Summer & Fall Festivals Galore in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado

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From wildflowers and bikes to rivers and cowboys, there’s plenty to celebrate announces the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association

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Crested Butte Wildflowers by Jan Runge

Gunnison County knows how to roll out the carpet for summer and fall fun with an amazing array of one-of-a-kind festivals that reflect the lifestyle, natural beauty and Western friendliness of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Gunnison County knows how to roll out the carpet for summer and fall fun with an amazing array of one-of-a-kind festivals that reflect the lifestyle, natural beauty and Western friendliness of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Gunnison Growler Weekend, Gunnison, May 26 – 28
Kicking off the summer season is Gunnison Growler Weekend, featuring three days of biking events, trail running races, a kids’ fishing and outdoor sports derby, and outdoor sports expo for the whole family to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, Gunnison’s IOOF Park and one block of Virginia Avenue between Main Street and Iowa Street, will be filled with food vendors, live music and a beer garden for racers and the public to enjoy. This downtown area also will be the start and finishes for the Half-Growler (32 miles) and Full-Growler (64 miles) races and Growler Gran Fondo ride from Gunnison to Mt. Crested and back (64 miles). The other centers of activities will be Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area and Jorgensen Park. The 25k and 50k Sage Burner trail running events start and finish and Hartman Rocks. For more information, go to http://www.gunnisontrails.com, http://www.gunnisonmentors.com and http://www.sageburnertrailrun.com.

32nd Annual Crested Butte Bike Week, Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte, June 21 – 24
Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte are the proud hosts of the world’s oldest mountain bike festival, previously known as Fat Tire Bike Week.

  •     Crested Butte Bike Week launches with a kickoff party at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum/Mountain Bike Hall of Fame on June 21.
  •     The infamous Chainless World Championships on June 22 is always a thrilling scene for riders and spectators followed by the Fat Tire 40 mountain bike race on June 23.
  •     Those who prefer cross-country or downhill racing can catch some action at the Mountain States Cup Wildflower Rush races on Crested Butte Mountain Resort trails on June 23 – 24.
  •     If a one-speed cruiser is more your style, join in the fun for Adaptive Sports Center’s annual Bridges of the Butte townie tour that runs from 3 p.m. on June 23 to 3 p.m. on June 24.
  •     Alison Gannett’s Keen Rippin Chix Bike Camps will be offered on June 21, 22 and 23.
  •     Live music is planned for June 22 and possibly June 23, with bands to be announced soon.
  •     For information and registration details, contact the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce at (800) 545-4505 or visit http://www.ftbw.com.

10th Annual Gunnison River Festival, Gunnison, June 22 - 23
For a unique blend of hardcore and lighthearted outdoor recreation for all ages, don’t miss the Gunnison River Festival on June 22 – 23. The event kicks off with the premiere of the Gunnison River Games in Legion Park on the evening of Friday, June 22. Compete in or watch these dry-land challenges that are sure to entertain from 6 – 9 p.m. with live music as the backdrop. On June 23, it’s all about being on the water with the festival based at Gunnison Whitewater Park. A kayak paddle on Blue Mesa Lake, competitive raft races, kayak competitions, River City Fun Zone for kids, community raft float, raft rodeo, surf comp and hooligan race are part of the fun. For costs, information, and registration forms, visit http://www.gunnisonriverfestival.com or call (970)901-6215.

16th Annual Crested Butte Music Festival, Gunnison Valley, July 4 – Aug. 12    
The 2012 festival will showcase outstanding performers from all over the world and internationally acclaimed performers such as Boston Brass, American String Quartet, jazz legend Junior Mance and opera stars Marcello Giordani and Samuel Ramey. Celebrating its 16th year, CBMF also has bluegrass, opera and gypsy jazz mini-festivals that are part of the larger event. Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute,” a free family concert series on Saturdays, five home soirée concerts and much more are on this dynamic event’s six-week schedule. For more information and tickets, call (970) 349-0619 or visit http://www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.com.

112th Annual Cattlemen’s Days, Gunnison, July 5 - 15
People who love the authenticity of The West should plan on attending the 112th annual Cattlemen’s Days at the Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center and various venues around Gunnison. The event features a county fair, parade, live music and dancing, a horse show, cowboy poetry, horse races, and of course rodeo events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Activities are spread throughout the 11 days of Cattlemen’s Days festivities, with rodeos scheduled for the evenings of July 12 - 14. For more information, call the Gunnison County Chamber of Commerce at (800) 814-8893 or visit http://www.cattlemensdays.com.

26th Annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, Crested Butte, July 9 - 15        
The historic mountain town of Crested Butte, which was designated the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the state legislature in 1990, hosts this colorful festival during the peak of wildflower season. Nearly 200 individual events such as photography and art classes, 4 X 4 tours, hikes and flower identification walks, garden tours, cooking seminars and more focus on the magnificent sight of miles and miles of wildflower fields abloom in the area. For more information, call (970) 349-2571 or visit http://www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com.

40th Annual Crested Butte Arts Festival, Crested Butte, August 3 – 5
Crested Butte Arts Festival (CBAF) is one of the biggest weekends of the summer, drawing world-class artists from all 50 states and several international exhibitors. Open-air booths line the five-block center of Crested Butte’s National Historic District, featuring 175 artists who are selected through a very competitive jury process. New this year, the festival will be open Friday evening, Aug. 3, from 5 – 9 p.m., as well as on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. In addition to an Art Alley for kids, look for an artist demonstration tent, food court, beer and wine pavilion, live entertainment, art auction and culinary demonstrations. Additional culinary programs will be announced in the near future. Call (970) 349-1184 or visit http://www.crestedbutteartsfestival.com.

Car, Carving & Art Weekend, Gunnison, Aug. 16 – 19    
This dynamic weekend for all ages includes the 25th annual Gunnison Car Show, High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival, and Carvin’ Up Colorado. Most of the activities take place in the neighboring Jorgensen and Legion Parks, with a ‘50s-style cruise-in and free dance on Main Street on Friday evening and a breakfast cruise to Crested Butte on Sunday morning. On Saturday, admire all the chrome during the open car show and browse the creations of 60 artisans from around the region at the High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival. From Aug. 16 – 18, seven to 10 wood carvers from around the country will transform tree stumps into works of art that will be on permanent display in Legion Park and at other community sites. For information, call (970) 901-6215 (carving) and (800) 814-8893 (arts/crafts) and visit http://www.gunnisoncarclub.com.

Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off, Mt. Crested Butte, September 8
Get into the spirit of autumn with Mt. Crested Butte’s annual Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off held on Sept. 8 at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) ski area. Heat up by sampling great chili prepared by area cook-off contestants, cool off with beers poured by several microbreweries and savor live music all afternoon. For admission costs and times, contact the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce at (800) 814-8893 and visit http://www.cbchamber.com.

Crested Butte Film Festival, Crested Butte, September 27 – 30
Get inspiration from features, shorts, documentaries and panel discussions and enjoy festival parties and the peak of aspen-viewing season. Many of the films will be Colorado premieres, including a mix of international and U.S. productions, Academy Award nominees, selections from Cannes and Sundance, and newly discovered gems. Crested Butte provides a perfect, intimate setting to engage with visiting filmmakers at unique historical venues, combined with some of the best mountain biking and hiking the state has to offer. Pass options make it easy and affordable to enjoy all four days of the festival and all events. For information, visit http://www.cbfilmfest.org or call (303) 204-9080.

Visitor Information & Personalized Vacation Packages
To find out more about Gunnison-Crested Butte’s calendar of events and personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free number (800) 814-8893 or visit http://www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com. Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow us on http://www.twitter.com/gcbta.

The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines and during the winter also by Continental Airlines and American Airlines.

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