Colorado Festivals to Get Your Through the Winter
3 fun festivals to help remedy the moody winter blues
Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado. Photo by Andrew Wyatt.
In Colorado, and in much of the United States, we are about to head into the doldrums of winter. Occasionally, along the Front Range we have a 60 degree weekend that makes us long for spring but it is still a month and a half away.
So what helps the moody blues? Festival planning. Having a festival to look forward to always turns my frown upside down.
First up, Leadville Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival weekend is something to look forward to that takes place annually in March. If you have witnessed ski joring (in Leadville they insist it is two words), you are in for a treat. The sport involves a skier being pulled behind a galloping horse. Sometimes, although not at this event, the skier is pulled behind running dogs.
With roots in Europe, Leadville has embraced ski joring and has celebrated it for 72 years. Ski joring happens in other towns around the West but nowhere can one get closer to the action than in Leadville.
I’ve been to this event a number of times and every time it’s jaw-dropping. A skier barrels down a course, tries to snag rings and soars over jumps. The horses are frisky, the cowboys and cowgirls are tops and the skiers are just plain crazy.
When: March 6-9, 2020
Stay: The Majestic
Eat: Treeline Kitchen (get the fried chicken)
Photo by Andrew Wyatt
March means Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado. There is little doubt that this is one of the weirdest festivals in the country and has made national news because of its unapologetic quirkiness. It celebrates a real frozen dead guy in Nederland named Grandpa Bredo.
There are over 30 live bands in three heated tents this year and lots of food and drink vendors. But let’s be honest, people go to Dead Man Days to take part in some of the oddest competitions in the land. Try your hand at ice turkey bowling, human foosball, the frozen t-shirt contest and more. Or, get a team together for coffin racing, a favorite at Dead Man Days.
Photo by Andrew Wyatt
Best to leave the littles and fur friends at home for this one and take the bus. That’s right, this 19-year-old festival has gotten very popular and Nederland is very tiny. Go here to learn more.
When: March 13-15, 2020
Stay: St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
Eat: Cured, Boulder (get a “favorite” sandwich)
Photo courtesy of Limelight Snowmass
Spring Jam 2020 in Aspen/Snowmass brings parties, concerts and competitions of all sorts to this gorgeous area of Colorado. If you love watching competitions, this is the event for you. Every day, something will be happening, whether it is Big Air in Aspen or Banked Slalom in Snowmass.
Just here for the music? BudLight HiFi Concerts will keep things hopping. Keep an eye here for band lineup.
When: March 20-27
Stay: Limelight, Aspen and Snowmass
Eat: Venga, Venga Cantina (get the table side guacamole)