Aug 27, 2022 - Food and Drink

17 Colorado art events you don't want to miss this fall

Telluride during the film festival in 2021. Photo: Paul Best/Getty Images

Telluride during the film festival in 2021. Photo: Paul Best/Getty Images

Grab your calendar; you're going to need it.

What's happening: Colorado's arts and festival scene comes alive in the fall, with once-a-year events you won’t want to miss.

  • Bonus: Most of them are free.


Yampa Valley Crane Festival, Sept. 1-4: Presented by the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, this event spans Steamboat Springs to Hayden and Craig, all in celebration of the Sandhill Cranes that visit the area. In addition to guided bird walks, you can watch a series of nature films.

Telluride Film Festival, Sept. 2-5: Discover a new movie and celebrate the best at this lauded event that draws luminaries and cinephiles from around the globe. The program includes more than three dozen films and appearances by the actors and behind-the-scenes creatives.

Taste of Colorado, Sept. 3-5: This annual Labor Day Weekend festival in downtown Denver marks the start of fall. More than 50 vendors and plenty of arts and crafts with family-friendly activities will be onsite.

Great Divide Art Festival, Sept. 3-5: The 47th annual festival in Breckenridge draws artists from across the country in 13 mediums, from jewelry to photography to painting to sculpture and more.

Boulder Fall Fest, Sept. 16-18: Artisans and other creators will take over the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder for this family-friendly annual event. The Firefly Handmade Market is the big reason to go, but there will also be live music from local bands and a beer garden.

Fruita Fall Festival, Sept. 23-24: Travel to the Western Slope for this small-town festival that features everything from an art walk and music to an outhouse race and brew fest.

Mountain Harvest Festival, Sept. 23-25: Paonia's streets come alive at harvest time. In addition to markets and farm tours, you'll find local artists and music.

ARTumn Festival, Sept. 24-25: Crested Butte's fall colors provide the backdrop for this celebration of the fall solstice. Find glass blowers, pottery and more in the downtown streets.

Elk Fest, Oct. 1-2: Estes Park's best festival celebrates the resident elk population with music, food and arts vendors. And don't miss the bugling contest.


🎨 Dali Alive, an immersive experience on the work of Salvador Dali, debuts Oct. 21 at the Lume inside Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. Hosted in collaboration with the Dali Museum in Florida, the artist's surreal visions come to life in all directions and senses. Tickets start at $39.

📷 The Denver Art Museum has a handful of featured exhibitions through the fall, including Georgia O'Keeffe's photography (through Nov. 6).

  • The new exhibitions include a look at 300 years of Flemish master painters and a collection of Japanese women artists.

👀 The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver debuts "The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse" on all three floors starting Sept. 16. The curators say the exhibition looks at the legacies and traditions of the African American South through a modern Black musical interpretation.

📍 K Contemporary, a downtown Denver art gallery, is presenting "Post Vintage," a solo show of Viktor Frešo's works, through Oct. 15. The European conceptual artist takes complicated topics and presents them as straightforward works.

  • Also on display: Denver native Melissa Furness's exhibition "In-Habit," featuring oil paintings that explore struggle.


Tattered Cover's Pen and Podium series begins Sept. 19, and features some big names. Lectures will feature authors Barbara Kingsolver, Dave Eggers and others.

Rocky Mountain Literary Festival, Oct. 15: Join five authors in discussions about their books and literary adventures at this event in Evergreen. Local authors include Ausma Zehanat Khan and Melissa Payne.

Performing Arts

📰 On the stage, the hilarious "Newsical: The Musical" performs in September at the Garner Galleria Theatre, and Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" returns for a week starting Sept. 30 at the Kilstrom Theatre.

🎵 The music for the best stage hits is the focus of a tribute performance from the Colorado Symphony on Sept. 24, including the work of Stephen Sondheim. Other concerts this fall include Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" and Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."


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