There’s still another month’s worth of summer fun to be had at Colorado’s mountain resorts before the colors begin to change, the night air becomes crisp, and the minds of alpine enthusiasts begin to wander towards tune-ups, new gear, pass purchases, and early snowstorms. Many resorts are offering great summer activities and lodging specials through the end of September.
FALL IN COLORADO
The Labor Day weekend is the last holiday weekend as resorts begin their preparations for the winter. Whether washing down an afternoon’s worth of competition chili with renowned micro-brewed beer, attending music festivals featuring award-winning musicians, taking a ride in a vintage aircraft, or enjoying the many summer sporting and recreational opportunities at Colorado’s resorts, the Labor Day weekend festivities offer something for everyone. Below are some of the events and activities taking place during the long holiday weekend around Colorado Ski Country.
DENVERS BOTANIC GARDEN FALL EVENTS
Sep. 28– May:9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens’ annual Fall Plant & Bulb Sale takes place Friday andSaturday, September 23 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and 24 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Hundreds of bulb varieties, trees, shrubs and unusual plants for fall planting are available for purchase. Admission to the sale is free and takes place on the Gardens’ West Terrace. All sales support the Gardens. Members of the Gardens receive 10% off all purchases.
Fall-planted bulbs such as Dwarf Irises, Tulips, Daffodils, Alliums and Eremurus (foxtail lilies) acclimate in the ground during the winter to provide beautiful spring and summer bloom, often for years to come. Planting perennials, shrubs, grasses, vines and trees in the fall gives them a head start on getting established, often leading to better garden performance the next year. Houseplants propagated by our horticulture staff are also available, so you can bring your gardening inside this winter. Bulbs and plants for a variety of garden conditions are available. Staff favorites are also showcased.
The Gardens’ horticulture staff is on hand to provide valuable plant information, tips and recommendations of the best plants for your garden. Early arrival is recommended as many plants sell out. Visitors are welcome to bring a wagon to transport purchases.
Friday, September 16 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Adults Only (18+)
The Pirate Ball is dinner, a show and so much more! It is $20 for dinner (full pig roast including the trimmings). Drinks available at $5/drink.
Enjoy a concert by Potcheen (Colorado’s Celtic Pirateband), mermaids, sword fighting, a scavenger hunt, crowning of the “Pirate King”, plenty of rum and more!
Click Here to buy Pirate Ball tickets!
Use Coupon code: PARROT16 to get $5 off!
Pirate Fest Northglenn Colorado
Saturday, September 17 10:00am – 7:00pm
All Ages, FREE!
Join us for a whole day o’ pirate ruckus! Enjoy bounce houses, arts n’ crafts, archery, mermaids, vendors, food, music, treasure hunt, parrots, living history and more.
Pirate Fest Regatta Northglenn Colorado
Frisco will host Fall Fest, a celebration of Frisco’s thriving restaurant community and local and regional art community, in the Frisco Historic Park and on Main Street in front of the Historic Park.
Special lodging rates available starting at just $89 a night
This autumn, folks from far and wide, or just down the road, in search of the ultimate high country experience will have more opportunities than ever to fall in love with Snowmass. Let us count the ways.
1: Go Leaf Peeping – From over 12,000 feet at the top the Elk Camp Gondola and Chair Lift, or from a restaurant patio in Snowmass Village or Base Camp, Snowmass offers spectacular golden aspen leaf views.
2: Step This Way – Hiking in the fall is a great way to connect with the natural environment. Snowmass trails are plenty (over 50 miles). Just grab a map and go.
3: Hop a Bike – Snowmass offers spectacular, all-level trails for road biking and mountain biking. A family can safely bike on paved bike trails on the 42-mile-long Rio Grande Bike Trail, while the new Sky Mountain Park trail boasts 15 miles of newly built single-track trails on the north side of Snowmass Village.
4: Shuttle Off – Our FREE Snowmass Village Shuttle makes getting around a cinch. Plus, most lodges offer free transportation and there is free bus service to and from Aspen as well.
5: Visit the Bells – Snowmass is just 6 miles from the spectacular Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, home of the most photographed peaks in the North America. Take a shuttle or ride your bike (and don’t forget your camera).
6: Find Your Festival – Fall highlights include the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Music Experience, September, 4-6, the FREE 40th Annual Snowmass Balloon Festival September, 18-20, the Snowmass Wine Festival Wine Dinner September 18, the Snowmass Wine Festival Grand Tasting and the Motoring Classic at Aspen Snowmass on September 19.
7: Go 4-Wheeling – Rent a 4-wheel vehicle and hit the high country roads. A trip up Independence Pass or to Ruedi Reservoir will put you up close to peak fall colors. Off-road options are available as well.
8: Hit the River – Fall is the perfect time to go Gold Medal fly-fishing, white-water rafting, stand up paddling, kayaking and more. Snowmass has it all.
9: Play a Round – Take a swing on the Snowmass Golf Course or down at the Aspen Golf Course along Highway 82. The greens look even better surrounded by Aspen gold.
10: Take Refuge With the ‘Fall in Love with Snowmass’ Lodging Specials – Snowmass lodging is 96% on-mountain, putting endless adventure (not to mention shopping and dining) literally right outside the door.
Starting at just $89 a night, Fall in Love with Snowmass lodging specials are available at a wide range of top-notch accommodations, from economy based hotel rooms to luxury hotel brands, as well as multiple-bedroom condo options with full kitchens. Call 1800SNOWMASS (1-800-766-9627) or click here to book lodging. For more information on Snowmass events and activities, visit: www.gosnowmass.com.
Labor Day weekend festivities at Aspen/Snowmass are headlined by the Jazz AspenSnowmass (JAS) Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, featuring three days of world-class concerts on multiple stages, eclectic food, beverage vendors, and more. This year’s acts include Jason Mraz, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Keith Urban, Train, Little Big Town, Journey, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Colorado’s own Paper Bird. Additionally, the final Bluegrass Sunday atop Aspen Mountain at the Sundeck will take place on Sunday, September 1, featuring the Roaring Fork Valley’s own Smuggler Mountain Boys. Visit jazzaspensnowmass.org for more information and to purchase tickets.
On Labor Day, Monday September 2, the most adventurous eaters in Colorado will convene at the foot of Aspen Mountain for the second annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival and Barbecue, hosted by the Ajax Tavern at the Little Nell Hotel. This all-you-can-eat/drink event will feature conventional oysters on the half shell, Rockefeller oysters and other creative oyster hors d’oeuvres, and the famed Rocky Mountain Oyster. Tickets are $75 and are available athttps://ajaxtavern.ticketbud.
Copper Mountain’s Labor Day tradition, Copper Country, is a free Labor Day festival tradition celebrating the best of the American spirit. Incredible live music, an arts festival, and Copper Kids Arts & Crafts come together to make this Labor Day weekend event ideal for the entire family. This year’s lineup includes Savannah Jack, The Long Players, Michael McDonald, Texaco Country Showdown and headliner Kenny Rogers. More information can be found atCopperCountryFest.com.
On Sunday, September 8, Crested Butte Mountain Resort will host the annual Gravity Slave Downhill Mountain Bike Race, now a pure downhill format with a $2,000 cash purse for the winners of the Open Pro Class. Racing begins on Sunday morning, with course training from 8:30 – 10 a.m. and a 10:30 a.m. race start time. Registration is available online atwww.skicb.com/mygroup with the package code: gravityslave2013. The $50 registration fee includes a race day ticket for Sunday, September 8.
Special racer lodging rates start at $99 per night, plus a resort fee and taxes, which can be reserved by calling 800-810-7669. For more information, visit www.ridecb.com/gravityslave or call Patti Hensley at 970-349-2217 and visit www.vimeo.com/71995088 to preview the challenging downhill course on the Avery trail.
The bike race coincides with Mt. Crested Butte’s annual Chili and Beer Festival on the weekend of September 7 and 8, 2013. Breweries from throughout the southwest will be on hand with their finest brews to take the heat off the chili prepared by Crested Butte locals. In addition to beer & chili tasting, attendees will be able to enjoy live music while taking in the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Crested Butte. Hosted by the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, this festival will bring together more than 1,000 enthusiasts to celebrate great beer and Mt. Crested Butte’s finest chili. For more information, visit http://www.cbchamber.com/
During the entire month of September you can save 20 percent off all CBMR lodging. Stay in Crested Butte and enjoy the brilliant changing of the aspen groves and cottonwood trees into golden yellows, radiant oranges and dazzling reds. During the month of September, the Red Lady Express lift is open from 10am – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Plan your stay over a weekend and receive a free scenic lift ride for each person on the reservation. To make reservations, call Crested Butte Vacations at (800) 600-2803.
Durango Mountain Resort
28th Annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Celebrates Cowboy Culture
Music, storytelling, cowboy poetry train & trail rides, parade & more on Sept. 29 – Oct. 2
For 28 years, the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering has preserved the culture and stories of the American cowboy and ranching in southwest Colorado. Scheduled for Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, in tandem with Durango’s prime fall foliage season, the Gathering brings more than 40 cowboy poets, storytellers, and musicians, together to celebrate this rich tradition.
“People attending Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering get the experience of what Durango might have looked like in the 1880s with horses, wagons, and cowboys walking the streets,” says Linda Mannix, coordinator of the event. “The gathering is the second oldest event of its kind, only a few years behind the granddaddy in Elko, Nevada, and one of only two events in Colorado that focuses exclusively on cowboy poetry, storytelling, and music.”
The celebration is held in Durango’s bustling downtown district and headquartered at the historic Strater Hotel, where evening performances are staged at the Henry Strater Theater. Known around the world, Wylie and The Wild West kick off the gathering with two evening performances featuring a blend of cowboy, swing, folk and yodeling on Sept. 29, along with the “Mystery of El Dorado” Cowboy Theatre at Durango Arts Center. Evening performances on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1feature several top cowboy poets and musicians from around the country.
Some of the other activities taking place during the four-day event include the Cowboy Poet Train on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Cowboy Poet Trail Ride at Rapp Corral, Cowboy Parade on Main Avenue, and shows of Western art at Mesténo Gallery, Sorrel Sky Gallery and Toh-Atin Gallery.
More than 40 riders go out on the Cowboy Poet Trail Ride at Rapp Corral on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. Performers Mary Kaye and Randy Rieman entertain during a lunch stop around a campfire. Participants can rent a horse or bring their own. Also on Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., the Cowboy Poet Train features performers on every coach and a barbecue lunch at Cascade Canyon.
One of the highlights of the Gathering is the large motorless Cowboy Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The parade features horses, riders, wagons, walkers, and even llamas and Longhorns, but no motorized vehicles. New this year, Animas Museum is hosting a genuine Cowboy Chuck Wagon Breakfast on Saturday morning 6 a.m. until 11 a.m., at the corner of 5th Street and Main Avenue. Scrambled eggs, biscuits, gravy and plenty of black coffee are on the menu. From 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., free themed sessions of cowboy poetry and music are being held at Strater Hotel. Open sessions invite anyone to jump in and perform his or her own cowboy poetry.
Two other new events for Saturday are the Cowboy Comedy Revue from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. featuring 15 performers doing their take on the humor of ranch life, and a new Storytelling Session. Later, the Poster Session at Toh Atin Gallery starts at 4:30 p.m. Cowboy poets and musicians will perform their interpretation of this year’s fine art poster “The Cowpuncher” by Glenn Dean, followed by a print signing and free artist’s reception from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Gallery.
Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering wraps up at the Strater Hotel with a free session called “A Cowboy and His Creator” on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. featuring inspirational poetry and music by many of the weekend’s performers. This is followed by a brunch at the hotel’s Diamond Belle Saloon.
Durango Mountain Resort is open weekends and Labor Day now through September 29. Visitors can enjoy a bevy of adventure activities including a new ropes obstacle course, new water runners, mountain biking, hiking, scenic chairlift rides, an alpine slide, climbing wall, bungee trampolines and more.
Guests can take advantage of lodging packages starting at $38 per person, per night, and enjoy two nights lodging and Total Adventure Tickets for the entire family, which include Alpine Slide rides, miniature golf and other activities like the bungee trampoline, the new ropes obstacle course, climbing wall, the new Water Runners, and more. To book the Summer Last Hurrah Package or for more information, call (800) 525-0892 www.DurangoMountainResort.com
Steamboat Springs Colorado
Labor Day weekend in Steamboat features a variety of events with something for everyone. OnFriday, August 30, Colorado native musician Zach Heckendorf takes the stage at Gondola Square with his rich, hip-hop influenced acoustic-driven sound. On Saturday, August 31, the Steamboat Stage will host Skyfall, the latest installment in the James Bond film series featuring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Javier Bardem.
On Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1, the Wild West Air Fest will bring a vintage and warbird static aircraft display, classic cars, radio controlled airplane shows, the Wings Over the Rockies KidSpace and much more. Visitors may purchase flights in several aircraft, from helicopters to World War II Navy bombers and others.
On Sunday, the Professional Bull Riding circuit comes to Steamboat with the Rocky Mountain Bull Bash. This thrilling event pushes cowboys’ skills to their limit as they take on top-ranked bulls to compete for a big cash prize. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Steamboat.com/things-to-do.
The Zoppé Family Circus welcomes guests into the intimate 500 seat tent for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the Old-World Italian tradition. Starring Nino the clown, the circus is propelled by a central story (as opposed to individual acts) that feature acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. Tickets are $20 for VIP chair seating or $15 for general admission, and children under 2 are free. There will be one performance on Friday, three performances on Saturday and Sunday and one performance on Sunday providing guests ample opportunities to see the show during their Labor Day weekend at Winter Park. For more information, visit WinterParkResort.com/events-
On the following Saturday, September 7, The Village at Winter Park will host the Whiskey & Wings Festival, featuring some of the best whiskey and wings in Colorado. Local restaurants will be presenting their finest chicken wings in a variety of styles and flavors, with visitors determining which delectable wings are the best. Guests can wash down their wings with whiskey tasting while enjoying live music. Taste tickets are just $1 each (a buck per wing) while whiskey tasting is $10 for four tickets (good for two tastings) and a special commemorative Whiskey & Wings Festival glass. For more information, visit WinterParkResort.com/events-