Festival Season in Colorado Springs

    Whether you’re looking for raucous or relaxing, city or country, cultured or crazy, Southern Colorado has a festival for you this summer. Here’s your guide to some of the region’s standouts.

    sonic bloom festival concert lights
    Sonic Bloom, photo by Eric Allen


    Colorado College Summer Music Festival
    June 3-23 | Colorado Springs
    Student musicians gather and perform throughout the two-week span. Styles include classical, chamber, contemporary, children’s and world in venues around the region. Some concerts include pre-concert lectures, while others are less formal.

    Sonic Bloom
    June 14-17 | Hummingbird Ranch (near Rye)
    The EDM (electronic dance music) jam is free-spirited, funky, homegrown and multicultural all in one. Festivalgoers can choose from basic admission, VIP and glamping options. Sonic Bloom Academy, including yoga and permaculture classes, starts June 10.

    Spanish Peaks Music Festival
    July 6-7 | La Veta
    Headlined by Jerrod Neimann, this country fest includes performances from Cappton Reid, Exit West, Charley Jenkins and Bri Bagwell, plus on-site camping.

    festivals Kerry pastine and the crime scene band
    Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene will play Blues Under the Bridge. Photo by Leslie Van Stelten and Michael Mark.

    Blues Under the Bridge
    July 7 | Under the Colorado Avenue Bridge, Colorado Springs
    Los Lobos take center stage at the 12th Annual Blues Under the Bridge Festival. Also playing this year are Chris Thomas King Band, Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene, Vegan Wolf, and local favorite Grant Sabin & The Juke Joint Highball. Train whistles howl along in the unique bluesy setting.

    Music in the Mountains
    July 7-29 | Durango
    Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, performances of classical and chamber music by more than 100 world-renowned artists take place during this three week festival. Enjoy multiple chamber concerts with a number of guest conductors and soloists, including Sirena Huang on violin and Katherine Steele on oboe.

    High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival
    July 12-15 | Westcliffe
    Nationally-renowned bluegrass performers set against stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Hosted by Dry Branch Fire Squad and The Sons and Brothers Band, the 2018 lineup includes The Kathy Kallick Band, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys, The Steel Pennies and many more.

    Seven Peaks Festival
    Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 | Buena Vista
    Country music superstars Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert headline this three-day music festival over Labor Day weekend. Bring your own tent and camp onsite or rent one of the deluxe tents to turn your camping into glamping.

    Sports & Recreation

    June 14-17 | Salida
    Spend Father’s Day at America’s “oldest and boldest” whitewater festival. FIBArk stands for “First In Boating the Arkansas,” but there are also bike and running races, a parade, live music, beer garden and a retrieving event for your crazy river dog. Don’t miss the Hooligan Race, open to anything that floats except boats.

    Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Fan Fest
    June 22, 24 | Colorado Springs
    Meet the racers, watch freestyle motorcycle jumpers and celebrate downtown at the Friday Fan Fest. Then arrive early on Pikes Peak for Sunday’s Race to the Clouds. Motorcycles, stock cars, open wheel race cars and more will race the clock—and the treacherous mountain course.

    Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival
    June 22-23 | Cañon City
    Three words: boats, bands, beer. Expect all manner of fun on the Arkansas River, from whitewater sports to kids activities to a rubber ducky race down the river. Catch the train or take kayaking lessons.

    International Dragon Boat Festival
    Aug. 25 | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
    Join or form a team and prepare to paddle. Celebrate Chinese culture and sport based on a 2,500-year-old tradition of dragon boat racing. There’s also music, food, entertainment and other water festivities.

    Arts & Culture

    June 7-10 | Valdez
    Colorado’s regional Burning Man. Actual burning depends on fire restrictions, but you can count on art, music, camping, revelry and self-expression.

    Pikes Peak Celtic Fest
    June 15-17 | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
    Celebrate all things Celtic with bagpipes, Irish dancers, whiskey and scotch tastings, fireworks and Highland games, such as the caber toss and clach neart, or stone throw.

    Fort Carson Freedom Fest
    June 29–July 1 | Iron Horse Park, Fort Carson
    Show your support for America’s servicemen and women. Activities include carnival rides, sand volleyball tournament, games, food, fireworks and music, including the Eli Young Band. Open to DOD ID holders and their guests.

    Native American Intertribal Powwow
    Aug. 11 | Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs
    Celebrate Native American history and culture with drums, singers dancers, art and artisans, and full regalia. Also included are a live birds of prey exhibit by HawkQuest, Aztec dancers and Native American food, such as Navajo tacos and fry bread.

    Springs Spree
    June 10 | America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs
    A day of fun, food, music, arts and adventure (did we mention free admission?) make this local event a community celebration. Register for the 5K, and then spend the day.

    Colorado Renaissance Festival
    Weekends June 16–Aug. 5 | Larkspur
    A merry tradition with jousting, turkey legs galore, artisans offering everything from swords to stained glass, and themed weekends including wine, dance, romance and Mardi Gras. Find discount tickets at King Soopers, but be prepared to spend more after admission.

    Donkey Derby Days
    June 22-24 | Cripple Creek
    In its 87th year, the Wild West Triple D celebrates Western shootouts, donkey rides and, of course, the donkey race itself. Catch a melodrama and pancake breakfast, and enter your furry companion in the dog show. Admission is free.

    Green Box Arts Festival
    June 25–July 7 | Green Mountain Falls
    Green Box mixes high country charm with big city culture in seminars, classes, concerts, performances and art. This year features  the favorite Musical Swings installation, a master class with Guitarist and educator Colin McAllister, plus Keigwin + Company returns for multiple performances, including with the local Ormao Dance Company.

    Colorado Springs Art & Music Festival
    June 30–July 1 | America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs
    National and local fine artists display juried paintings, ceramics, sculptures and wearables, such as leather and jewelry. Plus live music and food. Free admission and parking.

    July 14-15 | Downtown Colorado Springs
    The LGBTQ celebration includes a parade downtown and live music, entertainment, food and games in America the Beautiful Park. July 14 is family day with fun activities for kids of all ages.

    festivals state fair carnival rides
    Colorado State Fair

    Colorado State Fair
    Aug. 25–Sept. 3 | Colorado State Fairgrounds, Pueblo
    Older than the Centennial State itself, the fair is an institution. Catch the rodeo, carnival rides, stock shows, kids activities and all the state fair food you can stomach—plus five stages to watch live music, including the Oak Ridge Boys, Neal McCoy and more.

    Commonwheel Labor Day Art Festival
    Sept. 1-3 | Memorial Park, Manitou Springs
    The large arts fest draws statewide artists offering everything from fine oil paintings to outdoor steel sculpture to handmade fabric goods. Sample plenty of food vendors as well.

    Victor Celebrates the Arts
    Sept. 1-3 | Victor
    Watch art created live as en plein air works are created outdoors by dozens of on-site painters. The Quick Draw event pushes artists to create on the spot, improv-style.

    Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off
    Sept. 1-3 | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
    Wake up early to see the skies fill with launching hot air balloons. Of the 50 hot air balloons that take to the skies each morning, watch for the few who accept the challenge to dip their baskets in Prospect Lake after takeoff. Daylong festivities include skydiving demonstrations, wakeboarding exhibitions, stand-up paddle boarding, live entertainment and beer gardens. The balloon glow is particularly photogenic, starting at dusk Saturday and Sunday.

    What If … Festival of Imagination & Innovation
    Sept. 8 | Downtown Colorado Springs
    Come celebrate and explore new ideas and interactive experiences centered around creativity and innovation. Expect art, science, music, invention, business, entrepreneurship and fun for all ages.

    Food & Drink

    Feast of St. Arnold
    June 9 | Chapel of Our Saviour Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs
    This family friendly beer festival includes a kid’s zone with activities, tours of the estate, and of course appearances throughout the day by good olde Saint Arnold. Sample a mix of beers, wines and liquors.

    Colorado Brewers Rendezvous
    July 14 | Riverside Park, Salida
    Raise a few along the banks of the Arkansas River, but pace yourself. More than 75 Colorado breweries will pour over 300 types of brews. Pair them with food vendors’ fare and live music.

    Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival
    July 25-29 | Crested Butte
    A gathering of oenophiles, connoisseurs, foodies and people who just like food and wine—in a gorgeous mountain setting.

    tents at fiddles, vittles and vino
    Fiddles, Vittles & Vino

    Fiddles, Vittles & Vino
    July 29 | Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado Springs
    Mix live bluegrass music—headlined by Grammy winner Rhonda Vincent and the Rage—with wine samples and fine cuisine from two dozen local restaurants, and you have a magical evening to benefit Rock Ledge Ranch.

    Vino and Notes
    Aug. 4 | Downtown Woodland Park
    Sip on wine, sample food and enjoy live jazz as you support Habitat for Humanity of Teller County. Afterward, make your way to the Mountain Arts Festival to shop and peruse.

    Springs Beer Fest
    July 21 | America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs
    This big draw boasts more than 120 beers from 55 craft breweries, including local spots as well as nationally known brews. There are plenty of eats from Springs food trucks and restaurants, plus vendors and live music. An early access ticket gets you in an hour before the rush.

    Steers and Beers Brew Fest
    Aug. 18 | Antlers Hotel, Colorado Springs
    Sample from hundreds of brews and spirits, from locals to the likes of Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Just try and stay on the mechanical bull. The VIP Experience gives early access to special whiskeys, beers and firkins not available to the general attendees. Designated drivers required.