8 Crested Butte Summer Events You Can’t Miss

The summer season is a hectic time in Crested Butte. There is so much to do in such a short amount of time. We’ve taken the burden of planning out 8 events this summer (in chronological order), so that you can just show up and enjoy. Sit back, relax, and check out what’s coming up soon!  


Mountain Words Literary Festival

May 25 – 29

Summer in the Butte kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with this multi-day celebration at the Center for the Arts. Tickets can be purchased for single events, full days, or all-inclusive passes with discounts for students as well. The 2nd year of the Literary Fest includes over 40 events including:

  • Q&As and discussions with renowned guests like Cheryl Strayed author of “Wild” (the Reese Witherspoon film based on her memoir)
  • Workshops on writing, world-building, acting, and more
  • Kids’ events, parties, and live theater
  • Crafting infamous literary cocktails
  • Literary Death Match: part literary event, part comedy show, part game show

The Chainless World Championships

June 24

Only in Crested Butte would we come up with a gravity-fed race like this. Racers weigh down their bikes, put on ridiculous costumes, and remove their chains before racing the seven miles from Kebler Pass into downtown Crested Butte. Spectators can enjoy the spectacle of riders coming through the finish at the end of Elk Avenue and perhaps catch a bit of carnage from those who take the final turn a bit too fast. A party at the finish awaits all. 

Independence Day Festivities

July 4th

Independence Day in Crested Butte is one of the biggest events of the year. This year there are a few more celebrations to enjoy:

  • The annual parade down Elk Ave with dozens of creative floats
  • Vendor Village at 3rd and Elk featuring live music, face painting, and eats
  • Epic water fight at the end of the parade route by the Big Mine/CB Nordic Center courtesy of the CB Fire Department
  • Alpenglow (free concert series) at the Center for the Arts outdoor stage in the late afternoon w/Trout Steak Revival
  • Mt. CB laser light show w/live DJ

Crested Butte Music Festival

July 8 – Sept 5

This is definitely not your average music festival. This summer long series of events feature a wide range of genres including Gypsy Jazz, Bluegrass, Classical, and Flamenco. Unique venues for some of these concerts take you to remote backcountry mountains, onto lakes and rivers, and even a nocturnal performance under the stars at the an observatory. Check out the 30+ plus events and choose your musical adventures.

Wildflower Festival

July 8 – 17

Crested Butte is the undisputed Wildflower Capital of Colorado. Every summer is a treat here, with colorful and truly amazing blooms of countless species. The Wildflower Festival itself spans two weeks, however there are events offered all summer long including 4×4 jeep tours, art classes, garden tours, guided hikes, photography workshops, and much more. Keep in mind the July events sell out pretty quickly.

Living Journeys: Summit Hike & Half Marathon

July 23

These two events offer a unique opportunity to not only summit our namesake peak, but also support those in our community affected by cancer. Living Journeys provides grant monies, homemade meals, private therapy sessions, rides to treatments, and much more. Your registration to either hike the summit, or race up it in the half marathon directly contributes to their efforts. You can even participate for free by pledging to raise funds.

The 50th Annual Arts Festival

Aug 5 – 7

Now in its second year at the new and improved location by the Crested Butte Community School, the Arts Fest continues to attract unique and talented  fine artists from both Colorado and around the world. Expect delicious food trucks, music and dance, and family friendly activities to go along with over 100 artist exhibits showcased outdoors.

CB Rotary Duckie Race

duck race

August 7

The Great Rubber Duckie Race is the Crested Butte/Mt Crested Butte Rotary Club’s sole fundraiser for the year. We host the duck race on Coal Creek the first Sunday in August and it’s a lot of fun! Each $10 ticket or $500 Big Duck goes towards the goal of raising over $55,000 each year.

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