Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer festivals at Winter Park--Colorado's favorite playground

Colorful flowers bloom in
pring and summer
It’s no secret that folks leave Texas (and other states) during the hot summer months, and many of them head for Colorado. Attractions include beautiful scenery, cool temperatures, nature activities—and tons of festivals.

From music to marathons, the Winter Park-Fraser Valley region, 65 miles west of Denver, has scheduled fun festivals to suit a variety of interests, but there’s much more to keep you occupied when the festival isn’t in session. For starters, make good use of 600 miles of mountain bike trails. There’s a reason the region is called “Mountain Bike Capital U.S.A. Drive through or take a hike in the breathtaking Colorado Rockies. Or tackle fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, golfing, and a host of other activities.
Hiking can be a family activity.

To help plan your vacation, here are 2013 dates and a recap of seven signature summer events. Any of these would provide an excellent reason for a trip to Winter Park.

June 27-30: Blues from the Top, presented by the Grand County Blues Society (Hideaway Park, Winter Park)
This funk fest was voted “Best Blues Festival” by Colorado Blues Society Members. Featured acts include Mud Morganfield, Sena Ehrhardt, Kara Grainger, Austin Young and Southern Hospitality, just to name a few.

July 6: Run for Independence
This annual five-mile fun run/walk event traces the Fraser River Trail from Winter Park Resort to Fraser. The event is for all ages and abilities and benefits the Scott Hughes Foundation and Children’s Hospital. Participants celebrate at the finish line with a number of fun-filled activities and awards.

July 6-August 10: High Country Stampede Rodeo
Now in its 30th year, this rodeo features more than 2,000 cowboys and cowgirls, competing in traditional rodeo events like calf roping, bareback riding and barrel racing.

July 13: Winter Park SolShine
This free festival features national, regional and local live music. Merchandise and food vendors will be on hand, and there is a beer garden to add to the festive environment.

July 20-21: Winter Park Jazz Festival
Jazz Festival attracts visitors.
Photo: Ore Communications
Colorado’s biggest summer music festival is celebrating its 31st season. The lineup this year includes some of the jazz world’s biggest stars. Book tickets – and lodging – early; this show sells out every year.

Aug. 3: Winter Park Music Festival
Continuing Winter Park’s strong tradition of free music festivals, the Winter Park Music Festival also offers VIP tickets for those who prefer a little pampering. Past line-ups have included acts like Night Ranger, Pat Travers, Lewis and Floorwax and Groove Hawgs.

View beautiful scenery around Winter Park/Fraser.
Aug. 10: Winter Park Beer Festival
This beer sampling event features 25 craft breweries and live music. Merchandise and food vendors will also be around during the festival.

For more information check out Winter Park’s Facebook page at, or check the website for Winter Park-Fraser Chamber (

Information courtesy of Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications,
Diane Ehlert, Winter Park-Fraser Chamber,


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