5 Colorado Winter Festivals That Should Be on Your Radar
I’ve been covering festivals in Colorado since 2010, so I know a thing or two about the festival scene in this state. Winter festival season continues to grow every year, and quite frankly, it’s hard to keep up. With so many festivals on the calendar, how do you pick one to attend?
Here are five mountain winter festivals that should be on your radar. Whether you love beer, wine or fire (yes, fire) one of these fests will be perfect for you.
1. BIG BEERS, BELGIANS & BARLEYWINE FESTIVAL
January 5-7, 2017
This is the only festival on this list that I haven’t attended, but I have it on good authority that it’s a favorite festival of brewers from Colorado and beyond. If the brewers think it’s fantastic, then it’s fantastic.
In addition to beer tasting, this event has an unusually large amount of seminars and workshops available for attendees. There are many intriguing ones to chose from, like the “Cigar Pairing Experience” and “The Yoga of Brewing.”
2. ULLR FESTIVAL
January 11-14, 2017
Wanna party like it’s 1999? Join the locals in Breckenridge for their favorite festival of the year. The Norse God of Snow, Ullr, makes appearances around town throughout the week, and if you see him, be sure to buy him a beer for good luck (I just made that up, but he’ll be most grateful for the beer).
This is one of my top picks for best winter festivals in Colorado. I have attended numerous times and was a two-time judge for the Ullr Festival Parade, which always take place on Thursday. It’s a great idea to get to Breckenridge on Thursday to experience this one-of-a-kind parade. It doesn’t disappoint.
3. TELLURIDE FIRE FESTIVAL
January 20-22, 2017
Want unique? Look no further than the Telluride Fire Festival. This is your chance to enjoy at little piece of Burning Man right here in Colorado.
I can tell you from personal experience that this festival is filled with oos and ahs. It’s an extravaganza for the eyes, and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, spontaneous fire performances occur around town. "Art cars” and fire-breathing sculptures ignite, and this part of the event is free to all.
Additional ticketed events take place at various venues around town throughout Telluride Fire Festival. Explore their event calendar to learn more.
4. WINTER CARNIVAL
February 8-12, 2017
This is another event that I’ve witnessed several times. It’s a 104-year-old winter tradition that features many of the things Steamboat is known for, including champagne powder and horses. You won’t want to miss skijoring on Main Street, an event that involves a horse pulling a person on skis (kids too).
It just doesn’t get much more Colorado than Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs.
5. COPPER UNCORKED
March 25, 2017
Technically this festival is five days into spring, but it used to be held each February.
My husband is not usually a fan of wine festivals, but he loved this event because the wings were out of this world. Each year, amazing area chefs compete for the best wing recipe. Their creations are paired with wine at this outdoor, slopeside event that includes a live band.
Copper Uncorked encompasses everything I love about festivals at Colorado’s ski resorts. It’s a laid-back event with incredible food and a fun-loving vibe. And you can enjoy it all without changing out of your ski pants.