Courtesy of NPS/M.Reed

2023 Fall Festivals & Oktoberfests

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It’s hard to believe that summer is already coming to an end. But that also means it’s time to start getting excited about fall, when Colorado comes alive with color from golden aspens, orange maples and burgundy ashes.

 

Break out your chunky sweaters and start sipping pumpkin spice lattes, then mark your calendars for these autumn festivals around Colorado.

Union Peak Festival

 

You already know (and love) Copper Mountain for great skiing and riding during the winter. But this beloved resort is also an ideal spot to send off the summer in style at the Union Peak Festival. Held Sept. 8-10, this event features group trail runs, sunrise yoga sessions and free sports clinics. Music lovers will enjoy free life performances by Spoon, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Quinn XCII. There will also be an art hub.

 

Courtesy of Copper Mountain

Breckenridge Oktoberfest

 

Enjoy the crisp mountain air, the fall foliage and plenty of traditional German beers during Breckenridge Oktoberfest on Sept. 15-17. Organized by Breckenridge Brewery, this three-day celebration will transform downtown Breck into a Bavarian wonderland, complete with stein-hoisting contests, live music, kids activities and a 5K trail run.

Oktoberfest at Thompson Park

 

Support a good cause while sipping beer and munching on pretzels at the Longmont Humane Society’s Oktoberfest at Thompson Park on Sept. 23. Enjoy live music, beautiful weather and tasty eats — all while supporting the cats, dogs and small mammals looking for their forever homes in Longmont.

Fall Fest

 

Head to downtown Boulder for one of the most beloved festivals around, Fall Fest. Spread over three days from Sept. 22-24, the festivities include a beer garden, live music and family activities. You can also get a head start on your holiday shopping when you visit the Firefly Handmade Market at the festival, which features the creative creations of talented local artisans and makers.

Mountain Harvest Festival

 

Make your way down to Paonia over Sept. 22-24 for Mountain Harvest Festival, which has been going strong for 22 years. Organized by the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, this annual event includes a wide array of activities that show off this valley’s agricultural prowess. Take a farm tour, do a wine tasting, ride in a costumed bike parade, wake up your tastebuds during the chili cook-off, shop the farmers market, laugh at a comedy show and do so much more.

Chile & Frijoles Festival

 

We can’t guarantee it, but we bet your mouth starts watering as soon you get close to Pueblo for the delicious Chile & Frijoles Festival. From Sept. 22-24, enjoy all the chilies you can eat, as well as cooking contests, live entertainment, vendors and other activities. Test your mettle at the jalapeno-eating contest, say “awwww” during the chihuahua parade and bask in the incredible aromas of roasting chiles at the farmers market. Be sure to leave extra room in your car to bring some home with you!

 

Courtesy of Chile & Frijoles Festival

Snowmass Balloon Festival

 

Picture this: More than 30 colorful hot air balloons floating above the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. That vision can be your reality when you attend the Snowmass Balloon Festival from Sept. 22-24. Now in its 48th year, this three-day event is a treat for your eyes.

Elk Fest

 

The changing of the seasons means one thing in Estes Park: Elk rut. This is the time when these majestic mammals search for mates and, while doing so, make loud bugling noises. Estes Park is basically crawling with elk in the fall and, to celebrate, the town is once again hosting Elk Fest, a two-day event at Bond Park featuring delicious food trucks, live musical performances, bugling contests and more. It’s scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

 

READ MORE: Why Estes Park Is the Perfect Destination for Fall

Día de Muertos

 

More than 6,000 people attend Longmont’s annual Día de Muertos celebration, which has been going strong since 2000. This event is a time to reflect on deceased love ones and celebrate their memories. In Longmont, that means checking out the Día de Muertos exhibition at the Longmont Museum (Oct. 14-Nov. 5) and attending the Día de Muertos Family Celebration downtown on Oct. 14. The downtown event includes arts and crafts, tasty foods, live performances of music and dance and a colorful parade known as the Gigantes Procession. Then, on Nov. 2, be sure to attend Noche de Museo, which includes live performances ranging from Chicano Funk to Aztecan dance at the Longmont Museum.

Telluride Horror Show

 

Plan a fall road trip to coincide with the Telluride Horror Show, a film festival specializing in horror flicks scheduled for Oct. 13-15. The festival is now in its 14th year of showing a mix of horror, thriller, dark fantasy, dark comedy and sci-fi movies at various theaters throughout Telluride. You can also expect fun events, special guests and other gatherings.

 

 

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