Estes Park hosts a multitude of events throughout the summer, which encourage spending a day in the town, or perhaps even several days. You can find the town’s event calendar at www.estesparkcvb.com/calendar.cfm. Then just click on a particular date for more information on that day’s activities. Here are a few highlights for summer visits.
Entertain abounds over Memorial Weekend. Take in the Carson and Barnes Circus performances Saturday, May 26, at 2 or 7 p.m., Sunday, May 27, at 2 or 4:30 p.m., or Monday, May 28, at 2 or 5 p.m. Ticket prices are: adults $16, and children $8. Purchase tickets online 24 hours in advance and save $2 per ticket. The Western Art and Antiques Show runs Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stroll the over fifty vendors’ booths of Western art, antiques, and collectibles at Barn W, in the fairgrounds at Stanley Park, 1209 Manford Avenue.
On Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3, True Productions presents a 4D Barrel Race to raise money for the Estes Park Rodeo Royalty. The free two-day competition includes four divisions. Show times are 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The longest day summer solstice event, “Scandinavian Midsummer,” usually takes place on the Saturday between June 20 and 26. This year it occurs on June 23/24 at Bond Park in the center of downtown. One tradition stems from pre-Christian fertility rites connected to a good year’s harvest. Revelers dance and sing around a type of Maypole. In Estes, find music, dance, food, and craft vendors, and lefse demonstrations. Lefse is a flatbread something like a tortilla and is cooked on a skillet. Take part in the Viking re-enactors, silent auction, and raffle. Enjoy the day’s raising of the pole on Saturday, at 9:30 a.m., and a 10 a.m. parade of flags, costumes, national anthems, followed by continuous entertainment.
The July 4th celebration is more than the sounds of fireworks reverberating off the mountains. The day begins with a pancake breakfast followed by a classic car show in the center of downtown. In late afternoon, musicians provide the annual patriotic concert at Performance Park. Before the sun sets, pick any spot with a direct view of Estes Lake, throw down your blanket, lie back and enjoy, according to Estes residents, the state’s best fireworks display.
July 10 through 15, attend the Rooftop Rodeo, voted “Best Small Rodeo of the Year”, many years running. Known for its western hospitality and family-friendly atmosphere, the rodeo offers rodeo events for all ages. Check the Estes Calendar for specifics.
Anytime during the summer, enjoy a hike on the 3.83-mile Lake Trail Loop, which circles Lake Estes. Take time at the south side Matthews-Reeser Bird Sanctuary to view and listen to migrant birds - flycatchers, vireos, swallows, wrens, thrushes, warblers and sparrows.
Another suggestion in Estes includes the Tattoo, September 6 through 8, at 7:30 p.m. The Tattoo began as an evening drum, bugle, or piper signal recalling soldiers to quarters. The Dutch word meaning, “tap toe” symbolized the “closing of the tap” in the barrooms. Today, a Tattoo presents military bands in concert.
Don’t miss the annual Bond Park Labor Day Arts and Crafts Sale, September 1 through 3, or the September 29 & 30 free Elk Fest.
No matter which event you choose to attend, you’ll enjoy a daytrip to Estes Park.