Boulder is home to many top events and festivals spanning a wide range of interests that reflect the city itself. There are several food and drink events highlighting the renowned culinary scene and art and culture festivals celebrating the thriving art community.
Keep in mind that event details can change, so it’s always best to check the website for the most up-to-date information. You’ll often find any rules or restrictions, parking information, and any other important things to know.
Here’s a look at the best events and festivals in Boulder, listed in occurrence from January through December:
Winter Craft Beer Festival
The Winter Craft Beer Festival in Boulder is a yearly event with unlimited samples of beer. Breweries in attendance change every year and include both local favorites and national breweries. Some previous breweries have been in attendance include Uhl’s Brewing Co., Loveland Aleworks, Upslope Brewing Company, and Beyond the Mountain Brewing Co.
Besides the beer tastings, ticket prices also include a souvenir pint glass. There is live music, food, and a silent disco as well. VIP tickets allow for entrance to the festival one hour earlier. There are also designated driver tickets available.
February | wintercraftbeerfestival.com
Boulder International Film Festival
The Boulder International Film Festival, also known as BIFF, is a multi-day celebration of all things cinema. The four-day event brings filmmakers and films from around the world.
Some well-known guests that were previously hosted include Shirley MacLaine, Oliver Stone, and Martin Sheen. More than 25,000 people come to the festival each year, including people from the industry, media, and film enthusiasts.
March | biff1.com
Boulder Arts Week
Boulder Arts Week is a weeklong celebration of the city’s robust art scene and a way to support the artistic community. Boulder is home to more than 140 art organizations and thousands of artists.
There are various events throughout the week, including art walks, workshops, exhibitions, performances, lectures, and readings. As the event gets closer, there is a calendar on the website listing the time and location for these activities.
April | boulderartsweek.org
First Sip Boulder
First Sip Boulder is a four-day event highlighting the county’s beverage scene. During this time, various businesses will offer drink specials and tastings, and there will also be special events and classes.
Some previous events include a European Bier tasting at Bohemian Biergarten, a guided tour of Spain’s beverage history, a cocktail class, and a course on whiskey. Participating businesses can vary by the year, but some of the recent participants include Dedalus, R Gallery + Wine Bar, Verde, Rayback Collective, and Leaf. Some businesses also offer food specials as well during this time.
April / May | firstsipboulder.com
Boulder Creek Festival
The Boulder Creek Festival is an entire weekend of fun with many different activities going on. There are free concerts, food vendors, and alcoholic drinks for purchase. Shop handcrafted items from local artists, such as clothing, jewelry, home goods, and pet products.
There is also a beer festival alongside the creek for an extra cost with unlimited tastings of local breweries. The website provides a full schedule of concerts and events and festival rules.
May | bouldercreekfest.com
Boulder Bach Festival
Boulder Bach Festival is an annual festival and concert series that highlights 500 years of music composition. The mission of these events is to celebrate Johann Sebastian Bach’s music with performances and other educational opportunities.
A variety of informative events and concerts are presented from fall to spring every year. Information of musicians, performances, and how to purchase a ticket can be found on the website.
May through October | boulderbachfestival.org
Boulder Comedy Festival
The Boulder Comedy Festival celebrates comedy and brings nationally touring comics to the city. Some of these comedians have been featured on Netflix, Amazon, and Comedy Central. The event strives to highlight diversity and women in comedy. Past festivals have also included a free stand-up comedy workshop and class.
A full schedule of performances and tickets can be found on the website. Featured comedians perform at different venues in Boulder County. Past places have included Front Range Brewing Company, Dairy Arts Center Boulder, Finkel and Garf, The Louisville Underground at Tilt, and The Tiki Hut.
June | bouldercomedyfestival.com
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
Ironman 70.3 Boulder, formally known as Ironman Boulder, is a long-distance triathlon race completed by the following order: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.22-mile marathon run. The race has been taking place in the city since 2002.
Endurance athletes travel to Boulder to swim, bike, and run in the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Race course maps are available online. The website offers details on time restrictions and additional race requirements.
June | ironman.com/im703-boulder
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has been performing the works of Shakespeare since 1958. This is a professional theatre company in association with the University of Colorado Boulder.
The plays take place at the indoor University Theatre and outside at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. There are also educational programs, including summer camps.
June through August | cupresents.org
Colorado Music Festival
The Colorado Music Festival is a six-week summer concert series in Boulder. The musicians performing during the concerts represent more than 40 orchestras, including San Antonio Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Dallas Opera Orchestra, and The Florida Orchestra.
The concerts take place at Chautauqua Auditorium. In addition to the performances, attendees can also enjoy pre-concert lectures, a chance to attend rehearsals, and pop-up concerts at Boulder’s Chautauqua Park trailhead.
June through August | coloradomusicfestival.org
Jul-IPA is an annual celebration of one of the most popular beer styles in the US – the India Pale Ale. The party takes place at The West End Tavern and includes IPA tastings from local breweries.
Some previous breweries in attendance have included Ratio Beerworks, Ska Brewing, The Post Brewing Co., and Wibby Brewing. In addition to the beer, there is food available and a live auction. Years past have had the proceeds benefit Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence.
July | thewestendtavern.com
Hanuman Festival in Boulder is a retreat-style event celebrating the practice of yoga. World-class yoga instructors lead a variety of classes throughout the four-day festival.
In addition to practicing yoga as a community, there is also live music during the festival as well. It all takes place at Yellow Barn Farm in Boulder County. Attendees with a three-day pass enjoy farm-to-table dinners and Sunday brunch. There are also food trucks on-site during lunch, too.
July | hanumanfestival.com
Boulder Taco Fest
Boulder Taco Fest is a one-day event featuring many taco vendors from Boulder County, craft beer, and tequila. A handful of local places that have previously served tacos and food include Lola’s Kitchen, VERDE, Mojo Taqueria, Ozo Plant-Based Protein, McDevitt Taco Supply, and Cyclops Bike Cantina.
There are also kid-friendly activities, live music, and live wrestling matches. While the event is free, all food and drinks require the purchase of a wristband.
August | bouldertacofest.com
Boulder Fall Festival
Boulder Fall Festival is a three-day celebration at Pearl Street Mall. The event runs from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. There are craft vendors, a beer garden, live music, and kid-friendly activities.
Admission to the festival is free. The market features handmade items from more than 100 makers, including ceramics, home goods, jewelry, skincare, visual art, food and beverages, accessories, and apparel.
September | boulderdowntown.com/fall-fest
Street Wise Boulder
Street Wise Boulder is an art mural festival that has brought more than 85 murals to the city since the start in 2019. The festival is made possible by Street Wise Arts, which is a nonprofit organization established in 2015.
Events include various live mural paintings, panels, workshops, and happy hours. To explore the work by these amazing artists, there is also an opportunity to book a walking tour or even an e-bike mural tour. The website has details for those looking to volunteer for this event.
September / October | streetwiseboulder.com
First Bite Boulder
First Bite Boulder is an annual week event celebrating and supporting the culinary scene in Boulder County. Restaurants in the city of Boulder and Boulder County will offer special menus for diners.
First Bite has been producing Boulder County dining events since 2005. Some restaurants that have previously participated include Sforno Trattoria, Basta, OAK at Fourteenth, Japango, Busey Brews Smokehouse & Brewery, and Avanti F&B.
September / October | firstbiteboulder.com
University of Colorado Boulder Family Weekend
Family Weekend at the University of Colorado is an annual fall tradition at the college. Families come to visit the campus and can enjoy a fun-filled weekend starting on Thursday and ending Sunday.
Events throughout the weekend include various tours and open houses, shows at Fiske Planetarium, meet and greet sessions, tailgating, and a football game. Some events are free, but some activities are an additional cost. There are also informative sessions to help students get adjusted to college life, including how to prepare for academic success and what to know before signing a lease.
October | colorado.edu/orientation/familyweekend
Boulderthon is an annual event offering five different race options: a full marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and race for kids. The organizers of the event strive to create a community-driven and inspiring marathon series.
After the run is complete, participants can celebrate at a post-race afterparty in downtown Boulder. The website provides a course map and details on what to expect during the race, what to bring, where to park, and other helpful information.
October | boulderthon.org
Boulder Burgundy Wine Festival
The Boulder Burgundy Wine Festival highlights the fine wines of the Burgundy region of France. Events to celebrate this style of wine include tastings, meals, and educational seminars. The grand tasting features 200 wines from the region.
Proceeds from the festival benefit the Somm Foundation, which provides scholarships and enrichment opportunities to aspiring sommeliers. It also benefits There With Care, Impact on Education, and Sophie’s Neighborhood.
November | boulderburgundyfestival.com
Light Up the Holidays
Light Up the Holidays is an annual holiday celebration through the season kicking off in November. In addition to colorful light displays throughout downtown, you’ll find various promotions, activities, and special events. A full calendar of events is released in early November.
One of the most beloved events during this time is the Lights of December Parade. There are marching bands, holiday carolers, fire engines, an appearance by Santa Claus, and floats created by local businesses, civic groups, and churches.
November to December | boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays
The list shows that there is truly an event for everyone to enjoy in Boulder. A great place to keep tabs on any new festivals in Boulder is to visit the city’s official website or the website of the Downtown Boulder Partnership.
Read about the best hotels in Boulder to reserve a great spot to stay during one of these festivals.