Come join locals and tourists alike as Estes Park embraces winter in style with its Winter Festival! Held over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, on January 14-15, 2017 from 12-4pm at the toasty Estes Park Events Complex. The festival features beer and wine tasting, chili cook-offs, kids’ activities, climbing and biking challenges, as well as live music from local and Front Range Bands. Visit www.estes.org/events for ticket prices.
Spend the weekend sampling a variety of chili, with a red chili cook-off on Saturday, and a green and white chili cook-off on Sunday. The Colorado Chili Pod, the local chapter of the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI), will oversee the red chili cook-off. Join the fun and enter your own favorite chili for your chance at bragging rights.
To compliment all of the chili you will be sampling, you will have the opportunity to taste beers from local and regional microbreweries such as Lumpy Ridge Brewery, Rock Cut Brewery, Estes Park Brewery, Grimm Bros. Brew House, and Whistle Pig Brewery. If wine is more to your taste, check out samples from Snowy Peaks Winery, Decadent Saint, Hunter Moon Meadery, Miracle Stag Meadery, Ten Bears Winery, Vino Passarelli, Wild Women Winery, Blue Mountain Vineyards, Talon Wine Brands and Black Arts Cellars.
Throughout the weekend listen to live music from Amplified Souls, Air Traffic Controllers, Dixie Leadfoot and Chain Station.
As far as kids, they will get to spend the day burning off energy on the Bungee Run, Obstacle Course, and with St. Bernard Rescue. Featured is the Shutterbus, a working VW van complete with photo booth. And make sure the little ones don’t miss out on the Frozen Themed Bounce House.
Celebrating Historic Estes Park
Estes Park is celebrating its centennial in 2017, so the festival offers the opportunity to learn more about the town’s local history. Interact with F.O. Stanley and Joel Estes.
Meet a mountain man! Available to answer history questions are representatives from Macdonald Book Shop, MacGregor Ranch, Elkhorn Lodge, Crags Lodge, the Stanley Hotel, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.
Get outside and try out the climbing wall with experienced climbers to answer your questions. There’s also a fat tire display and an outdoor fat bike course. Try your luck!
There’s plenty of snow in Rocky Mountain National Park, so it is the perfect time to attend the Winter Trails Day on Saturday, January 14; held at the Bear Lake Park and Ride in Rocky Mountain National Park from 10am – 3pm. This free snowshoe festival has hundreds of demo snowshoes for adults and children and well as advice from snowshoe experts. The event is free but normal park entrance fees apply.
While you’re here, make it a weekend. Stay at a cozy lodge and eat out at one of Estes Park’s wonderful restaurants. Many local lodges and businesses are running specials over the weekend.
For more information about things to do during the winter at Estes Park, pick up a free Estes Park Vacationland around town.