April 24  |  Local Events

The 16 Essential Summer Festivals in Northern Colorado

Summer in Northern Colorado is the ultimate festival season. With a few annual events that are celebrating more than 20 years and some that are still under ten, we have a great mix of tried-and-true favorites as well as exciting new kids on the block.

This year, we rounded up more than 15 events where you can dance, eat, taste local brews, sip regional wines and celebrate with our amazing NoCo community. Mark your calendars, buy your tickets where necessary and get ready for an unforgettable summer.


Estes Park Mountain Music Festival | Estes Park

May 12

This all-day event is one of our favorite Colorado music festivals. Still a well-kept secret, the event showcases national and local bands everyone can dance along to. The 2018 lineup includes eight bands including Denver’s Gasoline Lollipops and Trout Steak Revival. Children 12 years and younger are admitted for free and other tickets can be purchased online here. All proceeds benefit Estes Park Schools music programs!


Poudre RiverFest | Fort Collins

June 2

The free, family-friendly festival will once again take place just across the street from New Belgium Brewing on the Poudre River Oxbow. Come party by the river and learn all the about the Cache la Poudre. Throughout the day, you can dance to live music from Chris Dismuke, Colony Funk, Bonnie & the Clydes and Lonesome Days. There will also be food from local restaurants and beer from New Belgium Brewing available.


Estes Park Jazz Fest | Estes Park

June 2 – 3

Celebrating its 28th year in 2018, Estes Park Jazz Fest is set amidst the beautiful rock backdrop of Performance Park outdoor amphitheater. Over the course of two music-filled days, you can enjoy seven artists and bands for just $10 a day or $15 for both days! Children are admitted for free and all tickets will be available at the door.


Taste of Fort Collins | Fort Collins

June 8 – 10

Taste of Fort Collins Colorado 2018

Photo courtesy of Taste of Fort Collins

Taste of Fort Collins is all about music, food, drink and fun! The festival showcases local tastes from some of our favorite NoCo eateries and food trucks as well as music performances from national and touring bands, non-alcoholic beverages, craft beer from Odell Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing, cocktails from Mystic Mountain Distillery, and more wine and craft beer provided by Wilbur’s Total Beverage.


Greeley Blues Jam | Greeley

June 8 – 9

If you’re a fan of blues, great food, local drinks, family activities, camping and days of fun, then make sure you get to Greeley Blues Jam this June! Driven by the motto, “It ain’t nothin’ but a party”, the whole family is guaranteed to have a great time. Dance and sing along with more than nine headliners — including local favorite Mojomama!


Berthoud SUNFEST | Berthoud

June 16

The warm weather complement to Berthoud SNOWFEST, this event is host to the Outdoor Quilt Show. Quilters display their creations in the park and win awards for their work! Join the fun and get to know the community of Berthoud.


Colorado Brewers’ Festival | Fort Collins

June 23 – 24

Colorado Brewers Festival Fort Collins Colorado 2018

Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins Business Association (DBA)

The Colorado Brewers’ Festival is held in Fort Collins every summer and was named the best festival in the state at the 2015 Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence. In 2018, the festival is celebrating its 29th year with more than 90 Colorado beers, over 40 Colorado breweries and an interactive Beer School with tastings and demonstrations. Additionally, you can enjoy local musicians, vendors and food trucks. Admission to the event is free but to taste beer, you’ll need to purchase a Tasting Package; get info on advance purchases here.


Scandinavian Midsummer Festival | Estes Park

June 24 – 26

In Bond Park each summer, the Estes Park community comes together for this lively, cultural extravaganza. Come for the raising of the Midsummer Pole and stay until the last Viking has left the village. This will soon become one of your favorite festivals, too!


Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews | Loveland

July 13 – 14

For the 12th year in a row, Loveland is showing off its love for BBQ, bands and beer. Over the course of two days, the music lineup this year features six bands in every genre from country to soul and everything in between. When not dancing to music, you can explore local vendor booths, eat a lot of BBQ and sample brews from local craft breweries!


Gnarly Barley Brewfest | Loveland

August 4

One of the most talked-about happenings at the Larimer County Fair, Gnarly Barley is a beer festival of epic proportions. To taste the beer, you’ll need a general admission ticket which includes a sampling mug and 12 sampling tokens with additional price options for groups and VIP admission. There will be more than 30 different craft breweries in attendance as well as a homebrew competition. Last year’s People’s Choice Winner was High Hops Brewing. Make sure you get to the festival so you can cast your vote! Tickets are more expensive at the gate so buy them in advance here.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest | Fort Collins

August 10 – 12

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest 2018 Fort Collins Colorado

Photo courtesy of PHOCO Photography via Bohemian Nights, LLC

Since 1989, NewWestFest has been rocking Fort Collins every summer — and when it joined forces with Bohemian Nights in 2005, it got bigger and better than ever! The three-day festival is a free, family-friendly music event in downtown Fort Collins featuring over 50 artists on five stages — many of which are Colorado locals. Included in the lineup is a Kids’ Music Adventure Stage so your children can sing and dance along as well!


Sculpture in the Park | Loveland

August 10 – 12

Loveland’s Sculpture in the Park brings thousands of people and artists to Northern Colorado each August. Heralded as one of the finest outdoor juried exhibitions of three-dimensional artwork in the United States, the event showcases over 2,000 pieces of sculpture created by 160 sculptors from around the world. Peruse art, learn, eat and drink in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains!


Estes Park Wine Festival | Estes Park

August 11 – 12

For the fourth year, Estes Park is celebrating summer with wine from more than 20 Colorado wines, goods and food from regional vendors and live music from local bands. Tickets are just $30 in advance and $40 at the gate so buy yours online today!


Folks Festival | Lyons

August 17 – 19

Lyons Folks Festival Planet Bluegrass Colorado 2018

Photo courtesy of Art Heffron via Planet Bluegrass

Though it’s still a pretty well-kept secret, Lyon’s annual folk festival attracts thousands of people from across the region, the state and the country. Through the years, Folks has remained true to its initial vision of spending a glorious Colorado weekend celebrating songs and stories from around the world. For three magical days, wind down under the Colorado sun with the Lyons locals and lovers of folk music.


Fort Collins Peach Festival | Fort Collins

August 18

Come August, Civic Center Park and Washington Park in Fort Collins will be filled to the brim with peaches — and we’re definitely not complaining. The eighth annual Peach Festival will bring thousands of Palisade peaches and hundreds of people to NoCo. And the event includes a 5K, vendor booths, live music, plenty of food, drinks and peach-themed events all day long!


Where will you be?

There are so many amazing Northern Colorado festivals every summer. In the comments below, let us know which ones you’re attending — even if it’s not on our list!

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