Summer & Fall Festivals Galore in Gunnison County, Colorado
Benson Sotheby’s International Realty
From wildflowers and bikes to rivers and cowboys, there’s plenty to celebrate!
Gunnison County knows how to roll out the carpet for summer and fall fun with an amazing array of one-of-a-kind festivals that reflect the lifestyle, natural beauty and Western friendliness of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
31st Annual Crested Butte Bike Week, Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte, June 23 – 26
Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte are the proud hosts of the world’s oldest mountain bike festival, previously known as Fat Tire Bike Week. Voted Best Festival in a Bike magazine reader poll, participants can take part in the Fat Tire 40 mountain bike race, tech expo, Mountain States Cup Wildflower Rush races, the infamous Chainless World Championships, Bridges of the Butte townie tour, Rippin Chix clinics with Alison Gannett, an outdoor concert, guided rides and more. For information, contact the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce at (800) 814-8893or visit http://www.ftbw.com/.
GunnisonRiver Festival, Gunnison, Almont & Crested Butte, June 23 – 26
For a unique blend of hardcore and lighthearted outdoor recreation for all ages, don’t miss the ninth annual Gunnison River Festival. Where else can you find a mix of USA Freestyle kayaking, a costume river parade, downriver raft race, hooligan race, kayak enduro, raft rodeo, Strider Cup bike race and foam boats for kids? Gunnison WhitewaterPark serves as home base for the festival, and the TaylorRiver near Almont and Oh-Be-Joyful Creek near Crested Butte also play into the fun. For information, visit http://www.gunnisonriverfestival.com/or call (970) 596-7094.
Crested Butte Music Festival, Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte, July 3 – Aug. 14
The 2011 festival will showcase outstanding performers from all over the world and internationally acclaimed groups such as Boston Brass, Kingston Trio, American String Quartet and Igudesman & Joo. Celebrating its 15th year, CBMF also has a bluegrass festival with 12 bands, the opera “Carmen,” DjangoFest (gypsy jazz), a free family concert series on Saturdays and more on its six-week schedule. For more information and tickets, call (970) 349-0619 or visit http://www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.com/.
111th Annual Cattlemen’s Days, Gunnison, July 8 – 17
People who love the authenticity of The West should plan on attending the 111th annual Cattlemen’s Days at the Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center and various venues around Gunnison. The event features a county fair, parade, live music and dancing, a horse show, cowboy poetry, horse races, and of course rodeo events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Activities are spread throughout the 10 days of the Cattlemen’s Days festivities, with rodeos scheduled for the evenings of July 14 – 16. For more information, call the Gunnison County Chamber of Commerce at (800) 814-8893or visit http://www.cattlemensdays.com/.
25th Annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, Crested Butte, July 11 – 17
The historic mountain town of Crested Butte, which was designated the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the state legislature in 1990, hosts this colorful festival during the peak of wildflower season. Nearly 200 individual events such as photography and art classes, 4 X 4 tours, hikes and flower identification walks, garden tours, cooking seminars and more focus on the magnificent sight of miles and miles of wildflower fields abloom in the area. For more information, call (970) 349-2571 or visit http://www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com/.
Crested Butte Land Trust Wine & Food Festival, Mt. Crested Butte, July 20 – 24
The festival’s signature event, a Grand Tasting featuring hundreds of wines and a selection of light appetizers, will be held on July 23 at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) ski area. There also is a Celebrity Chef Tour benefiting the James Beard Foundation with two dinners staged at Uley’s Cabin, located mid-mountain at CMBR, with each dinner featuring celebrity chefs who will create a multi-course dinner paired with fine wines. Throughout the weekend, sommeliers will host wine seminars, and Canvas & Cabernet participants will sip wine while painting their own work of art outdoors with the guidance of a professional instructor on July 22. For more information, call (720) 375-5241 or visit http://www.crestedbuttewine.com/.
39th Annual Crested Butte Arts Festival, Crested Butte, August 5 – 7
Crested Butte Arts Festival (CBAF) is one of the biggest weekends of the summer, drawing world-class artists from all 50 states and several international exhibitors. Open-air booths line the five-block center of Crested Butte’s National Historic District on Aug. 6 and 7, featuring 175 artists who are selected through a competitive jury process. In addition to an Art Alley for kids ages 2 – 12, the festival features an artist demonstration tent, food court, beer and wine pavilion, live entertainment, art auction and culinary demonstrations. Culinary programs will begin on Aug. 5 with gourmet dishes prepared by five celebrity chefs paired with wines and live entertainment. For more information, call (970) 349-1184 or visit http://www.crestedbutteartsfestival.com.marble/
Marble Fest, Marble, August 5 – 7
Start August off right with Marble Fest, an arts and music festival that takes place in the breathtaking mountain town of Marble, located in the northwest part of Gunnison County. Food and craft vendors complement a lineup of bands that ranges from blues to bluegrass and jam bands to jazz. There’s also acoustic music throughout the weekend on the porch of the town’s one restaurant, Woddy’s Rollin Smoke Bar-B-Que. On Aug. 5, the music runs from 5 – 10 p.m., with Joint Point and Fatty Jenkins among the lineup. Join in the fun on Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight with Stonefed and Williams Brothers Band among the entertainment on the main stage. Sunday features Oakhurst, Spring Creek and several other bands performing from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. As the festival draws closer, check http://www.marblefest.org/ for a full lineup and all the details. Admission is free but donations are requested.
Car, Carving & Art Weekend, Gunnison, Aug. 18 – 21
This dynamic weekend for all ages includes the 24th annual Gunnison Car Show, High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival, and Carvin’ Up Colorado. Most of the activities take place in the neighboring Jorgensen and Legion Parks, with a ‘50s-style cruise-in and free dance on Main Street on Friday evening and a breakfast cruise to Crested Butte on Sunday morning. On Saturday, admire all the chrome during the open car show and browse the creations of 80 artisans from around the region at the High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival.
From Aug. 18 – 20, approximately a dozen wood carvers from around the country will transform tree stumps into works of art that will be on permanent display in Legion Park and at other community sites. The action-packed weekend also will include a WOW Downtown Community Party held in tandem with Western State College of Colorado’s Week of Welcome (WOW) for new students and their parents. There will be live music, inflatable games and more on Main Street and Virginia Avenue. For information, call (970) 901-6215 (carving) and (800) 814-8893(arts/crafts)and visit http://www.gunnisoncarclub.com/.
Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off, Mt. Crested Butte, September10
Get into the spirit of autumn with Mt. Crested Butte’s annual Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off held on Sept. 10 at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) ski area. Heat up by sampling great chili prepared by area cook-off contestants, cool off with beers poured by several microbreweries and savor live music all afternoon. For admission costs and times, contact the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce at (800) 814-8893and visit http://www.cbchamber.com/.
Crested Butte Film Festival, Crested Butte, September 29 – October 2
Films, discussions and merriment are on tap for this new festival that takes place during one of the prime leaf-viewing weekends of fall. Look for Academy Award nominees, films from Cannes and Sundance and many unknown gems. Most of the films will be Colorado premieres. The festival kicks off on Sept. 29 with “Sneak Peek Gunnison” with a double feature of movies showing at the Gunnison Arts Center and the Ruby Theatre, located on the campus of Western State College of Colorado. For information, visit http://www.crestedbuttefilmfestival.org/ or call (303) 204-9080.