Fall Festivals Worth Visiting in Colorado



Photo courtesy of Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

September is a beautiful month to explore Colorado. The weather is still warm, the summer tourists have gone home, and hotel rates tend to be a little lower.

If you need an excuse to get away, September is a fantastic Colorado festival month. From Oktoberfests to harvest celebrations, I’ve watched the state’s fall festival scene grow significantly over the last decade.


Photo courtesy of Keystone Oktoberfest

Keystone’s Oktoberfest is on the first weekend of September. The last event in the Keystone Festivals summer lineup, Oktoberfest features beers from New Belgium Brewing, oompah bands, German dancing, and German cuisine.

Like most of Keystone’s festivals, it’s a family-friendly event with kid-oriented activities, as well as activities that both kids and adults will enjoy, like dance performances by the Edelweiss Schuhplattlers, a fantastic German dance group from Denver.

This event is a great reason to book a condo for the weekend at River Run, Keystone’s easily navigable village. While at Keystone Resort, be sure to ride the gondola to the top of the mountain to take in one of the best views in Colorado.


Photo courtesy of ArtoCade

On the second weekend in September, a wild and wacky event drives into Trinidad, Colorado. It’s ArtoCade, an art car festival like no other. This artcar festival and parade, which takes place September 9-10, 2016, won the 2015 Colorado Governor’s Award for Best Festival.

Bringing together art and cars, this unique event is a celebration of the imagination. And while the day’s events are family-friendly, don’t miss CarDango, a circus and revue-inspired gala for adults on Saturday night. Costumes are encouraged.

On September 16-18, 2016, Telluride, Colorado will come alive with the sound of the blues and the smell of hops.  Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is an event that brings incredible musicians and excellent craft brews to this magical mountain community.

This year’s lineup includes Joe Walsh, Jason Isbell, and Shakey Gravesand those are just the few musicians that I’m most excited to see!

Many Telluride Blues & Brews attendees choose to camp, and in fact, private concerts take place in the campgrounds throughout the weekend.

On the last weekend of September, Mountain Harvest Festival occurs in Paonia, Colorado. I recently mentioned this festival in The Heidi Guide because I just visited the bountiful North Fork Valley in late July.

This harvest festival celebrates all the right things, including food, farming, art, and music. In addition to the festival activities occurring in Paonia, visitors can participate in local farm and winery tours and special farm dinners.

It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to Colorado’s long hot summer and embrace the season of change.

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About This Blog

Heidi Kerr-SchlaeferHeidi Kerr-Schlaefer is the founder of HeidiTown, the place for entertaining festival and travel stories. As the “Mayor” of HeidiTown and a freelance writer, Heidi travels the Rocky Mountain States and beyond in order to introduce her readers/citizens to the amazing adventures that are just a road trip away. ​ 

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