfiltered scripts as playwrights, directors and artists collaborate and read their works onstage for the first time. This festival helps propel some 70% of its plays to production, either regionally or in New York. Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp, 40755 County Road 36, Steamboat Springs. cnpfsteamboat.org

The 2012 Telluride Bluegrass festival featured memorable sets from Bela Fleck, Yonder Mountain String Band, John Prine and more. Entry is capped at 2,500 people per day in 2021. Photo by Nathan Rist, Special to The Denver Post
The 2012 Telluride Bluegrass festival featured memorable sets from Bela Fleck, Yonder Mountain String Band, John Prine and more. (Nathan Rist, Special to The Denver Post)

June 16-19

FIBArk Whitewater Festival. What started as First in Boating on the Arkansas is now FIBArk — short, to the point and all about that sweet, sweet white water. This outdoor-focused event has been running for 74 years, which makes it the nation’s oldest whitewater festival, according to organizers. In addition to competitions, there’s also a “hooligan” race that’s open to any vessel that floats and is not a boat. And music and food and more. Salida. fibark.com

Sonic Bloom Festival. Venture to the Hummingbird Ranch for one of Colorado’s longest-running music festivals. Jam out to high-profile musical acts, do yoga, attend workshops and watch live painting performances. There are also interactive art installations, fire spinners, dancers, flow artists and food vendors. Gardner. sonicbloomfestival.com

Telluride Bluegrass Festival. For 49 years, festivarians from all over have descended on scenic Telluride for four days of bluegrass music, camping, workshops and community. With views of the gorgeous San Juan Mountains and optimal conditions for stargazing, the festival is also a great opportunity to reconnect with nature. Telluride. bluegrass.com/telluride

June 17-18

Frisco BBQ Challenge. Your mouth will start watering as soon as your feet hit the pavement of this mountain town. This beloved festival, which has been running since 1993, is basically a love letter to smoked meats — think pork ribs, brisket, chicken, pork shoulder — and barbecue-worthy sides. The festival also features live music, pig races and a 6K run with a cheeky bacon “aid” station. Main Street, Frisco. townoffrisco.com/event/festival-events/colorado-bbq-challenge

Vail Craft Beer Classic. What could be better than trying hundreds of brews from Colorado craft breweries with your friends? Sipping beers in the fresh mountain air, under a blue sky, with Vail’s craggy peaks in the background, that’s what. Plan a road trip to the mountains for a weekend of beer tasting, live music and tasty eats. Vail. vailcraftbeerclassic.com

Spanish Peaks Country Fest. Love country music? Then this new southern Colorado festival is for you. Headliners Koe Wetzel and Tracy Byrd, plus tons of other artists, will play at the foot of the stunning Spanish Peaks. You can camp, too. La Veta. spanishpeakscf.com

June 21-23

Strawberry Days. For 125 years, Glenwood has hosted this annual homage to the humble strawberry. There are free strawberries and ice cream (of course), musical performances, an arts and crafts show, a parade, kids’ activities and the crowning of Miss Strawberry Days. As the event organizers say, it’s going to be a “berry special weekend.” Glenwood Springs. strawberrydays.com

June 25-27

Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience. Groove to jazz, blues, soul, R&B, gospel and other music styles in this picturesque mountain town. Catch more than 40 performances at nine venues in downtown Aspen, with Kamasi Washington and Poncho Sanchez among artists on the schedule. Aspen. jazzaspensnowmass.org/june-experience-2022

June 25-26

Bacon and Bourbon Festival. Bacon, meet bourbon. Do you really need to know anything more about this sumptuous Keystone food event? The festivities include tastings, a bacon-eating contest, concerts, bacon singalongs and even a best bacon award. Keystone. keystonefestivals.com/festivals/bacon-and-bourbon-festival

June 23-Aug. 4

Bravo! Vail Music Festival. Back for its 35th season, this six-week classical music festival features more than 60 concerts held across the Vail Valley. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic are the festival’s resident orchestras. Vail. bravovail.org

GREELEY, CO - JULY 03:The sun sets over the carnival during the 99th Greeley Stampede at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley July 3, 2021. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
The sun sets over the carnival during the 99th Greeley Stampede at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley July 3, 2021. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

June 23-July 4

Greeley Stampede. Rodeo events, bullfighting, carnival rides, a demolition derby and some of the biggest names in country music are on the docket at this year’s Greeley Stampede, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Put on your cowboy boots and prepare to dance the night away while artists like Brad Paisley, Stone Temple Pilots, Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell play under the lights. Greeley. greeleystampede.org

June 23-26

Telluride Yoga Festival. After the last two years, we could all use a little more Zen in our lives. Enter this annual gathering of yogis and nature lovers in the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Enjoy classes, workshops, group hikes, mountain-top meditation sessions and other activities that will help you recharge your soul. Telluride. tellurideyogafestival.com

June 24-26

Colorado Lavender Festival. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel yourself relax as you smell the delicate aroma of lavender, one of nature’s most calming herbs. For three days this summer, you can celebrate all that this purple plant has to offer by trekking to Palisade for farm tours, a wreath-making class, a lavender and wine dinner and more. Palisade. coloradolavender.org/annual-lavender-festival

June 25

Red, Whites & Brews. Red wine, white wine or beer? Why pick when you can have all three — and then some? Head to Steamboat Springs for a day of live music from local and national bands, food and craft vendors’ wares, plus unlimited wine and craft beer tastings. Steamboat Springs. redswhitesandbrews.net

WeldWerks Invitational. This wildly popular beer festival often sells out, so get your tickets fast if you want to chat with folks from more than 45 of the best breweries from across the country. They’ll be pouring rare and highly sought-after beers, with all of the proceeds going to the WeldWerks Community Foundation, the brewery’s charitable arm. Greeley. weldwerks.com

June 22-26

Rocky Mountain Star Stare. Brush off your telescope (or just look up with your naked eyes) at this Colorado Springs Astronomical Society gathering that celebrates Colorado astronomy. It is supremely dark in Gardner, so the 35-acre star party setting, lovingly called “Starry Meadows,” is ideal for dark-sky observing, national scientific speakers, presentations, camping, kids’ activities and more. Gardner. rmss.org

June 30-Aug. 21

Aspen Music Festival and School. This summer-long celebration of music, which has been running since 1949, includes hundreds of performances, lectures, master classes, opera productions, children’s programming and other events. The theme of this year’s festival is “Tapestries: What We Talk About When We Talk About Ourselves” and, with that in mind, organizers hope to explore how art helps shape individual and community identities. Aspen. aspenmusicfestival.com

DENVER, CO - JULY 7: People admire the art work of multimedia artist Dolan Geiman at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival on July 7, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The is the 29th year of the popular festival that runs along 2nd to 3rd Avenues on the six streets between Clayton and Steele Streets. More than 2,100 artists apply annually, making CCAF one of the most competitive juried shows in the nation. This yearÕs Festival features 265 national and international artists, including 74 first-time exhibitors - 39 of which are first-time applicants - in 13 media categories. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

People admire the art work of multimedia artist Dolan Geiman at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival on July 7, 2019 in Denver. The festival is one of the most competitive juried shows in the nation. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

July


July 1-3

Cherry Creek Arts Festival. More than 250 juried artists will participate in this year’s Cherry Creek Arts Festival, which has been a summer staple since 1991. The three-day festival also features an impressive live music lineup, food vendors, art activities for kids and interactive art experiences. Cherry Creek North Shopping District, Denver. cherrycreekartsfestival.org

July 2-4

Snowmass Art Festival. Stroll through the gorgeous glass, wood, ceramics, photography, sculpture and painting works of art from Colorado and national artists at this three-day festival in Snowmass Base Village. Snowmass. gosnowmass.com/event/snowmass-art-festival

July 6-11

Rooftop Rodeo. Yee-haw! Enjoy a little bit of Estes Park history at this six-day event, which began in 1941 and is touted as the highest altitude rodeo in the country. In addition to nightly professional rodeo events, enjoy live music, tons of food, the crowning of rodeo royalty, Western heritage events and more. Estes Park. rooftoprodeo.com

ADVANCE FOR USE IN WEEKEND EDITIONS JUNE 30-JULY 1, 2018 AND THEREAFTER In this July 9, 2015 photo, a woman walks through the sunflowers near Gothic, Colo., as the sun illuminates the wildflowers after the rain. The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, a weeklong celebration starts July 6, 2018. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)
A woman walks through a field of sunflowers near Gothic outside Crested Butte in 2018. The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival features wildflower walks, photography sessions, painting and more. (Christian Murdock, The Gazette via Associated Press)

July 8-17

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Wildflowers are one of the Centennial State’s hallmarks, and there’s no better place to immerse yourself in colorful fireweed, lupines and sunflowers than Crested Butte. This 10-day gathering is brimming with hikes, workshops, yoga classes, photography seminars and tons of other wildflower-centric programming. Crested Butte. crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com

July 7-10

High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival. Spend four days in picturesque Westcliffe listening to some of the best bluegrass around at this four-day festival. Plus, enjoy workshops and mini-concerts for both adults and kids while taking in views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Bluff and Summit Park in Westcliffe. highmountainhayfever.org

July 8-10

Drishti Beats Yoga & Music Festival. This new festival explores the symbiotic relationship of nature, yoga and music. Practice yoga while listening to live music, attend lectures and meet other like-minded yogis and music lovers. Snowmass. festival.drishtibeats.com

July 9

Colorado Brewers Rendezvous. Now in its 26th year, this beer fest includes tasters of more than 100 craft brews from across the state. Munch on food, dance to live music and enjoy views of the Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas River. Salida. salidachamber.org

July 9-10

Art in the Park. The Yampa Valley is a feast for the senses no matter the season, but it really comes alive in summer. Add to all that natural beauty the colorful creations of more than 150 artists at the annual Art in the Park festival. West Lincoln Park, Steamboat Springs. steamboatcreates.org/depot-art-center/art-in-the-park

July 14-19

Taste of France. Oui, oui! Larimer Square and Denver Sister Cities International are teaming up to celebrate Bastille Day and French culture at this special weeklong celebration. Expect delicious French cuisine, performances, art and more. Larimer Square, Denver. larimersquare.com

July 16-17

Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival. Head to Keystone for three days of wine and jazz. With more than 300 varieties of wine to choose from, you’ll want to take it slow so you can make it to all the educational wine seminars and jazz shows held throughout the weekend. Whether you’re into red, white, bubbly or all of the above, this festival is for you. Keystone. keystonefestivals.com/festivals/wine-and-jazz

July 22-23

Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival. Venture to Cañon City for a weekend of whitewater competitions, live music, beer and other land-based recreation events. Centennial Park, Cañon City. royalgorgewhitewaterfestival.com

DENVER, CO - July 27: Flag ...

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

Flag puller Hans Feng of team Space Racers of Raytheon pulls the flag in a race during the 2019 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver. The free festival features art and cooking workshops, dance and musical performances and, of course, dragon boat races. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)

July 23-24

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. More than 150,000 people attend this annual celebration of Asian and Asian American heritage, which organizers say is the largest of its kind in the country. Enjoy food, music, entertainment and, of course, dragon boat races. Sloan’s Lake, Denver. cdbf.org

July 28-31

Buffalo Bill Days. This annual festival dates back to the 1940s, when Coloradans began riding their horses up Lookout Mountain to pay their respects at Buffalo Bill’s grave. Today, it’s expanded to four days of fun, with a parade, car show, golf tournament, historical reenactments, mutton bustin’, food vendors and live entertainment. Golden. visitgolden.com/events/signature-events/buffalo-bill-days

Mountain Fair. Carbondale may not get as much love as its Roaring Fork Valley neighbors like Aspen and Glenwood Springs, but this artsy mountain town is worth a visit — and there’s no better excuse for a road trip than Mountain Fair. Since the early 1970s, this three-day event has been creating summertime joy with music, pie, fly-fishing, belly dancing, art, a dog show, a silent auction and more. Carbondale. carbondalearts.com/mountain-fair

July 29-Aug. 9

Vail Dance Festival. Get inspired by the incredible performing artists who visit Vail every summer during this two-week festival. From ballet to modern to African American and Latin street styles, this gathering helps push the boundaries of dance and celebrates some of the best, most creative choreography on the planet. Vail. vaildance.org

August


Aug. 4

Denver Burger Battle. If the idea of biting into a thick, juicy burger with tons of creative toppings sounds appealing to you, then put this event on your calendar. There are plenty of burgers to eat, and also sides, desserts, beer, wine and cocktails. A panel of judges will determine the “best burgers in town.” Proceeds benefit Firefly Autism, which supports children and families living with autism spectrum disorder. Auraria Campus, Denver. denverburgerbattle.com

Aug. 5-7

Leadville Boom Days. Leadville’s biggest party is back after a two-year hiatus, and festival organizers could not be more stoked. This three-day event celebrates the history of the Old West and Leadville’s mining history with burro races, gunslingers, mining skill competitions, a street fair and a car show. Leadville. leadvilleboomdays.org

An ear of Olathe Sweet Sweet ...

William Woody, Special to The Denver Post

An ear of Olathe sweet corn is opened in a field in the Pea Green area in July 2021. The annual Olathe Sweet Corn Festival features corn in all manner of recipes. (William Woody, Special to The Denver Post)

Aug. 6

Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. If you don’t eat your weight in sweet corn, is it even summer? This festival features a parade, games, a car show, a beer garden, family activities, corn hole (get it?) and, of course, tons of food, most of it centered around the yellow kernels of deliciousness that this region is famous for. This is the festival’s 30th anniversary, so there’s lots to celebrate. Olathe. olathesweetcornfest.com

Aug. 6-13

Sand & Sage Round-Up. This festival, which also doubles as the Prowers County Fair, is a week full of concerts, rodeos, working dog competitions, 4-H and Future Farmers of America events and tons of other activities (including a ham and bean dinner with a homemade pie auction!). Lamar. sandandsageroundup.com

Aug. 6-7

Bluegrass & Beer Festival. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this gathering is among the state’s longest-running beer festivals. Sample craft beers and munch on snacks in the mountains, all while jamming out to music from 12 bluegrass acts. Keystone. keystonefestivals.com/festivals/bluegrass-and-beer

Aug. 8

Boulder Taco Fest. Don’t eat breakfast — you’ll need every spare bit of space in your stomach for all the tacos you’ll be eating at this event. Sample gourmet tacos from 20 vendors while sipping craft beer and margaritas. Also enjoy live music, lucha libre wrestling matches and kids’ activities like pinatas and inflatable obstacles. Boulder Civic Area and Library, ​​1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. bouldertacofest.com

Aug. 8-14

Snowmass Plein Air Art Festival. New to the state’s festival scene, this gathering features more than 20 Colorado artists who specialize in painting en plein air, which means they paint outside. It’s amazing to watch them work, and you can buy your favorite pieces to take home, too. Snowmass. gosnowmass.com/event/plein-air-art-festival/all

Aug. 11-13

Vail Wine Classic. This can’t-miss long weekend of paired wine dinners, educational seminars, grand tastings and other events brings together master winemakers and wine lovers from around the world. Vail. vailwineclassic.com

Farmer Tricia Sproles gently places sweet Red Globe peaches she picked to box up and ship to market in Palisade, Colorado. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)
Farmer Tricia Sproles gently places sweet Red Globe peaches she picked in a bushel. Try peaches straight from the tree or in a variety of dishes at the Palisade Peach Festival. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Aug. 12-13

Palisade Peach Festival. Palisade’s peaches are 100% worth celebrating, so it makes total sense to dedicate an entire festival to this versatile stone fruit. The two-day gathering celebrates the harvest and includes live entertainment, a parade (complete with a peach queen), a car show, chef demos and, of course, a peach-eating contest. Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., Palisade. facebook.com/palisadepeachfest

Aug. 12-14

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. Jam out with Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls and other musical artists at this three-day gathering in Lyons. You can camp on-site or at nearby Lavern Johnson Park, support nonprofit and craft vendors, eat yummy food and just generally bask in the glory of Colorado’s late-summer weather. Lyons. bluegrass.com/folks/lineup.html

Aug. 13-14

Estes Park Wine Festival. Head to Estes Park for a weekend of unlimited wine tastings, scrumptious food, live musical performances, artisans, retail shops and more. Estes Park. estesparkwinefestival.com

Aug. 18-20

Cherry Creek Al Fresco – A Food & Wine Event. Venture to Cherry Creek for this four-day culinary fest that’s celebrating its 14th anniversary. Enjoy wine dinners, culinary classes and workshops, a grand tasting, al fresco dining and more, with proceeds benefitting Food for Thought Denver, a nonprofit fighting childhood hunger. Cherry Creek, Denver. ccnfoodandwine.com

Aug. 20

Snowmass Cidermass. Sip hard cider from more than 30 vendors from all over the country, including Schilling, Anna’s Cider, Colorado Cider Co. and Talbott’s. Snowmass. gosnowmass.com/event/cidermass

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Hannah Rigirozzi, 16, of Stratton directs Herbie Husker the hog to its pen in the sheep and swine barn at the Colorado State Fairgrounds on Aug. 26, 2020. The fair features livestock shows and sales, rodeos, carnival rides, arts and crafts and homemaking contests and more. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Aug. 26-Sept. 5

Colorado State Fair. Head to Pueblo to celebrate 150 years of this beloved tradition, which includes carnival rides, special fair foods, rodeos, live entertainment and competitions in everything from livestock to fine arts. Pueblo. coloradostatefair.com

September


Sept. 2-4

Four Corners Folk Festival. Immerse yourself in folk music while enjoying the San Juan Mountains at this three-day gathering, which is now in its 26th year. Pop your tent on Reservoir Hill, then wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and commune with fellow folk lovers. Performers include Yonder Mountain String Band, Darrell Scott Trio and Heartless Bastards. There are activities for kids, too. Make it a family weekend. Pagosa Springs. folkwest.com

Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Labor Day Experience. The Roaring Fork Valley is gorgeous in late summer. Throw in some incredible live music and you’ve got yourself an ideal experience. This year’s festival features Stevie Nicks, Little Big Town, Leon Bridges and Chris Stapleton. Snowmass Town Park, 2909 Brush Creek Road, Snowmass Village. jazzaspensnowmass.org

Sept. 3-5

A Taste of Colorado. Give your taste buds one last hoorah as summer comes to a close at this dream foodie festival. And this year’s three-day event promises to be bigger than ever as it moves to the streets of Denver. Check out activities for kids, live performances, food from more than 50 vendors and creations of more than 50 local artisans. 16th Street Mall, Denver. atasteofcolorado.com

One of dozens of balloons that ...

Dena Rosenberry, The Denver Post

One of dozens of balloons that are part of the dawn flight passes over Prospect Lake at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs during the 2016 Labor Day Lift Off. If the weather is calm the balloon pilots dip down to skim along the surface of the lake before taking back to skies. Evenings include balloon glows in the park. (Dena Rosenberry, The Denver Post)

Labor Day Lift Off. Enjoy sunrise lift-offs and sunset balloon glows, balloon rides, live music, food and beverages, vendors and fun near Prospect Lake. Memorial Park, Colorado Springs. labordayliftoff.com

Sept. 9-11

Union Peak Festival. Visit Copper Mountain for three days of live music, interactive art installations, sports demonstrations and other gatherings. There are also meetups, classes and clinics for golf, mountain biking, fly-fishing, yoga and more. Copper Mountain. coppercolorado.com

Sept 9-11

Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival. Break out your finest kilt and put on your dancing shoes for this beloved three-day festival in celebration of Scottish and Irish traditions. Enjoy live music, whiskey seminars and incredible feats of athletic ability, including participants throwing 140-pound cabers. Watch herding, freestyle and agility dog competitions and snap photos of adorable, fluffy highland cattle. Estes Park. scotfest.com

Sept. 10-15

Solo Flights. This weeklong festival, organized by Theatre Aspen since 2019, helps actors and directors develop their one-person shows. Attend performances, talkbacks, discussions, panels and special receptions along the Roaring Fork River. Hurst Theatre, 470 Rio Grande Place, Aspen. theatreaspen.org/solo-flights

Sept. 10-12

Food & Wine Classic. This beloved three-day culinary festival in Aspen is already sold out, but you can add your name to the waitlist in case anyone decides to bail. Aspen. classic.foodandwine.com

Sept. 10-11

1840 Rendezvous & Spanish Colonial Art Market. The Tesoro Cultural Center celebrates the Old West — mountaineers, fur traders, trappers, Native Americans and more. Historic interpreters will demonstrate beadwork, blacksmithing, wool processing, arrow-making, sign language, fire-starting and other skills. You can also peruse the work of Spanish Colonial artists, including devotional paintings, carved wooden saints and encrusted straw appliqué. Tesoro Cultural Center at The Fort, 19192 Colorado 8, Morrison. tesoroculturalcenter.org

Sept. 11

Loveland Honey Festival. Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bees during discussions and demonstrations — beehives, honey healing and honey nutrition. There’s also live music, a mead garden, easy access to the Loveland Farmers Market, a kids’ zone and vendors selling honey, beeswax products and mead. Fairgrounds Park, 700 S. Railroad Ave., Loveland. lovgov.org

Sept. 15-17

Breckenridge Wine Classic. As summer comes to a close, road trip up Breck for a relaxing long weekend brimming with food and wine tastings, luncheons, seminars and outdoor adventures. Mingle with chefs, winemakers, distillers, brewers, purveyors and other accomplished foodies in the mountains. Breckenridge. breckenridgewineclassic.com

Sept 16-18

Snowmass Balloon Festival. Spend three days with your eyes on the skies at this colorful three-day festival in the Roaring Fork Valley, which is back for its 47th year. The festivities include morning balloon launches and a special night glow event. Bring your camera, because the sight of bright rainbow balloons floating in the sky against the backdrop of the Elk Range is picturesque indeed. Snowmass Town Park, 2909 Brush Creek Road, Snowmass Village. gosnowmass.com/event/snowmass-balloon-festival/2022-09-17

Sept. 16-18

Boulder Fall Fest. Late summer and autumn are pretty idyllic in Colorado. Welcome the new season on iconic Pearl Street Mall with family activities, live entertainment, local food, artisan goods and a beer, wine and margarita garden. Boulder. ​​boulderdowntown.com/fall-fest

The Telluride Blues & Brews festivities on Sept. 13, 2013 included performances from Gary Clark Jr., the Black Crowes, Allen Stone, ZZ Ward and James Bay. Photo by Evan Semon, heyreverb.com.
The Telluride Blues & Brews festivities on Sept. 13, 2013, included performances from Gary Clark Jr., the Black Crowes, Allen Stone, ZZ Ward and James Bay. (Photo by Evan Semon, heyreverb.com)