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Telluride Fire Festival

The Telluride Fire Festival is a celebration of fire arts—both performing and sculptural. The Festival is centered around a FREE public and interactive experience of fire artistry in the winter of 2015, on the weekend of January 16-18 in the small mountain towns of Telluride and Mountain Village. Beginning when darkness falls on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until late evening, it will take place both on the central pedestrian plaza of Mountain Village and on the “Main Street” (closed to vehicular traffic) of historic Telluride. People will watch spontaneous performances and experience (and walk among) the many forms of fire art from “art cars” to fire dancers to fire-emitting sculptures to creative burn barrels. During the day on Saturday, workshops/studios on fire performing and art creation in conjunction with our local art organizations will be offered. To help create fire art that will be displayed at the Festival, some classes will take place throughout the fall of 2014. The event workshops are free to students, while the advance workshops will have a fee. All will focus on the reuse of found/recycled materials. Please subscribe to our enews on the top right corner of the home page to receive updated information about these workshops and their scheduling, as well as other event updates.


Telluride Fire FestivalInaugural event planned for January 2015

Two local Telluride residents are orchestrating a new winter festival to bring light, warmth and fiery art to Telluride in 2015.

The Telluride Fire Festival scheduled for Jan. 16-18, 2015, aims to create an interactive fire art experience on Telluride’s Main Street and the pedestrian plazas of Mountain Village. Multi-storied, fire emitting “art cars,” burn barrels and other larger-than-life, animated, fiery art installations will line public spaces and fire artists and dancers will offer spontaneous performances in the streets.

The not-for-profit festival is the creation of Telluride residents Erin Ries and Chris Myers and will be a collaborative effort with Telluride Arts, the Ah Haa School for the Arts, and Deep Creek Experimental. 

“Fire is at the very core of human existence: it transformed our ability to survive,” says co-founder Chris Myers. “Today, a millennia later, it still is critically important to our survival and fascinates most everyone. And, over the last 2 decades, that fascination has lead its controlled handling to become an art form.”

The festival will begin Thursday, January 8 with an Artwalk that includes galleries showcasing all types of fire art. The next day, when darkness falls, Main Street in Town and the Mountain Village Plaza will be the centers of the action. Saturday will feature workshops on fire performing and art creation. The workshops will focus on reusing found and recycled materials.

“Telluride has a thriving arts community, and we want to offer a new platform that will help amplify this dynamic art form,” says Erin Ries, Event Director.


The Festival appeals to a growing national audience for this artistry and brings both regional and nationally recognized fire artists to Telluride. Year-to-date, artists include mural artist and kinetic sculptor Duane Flatmo, metal sculptor Jamie Vaida, fire performers Fractal Tribe, and local architect/metal artist Anton Viditz-Ward. Additional artists and performers to be announced upon final selection of submissions.

The festival will also be integrated community-wide with local establishments offering everything from fire-themed art exhibits at local galleries, flaming food on the weekend’s menus and fire-themed book signings—for this weekend, fire will be the talk of the town.

Ries has extensive experience with events and festivals in Telluride, and is no stranger to fire: for three years she co-directed the Telluride Wine Festival (2004-2006) and served Telluride as a volunteer firefighter. Myers, the owner of enLIGHTen—a lighting design firm, is a believer in the power of fire, whether to illuminate, warm us, transform our food, or simply entrance.

“Fire is nature’s television,” Myers says. “It is captivating, and has been ever since man first harnessed its power for survival. It is visual…visceral…and as curious creatures, people are drawn to fire.”


For more information about the Telluride Fire Festival (a net-zero carbon event) or to become a sponsor, volunteer, teach fire dancing or a welding workshop, submit a fire installation for consideration, please go to, or email erin [at] telluridefirefestival [dot] org.

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