17 Popular Festivals In Telluride, Colorado

festivals in telluride
| 8 min read

Praised for its unparalleled beauty, Telluride is unlike other ski resorts found elsewhere in the country. A former Victorian mining town, today Telluride is featured as the most recommended places to visit, but what really makes it more alluring is its many festivals that are held in regard to the Fourth of July celebrations. Back in the old days, miners would take a break and come to celebrate these festivals and meet friends and family. And there’s no better place than Telluride to celebrate music, beer and food festivals. It’s a place to discover the vibrant Victorian-era houses, gourmet restaurants, numerous art galleries and of course local talents. There are ski-in ski-out accommodations and hotels in Telluride as well. If you’re ready for the festivity mood then check out some of the popular festivals in Telluride, Colorado.

1. The Ride Festival

Amazing shot of Widespread Panic, the San Juans and the moon! Photo by: Cohnography

Posted by The Ride Festival on Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Right in the midst of the dramatic mountainous landscapes of Telluride, there’s something magical that takes place annually. A unique and family-friendly get-together that brings music aficionados, nature lovers, and party lovers in one place to celebrate the RIDE Festival featuring rock ‘n’ rock music. This is a fantastic time where you can combine nature adventures such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, and music concert to spend a memorable time with your family and friends. Debuted in 2012, the RIDE Festival has attracted many crowds with over 8000 people to experience entertaining evenings packed with outstanding music performances in historic settings. To avoid disappointment, book your tickets and accommodation in advance. There’s plenty of options ranging from traditional mountain lodge to camping tents, condos or townhome. And it goes without saying how unpredictable the weather in Telluride can be, so do bring your sunscreen, tarps, and snacks.

The Ride Festival

Address: 500 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435, United States

Website: The Ride Festival

Takes place: July

2. Telluride Mushroom Festival

The Telluride Mushroom Festival parade
Source: Photo by user Lorie Shaull used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you consider yourself as a mushroom fanatic then the Telluride Mushroom Festival might certainly interest you. Started in the 1970s with a bunch of mushroom enthusiasts, the Telluride Mushroom Festival has ever since attracted many academics including anthropologists, medical doctors, writers and psychonauts across the state where everything about mushroom is talked about. Each year the festival is based on a theme which throws lights on mushroom science where talks and seminars are held. Mushroom enthusiasts will have the chance to learn about mycoremediation, ecology and sustainability, health and wellness. And the best part is to experience delicious mushroom dishes. There is also a pre-parade costume and sign workshop in Elks Park and open mic night.

Telluride Mushroom Festival

Address: 725 W Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435, United States

Website: Telluride Mushroom Festival

Takes place: August

3. Telluride Wine Festival

telluride wine festival 2011
Source: Photo by user Scott Ellis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With breathtaking vistas of the stellar mountains and rolling hills, there’s no better location than Telluride to celebrate the Telluride Wine Festival. This is when many talented chefs, farmers, beverage professionals, and artists come together to show love towards gourmet cuisine and wine. The festival which occurs annually during the summer season offers a good excuse to gather and support local food producers. A culinary festival like no other, the Telluride Wine Festival happens on a-four day basis where participants will get the chance to savor world-class wines, modern cuisine of the region, including cocktails as well. Local entrepreneurs also get to teach locals about sustainable food preparation for adults and children get to learn culinary arts.

Telluride Wine Festival

Address: Telluride, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride Wine Festival

Takes place: June

Price: 225 USD

4. Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Telluride House Band - Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2012 (2012-06-24 20.01.19 by Brian Omura)
Source: Photo by user Brian Omura used under CC BY 2.0

Celebrate Americana roots music during the best time of the year in summer solstice-a wonderful time to get outdoors and bask in the warm sunlight. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival happens each year where talented songwriters, musicians, and singers come to give their best performance in an incredible setting of Telluride. Usually, the festival happens during a weekend in Town Park throughout the day. Interesting workshops took place on the Elks Park stage in the downtown area. The best is the Nightgrass concerts which happen at indoor venues where you’ll get up-close and personal with your favorite artists. Though the festival mainly focuses on traditional English ballads and African-American blues and jazz, recently artists from different genres have come forward to give a taste of their music as well.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Address: Telluride Town Park, United States

Website: Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Takes place: June

Price: 295 USD

5. Telluride Balloon Festival

Colorful and cleverly designed hot-air balloons at the annual Telluride Balloon Festival. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.
Source: Photo by user Rawpixel Ltd used under CC BY 2.0

One of the most anticipated festivals is no doubt the Telluride Balloon Festival, where you’ll get to see the sky dotted with colorful hot air balloons. And the best way to feast your eyes on the spectacular landscape of Telluride is of course by riding the hot air balloon. Those who don’t know how to take the best pictures on a hot air balloon from their smartphones have the chance to learn from renowned photographer Paul D deBerjeios. Normally the hot air balloons are launched from Town Park and sail down the dramatic valley.

Telluride Balloon Festival

Address: Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado

Website: Telluride Balloon Festival

Takes place: June

6. Original Thinkers Festival

One good excuse to head to Telluride in October is to attend the Original Thinkers (OT) festival besides the fact that you’ll also get to see the whole valley light up with the yellow aspens. But what makes the Original Thinkers unique is probably its philosophy behind the festival. As one of its leading figures, David Holbrooke points out the importance of getting together and the act of congregating. The festival is a wonderful opportunity where people from different backgrounds come together to watch provocative films and participate in insightful conversations both on and off stage. The main idea is to create a change by bringing together talented creators, storytellers, and innovators.

Original Thinkers Festival

Address: Telluride Conference Center, Mountain Village, Colorado, United States

Website: Original Thinkers Festival

Takes place: Usually held in October

7. Telluride Jazz Festival

It doesn’t get any better than attending the annual Telluride Jazz Festival in a scenic setting decked out with lush canyons, and flowing waterfalls in the south-western part of Colorado. Get ready for the intimate late-night shows, art walks, and parades from New Orleans, and crafted brews and cocktails. Right in Town Park take this wonderful chance to marvel at the Victorian-style houses, artworks in art galleries and dine at one of the gourmet restaurants. With its prime location, Telluride is also home to many recreational alpine activities. So combine this three-day music festival with some outdoor adventures, and experience a unique holiday.

Telluride Jazz Festival

Address: Telluride Town Park, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride Jazz Festival

Takes place: August

Price: 650 USD onwards

8. Telluride Yoga Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If your health and well-being are your main focus then Telluride Yoga Festival might just be your kind of event to attend in Colorado. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, seek refuge in the middle of a lush canyon where serenity prevails. Meet like-minded people and indulge in flexible body postures that bring the best out of your being. Take your yoga mat and water bottles and set them to this unique festival. Programs include yoga, meditation, music, hiking and interesting social gatherings to share your experience. There are many workouts and talks to get more insight into this ancient practice of well-being.

Telluride Yoga Festival

Address: 721 W Colorado Ave, Mountain Village, CO 81435, United States

Website: Telluride Yoga Festival

Takes place: June

Price: 345 USD onwards

9. Telluride WOW Festival [Last event in 2019]

Another unique festival to attend is the Telluride WOW Festival geared towards building a healthy community who aims to balance the body, mind, and spirit. A gathering like no other, this festival inspires individuals to indulge in health and wellness activities such as adventure racing, boot camp, Crossfit, yoga, just to name a few. Learn about a healthy diet, and the importance of the mind and the spirit as well by experts in the field. The festival occurs on a weekend and involves boutique-size classes, and one-on-one sessions.

Telluride WOW Festival

Address: Telluride, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride WOW Festival

Takes place: June

Price: 339 USD onwards

10. Telluride FIRE Festival

Sculptures burning during the 2018 Festival's Fire On The Mountain. LOVE by Keith D'Angelo, Pinwheel Snowflake by Michael Oaks Wright, Meredith Miller & Chris Turner. Photo by Susan Baker

Posted by Telluride Fire Festival on Thursday, 21 March 2019

Witness spectacular fire art installations, incredible fire dance performances, and dynamic art performances in December at the town of Telluride. This three-day and night festival brings the best of the local artists together to showcase displays inspired by fire. This year visitors will be surprised to find the most anticipated fire art car which is going to resemble a miner’s shack designed by the renowned Jamie Vaida. The vehicle will have its rooftops on fire and the interior is styled in an old miner’s cabin adorned with a wrought iron bed, a vintage parlor wood stove and a 1920’s icebox. The art car will be able to accommodate up to 15 people.

Telluride FIRE Festival

Address: 532 W Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435, United States

Website: Telluride FIRE Festival

Takes place: December

11. Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors

Posted by Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors on Thursday, 14 November 2019

You might get excited about the Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors if you’re an automobile, motorcycle and aircraft aficionados. This four-day annual festival usually occurs in September - an ideal time to marvel at the autumnal colors. The festival will be held at different venues showcasing world-class automobiles including classic Concours. It’s a good time to learn about high-end car restorations and take amazing photographs with vintage cars set against the backdrop of the rugged mountains of Telluride.

Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors

Website: Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors

Takes place: September

Price: 299 USD onwards

12. Telluride Plein Air Festival

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A wonderful way to spend your time while visiting Telluride in summer is to mingle with local artists during the Telluride Plein Air Festival which happens each year. En plein air (meaning in the open air) is a concept whereby artists practice outdoor painting. This art concept became popular in the 1870s and is still practiced today. This fund-raising art festival invites up to 25 nationally renowned Plein air artists in Telluride to participate in a week outdoor art. As a tourist, you’ll get to get a close view of the talented artists at work happening in a two-hour quick drawing competition. The festival culminates in a three-day sales where amazing paintings will be on sale.

Telluride Plein Air Festival

Address: Telluride, Ski Resorts, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride Plein Air Festival

Takes place: June to July

13. Wild West Fest

The Wild West Fest is a youth-friendly festival organized by the Sheridan Arts Foundation which has been able to raise more than 40,000 USD annually to host the festival since 1991. Each year over 30 underserved youths from across the states come to Telluride to participate in a week of child-centered mentorship programs and learn about different cultures. This festival is one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young people to get a hands-on summer camp experience. There are different activities where these young people can indulge in-from thrilling outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking to meaningful cultural programs like drama and dance.

Wild West Fest

Address: Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, Colorado, United States

Website: Wild West Fest

Takes place: July

14. Telluride Horror Show Film Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

During the spooky October month in Telluride, there’s so much that happens around. The Telluride Horror Show Film Festival is one of the best events that you cannot miss. Each year this festival attracts many movie enthusiasts who enjoy the thrill of getting goosebumps. Film fans gather on three different venues notably Nugget Theatre, Palm Theatre and Sheridan Opera House where they’ll enjoy a range of suspense, thrillers and dark comedy movies.

Telluride Horror Show Film Festival

Website: Telluride Horror Show Film Festival

Takes place: October

15. Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
Source: Photo by user Telluride Blues &... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you love beer and blues together with an unparalleled landscape then Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is your next go. This three-day and night world-class music festival takes place in the mountain town of Telluride. From funk, indie, live blues performances to an eclectic range of crafted beers make the highlights of the festival. Each September takes a trip to Telluride to experience live music concerts like never before, while you’ll get a good excuse to explore the rugged side of this amazing place. Other excuses to come here are the numerous outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and mountain biking that take place in Telluride.

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Address: Telluride Town Park, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Takes place: September

16. Telluride Comedy Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Sheridan Opera House on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

For a good laugh attend the Telluride Comedy Festival which occurs each February at Sheridan Opera House. See great performances of top comedians coming from all over the country. There are many shows which showcase a mix of funny characters and hilarious sketches, not to mention the stand-up comedy as well. You might also spot some familiar faces like Ed Helms, Nick Kroll and Jason Mantzoukas who performed last year.

Telluride Comedy Festival

Address: Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride Comedy Festival

Takes place: February

Price: 35 USD

17. Telluride Gay Ski Week

Ranked as the top ski resort in North America among travel magazines, Telluride has been a hotspot for Telluride Gay Ski Week where ski, fun, and excitement happens with some best group of people. Helmed by Rosie Cusack, this ski week event is composed of ski competitions, pool parties, and the signature White Party. There are equally many opportunities to discover the local cuisine and cozy accommodation besides taking part in the adventurous ski activity.

Telluride Gay Ski Week

Address: Telluride, Ski Resorts, Colorado, United States

Website: Telluride Gay Ski Week

Takes place: March

Discover the charming Telluride

Encompassed by forested mountains and staggering cliffs, Telluride features as the most populous town of San Miguel County in the south-western part of the United States. It is equally a place where a myriad of festivals and events take place. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to check out some Vacasa rentals and Airbnb vacation rentals in Telluride for your accommodation needs.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Heyleena is a passionate travel writer who enjoys writing travel articles for people who seek to explore new places in a more conscious way. From travel guides to recommended vacation rentals, get...Read more

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