By Misty Kaiser, Longmont Magazine
It’s time to get outside once again. Shake out the shorts, dust off the sandals and grab an icy-cold beverage, summer is rearing its shiny head.
While last year’s floods devastated so many areas of northern Colorado, they did nothing to dampen spirits. Communities from Longmont to Estes Park have come together on the road to recovery and they’re marching down in style. Many of the locations for these events were impacted, and are just now opening back up to the public. Show your support for your community by packing up and heading back out there.
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
June 28 & 29, Bond Park, Estes Park
This is a wonderful family event with something to interest people of every age. Entertainment runs continuously throughout the day, with dancing by various folk groups and live Scandinavian music performances. There will be opportunities to join in and dance along. You’ll find Scandinavian food and craft vendors, a Viking encampment, a silent auction, and a raffle booth to win round-trip airfare for two to Scandinavia, donated by Icelandair.
Front Range Film Festival
June 26 -29, Firehouse Art Center, Longmont
The Front Range Film Festival is back! The Firehouse Art Center presents thier second annual three-day film showcase.
Rhythm on the River
July 11 & 12, Roger’s Grove, Longmont
Rhythm on the River is a celebration of art of every kind, including the art of conservation.
On Friday night, dance with your sweetheart to the tunes of Chris Daniels and the Kings, with special guest Freddi Gowdy followed by Pure Prairie League. Come back at 6:30 Saturday morning for breakfast and the traditional hot air balloon launch. Participants in the Roger’s River Run 5K begin their course at 7:30 a.m.
Meet local artists, enjoy live music on two stages all day long on Saturday and get in a little drama and dance at the amphitheater.
Starting at 9 a.m., get green at the Conservation Carnival and Discovery District. The Conservation Carnival will be a fun hands-on area to discover what each of us can do to make our planet a little greener. Then unleash your inner artist at Discovery District. Learn what art, crafts and toys can be created from recycled items. Munch on some culinary art down on “Restaurant Row” or sip on the craft of local breweries.
Support local charities by purchasing an entry in the St. Vrain Rotary Duck Race. At 3 p.m., the corporate sponsored ducks go in the water. Local businesses design and decorate their own ducks and register through the Rotary Club. Cheer for your favorite then enter your own. $5 gets you a numbered duck and a winning duck gets you a prize. The more ducks you sponsor, the better your chances are, so come prepared!
This year younger guests won’t want to miss the Tween/Teen Scene at the Amphitheater and a high ropes course for a little adrenaline fix.
Then on Saturday, attendees will be entertained by a continuing line up from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Bakersfield Band, Lefthand Market Boys, Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra, Dixie Leadfoot and the Chrome Struts, Chicha, Lightly Toasted, The Country Music Project, Burnt Lips, and Soul Sacrifice will carry you through the day and dance you into the night.
For more information or to register for the Roger’s River Run 5K visit ci.longmont.co.us/rotr/.
July 19, Roosevelt Park Pavilion, Longmont
From 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., pull up a chair (bring your own) and witness the best in local jazz entertainment at this annual festival sponsored by the Longmont Jazz Association. Entry is free and food and drink are available for purchase.
Boulder County Fair
August 1 – 10, Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont
Colorado’s oldest county fair is hosted right here in Longmont. If you are looking for some fun, farm animals, and family-oriented events the Boulder County Fair might just be what you are looking for.
Earn some local notoriety by entering your own handiwork from baking to crafts. With so many available categories, you’re sure to find your place to shine.
Get your fill of rodeo, carnival rides, 4-H competition and fair royalty over the course of 10 days at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.
Gnarly Barley Brew Festival
August 2, The Ranch, Loveland
Make the short drive up 25 for your taste of Colorado’s best brews. Your entry gets you Gnarly tasting mug and your first seven tokens, each redeemable for one four-ounce pour from any of the breweries. Additional tokens are available for $1 each.
As part of the Larimer County Fair, patrons are encouraged to come early and stay late to enjoy the fun of the fair.
Carbon Valley Music & Spirits Festival
August 1 & 2, Centennial Field, Dacono
This festival on the plains has so much fun they had to extend it to two days this year. There is a beer garden, but this event features a spirits tasting a competition, food and an enviable live music line-up.
August 2, Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont
Left Hand Brewing Company’s summer shindig features the Mile High Tribute Band Competition, kicking off at noon. Some of the most talented cover acts in the country compete to help raise funds and support for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The band line up will have a little something for everyone plus plenty of grub, craft beer, and the Left Hand Kid Zone!
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
August 15-17, Planet Bluegrass, Lyons
This low-key weekend of music opens with the coveted Folks Songwriter Showcase, then goes on to feature some of the country’s best folk artists. Pack your own picnic or enjoy snacks from the many vendors on-site. Folks Fest is great way to wind down the summer.
Jazz on 2nd Ave.
August 16, 2nd Avenue, Niwot
International and local jazz musicians, International food court, beer garden and wine cellar, Special area for kids with unique arts and crafts.
Front Range Wine Festival
August 23, Main Park, Windsor
Front Range Wine Festival in Windsor is probably one to attend without the kiddos. Meet up with friends, or make it a date, for food, live music and of course some spectacular Colorado wines. General admission includes entry, festival wine glass, wine tote, tastings and food samples. There will be a free shuttle service to area hotels if you really want to live it up, but if you’d rather sleep in your own bed, Trunk Drivers will take you home in your own car, for a fee. Reservations for this service are encouraged, but they will have a booth inside the festival.
Estes Park Heritage Festival
August 23 & 24, Stanley Park, Estes Park
Take a step back in time and explore the history of Estes Park at the Heritage Festival. Your entire family can participate, learning about the hearty pioneers who settled the region. As quilters and woodcarvers demonstrate their crafts nearby, children don leathergloves and help assemble a log home. Well-muscled draft horses haul families around in an antique wagon from historic MacGregor Ranch. Experience another era when you travel in a vintage Stanley Steamer, invented by F.O. Stanley of Stanley Hotel fame. Plan to also visit the military encampment,browse the antique dolls and research your family history at the ancestry and lineage booth. Let loose at the Saturday night street dance from 7 to 9 p.m. This celebration of history and heritage takes place at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park.
Now in its 14th year, Festival on Main has a long history of creative fun and entertainment to live up to. Each year the festival grows and this year is no exception. In 2014, revelers can look forward to all the entertainment they’ve come to expect, but they can also expect to enjoy it just a little longer. Kimberlee McKee, Executive Director of Longmont Downtown Development Authority, says, “Each year, it seems no one is ready for the party to end. We have businesses and performers that work so hard on this event – three hours just wasn’t enough!”
So this year the festival begins at 6 p.m. and won’t wrap up until 10.
Also new this year will be an International Dance Stage, an art corner as well as a performance by national musician, Paula Nelson as well as the third performance in the Longmont Idol competition. Come out and support your talented friends and neighbors.
Along with Paula, plenty of local bands keep things humming from three stages at this signature street party while over 18,000 attendees take in the many booths, activities and street performers. The crowd roams between living statues, jugglers, stilt walkers, a 14-foot bubble making machine, a climbing wall, a giant puppet, bounce houses, fire and aerial dancers and many more unique and fun distractions. The Water Ball and Bungee Trampoline attractions will be available for a $5 charge.
I’m sure we all agree with Kimberlee when she says, “I feel that downtown is an extension of everyone’s neighborhood, not only in Longmont, but in our region. This is a great, end-of-summer downtown celebration of music, arts, food and fun!”