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Colorado's 10 Best Events and Festivals this Summer

Colorado's 10 Best Events and Festivals this Summer

Picture of Oliver Griffin
Updated: 9 February 2017
Colorado is famous for its mountainous and rocky terrain; in fact, the state has so many mountains it actually accounts for 75 percent of the USA’s land over 10,000 feet above sea level. The home of the rodeo, Colorado is also full of fantastic museums, great music and phenomenal food, as you will see from its packed cultural calendar this summer. Here are ten unmissable events coming up in Colorado.

Colorado Springs Hot Air Balloon Competition

© DarlArthurS/WikiCommons

Art | Byers-Evans House

6 June – 30 August

Before it was a museum, the Byers-Evans House was home to two prominent Denver families; it remains one of the cities most historic landmarks. It was originally built in 1883, and after falling into disrepair, was restored from 1912 – 1924. This summer the museum is hosting A Handful of Dust, which will be running from June 6 until August 30. The exhibit will showcase the works of Allen Birnbach, a notable photographer and documentary filmmaker. This is a truly special exhibit that is packed full of both history, as well we beautiful imagery.

Byers-Evans House, 1310 Bannock St, Denver, CO, USA; +1 303 620 4933


Art | Reflections of Japan

6 July – 21 September

The full title of this exhibition is a bit of a mouthful but At the Mirror: Reflections of Japan in 20th Century Prints, is still a must see for art lovers in Colorado. The prints on show allow visitors to explore a range of techniques and styles as they evolve through a hundred years of work. All the pieces will be creations painted with woodblock prints, ranging in dates from 1901 to 2001, Not only will it monitor the change of styles and techniques, it will also show how the development of Japan came to be across the 20th century.

Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO, USA; +1 720 865 5000


Culture | Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

7 – 13 July

The Crested Butte Wild Flower festival is essentially an adventure across Colorado’s natural outback. Crested Butte itself is a small Colorado town that happens to sit in the middle of some of the best wildflower country in the USA. The weeklong schedule of festival events includes everything revelers could want from an outdoor celebration: hiking, cycling and 4×4 tours are available all week as festival-goers track down some of the best flowering spots in the area. Then, in the evening, it’s time to unwind and relax in the beautiful scenic town, and take in some of the beer that made Colorado breweries famous.

Crested Butte Wild Flower Festival, 409 2nd Crested Butte, CO, USA; +1 970 349 2571


Music | The Underground Music Showcase

24 – 27 July

The Underground Music Showcase in Denver Colorado is a music festival like no other; for those who have been, imagine the Edinburgh fringe but with less comedy and a lot more guitars. Set up in 2000, this year is the festival’s 14th birthday. A huge number of bars and small venues will be taken over in Denver’s Broadway area in July this year, as bands from all walks of life play to a great number of people. This year’s headliners are Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Real Estate and Blonde Redhead, all of whom are at the forefront of the burgeoning local music scene.

The Underground Music Showcase, Broadway, Denver, CO, USA


Culture | Colorado State Festival

22 August – 1 September

The Colorado State Festival is, naturally, a celebration of all things Colorado. It takes place in Pueblo, one of the oldest cities in the state, and features a whole range of music, dancing, and more. Taking place in the last week of August, the show embodies everything that it means to be ‘Colorado’; as well as music, food and dancing, the festival also features a rodeo, which, as the site of the first ever rodeo, is especially fitting. So, for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the mountainous state, there won’t be many warmer welcomes than at the state fair – a true must-visit.

Colorado State Festival, 1001 Beulah Ave. Pueblo, CO, USA; +1 719 561 8484


Food | Taste of Colorado Festival

29 August – 1 September

Taking in place in downtown Denver, Taste of Colorado is an education in all things fun, music, and food. More than 50 top Colorado restaurants will convene on Denver over the four-day period, with specialist demonstrations and small plates of popular dishes for everyone to feast on. Not only that, a whole range of hints and tips will be available for people to take home at the end of the weekend (the soundtrack of which will be live jazz and rock music). The best thing about this festival is that it is totally free to enter, meaning there is no excuse not to give it a go.

Taste of Colorado Festival, 1600 Broadway #610, Denver, CO, USA; +1 303 295 6330


Taste of Colorado

Courtesy Taste of Colorado Festival


Culture | Colorado Balloon Classic

30 August

This year’s Colorado Balloon Classic, based on the theme of making life more colourful, will take place in the beautiful memorial park, not far from Pikes Peak, the mountain which inspired Katherine Lee Bates’ American the Beautiful. The festival will feature all of the best in inflatable fun: as well as balloon rides and suitably themed amusement, the schedule also includes a beautiful nightglow, where hundreds of hot air balloons will light up the surrounding area just as the sun starts to dip beneath the horizon. Simply perfect.

Colorado Balloon Classic, 328 Bonfoy Ave, Colorado Springs, CO, USA; +1 719 471 4833


Colorado Balloon classic

Courtesy Colorado Balloon Classic


Design | Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys


A visit to the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys is like a trip back in time, in more ways than one. Not only is it an insight into the toys of far-flung days, it is also a chance for some personal reflection for those old enough to remember these beautiful objects. The museum was founded in 1981 by a grassroots campaign, and has since grown into a much-loved tourists’ staple. There are a number of permanent exhibits, as well as a few special ones, so be sure to call ahead to check what great attractions they have on.

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, 1880 Gaylord St, Denver, CO, USA; +1 303 322 1053


Art | Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art


Situated in Boulder, Colorado, the Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art exhibits the private art collection of Ed Trumble, the founder and chairman of Leanin’ Tree (for those that don’t know, Leanin’ Tree is a publisher of fine art greetings cards). Leanin’ Tree was originally established in 1949, While Ed remains as the business’ founder and chairman, his four children now manage the day to day running of things and has remained a family run business ever since. As well as an outdoor sculpture garden, the museum and gallery features a plethora of artwork depicting life on the old frontier. There are more than 200 paintings, accompanied by 150 sculptures.

Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art, 6055 Longbow Dr, Boulder, CO, USA; +1 303 530 1442


Art | Clyfford Still Museum

Until October

The Clyfford Still Museum is a fantastic member run art gallery in Denver. As well as accommodating specialist art needs for paying members, the museum also runs and organises a great number of exhibitions that are open to the public, as well as free days on the first Saturday of every month. Currently running is The Art of Conservation: Understanding Clyfford Still, an exhibition that focuses on the unique way that this museum collects and showcases its art. The collection will be available until mid-October and provides a great way of getting to know the museum on a more personal level.

Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock St, Denver, CO, USA; +1 720 354 4880