August 15  |  Local Events

Must Attend Labor Day Events in Fort Collins, Loveland and Northern Colorado

NOTE: This post is from 2017. Click here for an updated 2018 Labor Day event guide.

Labor Day means a lot of things in Northern Colorado. The kids are back in school and summer is winding down, but it also means some of the year’s most exciting events are landing in NoCo! And we don’t use that label lightly.

Sure, we have a tendency to get bummed when Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest ends — not to mention the Fort Collins Peach Festival and Loveland’s Sculpture in the Park. But we still have so much to look forward to before summer ends!

To prove it, we rounded up the long weekend’s best events, showdowns and concerts so you can make the most of all three days. There are so many on our list, you might not be able to make it to all of them, so pick your favorites, grab your family and friends, and enjoy the long weekend!


First Friday Gallery Walk

Friday, September 1, 6 p.m.  

On the first Friday of every month, the fine and folk art galleries and shops of Downtown Fort Collins invite the community on a walking tour of their exhibits. From coffee shops featuring student artists to the art galleries displaying nationally-recognized names — this is a great way to experience the art community of FoCo!


Downtown Sessions Concert Series

Friday, September 1, 6 p.m.  

Labor Day Concert Fort Collins 2017

Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins

The Downtown Sessions Concert Series is a Friday evening concert series on the Old Town Square Stage. It takes place once a month throughout the summer and on September 1, you can catch one of the last shows for free from 6 – 9 p.m. — the same time as the Gallery Walk!


Rocky Mountain Showdown

Friday, September 1, 6 p.m.

The Rocky Mountain Showdown is a Colorado State tradition — and that makes it a Fort Collins tradition. Each year, at the beginning of the football season, CSU and University of Colorado face off at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. The exciting event is packed with CSU pride, making it a great way to kick off the long weekend! If you’re planning to tailgate, be sure to check-out our list of Ram tailgating essentials.


Thunder in the Rockies

Friday, September 1 – Monday, September 4

Thunder in the Rockies Loveland Labor Day Events 2017

Photo courtesy of Thunder in the Rockies

Thunder in the Rockies Bike Rally in Loveland will be roaring all weekend long — including Monday. With more than 100 food, drink and merchandise vendors, live music, performances and more, the Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson is the place to be this weekend. Entertainment will include local and national bands, the Harley-Davidson demo fleet, the Miss Thunder in the Rockies Contest and even more. General admittance is free, but some special events may require tickets. Get more pricing details on the website.


Tour de Fat

Saturday, September 2, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat has been a Fort Collins tradition for years. Now a nation-wide event, it has also become a tradition in cities all over the United States. But when the party circles back to New Belgium’s home town, things get wild! After all, a celebration of bikes and craft brews has no better home than Fort Collins. Get your costumes ready and prepare your eyes and ears for a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians and mind-blowing provocateurs — including live music from the All-American Rejects! The costume and bike parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and festivities continue all day. Get the full schedule on the website.


Trevor Hall at Mishawaka Amphitheatre

Saturday, September 2, 8 p.m.

Trevor Hall Mishawaka Bellvue Colorado Labor Day Events

Photo courtesy of Trevor Hall and Emory Hall

For a more restful change of pace, head to the Mish just minutes away from Downtown Fort Collins to catch an outdoor show from Trevor Hall. This acoustic guitar playing crooner has become a master of meditative songs and soothing sounds that will blend perfectly with the river flowing beside the venue!


2017 Rist Canyon Mountain Festival

Sunday, September 3

Located at Mile Marker 12 in Rist Canyon, right across the street from the Rist County Volunteer Fire Department, this free, full day event is the perfect family activity! Make the 30-minute drive west to find live music and entertainment, a book sale, a plant sale and a bake sale, local arts and crafts vendors, free ice cream and free activities for the kids — including a bounce house and a climbing wall!


FORTitude 10K

Monday, September 4, 8 a.m. 

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the long weekend is this inaugural 10k race. Fort Collins’ newest race event, FORTitude 10K was founded by The City of Fort Collins, Visit Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, Colorado State University and BolderBOULDER Inc. to showcase the city’s landmarks and celebrate its growth. And, because it ends inside the brand new Sonny Lubick Field at CSU Stadium, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the coming football season! Register, find pricing info, and race day details on the website then follow FORTitude on Facebook for updates.


What are you doing this weekend?  

Let us know which Fort Collins event you’re attending over the long weekend!

But if you prefer to opt outside for the last day’s of summer, read up on nearby outdoor activities with 9 Things to Do in Northern Colorado for Outdoor Enthusiasts, The Ultimate Guide to Kayaking in Northern Colorado, A Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking and 12 of Colorado’s Best Swimming Holes.

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