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Telluride’s Summer of Signature Events

“Festival Capital of the Rockies” kicks off Summer 2010

May 27, 2010, Telluride, Colo., … Known as the “Festival Capital of the Rockies,” Telluride has an event lined up nearly every weekend in the summer – and festivities kick off this weekend with the acclaimed Mountainfilm in Telluride, a festival of ideas and independent documentary films.

“People may come to Telluride for our winter wonderland, but they certainly stay for our summer-in-the-mountains experience,” said Scott McQuade, Telluride Tourism Board (TTB) CEO.  “Our summer lineup of events is second to none. Coupled with this picturesque location, what could be better for a summer getaway?”

Telluride promises something fun for all ages, all summer long. Here is a sample of the signature events that keep visitors returning year after year.

Mountainfilm in Telluride:  May 28-31,

Thirty-two years in the making, Mountainfilm is America’s premiere showcase for independent films that explore world cultures, adventure and the environment. The four-day festival is a blend of films, speakers, exhibits, slide shows, seminars and discussions that celebrate the power of visual arts to instigate change.

Telluride Balloon Festival: June 4-6,

This festival promises to take you up, up and away!  During the day, the skies above Telluride Town Park burst with color as hot air balloons float overhead. At night, Telluride’s main street sets the stage for the warm-your-soul balloon glow.  

Wild West Fest: June 7-12,

Now in its nineteenth year, the festival celebrates the arts, culture and customs of the West with cookouts, horseback rides, hikes, historic mine tours and rodeo events. Music, dance and theater performances at the historic Sheridan Opera House offer a glimpse into Telluride's mining past. The fest’s mentorship program brings inner-city and disadvantaged youth from across the country to Telluride for a week of educational activities and Western fun.  

Heritage Fest: June 12-13,

Bringing visitors and locals together in a celebration of the area’s colorful and enduring history, this free family event includes a reenactment of Butch Cassidy’s bank robbery, Ute drummers and dancing, mining and ranching demonstrations ranging from gold panning and sheep shearing, and old-time games for all ages.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival: June 17-20,

Bluegrass lovers flock to Telluride every year for four days of pickin’ and grinnin’. This festival boasts the best in the biz. This year’s talent includes Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer, Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize, Punch Brothers, Josh Ritter Band, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Carolina Chocolate Drops and more. 

Telluride Wine Festival: June 24-27,

Blanketing Telluride and Mountain Village, the event features winemakers’ luncheons, cooking demonstrations, reserve programs, seminars and tastings for novices and experts alike.  

Telluride Plein-Air: June 29-July 4,

The sixth-annual event provides the opportunity to observe some of the nation's best plein air—outdoor—artists as they paint on location to capture the light and colors of Telluride and the region. During the last two days, an exhibition and sale of the pieces benefits community programming for the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s historic Sheridan Opera House. 

Red, White and Blues Concert:  July 4,

Free live music, complimentary snow cones, face painting and more takes place during the late afternoon at Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village. 

Telluride Yoga Festival: July 8-11,

The third-annual festival combines the inspiration of the area’s natural surroundings, the expertise of nationally acclaimed yoga practitioners, and a focus on holistic living. Nearly 50 classes and workshops, meditation sessions, and presentations offer a full range of workshops for yoga enthusiasts of all levels. 

Telluride Americana Music Weekend: July 22-24,

The festival brings to Telluride the best of Americana music: acoustic singer-songwriter music that blends elements of folk, country, rock’n’roll, and blues.  

Telluride Jazz Celebration: August 6-8,

This August, the mountains of Telluride come alive with world-class jazz. Celebrating its thirty-fourth year, this program boasts the Stanley Clarke Band featuring Hiromi as headliners; The Greyboy Allstars and many other musical masters will also grace the stage. 

Chamber Music Festival: August 12-21,

The thirty-seventh annual festival brings chamber music to the masses up close and personal. Under the leadership of artistic director Roy Malan, concertmaster with the San Francisco Ballet, festival-goers will enjoy a full lineup of top-notch performers, a free concert and picnic in Town Park and a free children’s concert.

Festival of the Arts: August 13-15,
The seventh-annual Telluride Festival of the Arts includes celebrity chef demonstrations, food seminars, a showcase dinner and grand tasting. On the arts side, 60 national juried and world-class visual artists will be on hand. The festival’s art show is open to the public and features artists in 13 different media categories.

Mushroom Festival: August 26-29,

During this annual gathering of fungi lovers, festival-goers gather to pick, discuss, and enjoy Telluride’s mushroom-rich surroundings. The information-filled festival includes daily forays, presentations, cooking demonstrations, and the Telluride Mushroom Festival Parade on main street.  

Telluride Film Festival: September 3-6,

Each Labor Day weekend, the town of Telluride triples in size for this event that prides itself in providing cinematic submersion. The lineup isn’t revealed until everyone arrives. Visitors can choose one of three passes to experience the weekend. Purchase early—the festival sells out nearly every year. 

Blues and Brews Festival: September 17-19,

This three-day celebration of music and microbrews in Telluride Town Park includes live blues, rock, funk, gospel and soul, with food and craft vendors and children’s activities. At night, the festival flows into the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village with after-hours jams and late-night juke joints.  

For more information about Telluride, visit