The Rocky Mountain region is home to a booming craft spirits industry. Distillers and consumers of fine spirits are invited to celebrate this craft at a tasting festival in Estes Park, Colorado. Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass, complimentary pours from a variety of distillers, bar games, and live music. So raise a glass to raised standards, and make your plans for the last Saturday in October.
Why not make a weekend out of it? Check out the other activities and amenities being offered around town:
PAIRING DINNER: Latitude 105 will be offering a pairing dinner the weekend of the event. Join Executive Chef Jacob Tew on Friday, October 26 as he presents an outstanding culinary experience featuring pairings with regional craft spirits by Breckenridge Distillery and Elkins Distillery. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the pairing dinner website. Please note that the dinner and the tasting festival each require a separate ticket.
DISTILLERY TOUR: Elkins Whisky is the tasting festival’s presenting sponsor, and these folks are pleased to offer a behind the scenes tour of their distillery the day of the tasting festival. Arrive at 1pm and take a peek at the processes used to bring you the first and only spirits made (legally) in Estes Park. Talk to the distillers, try out a sample in the tasting room, and then catch a free trolley over to the festival. The trolley will bring you back to Elkins at the conclusion of the event for a chance to say hi once again to some of your new friends in the craft spirits industry. Tickets to the tour are offered here, and are only offered with the purchase of a festival ticket.
TRANSPORTATION: The Town of Estes Park will be providing a FREE shuttle the day of the event. This service will make stops at a variety of locations around town, including Streamside on Fall River. Book yourself a room, don’t worry about driving, and head for the festival.
The haunting call of the bull elk fills the Estes Valley during the early days of fall. The call begins with deep, resonant tones that rise rapidly to a high-pitched squeal before dropping to a series of grunts.
What is this strange sound and what does it mean?
To celebrate the annual elk rut and learn about the “wapiti,” the Native American name for elk, Estes Park hosts the annual Elk Fest in Bond Park.
The free festival features bugling contests, elk exhibits, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, elk-inspired arts and crafts, Native American music, dancing and storytelling, a childrens’ area with elk-themed activities, and a craft beer garden. For safe & respectful elk viewing tips, please visit our Wildlife Watching page.
Vendors will display artwork, handmade elk-ivory jewelry, and will offer distinctive elk cuisine. Mountain men from around the country will gather at the Mountain Man Rendezvous to sell their wares and demonstrate their skills.
Enjoy the Educational Seminar Tent to learn more about Elk and wildlife in Estes Park from a variety of professionals including Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Mile High Note Game Calls. Representatives from the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program will display on a gloved hand some of their magnificent rescued birds. It’s amazing to see these majestic birds close up! Colorado Parks and Wildlife are on-site offering an Elk Camp where you can explore a variety of educational booths, and their staff will be helping in the field as attendees take the self-guided elk tour!
Live country, rock and bluegrass music will light up the park Saturday and Sunday with popular Colorado bands performing on stage.
Aspens turn to a golden hue. The sounds of elk bugles reverberate throughout the air. It’s a perfect season for one of Estes Park’s late-autumn traditions when a series of bands herald Autumn Gold – a Festival of Bands, Brats & Beer, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23, 2018.
Entrance is free to dance, listen to music and enjoy the festival. The Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary will be offering mustard-smothered bratwursts, cold brews, soft drinks and more as talented local musicians and award-winning Colorado band play. Browse the vendor booths who will be offering corn on the cob, funnel cakes, fresh squeezed lemonade, roasted almonds and desserts.
Bring the kids! Free family activities include face painting, corn bag toss, a bounce house and a classic car show.
11am-1pm: Brad Fitch and the TropiCowboys
1:30-4pm: Wendy Woo and the Woo Crew
4:30-6:30pm: Rock Country Revival Band
11:30-2pm: Last Men on Earth
2:30-5pm: The Long Run
For more than three decades, Estes Park has been the backdrop for one of the nation’s largest celebrations of the heritage, the sounds, the tastes, and the arts of the Scottish and Irish cultures.
Held annually the weekend after Labor Day, Estes Park’s Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival is the largest gathering of its kind between the Mississippi River and California, and traditionally hosts bands – from the marching kind to the rocking kind and everything in-between – hailing from Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and, of course, the United States.
With jousting knights, dancing girls, hoisting athletes and calling bagpipes, groups and families of all ages will catch the Celtic spirit at this festival – surrounded by the scenic peaks of Estes Park!
One of the weekend highlights is the free hour-long parade on Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park’s main street. Bagpipes, drummers, dancers, clans in tartan, Dogs of the British Isles, brass military bands and precision drill teams give a preview of what can be seen on the festival grounds.
Music & Entertainment
Scottish Irish Shopping Markets: Browse a variety of Scottish and Irish vendors in the shopping tents to find highland inspired jewelry, clothing, kilts, accessories, home décor, and more.
Scottish Athletics: Strong Man Competition. On the Festival field, there will be hammer throws, putting the stone, and caber throwing contests. Come join us and see a mere man toss a 19’7″, 140 lb. caber end over end!
US/International Jousting Championships: Games, Light Armor & Heavy Armor
Dogs Of the British Isles: Dog Agility & Herding, Terrier Races & Dog Exhibit Booths
During the festival, many Estes Park business feature live Celtic music and whiskey tastings throughout the village!
June 2-3, 2018
For two days the mountains are alive with the sounds of great jazz. The Estes Park Jazz Fest has become one of Colorado’s premier Jazz Festivals, noted for its commitment to excellence in Jazz. Presenting the finest national and regional Jazz artists, the festival features stellar line-ups of performers, representing the music from New Orleans roots to its thriving and diverse present, and venturing into the music’s vibrant future. Taking place at Performance Park, you’ll enjoy sounds of jazz with views of the Fall River and enchanting rock walls surrounding the amphitheater. At the 28th annual Estes Park Jazz Fest, enjoy music from seven Jazz bands & musicians over two days. Sip on the fine wine of local Colorado wine selections in the wine garden. Enjoy tastings from Estes Park’s Snowy Peaks Winery along with Turquoise Mesa Winery.
Tickets: $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass, 12 & Under are free. Tickets will be sold at the door, no pre-sale.
Saturday, June 2
12-12:50pm – Estes Park Big Band Swing
Classic big band swing
1:10-2:10pm – Max Wagner Quartet
Modern mainstream Jazz sax & vocals
2:30-3:30pm – Gabriel Mervine Quartet
Top flight innovative jazz trumpet
3:50-5:00pm – Chipman – Hancock Collective
Straight ahead Jazz, fusion and Neo Soul
Sunday, June 3
12-1:10pm – Quirktett
Four dynamic jazz vocalists with a great rhythm section
1:40-3:10pm – Jeremy Pelt Quintet
World class, Cutting edge New York jazz trumpeter and his New York quintet
3:40-5:00pm – Lionel Young Band
Award-winning deep blues, eclectic violin
Sample sweets from the region’s finest chocolatiers, taste pours from a variety of wineries, and enjoy a romantic weekend in beautiful Estes Park!
When you arrive you’ll receive a wine glass to taste free pours from the wine vendors, and tickets to exchange for chocolate samples! You’ll also have the chance to purchase bottles of wine, chocolates and other romantic gifts to take home with you! You’ll enjoy jazz music from Max Wagner as you browse and taste.
Give Streamside on Fall River a call for discounted tickets!