Summertime is here and Colorado is making up for a year off with a heck of a lineup of things to do this Summer. Enjoy the Donkey Derby Days in Cripple Creek or participate in the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in Steamboat. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone this Summer in beautiful Colorado.

Renaissance Festival - July 3 - August 22 - Get ye on down to Larkspur for one of the most immersive and impressive Renaissance Festivals in the world. For 44 years, a small hamlet in Larkspur has been locked in the 16th century. Enjoy a pint of grog, get heckled as you toss some tomatoes at "Vegetable Justice", or take in the afternoon joust. Come in costume... many do! It's great for all ages.

Larkspur Renaissance Festival

RockyGrass Festival - Lyons / July 23-25 - The festival is held at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons along the wooded banks of the beautiful St. Vrain River. If you haven't been, it's one of the coolest venues in Colorado. Set up your lawn chair in the river and enjoy a day of happy Bluegrass music!

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival - July 9-18 - Since 1986, this festival has drawn thousands of people from around the globe to view some of the most impressive wildflowers in the world. Escape the big city and sign up for a 4x4 ride into the backcountry, wildflower hikes, birding, gardening, art workshops and so much more.

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival -

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo & Art in Park - Steamboat / July 10-11 - It's a 2 for 1 special for festivals up in Steamboat this summer. Look to the sky as huge hot-air balloons dot the horizon with color Saturday and Sunday morning for a balloon rodeo, and then head over to Art in the Park to enjoy some refreshments, entertainment, and art!

Boulder Creek Festival - July 16-18 - 3 days of festivities all along Boulder Creek! Dip your toes in the cool mountain water, grab a drink at the Creekside Beer Festival, and then listen to the Dead Phish Orchestra at the main stage in Central Park. Local tip: Grab a tea at the Dushanbe Teahouse, it's a very special place. I love Boulder!

Donkey Derby Days - Aug 14th -15th - In the 1930s a local businessman thought a festival would attract people to Cripple Creek. He decided that donkey racing would be the main event so they built a donkey race track, found sponsors, food, and entertainment vendors and the result was the first Donkey Derby Days festival. The festival celebrates its 88th anniversary this year. 

Donkey Derby Days Colorado

Manitou Springs Wine Festival - Aug. 28 - Join the witches and warlocks of Manitou Springs for their annual "Colorado" wine festival to enjoy local wines, meads, and glögg.  There will be 3 live music artists and a bevy of food trucks and tasty treats to pair with your wine samples.

Palisade Peach Festival - Aug 19-21 - Head down to Palisade, Colorado to enjoy the 52nd annual Palisade Peach Festival. Experience food and goods from vendors from across the valley, live music, entertainment for the kids, contests, and of course the world-famous peaches!

Palisade Peach Festival - Aug 19-21

Colorado State Fair - Pueblo / Aug 27 - Sept 6 - in 1841 the first state fair happened in 1841 in New York. What a tradition! Colorado has been going for 150 years! So much of what there is to love about the state will converge onto the famous fairgrounds in Pueblo for an end-of-summer week full of live entertainment, thrilling competitions, quirky vendor booths, and good ol’ Western fun.

Denver Day of Rock - Aug 28 - Denver Day of Rock is a one-day music festival benefiting the work of Amp the Cause. This free event features five stages of live music along Denver’s 16th Street Mall. Denver Day of Rock unites the community through music and family-friendly entertainment while also raising funds to help Amp the Cause continue to support non-profits in our community.

Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival - Estes Park / Sept 10-12 - Immerse yourself in the Celtic culture at the Highland Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, Inc. hosts the largest such festival in the country. The event includes Scottish athletics, the best in Celtic rock and folk music, and live field performances. 

Celtic Festival Highland Estes Park

A Taste of Colorado - Sept 4-6 - This year the festival is spreading out all over downtown this Labor Day weekend. It won't just be confined to Civic Park, take in refreshments and some of the finest food in Denver all along the 16th St Mall, Lawrence St, Skyline Park, and more...

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival - Sept 17 - 19 - Renowned as one of the most scenic and intimate music festivals in the country, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is located in the world-famous mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. The multi-stage celebration of music and craft beer offers an eclectic mix of live blues, funk, indie, rock, jam-band, gospel, and soul performances accompanied by some of the best craft breweries in the country.

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Well, that's a lot of fun for one Colorado Summer. Just writing this article makes me want to attend them all. Which Colorado Summer festival do you highly recommend?

Posted by Ryan Penn on


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