Crested Butte is a festival town, from excellent live music, art, wildflowers, mountain biking and film, this mountain mecca offers an array of special annual events that are worth planning your trip around.
Crested Butte is set in one of the least known, most beautiful alpine landscapes in North America, and the charm and beauty of the town draw people from around the world. It’s, hands down, a wonderful vacation spot for summer outdoor fun. Check out the Festivals of Crested Butte and plan your vacation around them.
Mountain Words Literary Festival
The Mountain Words Literary Festival is a multi-day literary celebration at nine-thousand feet, featuring readings, workshops, kids’ events, parties, panel discussions, live theater, and more.
Gunnison River Festival
Get ready for a summer full of water-splashing fun! In 2023, the Gunnison River Festival will be underwriting river recreational events happening all across the Gunnison Valley through community partners.
A focus of the Gunnison River Festival is to “Be A River Hero” which means being smart about the river, choosing river safety and etiquette, and practicing river stewardship. This helps keep everyone enjoying the river both today and tomorrow. For more information: check out American Whitewater website. https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Safety/videos
“We are really excited to be collaborating with other folks in the Gunnison community to amplify all these amazing river events that are already happening. And there’s a few new ones in there too!” said new Director of the Gunnison River Festival, Cheryl Cwelich.
Join us for lots of rafting, kayaking, SUPing, river surfing and educational clinics throughout the Upper Gunnison watershed in 2023!
When: June 2nd thru August 26th, 2023
Where: Various Locations
Web: Gunnison River Festival
Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival
The Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival offers the community live theatre, improv and music at the Quigley bandshell on Western Colorado University’s campus and at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts.
When: June 8 thru 24, 2023
Where: Various Locations
Web: Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival
Junior Bike Week
Since 2016, the biggest kids bike party on the planet has been right here in Crested Butte, Colorado – the birthplace of mountain biking! Junior Bike Week is the only multi-day festival in the world that exclusively celebrates kids on bikes! There are events happening throughout the week for kids of all ages and abilities with everything from trail work and skills clinics to competitive racing.
Crested Butte Fourth of July Parade & Festival
Crested Butte’s 4th of July Parade is the Biggest Small Town Celebration Around. Visitors come from around the world to experience 4th of July in Crested Butte. From our eclectic parade to our town water fight, there is always fun to be found on the 4th of July. Every year around 40+ floats come together to form the biggest small town parade in the States. From businesses, to families, to classic cars, our parade has it all. Always bringing up the rear is the Crested Butte Fire Protection District with their ambulances and fire trucks, lights a blaze. Directly following the parade on the south side of town is our annual water fight. Squirt guns, water balloons, and fire hoses soak all those who participate in this water fueled celebration lead by the fire department. Join us next year for an amazing celebration of freedom.
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival is an annual 10-day Festival offering over 200 workshops in wildflower expertise each July, be it painting, pollination, photography, culinary arts, or leading hikes into the wild beyond in the heart of the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte. Our 501(c)3 nonprofit organization was founded in 1986 to celebrate the beauty of the montane and alpine wildflower environments in and around the Gunnison Valley. Today we continue to advocate for the preservation and appreciation of wildflowers and instill both awareness and admiration of our interdependence with our natural wildflower habitats through our events.
Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo
Each July, the ranching culture of the Gunnison Valley struts its stuff in the “Granddaddy of Colorado Rodeos,” an event staged by the community for PRCA competitors and the people who love to watch them.
Crested Butte Wine and Food Festival
An annual epicurean celebration. a benefit for arts + education.
The Crested Butte Wine and Food Festival will enlighten your senses with intimate winemaker’s dinners, the Crested Butte Grand Tasting, VIP lounge with highly rated wines, and a wide range of educational seminars for the novice and connoisseur alike.
The Crested Butte Wine and Food Festival is an annual fundraiser for the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, the premier visual and performing arts venue in the region. For over 30 years, the Center has been dedicated to providing arts and cultural experiences that inspire and entertain all audiences, whether they call Crested Butte home every day or just for the weekend.
Crested Butte Arts Festival
Take in the beauty of Crested Butte at the Premier Arts Event in Colorado. Featuring 100+ fine artists and much more. CBAF is the premier arts event in Colorado. The an annual, nationally recognized Festival presents a broad spectrum of the arts, whose proceeds perpetuate the Festival and also provide for year-round, sustainable art outreach.
Yearly, the Crested Butte Arts Festival attracts an eclectic group of art enthusiasts to their idyllic setting with mountain vistas, quaint downtown, and host of outdoor activities. Entering its 5th decade as an arts non-profit that showcases international juried fine artists, the festival is referred to as the signature cultural event of the summer. The outdoor event is nestled on 10 acres, is walking distance from historic downtown Crested Butte, and offers family friendly activities throughout the weekend.
Crested Butte Rotary Rubber Duckie Race
A fantastically fun event for kids and adults alike, the Great Rubber Duckie Race sends hundreds of small and adorable rubber duckies down Coal Creek every summer.
A ticket to purchase your own duck benefits local scholarships and non-profit organizations. Hosted by the Crested Butte/Mt Crested Butte Rotary Club, this is an aquatic race like no other, and it’s a “Daffy” sight you won’t forget.
When: August 6, 2023 2:00 pm
Where: Coal Creek in Downtonw Crested Butte
Website: Crested Butte Rotary
Mount Crested Butte Chili and Beer Festival
The Mount Crested Butte Chili & Beer Festival is held annually at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The event features craft breweries from all over Colorado with a chili tasting contest and live music. Taste-testers sample locally made chili and craft beer, and have the chance to vote for their favorites.
Crested Butte Film Festival
The Crested Butte Film Festival is a celebration of international films, held annually over four days in the last weekend of September, in Crested Butte, Colorado. The Crested Butte Film Festival programs the best in world cinema and brings it home to a small-town environment. We’re committed to finding the most artful, moving, creative and provocative films and sharing them with our audience. One hundred films are screened during the festival as well as a monthly film series held within the town of Crested Butte. We program narrative and documentary features and shorts, outdoor adventure and children’s films. CBFF is renowned for a commitment to innovative independent cinema, the fostering and mentorship of first-time filmmakers, a program dedicated to the curation of international cinema, and an investment in social activism.
Crested Butte Lodging: