Telluride Colorado’s 2009 Summer Activities and Festivals

Telluride Colorado’s 2009 Summer Activities and Festivals

Article by Ray Roark

The summer season in Telluride, Colorado, offers a vast array of experiences, events, and festivals surrounded by the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in the United States. This enchanted town is warm and welcoming to all, with a range of activities as diverse and colorful as the 2,000 residents.

Whether you live in Telluride or just visit, the incredible natural beauty of this remote and captivating region never ceases to lift and inspire the soul. The San Juan Mountains surrounding Telluride are rugged and steep, comprised of six mountain peaks over 14,000 feet high and 13 peaks over 13,000 feet. The town of Telluride itself is just 6 blocks wide by 12 blocks long, located in a box canyon surrounded on three sides by cliffs and mountain peaks and two breathtaking waterfalls at the end of the valley. Retaining the historic charm of its mining town past, Telluride is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and boasts 300 days of sunshine every year

Telluride and the San Juan Mountains offer an unlimited array of active and passive activities that will stimulate the mind and body. Scenic mountains, lakes and streams offer an abundance of hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, and rafting for many skill levels. Discover new challenges in mountain biking and rock climbing. Jeep tours and 4-wheeling are plentiful and offer breathtaking sights that can only be appreciated in person. Visitors and residents also enjoy golf, hot air balloon rides, horseback riding, ghost town tours, and the nearby hot springs. And as an international destination, you will enjoy world-class dining, art galleries, and lodging.

Summer also brings Telluride’s extensive festival schedule featuring outstanding music, wine, films and more, all staged in this spectacular and unmatched setting. Telluride offers festivals and concerts practically every day of the summer season. Here are some of the key events planned for the 2009 Summer Festival season in Telluride:

June 18-21: The 36th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival is one of the oldest, largest and most popular festivals of the year and unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season in Telluride. An exceptional time to be in Telluride with the festival coinciding with the Summer Solstice, the days surrounding the full moon, the longest day of the year, and the beginning of summer. Featuring 4-days of performances on-stage in Town Park, the town is also filled with impromptu sessions throughout the town and campsites, as well as scheduled shows in Elks Park and other venues.

June 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26 & Sept. 2: Enjoy stunning sunsets of pink, turquoise, orange and blue during Mountain Village’s free Sunset Concert Series every Wednesday from June 24th through September 2nd.

June 26-28: The 28th Telluride Wine Festival presents 4 days of food and wine complete with cooking demonstrations, winemaker dinners, winemaker luncheons, and seminars with celebrity chefs, winemakers and sommeliers.

June 29-July 4: Telluride Plenn-Air is an opportunity to participate or watch some of the nation’s top artists capture Telluride’s majestic mountains, flower-filled meadows and charm of this historic town on canvas.

July 4: Fireman’s Fourth of July Celebration captures American nostalgia with an old-fashioned celebration featuring a parade down Telluride’s historic main street, a community picnic in Town Park, and spectacular fireworks set against the imposing peaks of Telluride’s box canyon.

July 10-12: Telluride Yoga Festival combines the inspiration of the natural surroundings and expertise of both nationally acclaimed and local yoga practitioners.

July 11: The Doh-Dah Concert features George Clinton this year and is sponsored by Telluride’s very own independent radio station in Town Park.

July 17-19: The Nothing Festival is uniquely Telluride, created as a single summer weekend with nothing. However, the weekend does include movies that cost nothing and an annual bicycle ride through town where the riders wear nothing.

July 24-26: Rotary 4×4 Rally features guided 4×4 tours in your own vehicle on Telluride’s most famous and beautiful 4-wheel drive roads.

July 31: Telluride Cajun Festival includes unique music as part of an outdoor street party in the spirit of New Orleans.

July 31-Aug 2: Telluride Tech Festival is a celebration of past, present and future technology in an ideal environment for discussion and reflection.

Aug. 6-16: Telluride Chamber Music Festival includes a number of concerts, open rehearsals, and a free concert in Town Park.

Aug. 14-16: Telluride Festival of the Arts brings together food, art and entertainment and includes celebrity chef demonstrations, food seminars, a showcase dinner and grand tasting along with an outdoor art exhibit featuring artists in 13 different media categories.

Aug. 20-23: Telluride Mushroom Festival includes forays, lectures, dining identification, culinary delights from local chefs and the mushroom parade.

Sep. 4-7 (Labor Day): The 36th Annual Telluride Film Festival is one of Telluride’s most famous events featuring a program kept secret until the start of this international celebration.

Sep. 18-20: The 16th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, perhaps one of Telluride’s best, combines live blues, rock, funk, gospel, and soul by world-renowned musicians with over 50 micro breweries for one of the most scenic music festivals in the country. By night the celebration flows into town with late night juke joints and after-hours jams.

Throughout the summer Telluride hosts many other events for all tastes, such as free outdoor Mountain Film movies (July 25-26, Aug. 20-21, Sep. 10-11), races (Ophir Hill Climb, Sep. 4; Imogene Pass Run, Sep 12; Mountains to the Desert Bike Ride, Sep. 26), and a number of art events and concerts. Regardless of your preferences, Telluride has something to satisfy every member of your group this summer.

About the Author

Ray Roark enjoys life as a year-round local resident of Telluride, Colorado. If you are planning a visit to Telluride and seek luxury accommodations, tour these Telluride vacation rental homes. For summer rental, this Telluride luxury rental home is available. Find both properties at

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