The changing of the seasons is always bittersweet. Warm summer days fade into brisk mornings and light flurries. With the loss of the heat comes the arrival of golden aspens, autumn ales, pumpkin-spiced lattes, and a couple more months of sweater-weather adventures. Summit County is a cultural hub in the Rockies and the mountain towns make sure to welcome fall with festivals galore. Don’t miss local food, music, drinks, adventures, and more this September and October in the High Country.

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1. Keystone’s Oktoberfest

The 5th annual Oktoberfest at Keystone on September 2, 2017 packs a whole lot of fun into one day. River Run Village will be bustling with live music by the Summer Concert Band and Those Austrian Guys and dancing from the Edelweiss Schuhplattlers Polka dancers. Snag great deals at the huge Tent Sale while perusing the New Belgium Brewery seasonal beer sampling with a commemorative stein. Earn your German fare and run the Das Bier Burner 5k, benefitting SOS Outreach, and receive a pint of craft bier as you cross the finish line. There will be face painting, a bounce house and other activities for the kids throughout the day. Click here for more info!


2. Gathering at the Great Divide

Breckenridge Gathering at the Great Divide - Photo Credit Mountain Art Festivals - OutThere Colorado
Breckenridge Gathering at the Great Divide. Photo Credit: Mountain Art Festivals.

Ranked in the top 100 fine art shows in the US, the Gathering at the Great Divide in Breckenridge is a must-see art show this fall season, September 2-4, 2017. More than 100 artists will show off and sell their photography, wood, jewelry, pottery, painting, sculpture and glass creations, so you can take a piece of the mountains home with you. Click here for more info!


3. Breckenridge Oktoberfest

The 23rd annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest from September 8-10, 2017 will give even the German celebrations a run for their money. The Main Street Party is the largest Oktoberfest street party in all the Rocky Mountains, with more than three-dozen genuine German brew and food vendors. Each day sport your lederhosen while playing Hammerschlagan and other German-themed games and dancing along with Bavarian lederhosen, Oomph, and Polka music. Special events within the Oktoberfest include, Breckenridge Brewery’s Brunch, a 5k Trail Run, and a Brewmaster Dinner featuring a carefully paired multi-course meal and Paulaner biers. Click here for more info!


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4. Fall Fest

When it comes to mountain towns, Frisco’s Main Street is about as charming as they come. Enjoy a weekend (September 9-10, 2017) of local food and music downtown at the base of Mount Royal. Purchase Fall Fest bucks to buy food and beverages for $2—$6 at the Flavors of Frisco tent, where 18 different restaurants will be serving their specialty dishes. Sip on some German brews in the beer garden, where Bavarian classic, Hofbräu, will be featured. Fort Collins’ famous “microbrew of margaritas,” Coyote Gold, will also serve up delicious margaritas. Don’t forget to check out the regional Meet the Artist art show and live music with Taarka and Kristin Diable. Kids can enjoy face painting, make-and-take art, and other fun activities. Click here for more info!


5. Clam Bake

Arapahoe Basin says goodbye to summer with one last bash at the 6th Alley Bar and Grille. The traditional fall clam bake on September 10, 2017 is a picnic-style party where guests can enjoy a casual afternoon of clams, lobster, New England Clam Chowder and other yummy sides. Kick back and enjoy a last taste of summer while listening to live music at the base area. Click here for more info!


6. Breckenridge Wine Classic

More than 100 food artisans share their domestic and international wine, beer and spirits, along with delicious food and locally-produced products from September 14-17, 2017. Sign up for an array of food- and wine-influenced events, adventures, seminars, tastings and cooking demos. Pair your drinks with awesome mountain activities like the Beerunch Hike, Pinot Passport Hike, and Hair of the Dog Fat Bike Ride. Click here for more info!


7. Pumpkinfest

Come to Rainbow Park in Silverthorne on October 8, 2017 for an afternoon of fall fun. There will be a petting zoo, carriage rides, barrel train rides, cookie decorating, bounce houses, games, and more. Mountain Lyon Café will have a food truck so you can munch on some delicious local fare. Help your kids sketch out a jack-o-lantern face so you can carve up your free pumpkin from the patch when you get home. Click here for more info!


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8. Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival

Take the long weekend from October 20-22, 2017 to indulge in some history, outdoor escapades, and of course, premium craft spirits. Learn about Breck’s rich past during the Preston Ghost Town Gold Mine, Historic Saloon, Breck Historic Walking, or Tombstone Tour. Wet your whistle during the Scavenger Hunt, Bar Mix-Off, the Bloody Sunday Hangover Brunch and other fun events. Guests can learn a thing or two at the Colorado Mountain College cooking class or the Art of Tasting Spirits Workshop. The main event, Still on the Hill Grand Tasting at the Riverwalk Center, will feature live music and more than 38 fine distillers. Need a breather? The Festival organizes a snowshoe hike to French Gulch to cleanse the system before enjoying the rest of the weekend’s activities. Click here for more info!


9. WitchCraft

WitchCraft is Copper Mountain’s newest festival, occurring from September 8-10, 2017 and September 16-17, 2017. For the first time ever, head up to one of Summit’s favorite ski hills for an inaugural two-weekend celebration of fall. The fest will feature a craft brew garden, hayrides, pumpkin painting, stein hoisting, corn hole, live music, and a haunted house. Enter kids and pets into the costume contest, and if you’re feeling ambitious, sign yourself up for the pumpkin pie eating contest. Warm up with some hot food on September 9—10, as Copper’s restaurants cook up their best chili. Then, September 16—17, sample Cajun dishes from the Cajun Cook-Off. Treat yourself to the ultimate autumn weekend and snag a ticket to the Barrel Beer Pairing Dinner on September 15. Click here for more info!


*All events except for the Pumpkin Fest and the Gathering at the Great Divide require tickets or reservations.

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