Summer in Durango means many things. Warm weather. Incredible sunsets. Endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. But it’s also the season for summer festivals. Durango is a haven for summer festival fun. From classical music concerts to craft beer fests, our mountain town has some type of fair or festival happening pretty much every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Here’s our rundown of some of the bigger summer festivals in Durango:
- June 4 | Animas River Days: Animas River Days is a very Durango-type of festival. Crowds gather along the banks to watch pro-level competitions such as Whitewater Slalom races followed by kayak and inflatable rodeos, boatercross, stand-up paddle board races and more! Don’t miss the Parade Viewing Party at Santa Rita Park or the after party in downtown Durango. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 4.
- June 11 | Men Who Grill: Now in its 13th year, Men Who Grill features all-you-can-eat grilled goodies, brews from Steamworks Brewing Co. and live blues from the Kirk James Blues Band. Local and regional grill teams will compete to win the hearts and stomachs of guests and take home the People’s Choice Award. This isn’t an old-school, meat-only affair. Past grilled creations have included roasted corn, grilled sushi and more. Tickets are $20, and proceeds benefit the Women’s Resource Center. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11.
- June 18 | Durango Motor Expo: Check out antique and vintage cars as they line Main Street in downtown Durango. There’s no admission charge for spectators so the whole family can come and celebrate Father’s Day weekend in a unique way.
- July 8-31 | Music in the Mountains: This classical (and classic) music festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. Music in the Mountains features extraordinary musicians who “entertain, educate and delight audiences with the richness of classical music, and complement concerts with year-round educational programs for youth.” The monthlong festival brings concerts to the iconic white tent at Purgatory ski resort, about half an hour’s drive north of downtown Durango.
- July 23-31 | Fiesta Days: Durango Fiesta Days is sort of a big deal. The 10-day festival dates back to 1935 and was established to unite the area’s diverse Spanish, Native American and pioneer cultures. The 2016 event schedule hasn’t yet been published, but typically includes rodeos, a parade, chuck wagon dinners, concerts and more.
- Aug. 10-14 | La Plata County Fair: The La Plata County Fair is a good ol’-fashioned county fair complete with rodeo, animal showings and judged entries for baking, quilting and many other categories.
- Aug. 27 | San Juan Brewfest: Beer lovers (and those who are simply beer drinkers), unite! The 2016 San Juan Brewfest will feature more than 50 craft breweries, many from Colorado but several others from California, Texas, Wyoming, Montana and New Mexico.Tickets include a souvenir mug and unlimited tastings as well as unlimited enjoyment of live music. The event in Buckley Park in downtown Durango will also feature food vendors. Advance tickets are available. VIP tikets cost $60 and General Admission tickets are $30.
- Sept. 1-5 | Four Corners Motorcycle Rally: This annual motorcycle rally rumbles into Southwest Colorado every year and packs Labor Day weekend with live music, poker runs, group rides and rowdy fun, such as arm-wrestling contests and tattoo competitions.
While you’re in Durango for any — or all — of our awesome festivals, be sure to stay with us at the Durango Quality Inn. Our hotel is on Main Street, just a few minutes from downtown on the city’s free shuttle and only one block from the Animas River and trail. So while you’re planning your mountain-town, summer-festival vacay, be sure to book your room at the Quality Inn Durango!