Recent Posts » 7 Unique Spring Events in Colorado (2023)
Spring is a season of renewal and celebration – and Colorado knows how to embrace both! What better way to celebrate than attending one of the unique spring events in Colorado? Colorado has THOUSANDS of spring events. However, there are some that stand out as the quirkiest and most unique. Want to race a train, duck, or on a DIY cardboard sled? You can do that. Want to dress up as a fairy or celebrate a frozen corpse? Yeah, you can do that too.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Colorado’s weirdest, quirkiest, and most unique spring events. Some are lighthearted, some are competitive, and some are just downright weird. No matter your taste, we’ve got something for you.
When: March 17–19, 2023
Where: Estes Park (moved from Nederland)
Let’s start with the WEIRDEST event on this list – Frozen Dead Guy Days. It’s an annual event celebrating a cryogenically preserved Norwegian man. Bredo Morstoel, or Grandpa Bredo, as he is affectionately known, died in Norway in 1989. His grandson sent his body to the U.S. to be preserved in liquid nitrogen, hoping he could one day be reanimated. Since then, Grandpa Bredo has lived (uhh, rested?) in a shed in Nederland, Colorado.
Sooo, yeah. SUPER weird. The town was apprehensive (as expected) when they first found out. However, it didn’t take too long before they warmed up to Grandpa Bredo.
After the news broke, that’s what the small mountain town became known for. If you told someone you were from Nederland, you would likely get the response – “Oh, you mean where that frozen dead guy is?”.
March is a slow time in Nederland. The town needed to come up with an event to attract tourists. So, in 2002, they decided to capitalize on the most widely-known fact about Nederland – the frozen dead guy. Since then, the event has rapidly grown in popularity. So much so that it’s outgrown the town and will now be held in Estes Park for 2023.
So, what exactly happens at Frozen Dead Guy Days?
Frozen Dead Guy Days kicks off with the annual Blue Ball on Friday night. Then, the festivities continue throughout the weekend. Expect live music, food, beer, and lots of quirky entertainment.
There’s a coffin race, polar plunge, parade, costume contest, and more. But, back to the Blue Ball. This year, the iconic Stanley Hotel will host the Blue Ball (Yes, the Stanley Hotel that inspired The Shining). It’s a big “resurrection” party to kick off the weekend. There will be live music plus a costume contest for the best “Uncle Bredo & Ice Queen.” Hotel guests will get access to the after-party.
On Saturday, FDGD will host coffin races and the Frostbite Fashion Show. During the coffin races, “32 teams of pallbearers will race through a course full of obstacles”, according to the official website. If you go, you’ll also have to check out all the quirky and creative costumes of the frozen dead guy. Or, better yet, dress up yourself! Between the main events, there will be lots of live music plus festivities put together by small businesses throughout the town.
So, if you like weird stuff, you can’t miss Frozen Dead Guy days. Learn more and get tickets on the official site.
When: April 1–9, 2023 (main attractions are on April 8th)
Where: Steamboat Springs
Cost: Free for main activities
Looking for a unique Colorado festival that isn’t so macabre? Check out the Steamboat Springalicious Festival. This annual ski and snowboard festival includes wild competitions and live music.
Highlights include the Cardboard Classic, Splashdown Pond Skimming Competition, and free concerts.
The Cardboard Classic is a race down the mountain on DIY cardboard sleds. The sleds can only be made using cardboard, glue, paint, duct tape, string, and masking tape. Will the sleds hold up? Attend the event to find out!
The Splashdown Pond Skimming Competition features Steamboat Springs’s craziest skiers. Participants dress up in their wildest outfits and attempt to ski across the icy pond. It’s ridiculous, fun, and wildly entertaining. It’s a super fun way to end the skiing season.
The Steamboat Springalicious Festival is a weeklong event. The main event highlights (listed above) happen on Saturday, April 8th. It’s a fun and festive way to celebrate the end of the ski and snowboard season.
When: May 6th, 2023
Where: Estes Park
Cost: Adopt a duck for $25. $22 of that will go to a charity of your choice.
Thousands of rubber ducks are released into the Fall River in Estes Park every year. Participants can “adopt” a duck by purchasing a numbered ticket. The first ducks to cross the finish line win prizes for their owners. Both participants and onlookers can watch the thousands of rubber ducks race down the river.
The best part is – it’s all for charity. Ducks cost $25. $22 of that goes to the charity of your choice. It’s a fun day and a favorite for kids. Plus, you know that the money you spend on it is going to a good cause.
Of course, there will also be food, drinks, and live music at the event. Additionally, you can drop by Rocky Mountain National Park. Timed entry reservations aren’t required until the end of May.
When: March 25th, 2023
Where: The Westin Westminster in Denver
Cost: Tickets start at $65 ($40 if you’re not drinking)
Collaboration Fest happens every year in Denver. It celebrates the spirit of collaboration within the craft beer industry. The festival brings together breweries from across the country to create unique and innovative beers with each other. The focus on collaboration and community here is fun and refreshing.
The festival started in 2014. Since then, it’s grown into one of Colorado’s largest and most unique beer festivals. Thousands of beer enthusiasts from across the country attend every year. In addition to showcasing new and unique beers, the festival features live music, food, and other activities.
Collaboration Fest is an excellent opportunity to sample some of the country’s best and most creative beers. Whether you’re an industry professional or a craft beer enthusiast, it’s a fantastic way to connect with like-minded folks and have a great time doing it.
Tickets can be bought online in advance. Discounted tickets are available for designated drivers.
When: April 28th–30th, 2023
Where: Big B’s Fruit Co. in Hotchkiss, Colorado (west slope)
Cost: Starting at $70. Kids 13 & under are free.
Hestival is a three-day camp-out festival in Hotchkiss, Colorado. Hippies-at-heart will love the communal vibe. Sip cider, meet new friends, and listen to live music under the stars. During the day, several group excursions will be available. You can choose to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, hike, or mountain bike. Or, you can sit back and relax at the campground. You really can’t go wrong here!
Hestival takes place at Big B’s Orchard. It’s a lesser-known festival that started in 2022. Hestival is family-friendly, with all-inclusive options available. The All Access Pass includes a campsite, live music, some meals, and happy-hour hard cider. Get your tickets and get in on the fun!
When: May 27th, 2023
Every year, cyclists gather in Durango, Colorado to race each other and… a train??
That’s right. The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is an annual event featuring humans vs. the machine. Cyclists race against the Narrow Gauge Railroad train from Durango to Silverton. The race is 50 miles long and includes over 5,700 feet of climbing. Thousands of professional and amateur cyclists participate every year.
Other events include a criterium race, a mountain bike race, and a kids’ race. The Iron Horse Classic also provides plenty of non-competitive activities. There’s a parade, live music, a beer garden, and more. Whether you want to participate in a race, cheer someone on, or simply hang out, this event is unique and fun. The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic has a festive atmosphere celebrating cycling and the outdoors.
When: April 23rd, 2023 | 1–5 pm
Where: Pearl Street Mall in Downtown Boulder
The Tulip, Fairy, and Elf Festival is part spring festival, part renaissance fair. Although many of the activities are geared toward kids, everyone is welcome to participate! Dress up in your cutest, sparkliest fairy or elf costume. Not great at makeup? Get your face painted there instead! There will be live stage performances, foam sword fights, and lots of other fun activities.
Even if dressing up isn’t your thing, you can’t miss the thousands of tulips that line South Pearl Street Mall. Seriously. There will be over 15,000 tulips!! Plus, there will be lots of food, drinks, and fun. The event is free and a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of spring!
Bonus tip: Get there early to find parking in one of Boulder’s garages. They’re free on weekends!
What unique spring events in Colorado do you know about?
We would love to hear all about them. Please share them below! Additionally, if you’ve been to any of the spring events in Colorado mentioned in this list we’d love to hear about your experience with them and any tips you may have!