With beautiful spring weather and the feeling that summer is just around the corner, Colorado is bustling with excitement in May. From outdoor markets and festivals to several music concerts, there’s plenty of fun to be had this month in Boulder and its surrounding area. Here’s a sample of what May has to offer:
The Stanley Film Festival
When: April 30th – May 2nd
Where: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park
The Stanley Film Fest kicks the month off with a lineup of thrilling films and events. Hosted at the famous Stanley Hotel, located in beautiful Estes Park, the festival showcases some of the best films in the horror genre. This year’s spooky lineup includes the premiere of the indie horror comedy Cooties starring Elijah Wood, as well as a screening of the classic Bride of Frankenstein.
In addition to film screenings and panels, the fest also features parties and events, like an interactive whodunit murder mystery game, all within the picturesque but haunted setting of The Stanley. The hotel, which regularly hosts ghost tours and helped inspire Stephen King’s The Shining, is the perfect setting for the festival. Weekend passes are available so you can turn your trip into a mini vacation in Estes Park.
Firefly Handmade Spring Market
When: May 2nd – 3rd
Where: Twenty Ninth Street Mall
If you’re looking to start the month at a local event, check out the Firefly Handmade Spring Market. Located at Twenty Ninth Street Mall, from 10-4pm on the first weekend of May, the Market will host a plethora of independent artisanal vendors. Booths will feature various works for sale from many local artists and crafters, including handmade jewelry, skincare, screen printed apparel, and even small batch teas and chocolates.
You can also enjoy craft beer and wine at the market, courtesy of Upslope Brewing Co. and What We Love, The Winery. While the market is free and open to the public, proceeds from drink sales will benefit the local charity There With Care, which supports families with critically ill children.
Home & Garden Fair
When: May 9th
Where: Twenty Ninth Street Mall
The Boulder Home & Garden Fair is another great outdoor event at Twenty Ninth Street Mall this month. The fair will feature a variety of local landscape designers and horticulture experts who may inspire you to take on a new gardening project or answer your gardening questions. There will also be many useful tools, fresh plants, and unique home décor items for sale. The 8th annual Home & Garden Fair is open to the public with free admission and takes place on Saturday May 9th from 10-4pm.
Boulder Creek Festival
When: May 23rd – 25th
Where: Downtown Boulder
Memorial Day is another major holiday weekend for Boulder. Residents can look forward to the 28th annual Boulder Creek Festival, taking place Saturday May 23rd through Monday the 25th. The three-day outdoor event, which takes place in Downtown along the Boulder Creek, will feature live entertainment, carnival rides, and hundreds of different food and retail vendors.
The BCF is fun for all ages and even includes a special competition for teenagers. On Sunday from 10-6, young local musicians will battle it out at Teen Creek Fest. Winners of the battle of the bands and singer/songwriter competitions will get to play their own sets at the BCF the following Monday.
When: May 25th
Where: throughout Boulder
The Boulder Creek Festival isn’t the only event in town on Memorial Day. The 36th annual BolderBOULDER also takes place this May 25th. The immensely popular 10K race will host over 50,000 runners from around the world. But the race doesn’t just attract runners; it also brings out a lot of supporters who will be cheering and celebrating on the sidelines. Participants and spectators alike can enjoy live music from over 30 bands performing all along the course.
When: May 27th
Where: Boulder Theater
If you want more live music this month, check out Passion Pit at Boulder Theater on May 27th. The band, lead by Michael Angelakos, has been producing electro-pop music and blending catchy beats with emotional lyrics since 2007.
Currently on tour for their third studio album Kindred, Passion Pit will be playing in both Boulder and Denver at the end of May. So if you can’t make their performance on the 27th, catch them the night before at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.
The Decemberists & Spoon
When: May 27th
Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Decemberists and Spoon will co-headline another great alt-rock show in Colorado on May 27th. That night you can catch the two acts performing live at the stunning Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
The Decemberists is a group known for its epic folk-like lyrics and sweeping melodies, while Spoon is recognized as one of the coolest contemporary rock bands in America. Both have produced several popular albums over the years, gaining the support of many loyal listeners. If you’re a fan of both bands, this event is not to be missed.
With so many upcoming concerts and festivals, you’re unlikely to have a dull moment this May. Your only problem will be choosing which wonderful events to attend, since so many of them overlap!