Great American Beer Festival (credit: Denise Sealover/Denver Business Journal contributor)

The leaves will be starting to turn soon, the weather will be cooling off and the seasons are finally changing. Fall is here soon, and that means the fall festival season is on the horizon. Colorado is full of festivities and entertainment all year-round, and fall is no exception. From music and film to wine and beer, Colorado’s autumn events are always an enjoyable way to spend time with those that you love.

Sunnyside Music Festival
Chaffee Park
44th and Tejon St.
Denver, CO 80211

September 8, 2012
Price: Admission is Free

The Sunnyside Music Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, and it continues to be bigger and better every year. Enjoy lots of great music from local bands covering every genre of music imaginable, including the Lindsey O’Brien Band, The 3 Twins and Mohammed Alidu & The Bizung Family. There will also be the Sunnyside Music Festival’s 4th Annual Battle of the Bands, in which up to eight bands will compete for victory. Of course, you’ll have the chance to sample plenty of food and beer from local vendors. In addition, there will be local artisans on hand showcasing their crafts, jewelry and other handmade items, all within the comfortable setting of Chaffee Park. So head over to the park and enjoy a day with the whole family.

Larimer St. (Between 20th St. & 22nd St.)
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 685-8143

September 21 through 23 and September 28 through 30, 2012
Price: Admission is Free

German heritage once again comes alive in Denver for the city’ 42nd annual Oktoberfest. This event is one of the longest-running festivals in the city and one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the country. Time to put on your lederhosen and grab those beer steins as this time-honored celebration of German culture lights up the streets of Downtown. The schedule of festivities will include an opening ceremony, Rockies fireworks, a 5K run, a bratwurst eating contest, a “Stein Hoisting” competition and a Long Dog Derby and Costume Contest. If that weren’t enough, you’ll also get to enjoy plenty of music and dance, delicious German food and, of course, a lot of great beer.

Aspen Film Festival
320 E. Hyman Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 920-5770

October 2 through 7, 2012
Price: Individual show tickets start at $15

For more than 30 years, the Aspen Film Festival has been one of the most well-known film festivals in the country. More than 30,000 people flock to the picturesque town to see premiers of over 200 different films while mingling with industry insiders and getting a completely independent view of the film industry. The Aspen Film Festival is also one of the more accessible film festivals, as it presents a wide variety of content from documentaries to family-friendly fare and everything in between.

Great American Beer Festival (credit: CBS)

Great American Beer Festival
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St. Hall F
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 447-0816

October 11 through October 13, 2012

Colorado is widely known for its craft beer. In fact, the founder of the Association of Brewers and the “god” of all things beer, Charlie Papazian, lives and brews in Boulder, which is where the first Great American Beer Festival took place in 1982. Now, for three days every year, the Brewers Association in Colorado hosts the Great American Beer Festival here in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. This is the premier event, bringing craft beer lovers from around the world together to sample more than 2,000 different beers. Brewers gather to participate in both the public tasting and the judged competition, as fans delight in the immense selection of handcrafted beer. Since 1982, this festival has been growing steadily, and is the only one of its kind in the country, making it to the top of festival lists.

Denver International Wine Festival
The Grand Hyatt Hotel
1750 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 664-5700

November 7 through November 10, 2012
Price: Tickets start at $95

For seven years, The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Denver has hosted the Denver International Wine Festival. Hundreds of Denver’s most exclusive wine connoisseurs flock to the elite event, enjoying the most premier wine and food in the Rocky Mountains. This year, the Eighth Annual International Wine Festival promises to be even bigger and better with two full floors of the hotel reserved just for the event. Wine from more than 18 countries will be featured along with plenty of local wines and foods, ensuring that anyone attending will be able to try plenty of new and exciting fare.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at