Summer in Colorado is a time of outdoor adventuring. Whether you’re hiking, camping, rafting, or attending one of our state’s numerous festivals, there’s an activity for everyone. The festivals in Colorado range from era-specific events like the Renaissance Fair to food-focused celebrations, like the Taco Festival. Here is a list of festivals in Colorado this summer where you’re sure to have a great time.
When: Weekends from 6/16 to 8/4
Where: 650 W Perry Park Ave, Larkspur CO 80118
The Renaissance Fair is a summer staple here in Colorado. The event draws thousands of people every year, and with its charm and programming, it’s easy to see why. Each weekend at the Renaissance Fair is themed, from a children’s weekend to a pirate invasion and more. This festival is a great way to spend the day with the family, as there are activities for everyone. Kids will enjoy the carnival games, rides, and petting zoo, while the whole family will love the jousting matches and artisans.
The 45th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival brings some of the nation’s biggest names in folk and bluegrass to the San Juan Mountains. This year, headliners Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, and Sturgill Simpson take center stage after full days of performances from other great bands. Telluride plays host to festival attendees by providing lodging in local hotels and several campsites, though housing does tend to sell out quickly. This is the quintessential Colorado festival for those who love music, the mountains, and camping.
Where: 725 W. 39th Avenue, Denver
This popular Denver event returns for its fifth year this summer. The Denver Taco Festival features $2 tacos so be sure to bring your appetite! Along with tacos, the celebration offers tequila tasting for the 21+ crowd. There will also be plenty of entertainment for the entire family, from Lucha Libre wrestlers to Chihuahua racing and live music. Get your tickets in advance, because this event has sold out every year!
Where: The headquarters are located at the Historic Train Depot
Crested Butte is Colorado’s official Wildflower Capital, making it the perfect home for this nature-focused festival. All week long, enjoy hikes, art excursions, photography workshops, herbology classes, and more. This festival presents an unmatched opportunity to learn about and explore the Rocky Mountains and its landscapes while digging deeper into whatever craft–writing, photography, painting, sketching–appeals most to you.
When: 7/21 & 7/22
Where: Lakewood Heritage Center
If you live in Colorado, chances are you already enjoy great beer and live music. But have you enjoyed great German beer and German live music? Attendees can browse European vendors, learn how to dance the Polka, eat pretzels and bratwursts, and spend some time on arts & crafts. The full line-up of musicians isn’t available yet, but expect to be entertained by tunes from Waltzes to Country while learning traditional German dance moves.
When: 7/27 to 7/29
Where: Along South Broadway in Denver
The UMS is the state’s largest indie music festival featuring hundreds of bands over the course of the last weekend in July. Buy a weekend pass and move from venue to venue to see acts like The Overcoats, Alvvays, Frankie Cosmos, and more. More acts, comedy, food, and venues will be announced leading up to the event.
When: 7/28 & 7/29
Where: Sloan’s Lake in Denver
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is Denver’s 18th Annual celebration of Asian and Asian-American culture. This immersion festival has won the Mayor’s Diversity Award and the Denver Mayor’s Excellence Award in Arts and Culture. This free event has activities for the whole family: from the opening ceremony with Buddhist monks to a spicy ramen eating contest to a scavenger hunt and more, the two-day festival is a great way to get acquainted with several Asian cultures.
Where: Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons
The 28th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival brings big names in folk music to the beautiful Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons. This year, headliners Los Lobos, The Indigo Girls, and Regina Spektor take the main stage each night of the festival. During the day, the Wildflower Pavilion hosts songwriters in-the-round, giving concert-goers the opportunity to listen in a more intimate setting and converse with the artists. Attendees are encouraged to camp at the ranch or nearby, making the experience that much more folksy.
Where: North Boulder Park, along 9th Street between Balsam and Cedar Avenues.
The 5th Annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival brings brewers of Boulder’s favorite beverage to one place for a day full of hops, food, and music. Over thirty breweries provide libations while The Sweet Lillies and FoxFeather play tunes all afternoon. As an added bonus, several local food vendors will be cooking up a storm to pair with your new favorite brews.
This is just a small sampling of summer festivals in Colorado this year, as adventures are always right outside your door. Grab your friends and family, head to some of these events, and experience the best that Colorado has to offer.