Spring Events in Colorado

By May, Coloradans have packed away the sweaters and dusted off the flip-flops for the start of the busy festival season. Here’s just a sampling of warm-weather-embracing Colorado events that have us counting down the days until spring.

view of stadium and crowd at Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado
Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, CO

Find your way to one of these, or check our Colorado events calendar to plan your vacation around our famous festivals.

CINCO de mayo

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Denver to celebrate its Latine residents, as well as their history and culture for three days. Cinco de Mayo, held in Civic Center Park, features multiple stages where you can gather to hear the sounds of mariachi, salsa, norteño and many other genres of Latine music. Watch as the vibrantly stripped skirts of baile folklórico dancers whirl, sample Mexican cuisine, cheer during the community parade and more. 

Annual Black CAnyon Ascent

The stunning Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park serves as the backdrop for the Annual Black Canyon Ascent in May. The route leads runners and walkers from the valley floor to the rim of the canyon, navigating a more than 2,000-foot elevation gain in what has been dubbed Colorado’s toughest 6-mile road race. The Black Canyon Ascent will not be held in 2023 due to park maintenance. 

Buena Vista CKS PaddleFest:

Considered the kickoff to the always-anticipated Colorado rafting season, late May's Buena Vista CKS Paddlefest invites lovers of rapids to the banks of the Arkansas River, one of the nation’s most popular whitewater destinations. Festivalgoers can check out clinics, gear swaps, concerts and a disc-golf tournament. All the activities center around the fest’s main event — the Buena Vista Whitewater Pro Rodeo. This freestyle competition among the world’s top playboat athletes will take place at the Buena Vista Whitewater Park.

Boulder Creek Festival

The season of outdoor festivals in the foothills college town of Boulder begins on the banks of its beautiful creek on Memorial Day weekend with the Boulder Creek Festival. Vendors offer everything from handcrafted jewelry to reflexology treatments to backpacks, and the locals come hungry to sample craft-brewed root beer, locally made chocolates, tofu burgers (this is Boulder, after all) and much more. There’s also live music on multiple stages, dancing in the streets, carnival rides, a beer garden and the crowd-favorite Great Rubber Duck Race, where thousands of bright-yellow duckies float down the creek to win their owner prizes and benefit a good cause.

Junior College Baseball World Series

Grand Junction has been home to the Junior College Baseball World Series for more than 50 years. The late May/early June tournament is a great opportunity for baseball fans to see young players from all over the county coming into their own before they hit the big leagues. Each year, dozens of players from the National Junior College Athletic Association are selected in Major League Baseball’s draft. The 12,000-seat Suplizio Field, set amid Colorado’s beautiful wine country, hosts all 19 games of the series. Visit the Junior College World Series website for information and tickets.

Want more? 

Check out our ultimate Colorado spring-break guide for families.

Explore summer festivals in Colorado.

Photo: Courtesy of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau.