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It's that time again - Festival time!

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Although the weather today in Telluride is no indication of how wonderful summer weather can be in Telluride (nothing says summer like a mid-May snowstorm), everything that encompasses the warmer months in the Box Canyon can't be beat. 

Sure, there is an overwhelming plethora of activities to partake in (see last weeks post), but no one can argue that the summer festival line-up in Telluride makes it a destination of choice for history buffs, film enthusiasts, foodies, art appreciators and music lovers alike.

Let's start from the beginning—Mountainfilm, May 27-30th. In just a short two weeks Mountainfilm will crank-up welcoming festival season to Telluride. This four-day film festival takes place in indoor and outdoor venues all over town and offers festivarians a distinctive blend of films, speakers, gallery exhibits, slide presentations, seminars and on-the-street conversations that demonstrate the power of visual arts to instigate change. Most who have attended say they leave wanting to help change the world--not a bad thing to get out of a few days!

New this year, Mountainfilm will offer free film viewing in Telluride Town Park. So grab a blanket, lawn chair and picnic basket and make your way out! See the below video to get more on Mountainfilm:

Next-up is the Telluride Balloon Festival, June 4-5th. Just another way to welcome summer, the Balloon Festival is a two-day extravaganza that fills the blue sky above the Box Canyon with colorful hot-air balloons. The balloons take-off in Telluride Town Park and conclude with a festival on Telluride's main street. See the below video for pictures from past events:

Of course, Telluride is most known for it's music festivals. And to kick-off the music festival season is the coveted Telluride Bluegrass Festival, June 16-19th. With 2011 being the Festival's 38th season, the line-up has only continually improved with some of this year's musicians including Robert Plant & Band of Joy, Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck and the Fleckstones to name a few. Although this year's festival is sold-out, music can still be heard around town during this four-day party. See below video from last year's festival (courtesy of Telluride Lodging):

Telluridians also take their gustatory senses seriously. And the Telluride Wine Festival is proof of just that. June 23-26th will mark the festival's 30th year in existence. During this anniversary year, the Festival will feature more chefs, more experts and more wine and cocktails that ever before. New this year, Chef and Food Network start Aaron Sanchez, Chef Sue Torrese and wine expert Andrea Robinson will be in attendance. Every year the festival boasts four-days of amazing wines, lunches and seminars, delicious food, cocktails and live music. See the below video from Plum TV from a past festival:

In keeping with Telluride's legacy of being a music-filled community, Telluride Jazz Festival has brought in world-class musicians to the Box Canyon. The 35th year running, August 5-7th will hosts such musical acts as Tower of Power, Rita Coolidge, Taylor Hicks, The Clayton Brothers and more.  Here is a quick back-stage video from last year:

Telluride is known as a safe-haven for celebrities to live and play in relatively private existence but during Telluride Film Festival, the stars and directors come out to be noticed. September 2-5th marks the 38th anniversary of the festival and features North American film premiers, classics, seminars and discussions with the world's leading filmmakers and stars. Here is a short video with an overview of the Film Festival:

And now for the festival-season finale (drum roll please…) Telluride Blues & Brews Festival! Most festivarians say there is no better way to end the summer than with this 3-day festival (September 16-18th) featuring an amazing line-up and 50 choice microbrews. What could be better? This year's line-up includes Willie Nelson, The Flaming Lips, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and more. Here is video from last year:

For sake of space (and the average reader's attention span), only the major festivals have been covered in this post. To find out about the entire summer festival line-up, including Telluride Heritage Festival, Shroomfest, Telluride Festival of the Arts, Telluride Yoga Festival, Telluride Musicfest and more click here.

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Header image by Merrick Chase.

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