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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
See short films that are shortlisted for the Oscars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Concerts, rodeos, a demolition derby, and more.
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.
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)
A parade and performances all weekend long make this one of the top Pride celebrations in the country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Colorado State Fair
See Colorado’s bounty and enjoy deep-fried everything at this Pueblo fair.
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.
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.
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.
Great American Beer Festival
This brews festival tops the list of best beer festivals in the country.
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!
Enjoy beer, German food, and competitions like stein hoisting.
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.
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.
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
A Breckenridge winter celebration, Viking-style.
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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