Summers in Crested Butte are jam-packed with fun, unique festivals and events. Following are just a few highlights of some of the more popular events that happen in and around town.
For a complete listing of events, visit the Gunnison – Crested Butte Events Calendar.
The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival is one of the area’s flagship events and has been around since 1986! It is a week-long celebration, usually taking place in mid-July. The festival consists of an assortment of activities & workshops, all centered on local wildflowers. Activities typically include:
- Hikes ranging from easy to technical
- Bike rides through alpine meadows
- 4×4 tours into the backcountry
- Garden tours of historic Crested Butte
- Photography classes for all levels
- Art and cooking classes with wildflowers
- Medicinal classes using botanical ingredients
- Gardening with wildflowers
- Birding and butterflies
This event takes place during the peak of the Crested Butte summer tourist season. Lodging fills up quickly, so be sure to make your hotel reservations well in advance.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival website.
Alpenglow Outdoor Concerts
Perhaps one of the favorite events of the summer by many locals, the Alpenglow Outdoor Concert Series provides free music (yes, that’s right – absolutely no charge) on the Center for the Art’s outdoor stage. Concerts take place every Monday night (rain or shine) from late-June through early-August. Enjoy a wide variety of musical genres against the backdrop of Mt. Crested Butte and the surrounding valley.
Bring a blanket, low-backed chair, and a picnic basket. Food and beverages are also available for purchase. This is a true family event – all ages are welcome. But please make other arrangements for Fido, as dogs are not allowed in the park.
For more information on the current season’s musical line-up, visit the Crested Butte Center for the Arts website.
Fourth of July Parade
A Half Marathon, Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast, Parade down Elk Avenue, and of course Fireworks are all part of the annual Fourth of July traditions in Crested Butte.
The running race typically kicks off from the Townsite of Gothic around 8 a.m. The Fire Fighter’s Pancake Breakfast is a fundraiser for the local Fire District and takes place at the Fire Station in Crested Butte, just a short walk from the Elk Mountain Lodge. Look for the line forming outside and sidewalk entertainment to occupy the hungry guests. Breakfast is served starting around 7 a.m.
Next is the Elk Avenue parade, a not-to-be-missed event. Celebrate the 4th Crested Butte style! The parade usually kicks off around 11 a.m. Wear lots of red-white-and-blue. If you like wet-n-wild, join the popular water fight area designated at the west end of Elk Avenue. Don’t worry – it’s just a hop-skip-and-a-jump to head back to the Elk Mountain Lodge and change into some dry clothes.
Following the parade, enjoy more festivities along Elk Avenue – bands, food, games. A regular eat, drink and be merry kind of a day! The fireworks kick off after dark (9 to 9:30-ish). Great views can be had from the town park. Follow the crowds carrying their blankets and lawn chairs. Bundle up – it can get chilly at night. Even in July!
For more information on the specifics of the 4th of July festivities, check out the local paper when you get to town. They will provide the full scoop on this year’s 4th of July events. Or just ask any of our friendly staff at the Elk Mountain Lodge – they’ll have the full skinny on the day’s line-up.
Crested Butte Arts Festival
Another favorite event of the summer is the Crested Butte Arts Festival, taking place during early-August. Artists come from all over to set up a booth on Elk Avenue to display their unique work. This fun and cultural event has grow to be one of the Top 5 fine art and fine craft shows in Colorado! As such, lodging books up early. So make sure to plan ahead.
For more information on the Art Fair, visit the Crested Butte Arts Festival website.
Other Summer Events
There are many, many other fun things to do during the summer in Crested Butte. Give us a call and we’ll fill you in on tons of fun ideas for your Crested Butte Summer Vacation! There’s always something going on in this little slice of Colorado Rocky Mounty Mountain Paradise!