• Dawn Sabato

'Wow' Moments Abound in Colorado This Summer With New Events, Activities, Adventures, Lodging & More



Denver, CO (March 2, 2020) – Colorado is setting the scene for an unforgettable summer season that will leave visitors to the state saying one word: “Wow!” From the opening of the much-anticipated U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Pikes Peak Summit Complex in Colorado Springs, the debut of the renovated Martin Building and Mexican Modernism Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles installation in Breckenridge, the state is full of exciting new cultural offerings. On the adventure front, visitors can immerse themselves in a new dark skies trail, summer dog sledding, a new via ferrata route, hut-to-hut hiking, and a first-of-its kind bikerafting experience. Colorado also welcomes the opening of numerous chef-driven restaurants, craft libation offerings, unique accommodations and much more.


Following is a sampling of what's new in Colorado. For more information and travel ideas, visit www.COLORADO.com.


Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:


Durango Blues Train Celebrates 10th Anniversary, May 28, 29, 30 and August 20, 21, 22, 2020: The Durango Blues Train is an exciting 3.5 hour moving musical experience featuring six live blues performances on board the Historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Each artist plays in their own vintage coach while passengers are free to dance their way from coach to coach.


25th Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival, May 1-3, 2020:Attendees celebrate hundreds of miles of world-class trails and test out the latest bikes at the famous 18 Road trailhead while enjoying live music, craft libations and more.


History Colorado Presents Bold Women. Change History.”March 7, 2020-Feb.2021:“Bold Women, Change History.” is a memorable and telling story of how Colorado's voters became America's first to extend voting rights to women on Nov. 7, 1893. The exhibit, on display at the Center for Colorado Women's History at the Byers Evans House Museum, highlights topics like grassroots organizing, the influence of media and racism in political advocacy.


Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles Installation on Display in Breckenridge, May 8-Sept. 6, 2020:Ai Weiwei's bicycles, which have been exhibited around the globe, make their way to gold-level rated, bicycle-crazed Breckenridge this spring as part of the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) Trail Mix series. The sculpture, comprised of 1,254 bicycles, will be part of an eclectic mix of music, dance, film and visual arts on Breckenridge's award-winning trail system.


Roots On The Ridge Comes to Estes Park, May 19, 2020:The new Roots on the Ridge festival comes to Estes Park this spring and offers a full day of music and art. The inaugural lineup features celebrated musicians including Wynonna Judd, Ruston Kelly and Chancey Williams. Live artisan exhibits and craft vendors featuring the best of Estes Park's creative community will be onsite along with a kid's zone featuring craft making and educational programming.


Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Hosts Brews 'n' Views, May 30, 2020:Travelers can hop onto the new Glenwood Gondola for a scenic ride to America's only mountain-top theme park. At the top, guests can enjoy beers from Colorado craft breweries while taking in the panoramic mountain views from 7,100 feet above sea level.


Westcliffe Hosts the 2020 Sangre Star Festival, June 19-20, 2020:Celebrating five years as Colorado's first certified Dark Sky Community, Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley is proud to present the inaugural Sangre Star Festival that includes a new moon Dark Sky Solstice Celebration. The Sangre Star Festival is designed to appeal not only to amateur astronomers but also to casual stargazers and serious astro-seekers.


The Lavender Association of Colorado hosts its 10thAnnual Lavender Festival, June 26-28, 2020:This celebration of all things lavender includes bus tours, a festival in the Palisade Memorial Park featuring more than 60 artisan vendors, seminars, workshops and demonstrations, a gourmet wine and lavender dinner and a self-guided tour of area lavender farms and businesses.


Colorado Prairie Music Festival Returns During 125th Annual Lincoln County Fair in Hugo, Aug. 8, 2020:The fourth annual Colorado Prairie Music Festival features a boot stompin' concert held during the Lincoln County Fair in Hugo, deep in Colorado's cattle country. Attendees will get a taste of the Pioneering Plains at this family-friendly concert and savor great country music to celebrate the end of the 125thannual Lincoln County Fair & Rodeo.


The LeadBoat Challenge Debuts in Leadville & Steamboat, Aug. 15-16, 2020: The LeadBoat is the ultimate challenge of 2020 – racing the Leadville Trail 100 MTB followed by SBT GRVL Black. These two arduous endurance cycling races take place in the Rocky Mountains on the same weekend. To become a LeadBoat Legend, the cyclist must prepare for back-to-back events completing a 106-mile mountain bike race less than 24 hours before beginning a 144-mile gravel race.


Loveland Commemorates 125th Anniversary of Its Old Fashioned Corn Roast Festival, Aug. 21-22, 2020:Loveland's, Colorado's and, quite possibly, the U.S.'s oldest corn festival celebrates its 125th year this August. The festival is a celebration of corn and community and features 10,000-plus ears of corn from a local farmer that are roasted, shucked and eaten throughout the weekend. A corn shucking competition, corn roast parade and corn hole tournament are the other corn highlights.


45th Anniversary of the Snowmass Balloon Festival, Sept. 11-13, 2020:The 45th Annual Snowmass Balloon Festival, a long-standing Rocky Mountain tradition, fills the sky with eclectic balloons, as 30 pilots launch their hot air balloons into the air daily at 7 a.m. in Snowmass Town Park. The weekend features three days of festive balloons, pilot games, food vendors, kid's activities and more.


40th Anniversary of the Breckenridge Film Festival, Sept. 17-20, 2020:From the festival that brought the world Shawshank Redemption, L.A. Confidential, and Kung Fu Panda, the Breckenridge Film Festival offers four screening locations across town, numerous parties, kids programs, fall colors, local vendors and outdoor adventure.


The Pikes Peak APEX, Sept. 24-27, 2020:The Pikes Peak APEX is a brand-new, multi-day mountain bike challenge that will include four days of riding at in-town parks and backcountry stages on the slopes of Pikes Peak with a $50,000 prize purse to be split between the top men and women finishers.


Mexican Modernism Exhibition Opens at the Denver Art Museum, Oct. 25, 2020 - Jan. 17, 2021:The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will debut Mexican Modernism, a traveling exhibition focused on the post-Mexican Revolution artworks of internationally celebrated artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and their contemporaries, including Lola Alvarez Bravo, Gunther Gerzso, María Izquierdo and Carlos Mérida. A selection of more than 150 artworks will be on display.


Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures:


Denver to Open New Beer Spa:Slated to open in May 2020, Denver's first Beer Spa will offer a series of beer infused spa treatments and experiences including a beer soaking tub, a hop and barley infused sauna and a zero-gravity massage chair. After a beer relaxation session, guests can top off their stay with a pint at the taproom.


Colorado Shoe School Opens in Fort Collins:The maker scene in Fort Collins continues to thrive with the latest addition, the Colorado Shoe School. Here, guests design and create their own custom shoes using repurposed leather destined for the landfill and recycled sole options ranging from bike tires to rubber flooring. Attendees are invited to build something completely unique and custom during a one-day (sneaker), two-day (evening slipper) or five-day (shoe or boot) workshop.


Country Boy Mine Offers New Gold Rush Experience:Country Boy Mine earned national fame in the 1800's for producing large quantities of high grade zinc for use in both World Wars. Today, guests travel back in time and venture into a mountain to meet some of the characters of Breckenridge's mining roots including the Doctor, the Banker, the Outlaw and the Marshall in a new interactive stage show.


New Dark Sky Tour of Colorado To Launch:Colorado Stargazing: Experience the Night is a new dark skies tour of Colorado that launches this spring and connects several of the state's locations known for their dark skies and stargazing opportunities. It will also highlight dark sky events and encourage the conservation and preservation of all of Colorado's natural and cultural resources. Participating locations include Lake City, Creede, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Crestone, La Veta, Cuchara and Westcliffe/Silver Cliff.


Denver Art Museum to Unveil Martin Building Renovation in June: The Denver Art Museum will begin the phased reopening of the $150M Martin Building renovation project on June 6, 2020. It will include a new welcome center, restaurant, café, learning and engagement center and architecture, design studio and design galleries, along with the reopening of its Northwest Coast gallery and Bonfils-Stanton Gallery.


Denver Selfie Museum Now Open: This new museum in Denver gives visitors the opportunity to take their selfie game to a whole new level.The first and only Instagram pop-up museum in Denver, this highly-interactive museum provides the backdrop for guests to bring their phones and experience a selfie adventure like never before.


Flying W Ranch to Reopen in Colorado Springs:After a complete loss during the Waldo Canyon Fire, this western Chuckwagon supper and dinner theater returns to the Pikes Peak region Memorial Day Weekend 2020. The brand-new venue will feature the area's best BBQ and performances by the acclaimed Flying W Wranglers.


Four Corners Guides Launches New Bikerafting Tour: Four Corners Guides (FCG) based in Mancos will officially begin running bikerafting tours in Colorado in spring 2020, and are one of the only known guides offering guided bikerafting trips. Bikerafting is an activity that combines bikepacking and packrafting. FCG will also offer bikepacking trips into the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park this summer.


Good Times Adventures Offers New Summer Dog SleddingExperience:Leading Colorado dog sled outfitter, Good Times Adventures, will offer summer dog sledding beginning in 2020 using innovative harnesses and “sleds” for their eager canines to pull even when there isn't any snow on the ground. The dogs require year-round exercise, and this is a great way for the dogs, and visitors, to experience the beauty of Colorado in the summer.


Grand Lake Named a Designated Community For the Continental Divide Trail:Grand Lake was named a designated community for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). Only three towns along the trail have this designation. The CDT passes directly through downtown Grand Lake and travels through 30 miles of Rocky Mountain National Park.


The Living Farm to Offer New Lamb Midwife Workshop:Guests can take an active role in bringing new lambs into the world at The Living Farm in Paonia during a new workshop for spring 2020. Guests will learn all of the realities of birthing lambs during this six-day immersive experience into the world of lambing. Guests will also stay and enjoy farm fresh meals on the farm and while they work in shifts helping the sheep to give birth.


Local Table Tours Offers New Boulder Brews & Mead Tour:Local Table Tours, Colorado's longest-running food tour operator, offers a new Boulder brewery and meadery tour for 2020. These expertly-guided tours will take guests to explore the local beverage scene by tasting Colorado-made beer, mead and craft cocktails at a variety of Boulder establishments. The two-hour tour will include light bites to pair with each beverage and a meet-and-greet with the brewer or beverage manager at each location.


Ouray to Open New Via Ferrata Course:Slated to open in summer 2020, the new Ouray Via Ferrataroute will offer a wide variety of vertical and horizontal sections with interesting and varied movement that is designed, implemented and installed by local climbing professionals and engineers. It offers a fantastic opportunity to experience the beauty and majesty of the world famous Uncompahgre Gorge in the summertime.


New Pikes Peak Summit House Experience To Open: Pikes Peak is one of the nation's most iconic mountains and inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen the words to "America the Beautiful." The new 38,000-square-foot Pikes Peak Summit House complex will include a newly designed and constructed Summit Visitor Center, elevating the experience for visitors who summit the peak via car, bicycle or foot.


New Poudre River Whitewater Park Opens in Fort Collins:The new Poudre River Whitewater Park opened in fall 2019 on the river just north of Old Town and includes a boulder-lined boat chute, rock features, holes for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and tubing and shallow play along the shore. It welcomes kayakers, tubers a