AS TEMPERATURES COOL, FESTIVITIES ARRIVE
Here are 15 of the best Colorado fall festivals
Whether you’re a beer-fest fanatic or looking for more family-friendly activities, there’s probably a fall festival for you. We’ve rounded up 15 seasonal festivals to get you started. »
Goodbye, summer. Hello, season of pumpkin-spice-flavored everything, plaid shirts, UGG boots, and no leg-shaving until spring.
It’s fall, the season when ski resorts open and the trees are changing colors in the mountains. And there are all those festivals to keep you entertained.
We’ve rounded up 15 seasonal festivals happening throughout Colorado. Whether you’re a beer-fest fanatic or looking for more family-friendly activities, there’s enough here for everyone to get a fill of fall.
Farm to Bottle Fall Festival
Old South Gaylord, 1059 S. Gaylord St., Denver; Sept. 30, 2-7 p.m.; $45 for general admission; $75 for VIP; oldsouthgaylord.com/farm-to-bottle
If you’re fixing for a good time, the Farm to Bottle Fall Festival has all the ingredients. The event features a large live music lineup as well as a tasting of local breweries, winer-
ies and distilleries. A portion of the proceeds from the festival will be donated to the Park People, which raises money to preserve and advocate for Denver parks, recreation resources, open spaces and urban forest areas.
Denver 48th Annual Oktoberfest
Ballpark Neighborhood between 20th and 22nd streets on Larimer; Aept. 22-23, 29-30; thedenveroktoberfest.com
Whip on those lederhosen and grab your racing wiener dogs: It’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest in Denver. Nearly 350,000 people make the trek to enjoy the six-day festival on most years. What’s more, it’s one of the largest beer festivals in the United States based on consumption because, well, Denver loves beer. Special events include the Long Dog Derby (the wiener-dog race), stein-hoisting competitions, brat-eating showdowns and more.
Fall Wine & Food Classic
Gerald Ford Amphitheater, 530 S. Frontage Road, Vail; Sept. 23, 4-7:30 p.m.; $60; Tasteofvail.com
You’ll want your ultra-stretch pants after The Fall Wine & Food Classic Grand Tasting, where you’ll explore amazing Southern Hemisphere wine and food. This event features all of the Taste of Vail wineries and restaurants, so you know your stomach will be treated as a VIP. Guests will also love south-ofthe-equator music while dining.
2nd Annual Craft Beer & Wine Festival
Orchard Town Center, 14697 Delaware St., Westminster; Sept. 23, 4-9 p.m.; $40/pre-sale, $50/ door, $75/VIP; Theorchardtowncenter.com
Look, you can’t go wrong with any beer and wine festival in our books. But we’ve gotta admit, the Beer & Wine Festival at Orchard Town Center has all the makings for a quality time. Enjoy tasters from local breweries and wineries, plate samples from Orchard restaurants, live music and more.
The Bloody Mary Festival
EXDO Event Center, 1399 35th St., Denver; Oct. 22, 1-4 p.m.; $45-$65; Eventbrite.com
It’s as if event planners read our diaries as to where we see ourselves in 10 years. This event is reason enough to get fancied up on a Saturday afternoon for an outing with friends. Tickets include three hours of unlimited tastes of Denver’s most creative and innovative Bloody Marys. There’s also food, drinks from other spots and live music. Lunch from local food trucks will also be available.
Autumn Gold Festival
Estes Park; Sept. 23-24; Visitestespark.com
You’ll love being among all those golden-hued Aspens during the Autumn Gold Festival in Estes Park. There will be plenty of live music, beer, food and fun kids’ activities, including a bounce house, face painting and a corn bag toss. There’s also a classic car show. As if that’s not enough to get you to attend, a huge draw is the popular raffle, where the winner will take home cash!
17th Annual Mountain Harvest Festival
Downtown Paonia; Sept. 21-24; Mountainharvestfestival.org
Head to beautiful Paonia to celebrate this everything-local harvest. From agricultural producers to artists, writers and crafters, this is a true local event that you’ll fall in love with each year. Live music will be happening throughout the four-day event. There’s even a pub crawl on Friday night. Plus, enjoy all the fall colors along the way to the Western Slope. This is what the season is all about in Colorado.
2017 Fruita Fall Festival
Downtown Fruita, 432 E. Aspen Ave.; Sept. 22-24; Fruitafallfestival.com
Load up the car and head west on Interstate 70 for the 2017 Fruita Fall Festival! The event will feature over 125 vendors selling arts, crafts, food, beverages and more. Organizers are expecting 50,000 people to attend the event. The festival touts a talent show, parade, outhouse race, golf tourney and cooking contest. Say no more ... we’re in.
Glenwood Springs Harvest Festival
Downtown Glenwood Springs; Sept. 30, noon-8 p.m.; glenwood- chamber.com
Do we really need to persuade you to spend a weekend up in Glenwood Springs? The Harvest Festival is a great time to head to the Roaring Fork Valley. There will be local music, art, farms, food and loads of activities. Oh, and pack your bathing suit for a dip in the Hot Springs Pool while you’re there. Or, for the adrenaline junkies, check out the thrill rides at Adventure Caverns.
Breckenridge Fall Fest
Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge; Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Breckenridgegrandvacations.com
Alright, get your costumes ready for trick-or-treating at Breckenridge’s Fall Fest! Other activities during the four-hour event include bounce houses, trampolines, obstacles courses, face painting, balloon art, pumpkin decorating, a live DJ and loads more.
9th Annual Denver Beer Fest
100 beer-related events throughout Denver; Sept. 29-Oct. 7; event lineup: Denver.org
Doubt we need to tell you to get down with Denver Beer Fest. Denver is, after all, America’s No. 1 beer city. For nine days, there will be more than 100 beerrelated events throughout Denver. We’re talking rare beer tappings, brewer events, beer and food pairings, tap takeovers, and keg-loads more. The finale culminates with the Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the country.
Cedaredge; Oct. 7-8; Cedaredgechamber.com
Look, Cedaredge is only 274 miles from Denver. You can do it, road warriors. Each year since 1977, the Surface Creek Valley has been honoring the apple harvest with a fun festival in downtown Cedaredge. There will be over 150 booths, a classic car and tractor show, motorcycle show, chili cook-off, gala dance, a 5K run and days of live music. The weekend is packed with fruitli$5,000 cious family fun .
23rd Annual Chile & Frijoles Festival
Downtown Pueblo; Sept. 22-24; Festival.pueblochamber.org
Send summer off the Colorado way: with the aroma of roasting chiles wafting in the air. The annual Chile & Frijoles Festival (presented by Loaf ‘N Jug) is Pueblo’s harvest celebration. Each year, thousands come out to honor Pueblo’s best loved crops: green chiies, frijoles and pinto beans. Your gastroenterologist will more than likely not be in attendance.
Botanic Gardens Pumpkin Festival
8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton; Oct. 13-15; Corn Maze admission: $14/adults; $13/ students, military and seniors (65+); $11/children (ages 3-12); Botanicgardens.org
It doesn’t get more seasonal than the Pumpkin Festival at Botanic Gardens in Littleton. Bring out your little ghost and goblins for hayrides, barrel train rides, unlimited jumping on a giant pillow, pony rides and even hamster balls. But, let’s get real here: The 7-acre corn maze is where it’s all at. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot-tall illuminated bridges. For little explorers under the age of 10, there’s even a mini-maze.
18th Annual Punkin Chunkin Colorado
Arapahoe Park Racetrack; Oct. 6-8; Auroragov.org
This gourd-a-be another good time! Punkin Chunkin Colorado is the signature fall event in Aurora — which is just one of only five pumpkin chunking competition events sanctioned by the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Organization. It’s serious pumpkin flinging. The festival also includes activities like live music, face painting, pony rides, crafts, a pumpkin patch and blow-up corn maze.
Want more fall events? Visit The Know’s full events calendar for more fun finds.
Live music during the day is a huge draw to Paonia’s Mountain Harvest Festival.
Partygoers have their photo taken at the Oktoberfest celebration on Larimer Street in downtown Denver.
Elk get their feet wet at Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park.
Have fun with gourds at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms’ annual pumpkin festival.
Relax and have fun at the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool.