Herd of longhorn cattle in the streets of downtown Denver during the annual National Western Stock Show, one of the top Colorado festivals and events

35 Colorado Festivals & Events in 2023 (By Month)

👉 Jump to Festivals in: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

I’m a Colorado local here to guide you to the best festivals in Colorado! 

These 35 events and festivals include some of the greatest things to do Colorado offers. Many are festivals free to attend, and there are events for every month of the year! 

Kick off ski season, celebrate Labor Day weekend, enjoy music on a warm summer night, and so much more. There’s something for everyone on this ultimate list of Colorado events!

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Colorado Festivals in January

National Western Stock Show

Take in the world’s largest stock show and celebrate Denver’s Western spirit.

A girl watching the longhorn cattle on the cage
My, what big horns you have!

📅 January 7 – 22 | 📍 Google Maps | National Western Stock Show Website 

The National Western Stock Show is one of the best things to do in Denver. It attracts people from around the world for the 2-week festivities. 

The evening rodeos are some of the most popular events, but you can spend a full day or more at the stock show. Visit exhibition booths, see prized stock animals as they’re groomed to show, and definitely stop by the baby animal area!

The MusicFest at Steamboat

Enjoy live music in a gorgeous setting during breaks from skiing.

Aerial view of the illuminated Colorado Ski Town during winter
Warm up with good tunes in the dead of winter!

📅 January 7 – 12 | 📍 Google Maps | The MusicFest Website 

With more than 200 hours of live music, MusicFest has been called “The Super Bowl of Texas Music.” You’ll find discounts on ski rentals, lift tickets, and Steamboat Springs lodging, plus more to round out your week. 

⛷️ Don’t Miss: Read about Steamboat Resort and nearby Howelsen Hill in our guide to the best Colorado ski resorts

Ouray Ice Festival & Competition

Watch ice climbers test their mettle and raise money for a unique ice park.

A man climbing on the ice wall in Ouray, Colorado
The ice climbing competition is a test of strength and creativity (photo: Arina P Habich / Shutterstock)

📅 January 19 – 22 | 📍 Google Maps | Ouray Ice Festival & Competition Website 

One of Colorado’s best mountain towns hosts the Ouray Ice Festival. It features movie screenings, outdoor gear expos, clinics, and of course, ice climbing competitions. Money from the event goes to maintain Ouray’s Ice Park, which is free and open to the public each winter. 

Colorado Springs Chinese New Year Festival

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with dance, drumming, and food.

A closeup look at the Chinese lion performer
Festivities at this Colorado Springs festival include lion dances and martial arts demonstrations 

📅 January 21 | 📍 Google Maps | Colorado Springs Chinese New Year Website 

This Chinese New Year Festival in Colorado Springs is an all-day event that features lion dances, martial arts performances, and Asian music and dance. A Kid Zone has hands-on art to help kids learn about and celebrate the holiday. If you’ll be in the area for a while, be sure to check out this list of things to do in Colorado Springs

Rio Frio Ice Fest

Blast away winter blues with a weekend of outdoor winter events in Alamosa.

📅 January 27 – 29 | 📍 Google Maps | Rio Frio Ice Fest Website 

The Rio Frio Ice Festival is two days of family fun. Watch ice sculpting, enjoy a fire and ice bonfire, see the polar plunge (or participate if you’re feeling brave!), and cross-country ski a trail lined with luminaria at night. The main event is a 5K across the icy land. 

Colorado Festivals in February

Steamboat Winter Carnival

Salute this winter with ski ballet, Nordic jumping, and other snow activities.

Aerial view of Steamboat Springs, Colorado on winter
Steamboat Springs is a hopping place in winter!

📅 February 8 – 12 | 📍 Google Maps | Steamboat Winter Carnival Website 

Steamboat Springs brightens the winter doldrums with a weekend festival. It includes Nordic ski jumping (with chances for kids to learn how), snow sculptures, ski obstacle races, ski ballet, and a family s’mores party. 

📚 Related Reading: 21 Best Things to Do in Steamboat Springs (in 2023)

Loveland Sweetheart Festival

Celebrate love in the Sweetheart City.

Big heart sculpture along the shoreline of Lake Loveland
(photo: Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock)

📅 February 10 – 11 | 📍 Google Maps | Loveland Sweetheart Festival Website 

Enjoy music, local arts and crafts, food trucks, and kids’ activities on the weekend before Valentine’s Day. There’s also a tunnel of love, along with ice sculpting, and the Sweetheart Classic 4-mile race on Saturday. 

Colorado Festivals in March

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Perhaps Colorado’s strangest annual festival, this year in Estes Park.

A woman taking a selfie in front of a coffin and blue shed at Frozen Dead Guy Days
(photo: NickyRedl / Shutterstock)

📅 March 17 – 19 | 📍 Google Maps | Frozen Dead Guy Days Website 

Frozen Dead Guy Days is an odd weekend festival. It honors a cryogenically-frozen man who hangs out in a Tuff shed in Nederland. Although it was celebrated for 20 years in that town, in 2023, the festival is moving to Estes Park.

Guests can participate in a polar plunge, coffin races, a frozen salmon toss, and the Parade of Hearses. If you need lodging, check out Abigail’s recommendations on where to stay in Estes Park!

Colorado Festivals in April

Aspen Shortsfest

See short films that are shortlisted for the Oscars.

📅 April 10 – 16 | 📍 Google Maps | Aspen Shortsfest Website

Aspen Shortsfest is an Oscar-qualifying film festival, so it’s possible the movie you take in could be a future prestigious award-winner. Along with screenings, you’ll get panels, workshops, and a celebration of movie shorts. 

Colorado Festivals in May

Cinco de Mayo Festival

Celebrate the holiday with food, dance, and music in downtown Denver.

View of the colorful performers on the famous Cinco de Mayo Parade
(photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

📅 May 6 – 7 | 📍 Google Maps | Cinco de Mayo Website 

Denver celebrates Cinco de Mayo in a big way. Its festivities include a parade, chihuahua races, a low-rider car show, and lots of dancing, live music, and delicious food. Expect incredible Mexican dishes from some of the best restaurants in Denver

Colorado Festivals in June

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

Celebrate Fruita’s famous fowl with a weekend of festivities.

View of the Fruita poster on the Factory Tower in Fruita, Colorado
(photo: Roadwardbound / Shutterstock)

📅 June 2 – 3 | 📍 Google Maps | Mike the Headless Chicken Website 

Mike the Headless Chicken became a notable Fruita resident in 1945 after a farmer lopped off his head and he lived (and thrived) for another 18 months. The summer festival now includes games, live music, and a pancake breakfast. There’s also a 5k run and… a brewery wing and peeps eating contest, of course.

Five Points Jazz Festival

Enjoy a day of jazz in the Harlem of the West.

View of the crowd enjoying the stage performance at the Five Points Jazz Festival

📅 June 3 | 📍 Google Maps | Five Points Jazz Festival Website 

This one-day music festival features up-and-coming jazz artists. It also celebrates the history of Five Points, one of the greatest Denver neighborhoods. This festival even made our list of the 150 Best Things to Do in the USA last summer! 

Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival

Enjoy guitar and banjo pickin’ under a warm sun at this summer festival.

📅 June 9 – 11 | 📍 Google Maps | Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival Website 

Riverbend Park in Palisade is the perfect spot to gather for bluegrass music that’s sure to get you on your feet and dancing! The festival features three days of top bluegrass musicians, along with some bands just getting started. 

If you want to make a weekend of it, check out these fun things to do in Grand Junction nearby. 

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Forsooth, enjoy the plays of the Bard at this CU Boulder festival.

A man holding a skeleton head with a woman on the side during a theater play
(photo: 360b / Shutterstock)

📅 June 11 – Aug. 13 | 📍 Google Maps | Colorado Shakespeare Festival Website 

Shakespeare lovers gather in Boulder every summer to see plays by the famous author. These are presented by a professional theatre company. This summer’s offerings include Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, and The Winter’s Tale. Be aware that children under 5 are not allowed at performances. 

Sonic Bloom Festival

Enjoy electronic music in Rye at one of the longest-running music festivals in Colorado.

📅 June 15 – 18 | 📍 Google Maps | Sonic Bloom Website

This festival, which features electronic and jam band music, takes place at the Hummingbird Ranch in Rye. Along with lots of live music, you’ll find tons of activities including yoga classes, art installations, and fire spinners along with food and artisanal vendors. A Children’s Village has artistic kids’ activities as well.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Listen to live music and attend workshops with Telluride’s breathtaking scenery as a backdrop.

A closeup look at the men playing a banjo and guitar
It’s hard to keep from toe-tapping to bluegrass tunes

📅 June 15 – 18 | 📍 Google Maps | Telluride Bluegrass Festival Website 

You’ll hear some of the best bluegrass in the country in Telluride during this festival. There are also free workshops at Elks Park, and NightGrass evening concerts are a fun part of the weekend as well.

🛎️ Need a Hotel? Check out Abigail’s recommendations in her guide on where to stay in Telluride.

Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Try tastings, see demos, and enjoy mouthwatering meals!  

Sunny mountain view from the retro brick architecture on the South Galena street
(photo: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock)

📅 June 16-18 | 📍 Google Maps | Food & Wine Classic Website 

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen has cooking demonstrations, beverage seminars, and wine tastings. The weekend event also features delicious dinners and more activities for wine and food lovers. For this reason, June is absolutely one of the best times to visit Aspen

Colorado Renaissance Festival

Hear ye, hear ye, enjoy this Larkspur festival all summer long!

View of a castle with sculpted people during the Colorado Renaissance Festival
(photo: Jim Lambert / Shuttestock)

📅 June 17 – August 6 | 📍 Google Maps | Colorado Renaissance Festival Website 

Colorado’s Renaissance Festival runs for most of the summer in beautiful Larkspur, between Denver and Colorado Springs. Enjoy food, medieval shows, and the chance to dress like a fairy princess and demand to be called “milady” for a day.

Dragon Boat Festival

Celebrate Asian culture with dragon boat races, performances, food, and more.

View of the Dragon Boat Festival on Sloane's Lake
At this festival, Sloans Lake makes for a beautiful backdrop (photo: Jim Lambert / Shutterstock)

📅 June 22 | 📍 Google Maps | Dragon Boat Festival Website 

The highlight of the Dragon Boat Festival is, of course, the dragon boat races. During the day, they take place on Sloans Lake, one of the best lakes near Denver. There are a variety of vendors plus martial arts demonstrations, live music, dance performances, and more throughout the event.

Greeley Stampede

Concerts, rodeos, a demolition derby, and more.

View of horseback and longhorn bulls rider on the street in downtown Greeley
(photo: Rexjaymes / Shutterstock)

📅 June 22 – July 4 | 📍 Google Maps | Greeley Stampede Website 

Greeley is, quite literally, a cow town, as agriculture is one of the city’s main industries. The Greeley Stampede celebrates livestock and agriculture with a parade, several rodeos, a carnival, live music, food, and lots of vendors. 

Bravo! Vail Music Festival

Beautiful music under the stars all summer long.

Aerial view of the town of Vail, Colorado during summer
Musicians come from all over to play in Vail for this festival

📅 June 22 – August 3 | 📍 Google Maps | Bravo! Vail Music Festival Website 

Orchestras travel from all over to perform at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. This is the main venue for the summer’s Bravo! Vail Music Festival. The outdoor setting is beautiful and the music is world-class, making this one of the many amazing things to do in Vail

📚 Related Reading: Where to Stay in Vail (Best Areas, Hotels, & Resorts)

Denver PrideFest

A parade and performances all weekend long make this one of the top Pride celebrations in the country.

View of people with huge colorful PRIDE letterings during the Denver PrideFest Parade
(photo: Philipp Salveter / Shutterstock)

📅 June 24 – 25 | 📍 Google Maps | Denver Pride Website 

U.S. News & World Report named Denver’s PrideFest one of the top 15 pride celebrations in the country [Source]. Festivities begin Saturday with a 5K that leads to a 2-day celebration at Civic Center Park. You’ll see performances, hear live music, and find plenty of food and drink vendors. The Pride Parade through downtown Denver happens Sunday morning.

Fan EXPO Denver

Get your cosplay outfit ready for three days of fan fun.

View of people wearing costumes during the parade on Fan EXPO Denver
(photo: Jim Lambert / Shutterstock) 

📅 June 30 – July 2 | 📍 Google Maps | Fan EXPO Denver Website 

Although many people still refer to this as Denver Comic Con, the official title of this 3-day celebration of fan culture is the Fan EXPO Denver. You can meet celebrities in the world of comics, sci-fi, horror, gaming, and other areas of pop culture. There are family-friendly events, celebrity photo sessions, and plenty of merch available as well. 

Colorado Festivals in July

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

A free festival celebrating art in all its forms.

View of a man on the street performance at Cherry Creek Art Festival
(photo: Faina Gurevich / Shutterstock) 

📅 July 1 – 3 | 📍 Google Maps | Cherry Creek Arts Festival Website 

Every July, Cherry Creek turns into an outdoor art show, with paintings, sculptures, performances, and music on display in the streets. There are vendors and places to buy art as well as hands-on activities for creative kids. 

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

Celebrate the Wildflower Capital of Colorado.

View of the field with wildflowers in Crested Butte
Wildflowers grow all over near Crested Butte! 

📅 July 7 – 16 | 📍 Google Maps | Crested Butte Wildflower Festival Website 

Hiking in meadows of wildflowers is one of the best things to do in Crested Butte, and this festival celebrates them in all their multi-colored glory! The 10-day festival has workshops on photography, painting, and hiking around the wildflowers. 

Underground Music Showcase

An outdoor music festival in the Baker area of Denver.

📅 July 28 – 30 | 📍 Google Maps | Underground Music Showcase Website 

This 3-day outdoor music festival showcases bands from around the world. The festival is also near lots of great local shops and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat between sets. 

👉 Don’t Miss: 13 Denver Travel Tips & Things to Know (By a Local)

Colorado Festivals in August

Leadville Boom Days

Watch burro races and learn about this mining town’s history.

Aerial view of the lush green mountain and skyline of Leadville
Leadville is a beautiful setting for an unusual race

📅 August 4 – 6 | 📍 Google Maps | Leadville Boom Days Website 

Burro races may sound a little funny, but the contenders (including the burros) take the race seriously! Along with the race, you’ll find mining skill contests, gunfight re-enactments, and a street fair. 

If booking accommodations in Leadville, be sure to check out the town’s other fun things to do

Colorado State Fair

See Colorado’s bounty and enjoy deep-fried everything at this Pueblo fair.

View of people strolling around the games and food stalls at the Colorado state fair
(photo: Akane Brooks / Shutterstock)

📅 August 25 – September 4 | 📍 Google Maps | Colorado State Fair Website 

The Colorado State Fair in Pueblo shows livestock and produce raised by Coloradans, along with crafts and other creations. Stroll the midway and ride the carnival rides. Take in some live music. And, of course, sample all the delicious Colorado State Fair food you can handle!

Telluride Film Festival

Head to the San Juan Mountains to enjoy one of the top film festivals in the U.S.

View of the flowers on the busy main street of Colorado Avenue, in downtown Telluride
(photo: Michael Vi / Shutterstock)

📅 August 31 – September 4 | 📍 Google Maps | Telluride Film Festival Website

The Telluride Film Festival causes this Colorado mountain town to triple in population for the weekend. You may be the first to catch an award-winning film before it’s seen by the rest of the world. In fact, movies like Brokeback Mountain, Blue Velvet, The Civil War, and Juno all premiered here. 

💡 Local Trivia: Read my list of more fun facts about Colorado

Colorado Festivals in September

Taste of Colorado

Sample a variety of foods and listen to music all weekend.

View of the busy and crowded Taste of Colorado festival at Civic Center Park
(photo: Michael Berlfein / Shutterstock)

📅 September 2 – 4 | 📍 Google Maps | Taste of Colorado Website 

Taste of Colorado happens in Denver each Labor Day weekend. It’s considered by many to be the official end of summer. You’ll find a lineup of live music lasting all day, plus tons of arts and crafts booths, food trucks, and a kids’ area. 

🛏️ Need a Hotel? Check out our guide on where to stay in Denver, along with Nate’s list of the best Denver hotels

Great American Beer Festival

This brews festival tops the list of best beer festivals in the country.

Façade of the glass walled Colorado Convention Center
The Colorado Convention Center in Denver hosts the annual event (photo: Jim Lambert / Shutterstock)

📅 September 21 – 23 | 📍 Google Maps | Great American Beer Festival Website 

The Great American Beer Festival is one of the best-known Colorado events! For festival-goers, it’s a great place to sample a vast array of brews — more than 2,000, as a matter of fact. For brewers, it’s also a competition to see how they rank against others in their industry. 

🍺 Love Beer? Don’t miss our guide to the best Denver breweries

Denver Oktoberfest

Enjoy beer, German food, and competitions like stein hoisting.

View of the crowd enjoying the stage performance during the Denver Oktoberfest
(photo: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock)

📅 Festival Dates TBD | 📍 Google Maps | Denver Oktoberfest Website 

Denver’s Oktoberfest is one of several around Colorado. It features music, dancing, keg bowling, stein hoisting, and plenty of food and beer. 

Colorado Festivals in October

Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms

Welcome fall with pumpkins and a massive corn maze.

View of the pumpkins on a wheelbarrow
Picking a plump pumpkin is just part of the fun!

📅 Festival Dates TBD | 📍 Google Maps | Pumpkin Festival Website 

Visiting Chatfield Farms is one of the best things to do in Littleton! Enjoy hayrides, bouncy houses, music, craft booths, and lots of Instagrammable backdrops at this fall festival. You won’t regret making a trip to the Denver suburbs for this one. 

Colorado Festivals in November

Denver Christkindl Market

Get ready for the holidays at this downtown Denver festival.

View of people dining at the Denver Christkindl Market with Christmas decorations around
One of several tents and attractions at Denver Christkindl Market

📅 November 17 – December 23 | 📍 Google Maps | Christkindlmarket Website

Each year around Christmastime, Denver celebrates with a traditional German holiday market. Take in the festive lights, enjoy a hot beverage, and shop for arts and crafts at Civic Center Park.

Colorado Festivals in December

Ullr Festival

A Breckenridge winter celebration, Viking-style.

Aerial view of the snow covered Breckenridge skyline in winter at dusk
When the snow is falling, it’s time to celebrate! 

📅 December 7 – 11 | 📍 Google Maps | Ullr Festival Website 

Each December, Breckenridge pays homage to Ullr, the Norse god of snow, so he’ll bless them with a great powder season. Take in the Main Street parade and massive bonfire to kick off ski season. 

👉 Bookmark This: Check out our guide to the best places to stay in Breckenridge, featuring ski-in, ski-out lodging!


Hopefully, this article gave you plenty of ideas for festivals in Colorado to attend. If you liked this post, read our guide to the best places to visit in Colorado next! 

(Featured Image Credit: Vicki L. Miller / Shutterstock)

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