August 14  |  Local Events

The Ultimate Guide to Annual Events in Fort Collins

Fort Collins hosts some of Northern Colorado’s and Colorado’s biggest and best annual events, including free music festivals, huge beer festivals, vintage car shows, costumed bike parades and more. We rounded up the essential events in every category happening each spring, summer, fall and winter right here in our hometown. 

If you’re looking for even more, our event calendar, NoCo Happenings, is the place to go for both weekly happenings and huge annual events in every Northern Colorado community from Loveland and Berthoud up through Greeley and Fort Collins and even into Estes Park. To see all the region’s upcoming events, click here.


Click to jump ahead:

Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter


Old Town Irish Party & Oak Street Shamrock Festival


Old Town Irish Party Fort Collins Colorado events

Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins Business Association

Fort Collins’ annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration is one of our hometown’s favorite traditions. Held on a Saturday in March, the day includes the Oak Street Shamrock Festival in Oak Street Plaza, an alcohol-free environment with live music and hands-on activities for kids of all ages. On the same day, you can also party in Old Town Square during the famous Old Town Irish Party complete with several hours of free live music and a green beer garden. 


Poudre Pour


The Poudre Pour is an annual fundraiser event brought to us by Poudre Heritage Alliance in partnership with local craft breweries and distilleries. While learning about local water issues, guests can enjoy tasting craft brews, local coffee and natural sodas, eating appetizers made with farm-fresh ingredients, participating in various kids activities, watching live entertainment, seeing art exhibitions that highlight the beauty of the Poudre River corridor, and more. 


Horsetooth Half Marathon


One of many race events held annually in Fort Collins, the Horsetooth Half Marathon has been going strong for nearly half a century. Runners take off from Hughes Stadium, the former home of the CSU Rams, and race all the way to the finish line party at New Belgium Brewing Company. A great option for first-timers and old pros alike, the course offers a challenging but quick 13.1-mile route and a net loss in elevation. For information on this year’s event, click here




Presented each spring at venues all over Fort Collins, FoCoMX is a full weekend celebration of the Northern Colorado music scene. Each year, the lineup consists of two full days and nights at more than 35 local venues with performances from more than 300 Colorado bands! For information and tickets for this year’s event, click here


Realities Ride & Rally


Held during Memorial Day weekend for the past 18 years, the Realities Ride & Rally has celebrated and honored those who gave their all to defend our freedom. The family-friendly rally includes the Schrader Grand Prix, stunt shows, pin-up and tattoo contests, fireworks, live music and more. On Sunday, the fun continues with the world’s largest motorcycle poker run kicking off at Loveland’s Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson and an after-ride party. For details, click here


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 Northern Colorado eateries as well as musical 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. To see this year’s music lineup, click here.


Colorado Brewers’ Festival


The Colorado Brewers’ Festival is held in Fort Collins every summer and has even won awards as one of the state’s best festivals. In 2019, the festival celebrated its 30th year with more than 100 beers from more than 50 Colorado breweries. Now held at Canvas Stadium, guests can enjoy unlimited tastings (no taster tickets!) with panoramic views of the field, air conditioning and free parking. For more information on the next event, click here


Old Town Car Show


This beloved annual event brings hundreds of hot rods, vintage cars and classic trucks to Old Town Fort Collins. The event is free to attend and family-friendly so guests can bring the entire family downtown for a full day of fun. 


Fort Collins Fringe Festival


Fort Collins Fringe Festival annual events

Photo courtesy of Fort Collins Fringe Festival

The Fort Collins Fringe Festival is an open, non-juried performance art festival offering everything from theater, magic and puppetry to film, music and fire-breathing. Most performances are short, one-act pieces so festival-goers can see several over the course of one evening, and venues include the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, The Lyric, Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House and more. For all the details, click here.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest Fort Collins Colorado events

Photo courtesy of Bohemian Nights

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 held in downtown Fort Collins and featuring more than 50 artists on five stages. Included in the lineup is a family-centered Kids’ Music Adventure so kids can play, dance and sing, too! To see the current lineup and get more information, click here


Fort Collins Peach Festival


A ten-year tradition, the Peach Festival brings thousands of Palisade peaches and hundreds of people to Northern Colorado. The all-day event includes the Family 5K Run/Walk and Healthy Kids Fun Run, the Peach Pancake Breakfast, Yoga in the Park with Yoga Pod, the Peach Pie Eating Contest, live music, local beer and peach margaritas, a huge Kids Zone, and so much more.


Tour de Fat


New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat has been a Fort Collins tradition for two decades and has raised nearly $6 million dollars for local bike non-profits since it all began. When the party circles back to New Belgium’s hometown, things get wild! After all, a celebration of bikes and craft brews has no better home than Fort Collins. The event includes the famous costumed bike parade followed by a complete day of free comedians, cirque performers, general mayhemists, top-notch live musicians and, of course, world-class New Belgium beer. For information on this year’s event, click here




Fortoberfest Fort Collins Colorado events

Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins Business Association

Held every September in Downtown Fort Collins, Fortoberfest is the last outdoor music festival of the year. The free and family-friendly Fort Collins-style Oktoberfest celebration features a full day of live music, seasonal microbrews from Odell and High Country Beverage, wine from Wilbur’s Total Beverage, and regional German-themed cuisine. To get the details and see the lineup, click here


FoCo Book Fest


Free and open to the public, FoCo Book Fest is a program hosted by the Poudre River Public Library District. The event celebrates local libraries, books and the literary arts community of Fort Collins as well as the rest of Northern Colorado. You can join the fun each October to hear panel discussions, participate in writing workshops, enjoy author readings, attend book signings and classes, and engage with a variety of fantastic writers over the course of two days.


Tiny Tot Halloween


Every Halloween, Downtown Fort Collins, local families and participating businesses celebrate the holiday with a free trick-or-treating event. Starting in Old Town Square, participants get goodie bags and maps of participating stores and locations where you can collect treats. Then, everyone can embark on an adventure filled with treats, tricks and local business. 


Santa’s Workshop 

November – December 

Santa's Workshop Fort Collins Colorado events

Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins Business Association

Under the Downtown Holiday Lights, you can celebrate the holidays at Santa’s Workshop in Old Town. Open from mid-November through Christmas Eve, children of all ages are invited to share their hopes and holiday wishes with Santa himself and explore the workshop. Visiting and taking your own photos is always free!


Garden of Lights at The Gardens on Spring Creek 


Open several weeks through December—including Christmas Eve—this local holiday attraction has become a favorite in the Northern Colorado community. The gardens, flower beds, sculptures, ponds and Great Lawn of The Gardens on Spring Creek are lit by hundreds of thousands of LED lights. And during the weekends, guests can also visit with Santa, listen to holiday music, and enjoy the simple pleasures of the holiday.


Do you have an event to add?

If your favorite annual event in Fort Collins isn’t on our list, tell us about it in the comments below! 

Posted InLocal EventsUnder, , , , , , ,

Never Miss a Post!

We write about local events & home inspiration.

Looking for Your Dream Home?

Search real estate in Northern Colorado.

Leave a Comment