By Patte Smith
It is a beautiful time of the year to get outside and enjoy family and friends while experiencing some top-notch festivals near and far. Whether you enjoy a stein of beer, face painting, fine art or going on a hayride, there is something for everyone.
Close by, the premier 30th Colorado Artfest at Castle Rock is a two-day fine arts festival featuring more than 170 artists from around the U.S. There will be live music, tasty food and interactive exhibits for children offered on both days; Saturday, September 7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, visit www.castlerock.org/castle-rock-artfest.
Saturday, September 28 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oktoberfest at Wilcox Square in Castle Rock will be celebrated with beer, a variety of traditional Bavarian foods, along with music and dancing. For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/events/2345033092392866/.
Three miles south of Castle Rock, the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Foundation (CALF) will hold its Harvest Day Festival on Saturday, September 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lowell Ranch. The annual event for all ages features hayrides, visits with the livestock, a plant sale, viewing raptors close up and yummy concessions. For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/CALFatLowellRanch/.
Two special festivals will be held in Parker in September – the Parker Art & Music Festival and the 13th annual Parker Oktoberfest. Both events will be held at O’Brien Park in historic downtown Parker. The art and music festival will be held Saturday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Live music featuring popular Colorado music groups, food and drink, kids’ art booths and face painting will be available. For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/Parkerfineartandmusicfestival/.
Parker Oktoberfest will be held Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15. Enjoy German music, a Biergarten, authentic food and a German Techno dance party. For times and additional information, visit www.coloradoculture.org/oktoberfest/.
For two weekends, September 20 – 22 and September 27 – 29, the Denver Oktoberfest will be celebrated in the Historic Ballpark Neighborhood at 20th and Larimer Streets. The entertainment includes stein hoisting, long dog derby, keg bowling, Dashustlehoff 5K, bratwurst eating contest, costume contest and live music. For additional information, visit www.thedenveroktoberfest.com.
And, if you are new to Colorado or love a mountain drive, head up to Estes Park on September 28-29 for the 2019 Elk Fest. Hearing the resonant bugling of elk during the rut is amazing, and the sight of these beautiful animals is spectacular. The festival includes elk-inspired crafts, Native American music, a craft beer garden, storytelling and a special activity area for children. While you are there, a must is visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. For additional information, visit www.visitestespark.com.
On Saturday, October 5, the City of Lone Tree’s Fall Festival at Schweiger Ranch will offer a guided tour of the historic ranch, a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, hay rides and other festivities. For additional information, visit https://ridgegate.com/events/.