Oktoberfest in Denver (credit: CBS)
You made it. The weather is finally starting to cool off, and fall is just around the corner. It was a hot summer, but fall is sure to bring out the very best in local festivals all over the state of Colorado. Of course, Coloradans love their festivals, and fall is no exception. There are a lot of great events happening all over the region; some are perfect for families, while others are better for the adults only. Check out these upcoming fall festivals and keep the celebrations going long into the new season.
Denver Food + Wine Festival
Downtown Denver, CO 80202
September 6 through 11, 2016
Price: Tickets vary depending on activity
What could be better for a fall festival than a whole week filled with amazing food, wine, tastings and so much more? The Colorado Restaurant Association and Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado have teamed up for another year of this fantastic event. Over the six day-long festival, you’ll find a Riedel glass seminar, evening tasting parties, wine pairing dinners and The Grand Tasting, which is the primary event. Have a romantic dinner under the stars or attend Shake Down, a cocktail event. Really, there is so much to do that you’ll need to plan ahead of time to pick out your favorite activities over the six days as they’re all spread out over several Downtown Denver locations.
Festival Italiano Food and Wine Festival
464 S. Teller St.
Lakewood, CO 80226
September 10 & 11, 2016
Price: Free to attend
Celebrate all things Italian at the annual Festival Italiano Food and Wine Festival at Belmar Center. You’ll find more than 70 of the best Italian food, wine and artisan food vendors from all over the region in attendance as you check out everything from pasta to baked good, sausage, gelato, pizza and herbs, as well as ceramics, flowers, sculpture, antique maps and so much more. With chef demonstrations, wine tastings, live Italian music and dancing, Italian movies and even a grape stomp for the children, it’s a fun-filled event celebrating Italian culture and all the wonderful foods and art that come with it. Grab the whole family for this two day event in Belmar.
Downtown Boulder’s Fall Fest 2016
Pearl Street Mall
Boulder, CO 80302
September 16 through 18, 2016
Price: Free to attend
Fall is always a great time to visit the beautiful Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. As the weather cools off, the leaves start to turn, and you can wander from store to store, enjoying all the street performers and other great local talent along the way. Visit during the weekend of September 16 through 18, however, and you’ll get a lot more entertainment. The annual Fall Fest in Boulder will offer great live music and dancing, plus a beer garden for the adults to enjoy. You’ll also find tons of booths set up with local food and craft vendors, and there will be a carnival set up for the kiddos. It all takes place along the beautiful pedestrian Pearl Street Mall, so bring the kids and put on some good walking shoes, then check out this fun annual event in Boulder.
Downtown Denver, CO 80202
September 22 through 25 and September 30 through October 2, 2016
Price: Tickets vary depending on event
The Colorado Oktoberfest is one of the longest-running and largest celebrations of it’s kind outside of Germany. Since 1969, this festival has been a celebration of German culture featuring so many fantastic activities spread over several locations throughout Downtown Denver. Enjoy live music throughout the festival, plus fun bier-based activities. The annual long dog derby is back as the always-popular Stein Hoisting competition. Enjoy amazing beer, plenty of delicious German sausages and all the other treats of the season at this hugely popular annual event.
Related: Top Fall Craft Beers In Denver
Great American Beer Festival
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202
October 6 through 8, 2016
Beer lovers from around the globe travel to Colorado for this massive annual festival. More than 60,000 attendees will be at the event, which covers an impressive 188,000 square feet of the Colorado Convention Center. You’ll get to sample one-ounce pours from 750 of the country’s best breweries, all trying to compete for many different best of show titles. If you like to talk about beer, you’ll love visiting all the booths as the brewers themselves staff each booth. Learn what goes into each batch and what makes something particularly special. Since 1982, this festival has become the premier beer festival and competition in the country.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.