James Brown's Bucket List (Special Edition) - 16 Colorado Fairs and Festivals for 2023

Dated: March 3 2023

Views: 82

16 Colorado Fairs & Festivals


Colorado Festivals run throughout the year and celebrate the state's beautiful seasons, music, food, wine, and much more. Here are some fun things to do this year — but don't wait to buy tickets as some events sell out well in-advance.

— Researched & written by Mike Hamers (Thanks!!!)


MARCH: Grilled Cheese & Mac Fest (Denver)

Saturday March 4, 2023  / 12:30pm to 8:00pm

The humble grilled cheese sandwich has come a long way from the depression-era processed-cheese-on-Wonder-Bread working-man's staple. Sometimes there's nothing better than a gooey grilled cheese sandwich — the kind that makes your eyes go wide with joy as you pull apart the warm halves. Pair that with a cold beer and you're bound to experience a moment of bliss. Welcome to the festival that combines these two fundamental food groups for an evening that is sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied. A wide range of beer from both smaller craft and larger breweries, a wide variety to pair well with any of the grilled cheese and keep you smiling for hours.  

Grilled cheese bites both large and small made by local chefs and participating restaurants in an array of styles. Don't miss out on your chance to sample them all and vote for your favorites!

• Stockyards Event Center, 5004 National Western Drive, Denver, CO

• Tickets & info: https://www.grilledcheesebeerfestival.com


MARCH: Boulder International Film Festival (Boulder)

Thurs., March 2nd  thru Sun., March 12th, 2023

In the historic Boulder Theater where dancing, drinking, eating and watching movies are all acceptable behaviors. The Boulder International Film Festival has earned the reputation as one of the most influential young film festivals in the country. The event invites international filmmakers to show their work for an audience full of aspiring filmmakers. While the event hosts academics, directors, writers, actors, producers and the like, a large part of the festival's goal is to inspire film hopefuls, so that one day they can see their creative dreams projected onto the big screen. If you're a fan of boldly independent cinema, make sure to catch one of the well-hyped Boulder screenings.

• Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street, Boulder, CO

• Price: The Festival Pass Early Bird Price is $450. BIFF Gift Packs are available in denominations of $34 (2 film tickets), $68 (4 film tickets), and $100 (6 film tickets).




APRIL: The Taste of Vail – Food & Wine Festival (Vail)

Wed. April 5th thru Sat. April 8th, 2023

Make sure your palate is ready for the annual Taste of Vail happening this April. The festival is dubbed one of the best spring food and wine tasting events in the country, which is why you shouldn’t skip this exciting gathering.  

Participants experience the Vail Valley’s world-class restaurants, fine wine poured by winemakers and winery owners from top wineries around the globe, along with interactive seminars, an auction and dance, and tasting on the streets of Vail, and more.

• Vail Willow Bridge Road Vail, CO 81657




APRIL: Bluebird Music Festival (Boulder)

Sat. April 29 & Sun. April 30th, 2023  / 2:00pm to 11:00pm

Here's the thrilling lineup for the 5th annual Bluebird Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado! They have assembled the biggest and best lineup to date featuring: three-time Grammy Award winner Ben Harper , Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange), Shovels & Rope, Haley Heynderickx, Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann of Yonder Mountain String Band, Heavy Gus (featuring members of The Lumineers & Blind Pilot), Buffalo Nichols, Daniel Rodriguez, Joshua Lee Turner & Bob Barrick, and Emelise

Weekend passes are now on sale! There are two events per day: an afternoon Strings & Stories event and full evening concert. Weekend passes gain you access to ALL FOUR events and are only $179! We do not anticipate single event tickets this year as this will sell out very quickly due to such a small festival capacity and headliners that sell out Red Rocks.

• Macky Auditorium, 1595 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO

• Info & event schedules: www.bluebirdmusicfestival.org  •  (303) 492-842-0285

MAY: Colorado Chocolate Festival (Denver)

Thurs. May 11th and Fri. May 12th, 2023

Chocolate lovers should not miss this fantastic festival in Colorado that is dedicated to all things chocolate. Candies, truffles and cookies to toffees, muffins and cakes there is something to tickle everyone's taste buds. The festival is spread across over 30,000 sq. ft with over 80 vendors from across the US. This is also a great place to pick up some Mothers Day gifts as there will also be vendors selling jewelry, clothes and beautiful handicrafts.

• Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center, 15500 E. 40th Avenue, Denver, CO



MAY: Boulder Creek Festival (Boulder)

Fri. May 26th thru Mon. May 29th, 2023 / Opens at 10:00am

Boulder Creek Festival is Boulder’s weekend taking place on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28-30th 2022. Hosted annually for more than 30 years, the event is the official kickoff to summer in Boulder. Presented by the City of Boulder, the event features three days of festivities, including bands and performances; food and beverage, ranging from food trucks to healthy vegetarian eats; a curated marketplace showcasing local makers and fine art; a wellness area with fitness classes and health services; and a Creekside for Kids area with family-friendly activities. At its core, the festival is a Boulder-centric event produced for and by the community.

• Along the Boulder Creek from 9th St. to 14th St., between Canyon Blvd & Arapahoe Avenue – enter any point, Boulder, CO

• For more info: www.bouldercreekfest.com


JUNE: Five Point Jazz Festival (Denver)

Saturday, June 10th, 2023 – Celebrating its 20th year!

Once known as the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music’s legends, such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more! This free festival takes place annually and celebrates the history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. 

The Festival is brought to you by Denver Arts & Venues. The revenue from events at City venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Denver Performing Arts Complex to make this cultural event and many others possible, and to improve access to art, music and culture for all.

• 2401–2736 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80205



JUNE & AUG: Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder)

June 11 thru August 13, 2023

For over 60 seasons, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has delighted audiences with classic theatre under the stars. This is performed by a professional theatre company in association with the Univ. of Colorado Boulder. Since 1958, the festival has celebrated and explored Shakespeare and his continuing influence and vitality through productions of superior artistic quality, education and community engagement.

— Much Ado About Nothing, Jun 11 – Aug 13

— The Writer's Tale, Jun 23 – Aug 12

— King Lear, Jul 18 – Aug 12

• Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, Univ. of CO Boulder, 972 Broadway Street



JUNE: Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride)

Thurs. June 15th thru Sun. June 18th, 2023

Since 1973, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival has gathered music lovers from all over the world for 4 days of socializing, casual dancing, and lots of fun. This event is mostly focused on bluegrass and country music.

Musicians include Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The String Cheese Incident, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Mary Chaplan Carpenter, Greensky Bluegrass, Sarah Jarosz, The Earls Of Leicester, Nickel Creek, The Peter Rowan Bank, Sierra Ferrell, Punch Brothers, Full Chord, and more. The Telluride Festival is a family-friendly event with entertainment for kids, food and various competitions.

• 500 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO

https://bluegrass.com/telluride/festival-info/ticket-info (2023 is sold out )


JUNE: Dragon Boat Racing Festival (NW Denver)

Thurs.  June 22 and Fri. June 23, 2023  /  Opening ceremony starts at 9:45 sharp

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival will return to Sloan’s Lake Park. After two years of cancellations due to COVID-19 the park will be filled with dragon boat races, great culture and food, an Asian marketplace, and endless entertainment. Dragon’s presence symbolizes chasing away “negative energies” sending good luck and fortune. At 9:45 a.m., a storyteller will present the history & culture behind Dragon Boat racing followed by a Buddhist Monk and participant chanting and a formal blessing for the event. Everyone will then form a procession and follow the Dragon to the shoreline where a ceremonial purification will take place. 

Teams participate in the fast-paced dragon boat racing competition with two full days of racing. The colorful Flag Catching,Taiwanese-style boats are back – each with 18 paddlers, a drummer and a flag catcher. Witness the exciting moment that the flag catcher has to lean out and grab the flag to help win the race! They'll also have the Hong Kong style division – slimmer, sleeker boat, they travel faster on the water as each has 20 paddlers.

40 teams racing, 20 food vendors, 50 marketplace vendors, and plenty of performances. Free to attend; donations welcome to support the 501(c)3 nonprofit.

• Sloan’s Lake Park (west side) – 25th Ave. & Sheridan Blvd, N.W. Denver, CO



JULY: Cherry Creek Arts Festival (Cherry Creek)

Sat. July 1st thru Mon.  July 3rd, 2023  /  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Experience the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a beloved annual community tradition and part of the cultural fabric of Denver for over three decades.  Unique and fascinating works by 250+ of the nation's top juried visual artists, curated exhibits, along with live culinary demos and musical performances for the whole family. A selection of unique and tasty culinary delights from restaurants and food trucks, including boutique food trucks throughout the site.

Visit the Cherry Arts Main Stage and Beer Garden located on Milwaukee near 2nd Ave., to enjoy live music performances. Feeling creative? You can create colorful artwork showcasing the many animal tracks made by the wild animals of Colorado, and experience chalk art or explore the open art studio table. Admission is FREE.

• Cherry Creek North, from 2nd to 3rd Ave's between Clayton & Steele Streets.  

• Main Stage schedule: https://cherrycreekartsfestival.org/stages/main-stage


JULY: Spaced Out Festival (Alamosa)

Fri. July 7th and Sat. July 8th, 2023

Spaced Out Music & Arts Festival is returning to earth at The Alamosa County Fairgrounds. This years program will feature performances by some of your planets best Hip-Hop, Electronic Dance Music, Country, Rock & Roll, Modern Alternative and Stand-Up Comedy acts!  The Galaxy Gallery is back with another exciting art exhibit and live art auction! Artists can submit artwork for consideration via email at: Galaxygallery.spacedoutfestival@gmail.com

• Single-Day General Admission: Adult $25, child $15 / 2-day VIP Admission $80

• Tickets available online now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spaced-out-music-arts-festival-2023-tickets-437306133417


JULY: Crested Butte Wildflower Festival (Crested Butte)

Fri. July 7th thru Sun. July 16th, 2023

The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival is an annual 10-day Festival offering over 200 workshops in wildflower expertise each July, be it Painting, Pollination, Photography, Culinary Arts, 4×4 & Van Tours, Hikes, Art Classes, Birding & Butterflies, Botany & Medicinal Lectures, Edibles, Garden Tours, Walks, Photography Classes, or leading hikes into the wild beyond in the heart of the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte. 

The 501(c)3 nonprofit was founded in 1986 to celebrate the beauty of the montane and alpine wildflower environments around the Gunnison Valley. Today we continue to advocate for the preservation and appreciation of wildflowers and instill both awareness and admiration of our interdependence with our natural wildflower habitats through our events.

• 716 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224

• Program guide: https://crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.org/program-guide


AUGUST: Telluride Mushroom Festival (Telluride)

Thurs. Aug 16th thru Sun. Aug 23rd, 2023

If you’re a fan of fungi, the Telluride Mushroom Festival will not disappoint! The event is set against the picturesque mountains of downtown Telluride and brings out many of the most bizarre characters and costumes of the entire festival season. Held each year in August to honor all things fungi, this festival offers everything from lectures on the science of mycology to foraging adventures for wild mushrooms led by world-class guides and experts.

Test out your culinary skills at the mushroom cook-off, where chefs compete to create the most delectable mushroom dish. Then parade down Main Street in your best mushroom costume with all of the other fungus lovers who are celebrating this wonderful event.

• 725 W. Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO 81435



SEPTEMBER – Boulder Fall Festival (Boulder)

Fri. Sept 22nd thru Sun. Sept 24th, 2023

This year's Fall Fest has a great line-up of local bands from family-friendly acts to Folk Rock, Americana, and more. Music fans are sure to find a lot to enjoy at the Downtown Boulder Performance Stage on the 1300 block of the iconic Pearl Street Mall. Avery Brewing is back with their local favorites and a few specials for Fall Fest weekend (beer is $8). Attendees can also enjoy a variety of Colorado crafted canned cocktails ($10) and wine ($8. Don't forget to bring a valid photo ID. Food vendors will also be on hand with everything from Quesadillas to Momos, and more.

Additionally, this creatively-curated handmade artisan market features 100+ makers selling home goods, visual art, ceramics, children's and adult apparel and accessories, jewelry, home goods, skin care, artisanal food/beverages and more. This year's family activities include FREE bounce attractions on the Boulder County Courthouse Lawn. Parents can grab a drink and some food and hang out on the lawn while their kids enjoy the bounce house, giant slide and inflatable obstacle course — and they are FREE!

• Along the Boulder Creek from 9th St. to 14th St., between Canyon Blvd & Arapahoe Ave. – enter any point, Boulder, CO



SEPTEMBER: The Great American Beer Fest (Denver)

Thurs. Sept 21st thru Sat. Sept 23rd, 2023

The Great American Beer Festival is America's most prestigious beer festival, professional competition and cultural phenomenon. It's the annual gathering of the best American beer, with a public tasting and a private competition, this event brings together the beers and brewers that make America the world's most brewing country. The tasting sessions allow attendees to experience America's brewing culture, one ounce at a time. They also have access to over 2,000 beers from more than 500 of America's best breweries. 

• The Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202



OCTOBER: Choctoberfest! (Aurora / East Denver)

Saturday October 7th, 2023

The ULTIMATE fall celebration that combines Oktoberfest, Halloween and CHOCOLATE! Tastings, Samples, Entertainment, Fun Contests, Pumpkin Bowling, Kids' Activities, Free Halloween Craft Booth, Free Greenscreen Photo Booth, Fun for All! 

There's even a Chocolate Beer Garden and Martini Bar. Enjoy a selection of chocolate beers and the famous Chocolate Martinis at the Choctoberfest Beer Garden, available in full size or sample size! ID checks will be in place. 

• Admission is $10, Kids 12 & under are FREE. Limited supply of VIP passes.

• Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E. Quincy Avenue, Aurora, CO


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James Brown

My passion is helping people improve their lives and build generational wealth through real estate, whether that is selling a home and capturing the most equity possible, buying a first home, or busy ....

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