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2018 Elk Fest

September 29-30, 2018

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. 

Autumn Gold Festival

September 22 & 23, 2018

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. 

Autumn Gold Music Lineup

Saturday

11am-1pm: Brad Fitch and the TropiCowboys

1:30-4pm: Wendy Woo and the Woo Crew

4:30-6:30pm: Rock Country Revival Band

Sunday

11:30-2pm: Last Men on Earth

2:30-5pm: The Long Run

Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival

SEPTEMBER 6-9, 2018

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.

Festival Activities:

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 d├ęcor, 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!